The first of 3 nights of grading

I’m collecting lab final exams and final lab reports from each of 3 labs, one nasty big pile a day. Then at night I take them home with a pocket full of red pens and slash away until my eyes melt and drool out of their sockets.

To get in the mood, I like to have a little background noise while I’m working — I’m one of those people who can’t focus without a little static, and I get too easily distracted by the ravening beasts in my head if it’s silent. But it can’t be too engaging. So I’ve queued up a set of streaming movies that are going to be terrible and ignorable, but are appropriate for the season. The theme for the next three nights is…Christmas Horror (it’s a genre, for real: look it up on Amazon video). My work this evening, and tomorrow, and the day after, will be accompanied by screams, ugly crunching/ripping sounds, and abominable dialog.

I find the students’ work usually comes off better in comparison, so it’s all to their advantage.

If you have suggestions for awful movies to play while grading, let me know. Remember the criteria: it’s got to be so bad that I won’t actually be distracted by it, but it has to also fill the silence.


  1. anbheal says

    Cult of Chuckie. It was on Netflix Streaming in the States Halloween week, might still be there (can’t tell, I’m back in El Sur).

    It’s yell at the screen awful, yet strangely fun to be contemptuous of.

  2. HidariMak says

    The straight-to-video ‘Silent Night, Deadly Night’ series might be an idea. One of the movie ends with the mass murderer (dressed as St. Nick, of course) getting his brains blown out. So the plot of the next movie involves him being Frankensteined back to life, with an upside down fishbowl keeping his now oversized brain in place, as he continues his killing spree dressed as St. Nick.

    And if you don’t mind taking the horror out of the Christmas schlock, there’s also a small budget movie simply called “Santa Claus” which was made in Mexico. In that movie, Santa lives in a crystal palace which orbits the earth with Merlin the Magician, and must fly down to earth to deliver presents to three households in Mexico, and simultaneously do battle with the devil. To quote the Jabootu review site, after watching this movie, all your kids will want for Christmas is therapy.

  3. killyosaur says

    Some of the ones I can think of may be on that list already but:
    Black Christmas
    Jack Frost (not the one starring Michael Keaton)
    I apparently forgot that Gremlins takes place at Christmas…

  4. says

    Well, if you haven’t watched the new run of MST3K, I’d suggest it. Otherwise, you can get a classic selection of MST3K or Rifftrax in the Shout Factory app, for free.

  5. Tethys says

    I’ve been using the televison show Scorpion for the purpose of background noise. It’s bad enough that its not engaging, but sometimes the bad science gets to be too much, and I need to switch to something completely innocous like project runway re-runs.

  6. chigau (違う) says

    I really do not grok this at all.
    I can focus on a task despite background noise, not enhanced by it.
    If I am doing something language-based, if I have human voices in the background, I listen to those voices.
    This includes any music with people singing.
    I’d go with whale-song or wind-in-the-trees.