Okay, we know the holiday season is over, but A Christmas Story and It’s a Wonderful Life is still seared in our brains from the non-stop showings on the telly. Seems like every holiday season it’s the same flicks being thrust in our faces — the crappy ones, the funny ones, and the ones that only your mom and aunt would watch (Lifetime Network, anyone?). Thus, we sit on the edge of our bean bags waiting for a gem to come across the screen. Sure, we’ll get a bone thrown our way when Bad Santa shows at midnight on Comedy Central — which is a nice reprieve from the 12th forced viewing of Love Actually per our girlfriend’s request — but certainly there must be more than the ten holiday films on a constant loop that we can enjoy. And there are.
Behold. A few holiday movies you likely have never seen, but you should. Write it down now for next year.
Starring: Margot Kidder and some other people
The 1974 Canadian original, not the recent piece of crap remake. The plot is a bunch of hot chicks getting hacked up in a house over the holidays. You get some flesh, swearing, and blood all surrounded by tinsel and Christmas music. Ah, the holidays. This one should go in everyone’s stocking because as the narrator says: “If this movie doesn’t make your skin crawl… it’s on too tight!”
A Midnight Clear
Starring: Uma Thurman’s ex-husband, Peter Berg, Johnny Drama, and Lt. Dan
While technically a war film, this based on a true story is set during WWII at Christmas. The cast is great and has a few future stars in it. It’s about American soldiers facing off with a bunch of German soldiers near the end of the war. They decide to call a truce and spend Christmas together before going back to killing one another. Nothing says Christmas like firing a machine gun at someone.
Starring: Actors you’ve never heard of
A Christmas western. Giddyup. Yeah, it was made around the time your great-grandparents were having sex in order to create your grandparents, but that doesn’t make it less watchable. This thing has been made many times over, but we like the 1936 version. Basically, three outlaws agree to get a dying woman’s kid to safety during the holidays even though they are being hunted for their devil-may-care ways. If anything, it’s a good excuse to see some guys shooting at each other in the desert under the guise of a Christmas movie.
Starring: See below
This is one of those hidden gems that many people have never heard of. It’s also one of those that gets better and better with each viewing. The Steve Martin-led cast is strong — Adam Sandler, Anthony LaPagglia, Gary Shandling, Rita Wilson, Robert Klein, Rob Reiner, Juliette Lewis, Parker Posey, Jon Stewart — and despite being set in Southern California, there are plenty of Christmas elements to go around. The film focuses on a suicide hotline business which always sees a bump in traffic during the holidays. We’re not saying we have called such a hotline during the holidays, but the film resonates strongly with us.
Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman
Starring: Captain Fun
Who said sequels are never as good as their predecessor? The original Jack Frost (not the Michael Keaton sappy one) was straight out of B-Movie Heaven with it’s plot of a killer snowman. The sequel provided more of the same with some bikini chicks thrown in and a rockin’ showdown where they kill the snowman and his spawn with banana daquiris. Yes, that’s correct. Our favorite scene is where a snowball bites the dude’s fingers off. How did the Academy overlook this gem?
Trapped in Paradise
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Jon Lovitz, and Dana Carvey
Set in Paradise, Pennsylvania on Christmas Eve, this is a holiday film about three brothers pulling a bank robbery on Christmas Eve. Then a snowstorm blows through and they can’t seem to get out of town. Sure, the town’s kindness bring the brothers around, but there are some funny and cynical moments along the way. Especially from Dana Carvey and his mostly overlooked wealth of talent.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
Starring: Pia Zadora
So bad it’s good. Even if this were 90 minutes of blank screen, you would have to watch it just for the title. The plot has martians kidnapping Santa Claus and two kids from earth and taking them to Mars to give presents to the Mars children. Along the way, there is a plot to do away with Santa and the kids, but in true Christmas fashion, Santa prevails and brings holiday joy to the cold, cold hearts of the martians.
Long Kiss Goodnight
Starring: Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson
Okay, it’s a Renny Harlin action flick set during the holidays, but if you like watching a chick kick ass, then why not add this to your holiday movie list? Geena Davis — yes, she used to be a pretty big deal in the movies — plays an amnesiac housewife who discovers she is a former spy/assassin/ass-kicking type of gal. She soon teams up with Sam Jackson and spends the holidays shooting guns and avoiding death. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
The Hebrew Hammer
Starring: Adam Goldberg, Andy Dick, and Mario Van Peebles
Here’s a Hanukkah yarn that erases the bad memories of 8 Crazy Nights. Is it silly? Yes, but silly never hurt anyone. Adam Goldberg plays The Hebrew Hammer, a Jewish version of Shaft, who has to thwart Santa’s evil son’s (played by Andy Dick) plan to squash Hanukkah. He gets the girl(s) and kicks ass along the way. Even if you don’t celebrate the Hebrew holiday, this is a movie to drop in your DVD player every December. Circumcision confirmed.
Starring: Bill Goldberg, Fran Drescher, and one of the chicks from “Lost”
Pro wrestler turned bad actor Goldberg, straps on the Santa gear to play a demon version of St. Nick who lost a bet and has been bringing peace and joy because of it. Now that the wager has been paid, he is out to ‘F’ up Christmas. He throws fire, kicks puppies, and wants a piece of tail. Goldberg hams it up as he shoots people and wreaks havoc all over town. There are explosions, snowmobiles, and sexy chicks. This anti-holiday holiday film is required viewing with a six pack. Or three.
Starring: Denis Leary, Kevin Spacey, and Judy Davis
It’s surprising to us how many people have never seen arguable the greatest holiday flick ever made. Denis Leary claims he learned all about making films while working with the late Ted Demme on The Ref, but he certainly seemed like he already knew what he was doing. If you like Leary’s brand of humor, this is a must-see. If you hate being around family during the holidays, this is also a must-see. Any movie that references homosexual dogs is a-okay in our book.