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The Lucky 13: Favorite [Unconventional] Christmas/Holiday Films VOL. 2

November 24, 2012

Last year I conducted a list of my favorite unconventional Christmas/Holiday films. In most cases these kinds of films consist of dark, brooding, and crude in nature. So, in the spirit of the holiday season, I’m doing it all over again! It’s a new year, new list, same fucked up style.

Let the countdown to my favorite Unconventional Christmas/Holiday Films Begin…

13. “Edward Scissorhands” – Tim was the master of macabre, able to conjure dark/twisted stories by giving it a sweet naturalistic twist. Now, I have no idea where that all went, probably up his ass for all I know. Be that as it may, his earlier works can not be denied as anything short of great. “Edward Scissorhands” was a modern fairy tale set during the holidays, the final act takes place on a very morbid Christmas no one, not even poor Edward could’ve forseen.

12. “The Hudsucker Proxy” – Looking for a holiday Coen Brothers film? “The Hudsucker Proxy” will certainly fix those holiday blues you may be feeling. It’s extremely happy lucky for a movie about corrupt corporations, suicide, backstabbing, and cheating death. Fun fact, it was co-scripted by the Coen brothers childhood pal Sam Raimi, and includes a very brash Bruce Campbell in a brief supporting role.

11. “Ghostbusters 2” – Not the best sequel to the greatest comedy-horror-sci/fi film ever made, but it’s darn fun none the less. The boys in grey have until midnight on New Years Eve to save the world from a slimey catastrophe over the scariest kind. Viggo the Carpathain is a very mean foe, perhaps more so than the infamous Gozer.

10. “Catch Me If You Can” – Based on the true story of Frank Abegnale Jr. who stole millions of dollars in fraudulent checks, Frank lived the dangerous high life, changing his identity, and job title every other year, he was the criminal James Bond. FBI’s very own, Carl Hanready was on his tale, and every Christmas these two foes would cleverly cross paths. Steven Spielbergs comedic crime caper is something I find myself watching every year and it never gets old. LOVE John Williams crime jazz score.

9. Ted – The highest grossing comedy of 2012 was Seth MacFarlenes stupid comedy about a crude talking teddy bear. The movie may not be a 100% Christmas tale, but it opens on Christmas, and the power that brings Ted to life is the power of a Christmas wish. I have to give credit to MacFarlene, he doesn’t bullshit us, the movie embraces the simplistic idiocracy of it’s plot and finds a way to be extremely funny and dare I say heartwarming.

8. Ordinary People – If you’re feeling extra blue this holiday season, and feel like sinking lower than you’re already at, watch Robert Redford’s directoral debut about a dysfuntional family. A son feeling guilty about his brothers death, he befriends a suicidal girl, his parents lose interest in one another, you cannot sink lower than this powerful drama. But, heed thy warning, it’s EXTREMELY depressing.

7. “A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas” – I love the Harold & Kumar movies, well I love the first one, the second was ok, but probably to disgusting for it’s own good. However, the Christmas movie goes back on the right track that made the original so darn good. At first, I thought it would be jumping the shark when I read it would be a 3D film, but seeing it I understood exactly what it was doing. Saterizing 3D, exploiting it in every way it should. The plot is pretty basic, Harold burns his father in-laws Christmas tree, Kumar tags along to help him find a replacement. Like “White Castle”, a simplistic mission turns into a night of pure mayhem, from drug addicted babies, Hungarian mobsters, shooting Santa, and NPH’s miraculous return to the living!

6. “Cast Away” – Like “Ted”“Cast Away” isn’t a Christmas movie persay, but it’s opening set during Christmas launches the story in the direction it needs to go. Imagine this, a man stuck on a deserted island, for four years! Missing four Christmas’, four birthdays, dead to the world, having only your personal resources on hand to survive. The movie is an exercise for the mind, challenging the viewer, what would they do in a crisis like this? How would they handle it?

5. “Gremlins” – Care to know how the MPAA created the PG-13 rating? This ‘delightful’ Christmas fare is your answer. It is fucked up! Little green monsters terrorizing a small town! I remember watching this with my cousin Gabrielle, to this day the movie has still scarred her, just the meer mention of the word “Gremlins” sends chills down her spine.

4. “Die Hard 2” – So last year my #1 pick was “Die Hard”, it’s without question the BEST movie to watch on Christmas, period. It’s sequel, while good isn’t as GREAT as the first. It’s not a weak movie by any means, the action is cranked up, the black humor is still there, and the plot is very familiar, perhaps a bit too familiar. Nevertheless, when you have a problem on Christmas Eve, John MacClane is your go to guy!

3. “Lethal Weapon” – If there’s one great thing about a Shane Black written action movie is that it’s tradition to have it set during Christmas. Black’s second directoral gig in 2013, “Iron Man 3”, will be set during Christmas time, and perhaps that film will make it onto my VOL. 3 list. “Lethal Weapon” is the ideal buddy cop film, it’s the one that really started it all. No “Lethal Weapon = No “Rush Hour”. You get the idea.

2. “In Bruges” – Christmas gets depressing, dark, violent, and truly fucked up in this tale of personal morality about two shlub hitmen from Ireland who’re sent down to Bruges to wait from their boss on what to do next. A Holiday fare only writer/director Martin McDonough could provide such witty dialogue it’s a film with an effective mix of dark comedy and crime thriller elements.

1. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” – Shane Black makes his directoral debut in this dark comedic holiday noir about a burglar who gets caught up in all the wrong Hollywood power plays. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for this poor schmuck, he loses a fucking finger and witnesses a dog eating it. Merry Christmas indeed.


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