As we creep slowly closer to the big day, your television has decided to bombard you with various “Christmas Classics.” No doubt you’ve got a soft spot for a few of them, but lets face the music, Christmas movies are typically dreadful. To help you sort out all those confusing feelings, here’s our Ten Worst Christmas Movies for your enjoyment…or whatever it is you get out of this.
10. Jingle All The Way
Let me take you all the way back to 1996. Arnold Schwarzenegger hadn’t yet taken office or fathered a secret kid with his housekeeper, and Sinbad (the comedian, not the sailor) was still a viable casting option for family comedies.
So naturally the two appeared in the craptastic Jingle All The Way, which in title is completely irrelevant to anything within the storyline. Not to worry though, because that can be summed up in a few seconds. Arnold and Sinbad are Dads, and the big toy this season is the Turbo Man action figure, which they both forgot to buy until the last minute; thus making it difficult to procure. So, get this, they spend the rest of the movie engaging each other in various zany circumstances to see who can get the doll first.
One could say that this film is a shrewd examination of the materialism and manic consumer nature of the holidays, but then you would clearly be on some kind of powerful hallucinogen, and incapable of expressing yourself so succinctly. Arnold’s accent has never felt more clumsy, or his comedic skills more labored, not to mention Phil Hartman (someone who was actually funny) is absolutely wasted in his limited role as the over-the-top divorcee neighbor, with Arnolds grunts and garbled one liners casting a gargantuan shadow of awfulness.
9. How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Ron Howard’s adaptation of the iconic Dr. Seus tale, is a joyless bore. No doubt the fact that his source material is less than fifty pages with illustrations presents problems, his attempts at filling the screen time with half baked background stories confuse the overall message and simplicity of the original publication.
I almost don’t blame Jim Carrey for being terrible, it was as though after they threw all the green feathers on him, they were like, “oh, just be yourself.” So we get his run of the mill “I’m so crazy and loud” routine, overladen with cultural references, poorly written satire, and modern themes that have no place in the storyline. Instead of preserving the book or cartoon, which were fun and sweet, we’re privy to this bleak and shallow attempt at cashing in on Seus’ genius. Bleh.
8. Santa Conquers Mars
If Mystery Science Theater 3000 had never lampooned this thing, no one would know it existed, but thanks to those funny mofos, we’ve got this gem.
So kids on Mars are becoming distracted from their space chores and watching Santa on earth television, apparently they have a great cable package up there. The Martians decide to kidnap Santa and force him to set up shop on the red planet, which he does with great success, until someone starts sabotaging his toy machines, and then all hell breaks loose. Earth kids and Martian kids team up for a lackluster “battle” against the evil Martian leaders, and eventually win out, appointing a new honorary Martian Santa, and sending the real thing back home to earth. If that sounds like it didn’t make any sense, then you’re completely sane.
I could go step by step here explaining how the Martians are wearing tin foil and wielding hair dryers, or how Santa seems to be swigging blackberry schnapps between scenes, but there’s just too much at work here. You could write a dissertation on how much this movie sucks.
7. I’ll be home for Christmas
Yes, Home Improvement did wonders for this heartthrobs career, every girl between the ages of 10 and 13 had the loveable nineties star on their walls, and scrawled disturbingly over and over again in their diaries. That’s why this piece of s**t exists.
JTT is a great guy with a cute girlfriend (Jessica Biel), who just can’t seem to get home for the holidays. Finally, when his Dad offers his vintage Porsche as compensation, he agrees to make the trip from Cali to New York. Too bad some uncool cats decide to dump him in the desert dressed as Santa (zonkers!). Now he only has three days to get there. Seriously, in three days you can get to the center of the earth, but somehow he cuts it close.
Usually his delays are a result of someone finding the “true meaning of Christmas” or an empty side plot where he does the good deed instead of taking the easy way out. As the film progresses however, it suddenly becomes acceptable for him to lie, steal, and endanger people in order to get home. This includes pretending he’s carrying a life saving organ transplant, stowing away in an animal carrier, and running roughshod around town in a one horse sleigh, all so he can tell his Dad that the cars not important.
Oh really, you don’t care about the car anymore? Well that’s only been the entire driving construct of the script this entire time, and now that you need an ending you’re gonna take the family comes first exit? Go f**k youself.
6. Santa’s Slay
Your favorite Jewish wrestler Goldberg takes on the role of a lifetime, as an evil Santa Claus, hellbent on destruction. After losing a wager based on a curling match with an angel, the crooked Cringle was forced to hand out gifts for a thousand years, too bad those days are over. Featuring an uncredited appearance by screen legend James Caan, the opening scene to the film is it’s finest moment. Fran Drescher and Chris Kattan also participate as the demon in red massacres their bourgeois dinner party, complete with drowning someone in egg nog.
