While everyone else is cuddling up to a copy of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, A CHRISTMAS STORY, NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION, heck, even some people still watch WHITE CHRISTMAS, we here at ASSIGNMENT X thought it was high time to give credit where bloody credit is due to the films that have an unconventional way of celebrating Christmas cheer – namely one of sheer terror.
That’s why we invite you to celebrate a little horror for the holiday’s with us, chronicling ten unconventional films that are just as worthy as the umpteenth incarnation of A CHRISTMAS STORY retold on any one of Tyler Perry’s TBS comedies.
BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974)
What is it? While the re-make of this film isn’t bad, it is the original that is a freaking great film and goes down as one of the most original slasher movies of all time. A deranged killer invades a sorority house and takes them all out one-by-one.
Horror for the holidays: Seeing SUPERMAN’s Margot Kidder get brutally murdered. Plus, the scary phone calls and nasty scenes make it one of the top horror films perfect for Christmas.
SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT(1984)
What is it? The one that caused a huge stir from family organizations because it painted Santa Claus as a brutal serial killer filled with blood lust. Heck, that’s why we love it. Anyway, it revolved around Bob, a troubled youth that witnessed his parents murdered by a thief in a Santa suit. Later, he loses it while filling in for a Santa at a department store and goes on a killing spree.
Horror for the holidays: Chunk loads of bodies and body parts, gratuitous nudity and nasty violence this makes it perfect for a bloody holiday season. You better watch out, you best not cry, you better not pout, because Santa Claus is coming … and Santa’s freakin’ pissed.
FRED CLAUS (2007)
What is it? Speaking of crazy Santas. This Vince Vaughn tale is scary as hell. Scary in terms of the acting, the plot, that they got big name actors to do it and that someone green lighted it in Hollywood.
Horror for the holidays: If you want to be terrified by the terrible movie then this a perfect one to go out and see because hot damn, it is a bad freakin’ film.
What is it? Come on, you gotta know GREMLINS, right? The story of a small little animal that if he gets hit with water multiplies and if they eat past midnight turn mean and nasty? Well, if you have never seen it, you’ll remember it’s also set during the holidays in a small town where these creatures take over.
Horror for the holidays: Stay for the scene where all of the gremlins are in a movie theater causing havoc of all sorts and end up meeting some pretty nasty dooms.
SANTA CLAWS (1996)
What is it? A really bad horror indy about jolly ole Santa (pissed off yet again), but with a plastic toy for his instrument of destruction. Scream queen and amply (enhanced) bosomed Debbie Rochon stars in this mildly amusing tale that is more just to see her (and other chicks) naked than it is to wait for the gorier scenes, but whatever.
Horror for the holidays: The cheeseball set of toy claws that the killer used that if someone really attacked you with, it you’d be like “Dude, grow up.”
JACK FROST (1997)
What is it? Don’t worry, this doesn’t have Martin Short in it unlike those terrible SANTA CLAUSE films (not found on this list) or is it that horrible Michael Keaton kid’s film that came out a year later with the same title. Here, a serial killer dies … but is reborn as a snowman. Sure he doesn’t have that much longer to live, but he’s gonna take all that time to make the white snow red with blood.
Horror for the holidays: Shannon Elizabeth in a role prior to AMERICAN PIE (who gets raped in the shower by the snowman) and cheeseball special effects and a number of tributes to Sam Raimi (director of EVIL DEAD, EVIL DEAD II, ARMY OF DARKNESS and some small films about a dude with spider powers).
TIM BURTON’S THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1993)
What is it? Tim Burton’s anti-Christmas tale about the underworld and the notorious characters that go there. It is charming, fun and musically entertaining and certainly beats the pants off OLIVE! THE OTHER REINDEER, sigh what a piece of crap that animated tale is.
Horror for the holidays: Getting down with the Boogeyman and stealing Santa so Jack can deliver presents during Christmas. Hey, sounds like my kind of dude. We could hang together, have a few beers.
BADDER SANTA (2003)
What is it? The DVD and Blu-ray versions of the theatrical film is unrated and even worse than what was shown in the multiplex, so you get more foul language, more nasty behavior and more.
Horror for the holidays: This also surprisingly got some flack from right wing types that thought X-mas shouldn’t be f***ed with and anything that is comedy and paints people in a bad light during the holidays is wrong. Whatever, still a good funny movie perfect for those looking to escape holiday cheer.
What is it? The evil, naughty and altogether entertaining Bill Murray Christmas flick based on the classic Charles Dickens tale with a strong cast, some genuinely funny scenes and some actually tense moments that come off frightening.
Horror for the holidays: Super scary moments with the Ghost of Christmas future (as per normal) and Murray at his absolute best.
RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE (2010)
What is it? This excellent Finland horror film focuses on a bunch of archaeologists sent to excavate a mountain top to uncover the original, raw-as-hell and not very nice Santa Claus.
Horror for the holidays: This is one of the creepiest Santa’s ever, and it took Finland to be able to do a killer Santa Claus right. This film looks huge, and the only way you’ll be able to see it right now is at your local art house cinema. A must-see.