Christmas is a time of giving. Unfortunately, fans of darker, more alternative cinema usually get nothing in the way of movies geared towards there interests. So for all of you out there who think Santa should be more like this:
Here are my suggestions for a few holiday films that should satisfy both your desire to get into the “spirit” of the season, and your unquenchable lust to see blood split.
Santa’s Slay is every bit as silly and wild as it’s title and casting (Ex-Wrestler Bill Goldberg stars as Santa) suggests, but despite being a movie i laughed at when I first heard about it, I was pleasantly surprised at how entertaining it was. Plus, it starts off with one of the best scenes in cinematic history.
And if that’s not enough reason to watch this movie, I just don’t know what is.
Batman Returns, the last Batman movie to be directed by Tim Burton, is kind of like a superhero, Christmas themed acid trip. Along with a lot of maiming, killing, and a terrific role by Christopher Walken, people often forget that Gotham city is heavily entrenched in the Winter season during the film, making it the perfect movie for all you comic books fans to turn on while remaining in the holiday spirit.
The Long Kiss Goodnight, directed by the criminally underrated Renny Harlin (who also directed Die hard 2, which pops up on this list as well) is a great little action movie taking place around Christmas. The whole movie is full of winter scenes, and of course, the awesomeness that is any word Samuel Jackson speaks. A great flick in it’s own right, made appropriate for this list by the time of year in which it takes place.
It had to be done. A Killer, Mutant Snowman movie. Words can’t describe how terrible this movie is. But, if you have friends with a high tolerance for garbage, a great sense of humor, and lots of alcohol and/or illegal drugs, this movie can be really really fun. Shannon Elizabeth is in it, and she is “raped” by the snowman. How can you not watch?
Another 80’s action classic, taking place mostly on Christmas Eve and Christmas day. This one really put the “buddy-cop” movies on the map, fusing intense, over the top action with quality, mostly conversational humor. Add a Christmas theme to the proceedings and you got yourself another violent winter classic.
John McClain has a second run in with some terrorists dirt bags in Die Hard 2, this time in the form of William Saddler, character actor extraordinaire. Die Hard 2 is universally seen as the only weak link in the “quadrilogy”, but it’s still a perfectly serviceable late night Christmas action romp. Plus Dennis Franz is in it, and he kind of looks like Santa anyway.
Gremlins is one of the best, and only true, Christmas time creature feature movies. Made back in the golden age of puppets and robot controlled dolls, Gremlins isn’t tainted by shoddy computer graphics or green screen trickery. It’s an old fashioned mini-monster movie made the way they should all be made, with convincing puppets and prosthetic effects that give you something tangible to fear, or love in the case of Gizmo. And like most 80’s movies, this one has some truly dark and scary moments, making it perfect for younger audiences and adults. Long live the Mogwai.
Die Hard is not only the holy grail of “one man army” action movies, it’s also one of the best Christmas movies ever made. John McClain’s wise ass comments, the perfect “radio only” sidekick in Ellis, a tremendously devious villain in Gruber, and a supporting cast chock full of talent. Add to the mix a phenomenal pace, some of the most impressive action scenes to date, and a not one, but two, finales and you have yourself the perfect action movie. Oh yeah, and it all takes place around Christmas, complete with a Christmas music credit scene. Truly a gift of a movie.
That’s it for this years edition of my personal Christmas movie favorites. Hopefully some of these selections will help ease the pain of having to see another Hallmark Christmas special starring Tony Danza on your TV.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot to share this gift. It’s some power metal band who wrote a Christmas song about how Frosty and Rudolph never liked each other. It’s really funny, and actually pretty well done.