While everyone else is settling down for a long winter's nap, you need some healthy alternatives to Burl Ives andIt's a Wonderful Life for your Yuletide entertainment.
What's more Christmas than prostitutes killing themselves to "Jingle Bell Rock" and psycho cops buying coke—and Christmas trees—in undercover sting operations? Welcome to the holidays, L.A. stizz. If A Christmas Story's burlesque lamp can become a holiday tradition, why don't people gather on their front lawns and engage in Capoeira smackdown, in honor of Riggs and Mr. Joshua?
Remember when companies were financially solvent and could afford to have Christmas parties? Sigh. Amazing how dated this movie feels. Still, there's enough Yuletide cheer in the adventures of John McLane ("Now I have a machine gun. Ho. Ho. Ho.") to have you applauding as you slurp down your traditional Jagermeister and egg nog cocktails. And remember: Run DMC is Christmas music.
Billy Bob Thornton's booze-soaked department store Santa-slash-safe-cracking thief would be up there with Frosty and Rudolph as holiday icons if there was any justice in the world. Bad Santa is the perfect anti-Christmas movie, full of bile, vicious one-liners, and sloppy degenerates (and yet, it all still manages to end on a happy note). So push aside those sugar plums dancing in your head and instead tuck yourself in with visions of Lauren Graham shouting "Fuck me, Santa" in the throes of ecstasy.
Every time you watch George Bailey run through Bedford Falls shouting "Merry Christmas, movie house!", aren't you overcome with the urge to see that quaint little town ransacked by murderous, flesh-eating, little green bastards? We know we are. Gremlins is the ideal pitch-black comedy to wash away all those saccharine children's specials you're forced to watch with family and friends. The best part is, you can feed your ass well after midnight.
Proving there was a historical precedent for Lethal Weapon's Hollywood cops-on-a-Christmas-rampage, L.A. Confidential shoots backwards in time a couple of years, showing that the City of Angels was full of grizzled holiday flatfoots back in the day. Sit back and think about jolly ol' Saint Nick as Russell Crowe's Bud White tears down a wife abuser's Christmas decorations before giving him the what-for.
An often overlooked Bill Murray classic, Scrooged takes A Christmas Carol and reworks it in the most '80s way possible: Corporate greed, suits with shoulder pads, Bobcat Goldthwait. It's endlessly quotable ("Have you tried staples?") and it eats its mean cake while still tacking on a feel-good ending, too. John Glover's L.A. douchebag Brice Cummings is a holiday villain for the ages, and Carol Kane's ass-kicking Ghost of Christmas Present is that magical mixture of terrifying and oddly arousing.
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