Christmas is right around the corner, and it’s the season to get the family together and celebrate the holidays. One of the ways that we celebrate the tradition of Christmas is by watching Christmas movies. We like to snuggle under blankets with our loved ones, hot chocolate in hand and watch favorites from our childhood. We all remember watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and The Grinch That Stole Christmas. These are all holiday favorites that have been playing on TV for years and years because they always put us in the Christmas spirit. Even the biggest Grinch can’t help but get into the Christmas spirit when it comes time to put up the Christmas tree and then relax with some good movies.
Not all Christmas movies, however, leave us with that warm and fuzzy feeling. Sometimes Christmas movies get it all wrong. There have been many movies that have come out over the holidays that have had us scratching our heads. Some are weird and downright inappropriate, which is a weird combination for Christmas. You would think that the formula for making a Christmas movie would be fairly simple. Start with some joy and merriment, a small dash of sadness that is always turned around at the end and don’t forget Santa. Voila! You have a Christmas movie that is sure to go down in history just like Rudolph. These movies, however, are arguably some of the most disturbing that could come around this Christmas season.
I remember watching this movie as a child during the Christmas holidays. Although it starts off jolly and nice, it isn’t long before the movie gets a little crazy. There is one scene where the mother is trying to kill one of the Gremlins by shoving it into the blender. It was at that point that my mother turned off the movie. If you watch the advertisements for the movie, you would think that it would be a children’s movie, but you couldn’t be more wrong. The father goes into Chinatown while on business and brings home his son a unique Christmas gift called Gizmo. Unfortunately, the son breaks the cardinal rule of owning Gizmo by getting him wet. What happens next is the town gets overrun by malicious and dangerous gremlins. Although the movie is funny, the humor involved is very dark. The whole movie is full of shady things, so much so that the movie had to be reviewed multiple times in many countries.
14. Black Christmas
Who doesn’t love a good scare during the holidays? I, for one, don’t typically go out looking for Christmas-themed horror movies, but maybe that’s just me. The main thing about the horror movie is the gore factor; it’s off the charts. Upon the release of this movie there were so many complaints about the gore; for example, there is one scene where a young girl gets her eye pulled out of its socket. It’s not every day that a horror movie gets complaints, after all, isn’t that why we are there, to get terrified? If you aren’t sure what the movie is about the story is actually pretty interesting. The story is about a boy that kills his mother who raped him as well as his stepfather and then maims his sister. She’s the one that loses the eye. He goes away for ten years until he escapes prison dressed as…you guessed it – Old Saint Nick. He hooks up with his sister again, and they go on a killing spree at a sorority house. The level of brutal violence involved in the killings makes this a poor movie to watch over the holidays.
13. Hardrock, Coco and Joe
This Christmas special takes us on a creepy adventure that we have a hard time understanding. It’s a stop motion film which can add its own level of creepiness alone. The star of the movie is Santa who looks nothing more than a creepy old man. Santa has an administrative assistant, chauffeur and a random boy with him for his Christmas Eve adventure. On the way, Santa picks up some dwarves who he orders to do all the work but takes the glory for handing out the gifts. The little boy’s name is Joe, and he is the creepiest addition to the story; he is only there for Santa’s entertainment. Santa sings a song with lyrics that say, “has no need for Joe/ but takes him ’cause he loves him so.” It seems like Santa may have an inappropriate relationship with Joe. The animation in the film makes the scenes weirder as Joe ends up looking small and frail even though he has the voice of a man.
12. The Junky’s Christmas
It’s just like the title suggests: this Christmas tale is all about a junkie. This short movie is based on the short story that was written by William S. Burroughs. In 1993, the short movie was made as a claymation special. It’s the story about a junkie who is all out of heroin, and he’s finding it really hard to find some, with it being Christmas Eve and all. He sees a car and considers breaking into it in the hopes of finding some money. He finds a suitcase which he steals as well as some human legs. Are you disturbed yet? It gets worse. He finds out that his regular heroin dealer is away for the holidays, so he has to settle for getting some morphine from a doctor. He finally gets the fix he’s been looking for on the holidays. This is not the kind of movie you want to let the children stay up late to watch because it’s troubling, to say the least. The claymation design is also disturbing so this Christmas movie gets a fail.
