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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect blend of comedy and horror!
The League of Gentlemen do it again! This Christmas Special shows just howvital the quartet are to the British comedy scene.
At the time this was a big departure for the Gents - losing the 'sketch'feel of previous series', ditching the often annoying laughter track andreplacing them with deeper characterisation and a film-like narrativetelling three 20-minute...
Published on 22 April 2004 by No Quarter

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5 of 54 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is not funny it scared the hell out of me
I'am a hardcore comedy fan (see Laurel and Hardy collection and Little Britain) but this is one of the scariest comedies I ever seen. I mean there is no christmas stories in this. One night in the church the reverend is staying in thinking about a bad christmas past when her mother was abducted by a stranger. Then 3 visitors come in to tell three blood curdling tales...
Published on 28 Jan 2006 by Katie Rose Brien


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect blend of comedy and horror!, 22 April 2004
By 
No Quarter (Lancs, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The League of Gentlemen -- Christmas Special [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
The League of Gentlemen do it again! This Christmas Special shows just howvital the quartet are to the British comedy scene.
At the time this was a big departure for the Gents - losing the 'sketch'feel of previous series', ditching the often annoying laughter track andreplacing them with deeper characterisation and a film-like narrativetelling three 20-minute stories. A risky business, but they pull it off sowell you wonder why they don't just do things this way all the time!Series 3, which followed this, was definitely on par with, if not betterthan the Special, although some people strangely dislike it.....what theymust put in their cornflakes I have no idea. Maybe Mr. Briss's SpecialStuff...
If you watch this you, like me, won't be able to wait for their muchanticipated full movie which is planned for cinema release next spring.They've yet to put a foot wrong in my eyes.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh God, it's getting like bloody Jackanory in here!, 5 Aug 2005
This review is from: The League of Gentlemen -- Christmas Special [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
The League of Gentlemen depart from their two previous series for the first time. Gone is the sketch show crossed with soap opera, bringing us instead this wonderful seasonal special. Despite both these series providing viewers with enough comedy to merit Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith as brilliant writers who have created a cult classic, this Christmas Special shown in 2000 did enough to propel them to even greater heights. Here, they use an increased budget and several horror influences to deliver a genuinely unsettling, though strangely gripping experience.
Set on Christmas Eve in the dark and strange northern town of Royston Vasey, the unsympathetic Reverend Bernice (Shearsmith) is about to settle down to a quiet night in, until three unexpected visitors arrive and treat us to an hour of scary stories in a similar, though far more macabre way, to "A Christmas Carol".
Firstly, a depressed Charlie Hull (Pemberton) tells of a "cheese-dream" where his jealous wife Stella (Shearsmith) ruins his chances at a line-dancing competition through a strange group known as "Solutions"...
Next, an elderly man named Matthew tells of his terrifying experiences in the German town of Duisberg during Christmas 1975, at the hands of German exchange teacher Herr Lipp (Pemberton) and his wife Lotte (Gatiss), who may or may not be vampires...
Then, as the night closes in, hopeless veterinary Mr Chinnery (Gatiss) explains the reason behind his own misfortunes, dating back to Victorian London, a practice called Purblind, Boothby and Canker, and the mysterious curse of Karrit Poor...