Compared to the other films on this list, this one is actually the most fun, as you’ll be riveted by awful puns and sharpened candy canes for the first thirty minutes or so. Then, when the weed starts to wear off, you suddenly realize you’re knee deep in schlock town, and this baby has nowhere to go. By the time Goldberg quips “I’m spreading Christmas Fear!” you’ll have lodged an icicle in your own chest.
5. Surviving Christmas – Ben Affleck
A pre-Gone Baby Gone Affleck “plays” a bajillionaire advertising executive who doesn’t understand the value of family during the holidays. When he surprises his intellectual puddle of a girlfriend with tickets to Fiji, she throws on the waterworks because he doesn’t want to spend Christmas with relatives.
So naturally the best thing he can do is pay off a family to fulfill his bizarre needs for the love and attention he never received as a child. He spares no one, as James Gandolfini, Catherine O’Hara, and Christina Applegate, are all dragged through the blackest spot of their respective careers. Eventually it’s revealed he never got to celebrate Christmas because of some sob story with his deadbeat father and hardworking – now deceased mother (how convenient).
The film ends as Gandolfini finds his inner Soprano and beats him to death with a snow shovel, or maybe that’s just wishful thinking. Additionally to this being a tepid and emotionally void piece of cinema, it was released in October so it wouldn’t interfere with Affleck’s other gem, Reindeer Games. You can’t make this up people, Ben Affleck was just that terrible.
4. Santa With Muscles
Hey, remember when Hulk Hogan wasn’t a total creep? Me neither, but apparently it was enough for him to get this monstrosity made.
“Blake” has it all as a rich jackass living it up off his bodybuilding supplement fortune, when he’s suddenly pulled over by police. Except instead of pulling over, he attempts to escape…for no reason. Then while he’s running through the mall he hits his head and gets amnesia (oh geez). So naturally, he’s taken to the hospital where he begins the long road to recovery, learning how to speak, walk, and function independently once again.
Just kidding, he thinks he’s Santa Claus and begins fighting crime. Then there’s an orphanage or something and an evil scientist…Jesus I can’t even talk about this anymore.
3. Jack Frost – Michael Keaton
There are two films with this title, one features a homicidal frosty, the other Michael Keaton…so we went with the creepy one. Keaton is an in-demand rock star with a penchant for driving carelessly on snowy roads, and never really being there for his son (who’s got a heart of gold). Tragedy strikes as he’s receiving felatio from a groupie and drives his Subaru off a cliff. Thankfully he gave his son a magic harmonica, that reawakens the ghost of his father in a horrible icy prison resembling a snowman.
Now the two are inseparable, snowboarding and snowballing their way into each others hearts. I’m sure this did nothing to irreparably scar the kid when his Dad slowly melted away come springtime, let alone the reputation he’s earned as the kid who believes his dead father came back as a zombie snow beast that wears a f***ing fedora.
2. The Santa Clause 3 – The Escape Clause
It’s fair to say they mailed this one in, kind of like the second one, and kind of how the first one really wasn’t that great either. The third installment makes the list for offering one of the more inane Christmas storylines, and pushing Martin Short through the role of Jack Frost. I got news for you Hollywood, no one gives a crap about Jack Frost.
So Tim Allen (Santa) is having a baby Santa with his new Mrs. Claus (what, you didn’t watch the second one?), and he decides to bring a bunch of flat side characters/their respective families and ex-wives up to the pole to keep her company. There, he tries to hide the fact he’s Santa from his wife’s family, because they wouldn’t approve of all the elf orgies.
While Tim the tool man is busy dealing with his boring ass family, Jack Frost is up to no good, and invokes the stupidest plot device ever into stealing his position as Lord Claus. There he reigns over as an evil capitalist Santa determined to push Ayn Rand’s agenda up everyones ass, until Allen invokes the same stupid plot device. Half of this film is spent staring into snow globes as everything magically gets fixed or falls to pieces, the other half is spent sullying Peter Boyles solid acting resume, who died of cancer a month following the films release.
I can’t wait for the fourth installment where Steve Martin is set to play Zwarte Piet.
1. Deck The Halls – Devito Broderick
Oh man, this one is so amazing. Danny Devito plays an irritating car salesman who moves into the small town of Cloverdale, Massachusetts, in hopes of creating a house so adorned with Christmas lights, that it can be seen from space. Matthew Broderick rounds out the cast as the stuffy neighbor and resident Christmas know-it-all, that just can’t stand to be upstaged by the boisterous imposter. The film is full of slapstick hackneyed gags of the two squaring off in everything from attracting carolers to racing through town on ice skates. You won’t believe who wins, haha!
Eventually when the two idiot’s families unite in holiday friendship, the men put aside their differences and make everyone in town sing Oh Holy Night together, while raising their f***ing cell phones in hopes of being noticed from space. Gaahhhh!