Where are the guns? The explosions? The sex!? I need more drama from my festive flicks!
Here Brandish recommend 7 awesome alternative Christmas movies, each set during the Yuletide period but each often overlooked as a holiday film.
Bruce Willis’ finest hour, Die Hard is set on Christmas Eve. It’s also maybe the greatest action flick of all time, with Willis’ New York cop John McClane taking on a terrorist gang holding an entire tower of people hostage. And not a mince pie in sight. Yippee ki-yay!
Comedy horror film Gremlins all kicks off with an early Christmas present yielding unexpected results. Sure, a little cuddly bear pet thing sounds like a good idea at the time, but when it multiplies into hundreds of deadly little green monsters, you’ll wish you got given safe old socks instead.
OK, so I’m pretty sure you’re all aware that Home Alone is a Christmas flick. I mean, it’s theme tune is one of the most Christmassy tunes of all time ever. The problem is, Home Alone is so good, it’s on the TV all year round, so many of us probably forget that its a Christmas film at all. Throw in the casual child-on-adult uber violence (Macauley Culkin’s Kevin maims, burns and bludgeons hapless burglars Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern repeatedly over the course of the film) and the sort of neglectful parenting that’d make an NSPCC advert look like an episode of Little House On The Prairie and you’ve got a far darker Christmas flick than you perhaps first thought.
Burton’s Batman always knew how to have fun. The Batman flick that best captured the feeling of the comic books, it’s a wild gothic tale that sees the Catwoman and the Penguin out to ruin the winter holiday. Nothing says Christmas like an army of penguins with missiles strapped to their backs!
Terry Gilliam’s surreal masterpiece Brazil is set over Christmas. No seriously. Double check. There’s no reason for it to be, other than to make the warped foreboding world that star Jonathan Pryce inhabits feel all the more callous. A Kafka-esque tale of a white collar worker’s attempt to correct an administrative error, only to have the whole state gunning for him, is as funny and discomforting as it is insane. One to watch after a few sherries I’d say.
They’ve both had a checkered silver-screen track record since their Trading Places heyday, but for belly laughs with a festive framing, Trading Places has Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. A classic role reversal movie (hobo conman Murphy ends up replacing executive Aykroyd on the board of a Wall Street firm as part of an elaborate prank by a pair of mean spirited zillionaires), this’ll be far funnier than any Christmas special cooked up for the Christmas break by broadcasters.
The Long Kiss Goodnight
Another action flick with a Christmas theme, Geena Davis seems like the perfect housewife, though amnesia has knocked a fair chunk of her memory off kilter. Amnesia, as ever, has clouded the fact that Davis is actually a kick ass assassin, whose skills with a knife see her castrating carrots and gangsters alike. She’s like a hot Jason Bourne, with enough claret spilled on the snow to keep in line with the Christmas colour scheme.
Any alternative Christmas flicks that we’ve missed that you feel deserve a mention? Give us a shout in the comments section below and let us know what you think!
By Gerald Lynch | December 18th, 2012