All through this, Bernice has her own Christmas woes to worry about, as she relives a Christmas past where her mother was taken by an evil stranger at her front door posing as Santa Claus, and it is only at the very end that all is revealed...
Also, many familiar faces from the first two series are present in some form or another, such as the Dentons, Pauline, Ross and Mickey, Pam Doove, Barbara, Judee and Iris, Vinnie and Reenie, Mike King and Papa Lazarou.
Shown in 16:9 widescreen with stereo sound, there are also DVD extras, including, among other things, a cast commentary, an hour-long radio interview and, best of all, a Jackanory-style story by Mr Chinnery, about "The Curse of Karrit Poor".
Christmas will never be the same again - yule never leave!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another hit for the fantastic "League of Gentlemen", 26 Jan 2003
This review is from: The League of Gentlemen -- Christmas Special [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
What makes the "League of Gentlemen" so successful is their ability to continually re-invent themselves and their characters. Too often successful tv shows stick to the same formula series after series.
The Christmas Special was a bold attempt to create a dark, gothic Hammer or Amicus style horror tale. The special is split into three main stories with Reverend Bernice providing the linking mechanism between them in a portmanteau style. The League of Gentlemen imitated this style of horror superbly with some very funny and dark storylines.
The DVD contains very interesting special features which any fan of the "League" would enjoy. These include an hour long radio interview with the "League" revealing fascinating insights into their past and how their characters evolved etc.. Also included are out-takes, extended scenes, an interview with the composer Joey Talbot and an interview with the "League" showing extracts from an early collaboration called "Highgate House of Horror"
For fans of League of Gentlemen this is a must-have buy and is a thoroughly enjoyable DVD for all fans of dark humour.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The true spirit of Christmas, 24 Mar 2006
This review is from: The League of Gentlemen -- Christmas Special [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
The LoG have never been afraid to push the boundaries as far as comedy goes (which is why they are so brilliant), and this Christmas special from 2000 just serves to prove that point perfectly (unlike Little Britain, which I swear used to be funny.)
Beginning in Vasey,this takes its structure purely from the hammer horrors of the 70s, Tales from the Crypt in particular. Charlie and Stella do line-dancing, a young boy thinks that Herr Lipp is trying to suck him (because he's a vampire obviously), and we discover the root of Chinnery's curse.
This is brilliant, and if new to the League probably not the best place to start. You need to adjust to the macabre humour and surrealism that makes them stand out from the crowd. A good hour's telly though, and bizarrely still made me feel all christmassy inside!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Classic with All the Trimmings!, 17 Dec 2007
By 
D. Wright (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The League of Gentlemen -- Christmas Special [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
This DVD is the the League at their very best. Elegant plotting, subtle acting and pacy editting means there is little flab to the 3 stories. Arguably series 3 is a slight dissapointment and even the second series isn't entirely successful but this seasonal offering is great. Charlie & Stella's sub plot is funny and has a genuinely scary twist; Her Lipp handles his part magnificently (well he would ... woudn't he ?) and Dr Chinnery's tale is a lesson to be careful about working with animals. Quite simply it is perfect - no flat jokes, no bad acting. It's just a shame that since then their output has dried up. (Series 3 takes itsself WAY too seriously and their movie and live dvds are good but not great.

