Alternative christmas movies?

DanielGWood Posts: 1,018 Just Starting Out
So I was thinking about Christmas movies earlier, and how most of them are terrible. Time then, to start a list of alternative xmas movies that I can watch without cringing at the festive cheesiness.
Suggest any film you like, as long as you can justify some tenuous link to Christmas, and it doesn't feature Ben Stiller. I'll go first...
Lethal Weapon
Set around Christmas, 80s buddy-cop action, lots of saxophones.. what's not to like?
The Long Kiss Goodnight
Shooting, amnesiac assassins, Shaft (and there is a lot of snow and vague Christmas references)
and naturally..
Die Hard
Now I have a machine-gun, ho ho ho.


  • So then, actual Christmas movies are out?
    Scrooged - use of one shotgun and a lot of scary creatures. Oh, and Bill Murray.
  • NuttyBanana
    NuttyBanana Posts: 151
    edited December 2012
    When I used to watch it as a youngster I never thought of Home Alone as a Christmas movie, although looking at it now I suppose it is - I'd still add it to the list though.
  • Aculag
    Aculag Posts: 708 Just Starting Out
    I think The Nightmare Before Christmas should be a given. Still some holiday cheeriness, but sardonic. One of my favorites, and to prove it, here's some shameless self promotion; a cover I did of Jack's Lament, from the film.
    Listen here!
  • guitar74
    guitar74 Posts: 506
    Black Christmas or A Christmas Story
  • Ady
    Ady Staff Posts: 1,517 Staff
    I was going to say Trading Places but got beaten to it, what about Gremlins & Bad Santa?
  • Andrew
    Andrew Posts: 379 Enthusiast
    edited December 2012
    As the requisite Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, and Long Kiss Goodnight have all already been mentioned, I thought I'd throw in two of my all-time favorite movies, both of which take place on/around/involving Christmas.
    [center]Kiss Kiss Bang Bang[/center]
    Robert Downey Jr. in top form, Val Kilmer in the best role and performance I've ever seen him in. Surefire buddy comedy, incredibly funny, dry, dark humor. Witty narration by RDJ. Superb direction by Shane Black (writer of Lethal Weapon, funny enough, and director of Iron Man 3.) I've wanted a sequel to this so bad for many years.
    [center]Enemy of the State[/center]
    Gene Hackman and Will Smith solidly leading one of Tony Scott's most ahead-of-its-time films, both visually and thematically. Also was the start of the careers of Jamie Kennedy, Seth Green, Scott Caan, and Jack Black, all funny enough in similar techno-nerd supporting roles.
    Though as a whole, I disagree with the sentiment that most Christmas movies suck. I think quite the contrary. There are so few, and they only come out a very specific time of year, but still manage to offer a range of different and differently-accessible movies with a variety of genres and characters. Sure, there's the quick buck and schmaltz, but even much of that is well-done when it comes around. I saw an Alfred-Molina-led Christmas movie a couple years ago titled 'Nothing Like The Holidays', which looked like nothing more than generic 'family coming together' seasonal stuff- but it was all still really enjoyable and elevated by the talented cast and caring direction. Same is true for many films with the Christmas theme over the past several years, and plenty before that.
    Just last year there was the surprisingly-excellent 'Arthur Christmas' (which holds a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes), and this year there was 'Rise of the Guardians', which was equally-as-solid an animated holiday film. More often than not, they're pretty good. Hell, even the best-of-year picture, David O. Russell's 'Silver Linings Playbook', which came out recently, is set in the Christmas season, and concludes right after the holiday.
    Then there's:
    Christmas Vacation
    Home Alone
    Jingle All The Way
    The Santa Clause
    Bad Santa
    Love Actually
    The Polar Express
    Just Friends
    A Muppet Christmas Carol
    and numerous others
    I should say, also, that I myself am producing a Christmas film currently. So maybe I have some defensive bias, as well. :D
  • DanielGWood
    DanielGWood Posts: 1,018 Just Starting Out
    Some great suggestions there. snelldl, you get Bill Murray Bonus Points (TM).
    Aculag - on the subject of Tim Burton, how about Batman Returns? Probably the best Bats film pre-Nolan, plus a reasonable amount of snow.
    Enemy of the State, hell yes. I think I watched that film a few too many times when I was younger, one of our TV channels seems to have a contract which requires they show it monthly.
    I won't torpedo the more traditional Christmas films entirely, there's just too much happiness in them for my liking, it gets kinda cloying ;)
  • YES!!
    Does that mean I'll get a discount on HF3?
  • DanielGWood
    DanielGWood Posts: 1,018 Just Starting Out

    Does that mean I'll get a discount on HF3?
    It entitles you to a discount on WPDLab*
    [size="1"]*anyone who gets this reference can have the discount too.[/size]
  • SimonKJones
    SimonKJones Posts: 4,448 Enthusiast
    As it happens I was looking into this exact topic yesterday and stumbled across a list that is about as alternative as you can possible get. Check it out here but note that the article contains swearing and general unpleasantness!
    Highlights from that article have to be 'Santa With Muscles' starring Hulk Hogan (obviously) and 'Here Comes Santa Claus', in which Santa goes to Africa to rescue some people. I quote:
    [quote]Santa soon embarks on a trip to Africa to rescue their parents but, unfortunately, he also winds up being captured by the rebels. However, a bunch of African children who still believe in the magic of Santa Claus conspire to help Santa and the parents escape.[/quote]
    It fascinates me that a bunch of adults presumably sat down at some point to have serious meetings about financing this kind of thing, concluding that the films were solid business investments.
  • DanielGWood
    DanielGWood Posts: 1,018 Just Starting Out
    Santa Claus Conquers The Martians! That sounds like one to watch.

  • It fascinates me that a bunch of adults presumably sat down at some point to have serious meetings about financing this kind of thing, concluding that the films were solid business investments.
    I would have loved to be in those pitch meetings. Although based on some of the choices HW makes today, I'm not sure the mentality has changed much.
  • NullUnit
    NullUnit Posts: 791 Just Starting Out
    A Christmas Story is, I think, the ultimate "alternative Christmas movie". It makes fun of the traditional Christmas tropes and even ends with the family eating Christmas dinner at a Chinese restaurant. I think the reason its become the only real "modern" Christmas movie that people generally like is because its so alternative and subversive.
  • DanielGWood
    DanielGWood Posts: 1,018 Just Starting Out
    Thanks guys, great suggestions.
    For reasons I've never worked out, The Great Escape is also counted as a Christmas movie in our house. I do seem to remember some carol-singing in it, so that's good enough.
  • AxelWilkinson
    AxelWilkinson Posts: 5,252 Staff
    It's been ages since I've seen it, but Trapped In Paradise takes place around Christmas, as I recall.