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The Lucky 13: Favorite [Unconventional] Christmas/Holiday Films VOL. 4

December 24, 2014


It’s been a while since I’ve posted relatively ANYTHING on this blog, but it is that time of the year where my annual Lucky 13 Favorite [Unconventional] Christmas/Holiday Films is upon us. So, here I am, with my Vol. 4 List. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a Happy New Year!

13. “Sint [Saint Nick]” -Sint Niklas, a sinister cleric, returns to avenge his death by killing innocent children. This random Dutch horror film was something I came across on Netflix not too long ago. It’s irreverent, cruel, dark, and simply weird. Think of it as a somewhat jolly version of Freddy Krueger.


12. “The Family Man” – Brett Ratner directs Nicolas Cage in this updated take of the holiday ‘what if’ scenario that made “It’s A Wonderful Life” so relevant to pop culture. The movie doesn’t always hit home, but the films opening set-up and strong performances from Cage, Don Cheadle, and Téa Leoni, make up for it’s mellow final act.

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11. Mixed Nuts” – Steve Martin and whole mess of other comic talents [including Madeline Khan, Adam Sandler, and Gary Shandling to name a few], star in this ensemble holiday madcap comedy about a local suicide-prevention hotline called Lifesavers is being threaten to close down. Friends, family, and crooks come together Christmas eve to find a solution to their life problems. The movie ends on a whim, and many have claimed this as a weak film, but for some reason I find this [mess of a] comedy somewhat charming. Even Sandler is somewhat tolerable, which is saying a lot.

10. Adam Sandler’s 8 Crazy Nights– Oh yes, speaking of Adam Sandler, there’s his one-shot animated classic, “Eight Crazy Nights”, the cinematic answer to his beloved SNL song. While it’s EXTREMELY juvenile to the max, I cannot help but be transfixed by such beautiful 2D animation. This is a movie you can sit down with your friends and family, drink some hard egg nog, perhaps pack a bowl of weed, and see where things go.

9. “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life” – It’s not a Christmas movie, HOWEVER, the build up to the ‘meaning of life’ is a joyous as the holiday itself, as we learn from 80 mins of sex jokes, universal revelations about out Solar System, the miracle of birth, and finally death, that heaven celebrates Christmas every single day!

8. “Black Adder’s Christmas Carol” – Not really a movie, but more of a 45 min TV special, based on the beloved cult British series starring Rowan ‘Mr. Bean’ Atkinson. The fiddled mean spirited Edmund Blackadder is pulling a role reversal take on the classic Dickens story, where Ebenezer is the most pleasant, lovely man around London. Three ghosts have taken upon themselves to turn Ebenezer into the most vile human being only Edmund Blackadder could approve of.

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7. “Happy Christmas” – “Drinking Buddies” director/writer/actor, Joe Swanberg, directs this charming yet real indie-holiday-dramedy about a girl splitting up with her boyfriend just before the holidays; the young woman tries to start over, but her self-destructive behavior gets in the way. The movie boasts from strong performances led by Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham, & Swanberg himself. “Happy Christmas” was in contention for the Grand Jury Prize at this years Sundance Film Festival.


6. “The Children” – What was supposed to be a relaxing Christmas vacation turns into a terrifying fight for survival as the children begin to turn on their parents in the most violent of ways. I’d rather not spoil anymore, but if you can find this DARK holiday horror British film, watch it.

5. “Tokyo Godfathers” – Christmas Eve, three homeless people living on the streets of Tokyo find a newborn baby among the trash and set out to find its parents. “Tokyo Godfathers” is quite the brilliant anime feature that tends to move on off the spectrum of endearing drama and whacky comedy. It’s a viewing that I think many should consider to be on the top of their holiday list with movies like “Scrooged” and “Christmas Vacation”.

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4. “The Hunt” – This is as dark as it gets for a dark-holiday set film. I’d rather not go into much spoiler territory here, but I will say it’s a movie you CANNOT miss out on. It’s on Netflix, so just add it to your list and watch it. Mads Mikkelsen gives what looks like his most tenacious performance yet.

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3. L.A. Confidential” – The ‘Bloody Christmas Scandal’ is the streamline element to jumpstart the plot of this classic neo-noir thriller, based on the book by crime-novelist, James Ellroy. It’s not entirely a Christmas film, but it definitely serves up the best of both words.

2. “The Grinch” – I’ve debated the last few years regarding whether or not I post this film on my list. This year I say fuck it, “The Grinch” is a Christmas movie, it’s on ABC family during the holidays all the time, hence forth it’s labeled as a ‘cheery holiday classic’ for all to love. I guess many people decided to over look the irreverent humor, potty talk, dark history behind the Grinch, and so on. It’s like this movie was created by the Zucker/Abrams company of “Airplane”, but instead hired Ron How—OOOHHHH yeah, that’s right. Still, for all the mixed stalking this film carries, none can deny the sheer brilliance in Jim Carrey’s performance underneath all that wondrous Rick Baker make-up.

1. “Brazil” – Terry Gilliam’s reality-twisting opus shows viewers a world that resembles the Orwellian nightmare of 1984. The film follows a simple public servant decides to abandon the safety of his normal life to follow a woman who’s literally from his dreams. Bombarded by holiday commercialism and a surprise/shocking visit from Santa Claus, as armed police take his home apart.

Check out:

Vol. 1 – 2011

Vol. 2 – 2012

Vol. 3 – 2013

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