Thursday, December 8, 2016

To Hell and Back (Maybe) on Christmas

Let's face it.  We love Christmas.  We love Christmas so much that we go out of our way to be festive and jolly.  Why we even create entertainment for the young and old in order to celebrate one of our favorite times of the year.

But sometimes it can be very daunting.  Those long lines to stand in, people arguing over who stole who's parking space. All of your family showing up at once, dogs eating the turkey,  and those god awful office potlucks! Where do you people get these recipes??? *rolls eyes*

So today, I decided to celebrate the not-so-nice part of Christmas by regaling some of the season's unorthodox holiday films.  Those movies that, while they were made for the holidays, but have a bit more bite to them than the more traditional ones we are used to.

Yes, I am referring to the Holiday Horror Films.  Those unsung movies that were created during the holidays to spit in the face of Santa and give the finger to Frosty the Snowman.  Mind you none of these are actually for children, so don't go freaking out on me.

And what better decade to recall some of these treasures than the 1980's  Here are my top 5 Holiday Horror Films of the 80's

1. Scrooged-1989

While technically you don't see any one getting maimed by chainsaws or chased by an ax murderer, this film has all of the basic qualities that make a good horror movie.  There is a good guy, and a bad guy and ghosts and terror and suspense. The story itself is adaptation of one of the best ghost stories written during the holiday season.  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  I've read the original and was impressed, but I like the way Hollywood jazzed up this one to make it fit in our modern times.  It has a stellar cast and happily moral based ending, just like the original.  No doubt it's on your movie viewing list this and every year ;)

2. To All a Good Night-1980

Now this movie however is pretty gruesome.  The basis of it is well, it involves teenagers, hunted by not one but 2 maniacs that are trying to kill them and dressed as Santa if you can believe that. Sound horrible? Well it should.  It didn't even register on Rotten Tomatoes, but some how it was released onto DVD in 1987.  Sounds like a cult classic to me!

3.  Don't Open Til Christmas-1984

This movie has a bit of twist to it.  Santa isn't doing the killing, someone is killing Santa (hide your eyes kiddies)  This movie was set in London and Scotland Yard has it's hands full of someone going around knocking off cheap department store Santa knockoffs!  Wow, I wonder what his problem is? Someone obviously didn't get their Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas when they were a kid and now he's pissed!  As exciting as this sounds, this one  had to wait almost 23 years before it went to DVD. I wonder if the big guy had anything to do with that?

4.  Silent Night, Deadly Night-1984

This is probably the granddaddy of all horror Christmas flicks, this bad boy had over 6 sequels! Its about a young boy witnessing his parents demise at the hands of someone dressed as Santa! And if that's not bad enough, he has to go live in an orphanage and is tormented by a horrible nun! I don't know about you, but that would make me want to pick up an ax as soon as I could lift it.  Even though this film went to DVD in 2003, it is definitely a major cult classic.  Watch it if you dare, and this one is absolutely not for children! (it says it on the box so, just letting you know)

5.  Gremlins-1984

1984 was a busy year for horror!  I honestly don't consider Gremlins a major horror film, but like Scrooged, it has it horror elements.  Gremlin has definitely stood the test of time to go on to be one of the most coveted Christmas films of the 80's  Why that precious little face of  Gizmo's is sure to charm the hearts of all who sees him.  And he does! Until you get him wet, feed his offspring after midnight and basically watch them take over your town, wreaking havoc.  This one went to DVD in 1999.  I would definitely try and incorporate this one in your holiday movie repertoire.  Just don't try and find one to give as a gift to anyone for Christmas.  With great power, comes great responsibility. Oh wait that's another bad.

Well everyone, there you have it.  My recommended top 5 Holiday Horror Films.  I hope you enjoyed waltzing back in time with me as much as I enjoyed bringing you these classics.  I do want to leave you with a small honorable mention, that didn't quite make the cut because well, it was made in 1974. It's called Black Christmas and it's one of my absolute favorites.  I saw recently that it was remade in 2006, but I haven't had the heart to watch it yet.  Maybe I will find it on Amazon or something like that and give it a shot.  If you can check it out. It stars a very lovely Olivia Hussey and also Margot Kidder plays a House Mother of all people.  Yeah, I didn't believe it when I saw her either.

That's it for me until next year, Merry Christmas Everyone and Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. You're welcome. Check out our latest podcasts and such at we will be doing an episode on Horror Films that scared the crap out of us so bad we never watched them again.