Hotel Hell Vacation 14 Minute Short Film

Hotel Hell Vacation
Back in November, we told you that Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo would be reprising their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold from the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies, but not for another big screen sequel (not yet, at least…). The Griswolds reunited instead for an advertising campaign for HomeAway launched during the 2010 Super Bowl. The television spot advertised a new Vacation “mini-movie” titled Hotel Hell Vacation, featuring Chase, D’Angelo, and an exact replica of the film’s iconic Wagon Queen Family Truckster. Here is the official plot synopsis:

Ride along as The Griswolds hit the road again. This time theyre on their way to see Rusty at his vacation rental. They stop at a hotel and typical Griswold madness ensues.

The 14 minute short film is now online, and embedded after the jump.

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National Lampoon's Vacation

Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo will be reprising their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold from the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies, but not for another big screen sequel (not yet, at least…).

You might recall that last month we told you that New Line/Warner Bros had signed Wedding Crashers and Fred Claus director David Dobkin to produce and possibly direct a new film in the National Lampoon’s Vacation series which would follow Rusty Griswold, the son of Clark Griswold, who is now a father in his own right and takes his family on a, you guessed it, road trip vacation. Although New Line/WB hopes to sign Chase and D’Angelo to return as grandparents in the new film, no deals are in place.

So if not the big screen, when, where and why? Details after the jump.

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In the new issue of Zoetrope, Francis Ford Coppola’s slept-on literary magazine, John Hughes has written an elegant and amusing foreword to his short story, “Vacation ’58,’ which became the classic road-trip comedy National Lampoon’s Vacation. It’s a whirlwind tale, with Hollywood quietly snapping up the rights, and Hughes, to his amazement, finding himself adapting the screenplay, suddenly outfitted with the sine quibus non of show biz.

“This was all happening during Hollywood’s post-Shampoo era of gold chains, red Ferraris, and big sideburns. As a print humorist—envisioning myself as Chicago’s Booth Tarkington Jr.—I willfully knew nothing of show business. …When I arrived at the incipient powerhouse Creative Artists Agency in my poplin suit and rep tie, I was mistaken for an IRS agent. Despite my contrastive definition of hip, I passed the audition and got the Agent and the requisite accessory, the Lawyer.”

Hughes discusses switching out the short story’s Walt Disney for the film’s Roy Walley, a blatant and arguably more effective knockoff. The gig also marked his first encounter with infamous test audiences. It resulted in a new ending for the film, one he still favors less than the original…

“…the ending—was thoroughly despised by preview audiences. Roy Walley and his executive committee dancing and singing with neckties on their heads and Clark W. Griswold heading off to jail was better on paper. I was hired again for a rewrite, and I wrote my first happy ending. I preferred the original and still do, but the rewrite gave me an introduction to John Candy, with whom I would eventually match the coherence of cruelty, sorrow, disappointment, and farce that underpinned ‘Vacation ’58.'”

If you’re interested in the history of American comedy and/or a fan of the film, this is a must read. The republished short story is only available in the print edition—the issue was designed by Devo’s Mark Motherbaugh, cool—but Hughes’s entire foreword is now online.

via Alex Blagg

Discuss: Is National Lampoon’s Vacation the best road-trip comedy? If not, what is?