T’is the season for sitting in front of the new 60 inch TV with the family or friends and watching a film or two. And I’ve taken this opportunity to compile a list of some really great alternative Christmas films that not only embody the true spirit of the season, but let us know that it is truly better to give, than to receive. So get thee to the nearest movie rental place or download at least one of these fantastic holiday themed movies organized in no particular order.
1. Scrooged: Bill Murray’s holiday classic is a modern retelling of the famous Dickens novel, A Christmas Carol. Murray plays a demented TV executive, visited by three hilarious spirits one fateful Christmas eve. Shenanigans ensue.
2. Die Hard: Bruce Willis plays John McClane, a workaholic New York cop, who must rescue his estranged wife from “Ze Evil Germans” after they take over an ultramodern Los Angeles skyscraper. Best quote goes to Alan Rickman who plays international terrorist / thief, Hans Gruber, “Now I haff ze machine gun, Ho! Ho! Ho!”
3. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: The Griswold clan returns in this raunchy comedy about friends, family, decorations, egg nog, consumerism and pretty much every other gag you can think of this holiday season. Bonus points go to our newest celebrity Vancouverite, Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie.
4. Black Christmas: This 1974 film is credited as the first slasher film ever made. The formula is simple. Christmas+crazy person+a sorority house=death and terror. Starring a young Margot Kidder and Andrea Martin. Includes the award for most inventive use of a Christmas ornament as a murder weapon.
5. The Ref: Denis Leary plays a burglar who bites off more than he can chew when attempting to rob the residence of Kevin Spacey’s crazily dysfunctional family. From dearly departed, Ted Demme, director of Blow, this Christmas flick
6. Bad Santa: You’ll reconsider sitting on old St. Nick’s ample thighs after viewing this holiday shocker. Billy Bob Thornton basically plays himself in the title role and will burn your retinas after banging Lauren Adams in the front seat of a car. Still in the end Bad Santa does the right thing and “saves” the day.
7. The Nightmare Before Christmas: Written and produced by weirdo, Tim Burton, the story revolves around Jack, The Pumpkin King of Halloween Town. After discovering a portal to Christmas Town and kidnapping Santa, Jack unleashes mayhem for little boys and girls around the world when they open their presents on Christmas morning. Perfect for the goth on your list.
8. How The Grinch Stole Christmas: Quite possible the best tale of holiday redemption ever written. Suffice it to say we all live vicariously through our green friend as he plunders the homes of Whoville but come around to accepting that it’s not the Who Hash which makes this time of year special, but rather this: “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.”
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
If you can think of any more, add your favorite holiday films in the comments.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you all.