(This anti-christmas list was posted last year, I have since honed and improved it with a more recent post found at this link https://thegreatob.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/anti-christmas-films-12-days-prelude)
This was an idea that stuck me around this same time last year, all the Christmas adverts are starting to appear on television (personally its too soon, I had to leave the room) there is Christmas shopping happening left, right and centre and its only a matter of days, and this is an assumption, until we start hearing Christmas songs. What I am trying to say is…..does it feel a lot more early this year or is it just me?
Anyway this post will concern an area of (unofficial) subgenre films which I believe to be great diversions to Christmas, or rather what can be called Anti-Christmas films. Believe me I love Christmas as much as the next person but over sentimentality when watching made for TV crap or The Snowman for the 100th time gets a little tiring.
So sit back (but don’t fall off your chair if you lean too far back, remember what they said at school!) relax and marvel at the pure brilliance of this Anti-Christmas film list leading up to December and beyond.
Die Hard: Everyone knows it, not only a great action film it is also a great anti-Christmas antidote as well as being Brucies best action flick (excusing the other Die Hard’s) while being full of Christmas cheer (well he gets his wife back at the end), witty one-liners a reluctant hero and a bit of fantastic ultra violence. What is not to love (see also Die Hard 2). On top of which you have the truly evil performance of Alan Rickman’s “Hans Gruber”, which in my opinion is a sort of filmic Christmas present that keeps on giving, or an evil Santa Claus of action films if you will. Or maybe it is just me on that one?
“Got invited to the Christmas party by mistake. Who knew?”-John Mcclane
Lethal Weapon Directors Cut:
Richard Donner’s best action film, with a great script by Shane Black, its Riggs and Murtaugh in the best and first outing set during Christmas. A reckless “loose cannon” and a by the book partner take on a drug cartel, a film which is forever emulated but never beaten. Great action sequences brilliant and witty dialogue with the grittiness of Gibson’s portrayal as Martin Riggs. A firm Anti-Christmas Favourite any time of the year.
“Hey, look friend, let’s just cut the shit. Now we both know why I was transferred. Everybody thinks I’m suicidal, in which case, I’m fucked and nobody wants to work with me; or they think I’m faking to draw a psycho pension, in which case, I’m fucked and nobody wants to work with me. Basically, I’m fucked”-Martin Riggs
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang:
Another Shane Black masterpiece, I’m starting to think he has an aversion to Christmas. Downey Jr and Val Kilmer in a great Hollywood Christmas film noir, clever, funny and fantastically acted, not to mention the beautiful Michelle Monahan.
What is not to like about film noir updated and given a Christmas spin with a witty and intelligent script, along with the scene stealing turns of Val Kilmers gay private investigator. Film noir turned on its head and given fresh new life.
“Don’t worry, I saw Lord of the Rings. I’m not going to end this 17 times.”- Harry
A Christmas classic from executive producer Steven Spielberg and director Joe “The Howling” Dante which showcases among other things , the crazy critters singing along to snow white in a movie theatre, exploding movie theatres, and a cute little hero by the name of Gizmo being just some of the many highlights in this anti-Christmas and darkly humorous classic.
Classic anti-Christmas film once again from Richard Donner, with Bill Murray playing the modern day scrooge of a TV company. Funny while frightening in parts, dark with out being depressing but having the right amount of sentiment. Ghoulishly festive. And with an opening sequence involving a fake Christmas made-for-television film starring Lee Majors and Santa with a machine gun ,what is not to love about it.
Gothic Christmas fairytale for the dark knight, the sexy Catwoman, the sleazy Penguin and super cool Christopher Walkern, spread some darkness and mood over the festive Christmas setting.
The Long Kiss Goodnight:
From the pen of Shane Black yet again (this guy must really hate Christmas), Gena Davis plays an amnesiac assassin along side private detective the Big Sam L Jackson , as she gets her memory back while trying to stop a bunch of terrorists during the festive period. Outlandish, over the top in the best possible sense, with Gena Davis cutting carrots fast and breaking a deers neck with her bare hands, although obviously not at the same time. Although that would make for an interesting dynamic for an action heroine, I’ll let you ponder that one.
The Nightmare before Christmas:Henry Selicks first feature length animation, anti-Christmas classic from the brain child of Tim Burton (conceived during his Disney days), upbeat but not slushy, catchy show tunes which do not irritate from the genius of Danny Elfman, and fantastic stopmotion animation. A truly feel good Christmas movie with none of the bland sentimentality of other mass produced Disney fare released over the yuletide season.
Terry Gilliam’s epic Orwellian masterpiece is a decidedly different type of Christmas cheer film, and with a great everyman anti-hero in Sam Lowry who falls in love with a female terrorist, and a great cameo from the comic legend that is Micheal Pailin. A fantastic Christmas fantasy with a brief appearance by Robert De Niro.
The first chapter of the indestructible and tormented John Rambo which a lot of people do not know is actually set during Christmas. Brooding without being overly violent (only one person dies, and it is accidently Rambo never actually kills anyone). With some great action sequences, a great story about the miss use of power and corruption. Rambo’s end monologue leaves you with a sense of heartbreak for a lost man. Very little sentiment but the heart is there as he takes on the county sheriff. The ultimate Anti-Christmas action thriller along side both die hard and lethal weapon, a macho testosterone filled Christmas film.
“You know, wearing that flag on that jacket, looking the way you do, you’re asking for trouble around here, friend”
Coming soon : The Revenge of the Anti-Christmas films!!!