In keeping with the dark, twisted holiday themes of my life, I have compiled a list of my favorite holiday movies. These are the movies that have kept me sane (or what passes for sane for me) over the years during these festive, family focused frivolities. Before we get to the actual list, I want to give props to a couple of flicks that were good, but didn't rank high enough to make the list. First of the honorable mentions is Death Race. This one would have made the list except that most of the stuff that shows it takes place during the holidays is only on the Unrated version. Second, is The Addams Family which almost made the list on the strength of its opening scene of festive carolers about to be drenched in boiling liquid by the The Addamses! The master touch was the switch in the music from Christmas carol to The Addams Family theme.
And now, here are my top ten favorite holiday movies.
10) Black Christmas (2006) - Christmas horror movies abound, but most of them focus on making the icons of the holiday evil, and there's only so many times I can watch Santa kill people before it gets old. This movie felt more like what my life would be like if I were caucasian and a serial killer. I'm already mentally deranged. One out of three ain't bad, right?
09) Nightmare Before Christmas - I always though this was a cool concept. The rituals of Christmas as interpreted by Halloween. This would have been higher, but a bunch of the songs are kind of annoying after the first viewing. Still the basic idea and the intensely impressive hard work in making this movie more than make up for the music.
08) Scrooged - This is probably the closest I'll ever get to liking a regular holiday movie. There's just something about the pathos and never ending sarcasm of Bill Murray that makes this movie awesome to watch. Even after he's been reformed, he still keeps the same style. This movie even made the three spirits fun!!
07) Lethal Weapon - There's nothing that warms the cockles of your heart than some good action during the holidays. And that's what Mel Gibson & Danny Glover deliver. Plus, we get a topless girl listening to Jingle Bell Rock, a shootout in a Christmas tree lot, and an epic hand to hand fight right in front of a somewhat cheerily decorated house!
06) Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang - The deadpan wiseass humor of Robert Downey Jr and Val Kilmer make this a holiday favorite for me. And the bonus of Michelle Monaghan bouncing around in a sexy Santa outfit doesn't hurt either!
05) Gremlins - This movie is the single most anti-consumerist movie I have ever seen. A father takes a gift to his son, and that gift spawns a bunch of evil creatures that terrorize an entire town! Plus, Phoebe Cates delivering one of the most horrible Christmas memories in film history just makes me happy in the fact that there are people who have had worse Christmases than I!
04) Bad Santa - I prefer the unrated version of this movie, but the best part is (and I can't believe I'm going to say this) is the sex scene... "Fuck me, Santa! Fuck me, Santa! Fuck me, Santa! Fuck me, Santa!" There's just something about that line that is just.... enchanting.
03) Trading Places - Where Gremlins is anti-consumerism. Trading Places is anti-commercialism. There's nothing that makes the holidays complete than having your boss take everything in your life away from you and give it to someone else, all for a lousy $1 bet!
02) The Ref - This movie is the closest I've seen to Christmas at my house growing up. Yelling, screaming, and gun play (well that was only the one year at my house, but still) and then a stupid meal that degenerates into more yelling, and screaming, until someone runs away.
01) Die Hard - This movie takes one of the most common holiday stories, trying to get to your family for the holidays, and gives it some major balls! No longer is it being stuck with strange people in a snow bound airport or small town. No, now it's a group of highly funded thieves pretending to be terrorists, with enough C4 to orbit Arnold Schwarzenegger and machine guns galore!! If this isn't a Christmas tradition at your house, make it one! Or else, I'll send John McLane to YOUR house and then we'll see how your house stands up to sustained gunfire & explosions from terrorists!