Tired of listening to that lisping Peanuts kid proselytize or watching a sweeter than sugar little girl crow about angels getting their wings? Then fill your cynical stocking with these five films; Christmas movies that aren't really Christmas movies for the unreformed Grinch in all of us.
Scott Wolf and Jay Mohr are closeted boyfriends, Sarah Polley is an amateur ecstasy dealer and a pre-Suri Katie Holmes is just some chick sitting in an apartment; all set against the backdrop of the holiday season. Directed by Doug Liman and written by John August, Go is comprised of three interconnected story lines and is definitely an underrated gem of the '90s. Watching Nathan Bexton trip out or Wolf and Mohr discuss the head they received should make anyone feel all warm and happy inside. Look for bridesmaid Melissa McCarthy as a ditsy roommate. Polley said she only took the role of Ronna because she adored the cutting dialogue in the opening scene (watch below.)
Go part 1
If horror is what you're seeking this holiday, look no further than this fright fest from the trio that brought us the The Hills Have Eyes remake. Set in a parking garage on Xmas Eve, P2 stars Criminal Minds' Rachel Nichols as a business woman being pursued by an obsessive psychopath (Wes Bently, who builds on the creepy vibe he first embodied in American Beauty.) P2 was met with generally negative reviews, however it filled Roger Ebert with enough yuletide cheer to recommend it, writing: "Although the plot may seem like a formulaic slasher film, P2 is in fact a very well made, atmospheric thriller with gritty yet realistic characters." As an extra present under the tree, P2 features the most sinister use of Elvis' Blue Christmas ever (watch a live version below.)
It would be easy to confuse the Gremlins with greedy kids on Christmas morning. Both start out cute then morph into monsters, yet while kids want to shred wrapping paper off gifts, the Gremlins want to shred you into Christmas confetti. Gremlins is festively filled with luscious greens and reds; in the form of scales and blood. Through the mogwais and gore the darkest scene comes from Phoebe Cates' father who, acting as Santa, slips down the chimney and breaks his neck; revealing to his daughter that Mr. Claus is a fabrication. Watch the cheesy, oh-so-obviously '80s trailer below.
Adapted from the novel by Bret Easton Ellis, Less Than Zero is another '80s entry that is all about cheating, cocaine and Christmas cookies. Andrew McCarthy is Clay Easton, a privileged guy who returns to Beverly Hills for the holidays, only to learn that his girlfriend has moved on and his best friend is fading fast. Art imitates life as Robert Downey Jr. is perfectly cast as an addict turned rent boy who's intent on having a very "white" Christmas and James Spader plays, what else, an asshole. Look for Brad Pitt in a small role for which he was paid $38.
Less Than Zero trailer
Die Hard (1988)
I hadn't seen the testosterone and tinsel fest that is Die Hard until a few months ago when my PVR was on the fritz and I was forced to rely on home video for entertainment. Balding bad ass Bruce Willis stars as police officer John McClane who is burdened with taking down a group of criminals when they take a corporate Christmas party hostage. Die Hard is easily the most revered entry on this Xmas movie list. Nominated for four Oscars, Die Hard is ranked at #106 on IMDb's top 250 movies poll. The Cleveland Show recently parodied Die Hard to hilarious effect (watch the trailer below.) Merry Christmas and yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker.
The Cleveland Show, "Die Semi-Hard" trailer