It has the best selection of extras of any TV show I have ever seen. A commentary, a lengthy radio interview, a documentary on the influence the Amicus horror movies had on the show, a "jackanory" version of the third tale, loads of deleted scenes & easter eggs a plenty. Even the pre-FX and after FX footage is interesting.

Unsuprisingly its rating were dissapointing as it was scheduled in a graveyard slot. It's a shame as it deserves a wider audience and why it didn't it win a BAFTA? If you watch this and respond by saying "baah ...humbug" you deserve a good stuffing you turkey ... (Herr Lipp has a pair of rubber gloves ready.)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars League of Gentlemen Christmas Special, 12 Jan 2003
By 
C. Masters "brumsbest" (Beds, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The League of Gentlemen -- Christmas Special [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
Those of you familiar with the League of Gentlemen, and even those who arent, will not be disappointed with the christmas special!
The story unfolds in a portmanteau style, focusing on three main plots all with a common theme. The unlikely Reverend Bernice is visited on Christmas Eve by Charlie who is haunted by a 'cheese dream' involving his wife Stella and some rather strange characters! The second of her visiters, a desperate and bedraggled character, recalls his past spent in Germany in 1975. He quickly learns it's more than just the choirmasters advances he must avoid! Finally, Dr Chinnery arrives after another unsucessful attempt at treating his patients. He exposes his Great Grandfather's legacy and we travel back to a time where "the name Chinnery is synonymous with excellence". How quickly things can change! A few strangley familiar faces appear as well!
The feature includes references to classic and future classic films and is inkeeping with League of Gentlemens own brand of dark humour. However, they never fail to keep things fresh and throw in a few surprises along the way!
Enjoy!
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40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very local Christmas, a real good treat.... Umm, 10 Sep 2002
By 
Amazon Customer (Dronfield, Derbyshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The League of Gentlemen -- Christmas Special [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
This superb Christmas special features everything that is great about The League of Gentlemen, past, present and future.
Loosely themed around ‘A Christmas Carol’ we visit Royston Vasey in the present day for the tale of Stella and Charlie, a marriage made in hell. Charlie loves line dancing, Stella loves… another man. The obvious way out of their predicament is to visit the local women’s group ‘Solutions’. With her Spiderman mask Stella trots off for advice, guidance, and the threat of Anne Robinson in case they swizz her.
We then visit Herr Lip, his wife Lotty, and of course his church full of choir boys. The usual torrent of ‘innocent’ misunderstandings commence, with Herr Lipps new house guest getting more than he wanted for Christmas
We return to Royston vasey for our final story, and at long last discover the reason for Mr Chinnerys absolute incompetence, a real treat as we get to meet a Victorian Barbara who is having trouble with her bustle, not to mention the Victorian Pauline and Mickey (love)
All stories are intertwined by extremely entertaining links delivered by the wonderful vicar, Bernice (and friends).
A superb special that needs no introduction, or indeed prior knowledge of the series, you’ll either love seeing your old favourites, or be left regretting not watching the previous series
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas present from LOG, 10 Jun 2006
This review is from: The League of Gentlemen -- Christmas Special [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
This i think is the turning point that the League of gentlemen decided to change the layout of there programmes from funny to a little bit more serious but still with the humour and it works. This Christmas special is set in Royston Vaseys church on christmas eve with the vicer getting ready to close for the night when she is visited by 3 men who each tell there tale about christmas.

The first of the 3 is Charlie who has taken up dancing to Stellas disgust and to get back at him shes enlists the help of on odd bunch of people who use a vodoo like treatment.

The 2nd is from a visitor of herr lipps home town and he tells us of a christmas a while back and and Incident that happend when he stayed in herr lipps house.

The last and my favourite tale from the christmas special is told from Mr chinnary and we find out why he is like he is with animals, this tale is set back around 200 years and includes a few familier faces.

I suggest you buy this DVD its "a real good treat!"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE BEST LOG EVER! BUY THIS TODAY, YOU WILL LOVE IT!!!, 21 Nov 2005
By 
The Uptons "jag" (london england) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The League of Gentlemen -- Christmas Special [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
This is the LOG at their best! 3 perfectly crafted stories, all just as great as the other. Much Much better than the recent movie, which is LOG at their worse. The witty storylines, excellent casting of extras, and sinister laughs will be of no disappointment, BUY THIS TODAY, you will love this!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hello Dave? It's a saga now, Dave., 12 Dec 2010
By 
Crookedmouth ":-/" (As seen on iPlayer) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The League of Gentlemen -- Christmas Special [DVD] [1999] (DVD)
When I saw the first episode of the first series, I laughed 'till it hurt and when Dr Chinnery put down Farmer Tinsel's dog I nearly passed out from an excess of mirth. In this special episode, the League of Gentlemen celebrate all that is good about the festive season: voodoo, vampires, predatory homosexuals, exploding budgerigars and line-dancing.

A series of unwelcome guests intrude upon Royston Vasey's vicar, the Rev. Bernice as she endeavours to pass another Yuletide in bitter, drunken solitude. Each has a tale to tell with some deep and unholy bearing on the season of goodwill, but what of her own dark secrets?

For those of you who like your comedy to be dark, grotesque and a little bit sweaty, the League of Gentlemen is for you. I think it has to be one of the more innovatibe comdies of the last 10 years, (even if it went off the boil a bit with the movie). This Christmas Special is a few years old now and, if it doesn't quite live up to the standard set by the first series, it comes darn close.

Buy it. Watch it. But if the doorbell rings, don't answer it.
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The League of Gentlemen -- Christmas Special [DVD] [1999]
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