About Christmas TV History

Saturday, October 9, 2021

American Horror Story: Apocalypse (2018)


Apocalypse is the 8th season of the horror anthology series on FX.


As Halloween approaches, many TV viewers love indulging in Christmas horror stories this time of year too. One episode of the horror series American Horror Story: Apocalypse caught my attention.

If you haven't yet seen it, season 8's Apocalypse series centers on witches and warlocks caught in a fight for survival during a nuclear apocalypse. The seventh episode "Traitor" includes several scenes serving as backstory on the witch character Bubbles McGee, played by Joan Collins. While the episode "Traitor" is not set at Christmas, the backstory scenes about Bubbles take place on set while filming a Christmas horror movie. 


Within the episode, we see Bubbles filming the horror movie "A Christmas to Dismember."

The wife character is unhappy with her husband at Christmas--any of this sound familiar?

On Christmas Eve, the wife gets her revenge on her cheating husband.

Yes, Joan Collins as Bubbles McGee stars in a horror movie in which she plays a wife who murders her husband at Christmas time. While cleaning up his corpse, there's an unexpected knock at the door!


Her granddaughter upstairs is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus.


There's an unexpected Santa Claus at the door but the wife refuses him entry. She later hears on the radio that a dangerous man has escaped from a nearby asylum.


The wife refuses entry to the Santa Claus at the door.

The scenes of the filming of the Christmas horror movie in "Traitor" end with the dangerous Santa Claus coming at the wife, the director calling "Cut!" and then Bubbles McGee walking off set. She's approached by her colleague who nastily quips that McGee has made the same tired movie before, even mentioning 1972. 


a scene from 1972's Tales from the Crypt.

Any of this sound familiar? It should. This is a delicious nod to the Christmas segment in the 1972 movie Tales from the Crypt starring Joan Collins as a murderous wife and a killer Santa Claus. I wrote about that movie on this website before--click HERE to see it again. 


The 1989 version stars Mary Ellen Trainor as the murderous wife.

The same story was adapted again for the HBO series Tales from the Crypt in 1989 in an episode entitled "And All Through the House." Click HERE to see what I wrote about the TV series adaptation. 


These few scenes of Joan Collins revising this role are a must-see for Christmas horror fans.

Joan Collins participating in a tribute to this Christmas horror classic is amazing! Even though this is just a small bit within the episode, and a brief moment within the overall series--it's a memorable nod to an influential horror movie. It's also a significant TV mention of a fan-favorite Christmas horror story. 

Did you catch this reference to the 1972 movie Tales from the Crypt when you watched the eighth season of American Horror Story? Are you a Christmas horror fan? Let me know in the comments below. Happy Halloween!

Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for a 2022 release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com