Ah, what a perfect movie to start off the list. The late great Bob Clark directed one of the original slasher films, and it's one of the best. The story features a sorority in the middle of Christmas break, with a killer butchering the girls one by one. There isn't a lot of gore in this picture, but there's a whole lot of atmosphere and some very creative and hallucinogenic death sequences, from the girl choked on the bag, to the hook impaling of the drunken headmother, all with the psychotic POV shot of the killer giggling and crying and doing who-the-fuck-knows-what-else, all to the tune of Canadian snow-filled locations. Clark would go on to make another Christmas classic called A Christmas Story. Meh.
Now here's a movie that spells Christmas all over the place. I know it's a cliche to mention this film, but sometimes people forget how good this movie really is. For starters, it starts off as a really bleak and depressing film, dealing with a man who wants to kill himself, and he is about to, until he's visited by an Angel who teaches him how much of a difference one man can mean to an entire town. It was Frank Capra's last masterpiece, and a bomb in it's day. Today it's an undisputed masterpiece, and a beautiful film that never gets old.
This isn't a very good movie, not as a horror or Christmas flick. I'm not here to praise it or call it a classic, but since it's a movie I watch EVERY Christmas, I had to include it. The imagery throughout is all Christmassy, and the fact that the killer dresses in a Santa Claus outfit only adds to the atmosphere, chopping people for being naughty and screaming "Punish!" every chance he gets. We also get a topless Linnea Quigley getting impaled on reindeer horns. A topless Linnea Quigley is always welcome in my book.
6. Bad Santa
A comedy for people who hate Christmas and it's rampant consumerism, it's also a pretty hilarious movie filled with Christmas cheer and lots of ridiculously offensive, politically incorrect humor. I love it. I think it's Billy Bob Thornton's best performance, and the late Bernie Mac is surprisingly hilarious in his role as police chief for the mall. His scenes with John Ritter (two dead people, eech) are comedy gold. This one is not for the kiddies, but it will make you laugh like a little kid for sure.
John McClaine is trapped in a building with a group of thieves, and he's kicking ass all over the place. It's violent, bloody, funny and full of kick-ass action. It also takes place during Christmas, which makes it even cooler. The use of holiday songs like Run DMC's "Christmas in Hollis" just adds to the proceedings. Is this the greatest action movie of the 80's? Why yes, yes it is.
It's hard to imagine a movie filled with psychotic little monsters and a sad sequence that made us all realize that there was no Santa could represent a big part of our Christmas-watching tendencies, but it does! The place is full of snow, decorations and Christmas music abounds, although for the most part it's all going to get destroyed. Highlights for me include when the little bastards sing Christmas carols before sending Ms. Deagle to her flying death, and the creatures going nuts in a bar. Phoebe Cates is in this too, she's hot!
and finally, my favorite Christmas film is...
Oh I can already smell the cheese! George Lucas really, really wishes this piece of shit didn't exist, but if you thought the prequels were bad, boy, hold on tight! You haven't lived until you see a bunch of wookies groaning and talking for minutes without subtitles, Han Solo and Chewbacca talking about the Christmas spirit, bad comedy from Art Carney, Bea Arthur as the manliest bartender in the galaxy, and, perhaps more disturbing than anything else, Carrie Fisher singing a Christmas song to the tune of the Star Wars theme. This random parade of WTF was obviously done for the check, but people like me watch this shit over and over instead of smoking pot, as it gets you high just from listening to it. Come on George, hurry up and release an official DVD or Blu-Ray! We're sick of having to rely on bootlegs!