Top 10 Anti-Christmas Movies
“Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho.”
– Hans Gruber, “Die Hard” (1988)
As the joyous holiday season approaches, everyone thinks of their favorite Christmas movies. For some, it’s “A Christmas Story (1983) or “Home Alone” (1990); for others it’s “White Christmas” (1954) or “It’s A Wonderful Life” (1946). The Massie Twins are no different – except that their preferences are just a bit darker than most …
10. Reindeer Games (2000)
It’s not Charlize Theron’s best film and it certainly isn’t director John Frankenheimer’s greatest endeavor. But it might be one of Ben Affleck’s more memorable works (was he ever in any truly good movies?). It is, however, one of the few (and possibly only) films to showcase machine-gun toting Santas.
9. The Gingerdead Man (2005)
Perhaps more surprising than the premise of a killer Christmas cookie is the fact that said murderous doughboy is voiced by Gary Busey. Or maybe that’s not too shocking. Poor acting and shoddy production value keep this from being a real treat, but at least it’s only 70 minutes long. The sequel (the existence of which is perhaps another not-so-surprising note) “Passion of the Crust” clocks in at a heftier 82 minutes.
8. Batman Returns (1992)
A hideous, deformed penguin-man plots to destroy Gotham City, first by murdering the populations’ first-born sons, and then by launching missiles into the city (via penguins). A conniving business tycoon also plans to steal the city’s power supply, while a mysterious cat-woman attempts to defame a heroic bat-man. And it all takes place during the snowy white holidays, even if it’s basked in Tim Burtons’ signature blacks and grays.
7. Jack Frost (1997)
So “Jack Frost” (not to be confused with any friendly snowman movies) isn’t the greatest film of all time, but how many killer snowman movies are there anyway? Originality points are due at the very least, as it’s hard to beat Frost’s sinister quips and the legendary snowman rape scene (involving a pre-“American Pie” Shannon Elizabeth). Yikes.
6. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Imaginatively combining the Christmas lore with Halloween themes, this stop-motion classic brings skeletons, Santa, ghost dogs, evil bug-filled burlap sacks, and much more together in a Tim Burton-esque twist on the Grinch. Sure, Jack Skellington learns his lesson and restores the Christmas spirit, but some pretty messed up things happen before then.
5. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
A masterpiece of disastrous Christmas mayhem, the third installment in National Lampoon’s “Vacation” series attacks the holiday in full force. Everything that can go wrong does, but it’s never funnier than in this darkly comical ode to the maniacal season.
4. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
This nasty little cult classic has received much controversy and plenty of outraged parents for its use of a Santa outfit-clad serial killer. Even with all of the negativity, protests, and bad press of this original, the film surprisingly spawned four sequels and a multitude of copycats. But only this first entry shows a naked Linnea Quigley getting impaled on moose antlers.
3. Bad Santa (2003)
Santa Claus as a bitter thief, drunken slob, and perverted womanizer? In Terry Zwigoff’s endlessly dark vision of the holiday spirit beaten, bloodied, and left for dead, Billy Bob Thornton portrays a mall Santa who rips off the stores he works for and engages in all manner of decadent, abhorrent behavior. Who would have thought seeing Santa curse at little children and get shot down on Christmas Day could be so funny?
2. Gremlins (1984)
This highly memorable dark fantasy is primarily stuffed with fluffy furballs that turn into grisly demons and wreak havoc all over town. But who can forget the twisted tale of Kate Beringer’s (Phoebe Cates) father breaking his neck during a chimney descent dressed as Santa? Now that’s grisly.
1. Die Hard 2 (1990)
No Christmas movie list would be complete without “Die Hard” … 2. Since everyone always throws the iconic original film onto rosters ranging from best action pictures to best Christmas features, this time let’s honor the equally anti-holiday second piece of the series. Renny Harlin’s follow up actually scorned the cheery season even further through the use of exploding churches and an icicle to the eyeball. Merry Christmas!