11. Jack Frost
Most people have probably watched this movie by now; it’s been around for a few years. We’re not really sure who came up with Jack Frost in the think tank, but it was a terrible idea. This is a horror-comedy about a serial killer named Jack on his way to be executed one snowy night. Tragedy strikes when the van carrying the killer collides with a truck that has hazardous materials on it. Jack has a chance to escape but not without being exposed to toxic chemicals. His body becomes one with the snow, and he turns into what we know now as Jack Frost. He’s so pissed about the whole experience that he’s determined to get revenge for the fact that he’s well…a snowman. He goes about terrorizing the local townspeople and even tries to rape a woman while being a snowman. He eventually dies after being doused with antifreeze.
Elves is a movie about a teenage girl that hates Christmas. This isn’t like the story of the Grinch; there is no happy ending. The girl decides to do a Pagan ritual and cuts her hand; this ritual gives rise to a demented elf from the dead. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she tries to create a new species of elf, one that would be part of the master race with the help of Hitler. Feeling jolly yet? The movie is widely inappropriate as you learn that the girl has a Nazi for a Grandfather. The movie is also about inbreeding as you find out that the Grandfather is also her father as well. It’s the kind of movie that you would have to get either drunk or high to watch because it’s beyond messed up. If you don’t believe me, then consider the fact that the elf actually tries to impregnate the teenage girl throughout the movie. Merry Christmas!
9. Christmas Evil
Another horror movie just in time for the holidays. Christmas Evil, also known as Terror in Toyland as well as Better Watch Out, is a 1980 slasher film. Although it’s not the best movie to watch over the holidays, it’s nothing like the gory flick Black Christmas. It’s the story of Harry who catches his parents having sex and his father dressed as Santa Claus. The shock of seeing his parents having sex and realizing that Santa does not, in fact, exist, Harry takes his anger out on himself by cutting himself with glass from a snow globe. This is not where the story ends however; it begins again with Harry being much older and working at a toy factory. Harry has fallen into a delusional world where he believes that he is the true Santa. The creepy part of the movie is when Harry decides to use his role as Santa to peer into the windows of homes looking for children to put on the naughty list. Harry dresses as Santa and goes on a killing spree and showers the city with Christmas blood.
8. The Smurfs’ Christmas Special
There are many children’s movies that have been questionable over the years, and the Smurfs’ Christmas special is right up on the top of the list. When you turn on a Christmas special, you expect to see some story that possibly involves Santa but definitely some Christmas joy. In the Smurfs’ Christmas special it was all about a hostage crisis. A hostage crisis on Christmas? Of course, why not? Gargamel is involved of course in kidnapping children from their Grandfather. It turns out the Grandfather is actually the devil in disguise, and he wants to sacrifice them by throwing them in a ring of fire. Are you still with me? The only thing that can save these poor children are the singing Smurfs. Can this get any weirder? It’s one of those movies where you wonder what hopped-up writer decided this would be a good idea for a Christmas special?
7. Silent Night, Deadly Night
It’s surprising how many horror movies were made for the holiday season. Silent Night, Deadly Night is one of the more generic slasher films. It’s not a bad movie overall, but again you have to be into watching blood over the holidays. There is one quite unsettling scene in the movie that won’t leave your mind quickly; in fact, it might follow you into your nightmares. Billy is a boy that gets told the truth about Santa Claus by his grandfather whose mind is falling apart. The scene is creepy, but you will have to watch it for yourself. It’s a low budget Christmas movie about Billy who is left at an orphanage after his parents are murdered. If that isn’t bad enough, Billy gets abused by Mother Superior and this abuse leads to him becoming a serial killer. He dresses up as Santa and goes on a killing spree.
6. Year Without a Santa Claus
This is probably not the kind of movie you want your children to watch considering the theme behind the movie is that Santa got so sick of children that he decided to disappear for awhile. In the movie, Santa became disgusted with children all over the world for being ungrateful, and when he gets a cold, it’s the last straw. The cold sends him into a depression, and while Santa is sent into some seriously dark thoughts for Christmas, he decides that no one even cares about Christmas any longer. Two elves set out to change Christmas for everyone when they get shot by two hillbilly police officers. Are cops shooting elves on Christmas now? Can this movie get more messed up? The police then arrest the elves they shot because of their clothing choices. So during this Christmas special Santa has a depression, the elves are arrested and oh did I mention that Rudolph gets sent to the pound to get put to sleep?
5. Don’t Open Till Christmas
Another horror movie for Christmas filled with brutal killings. This particular horror movie has an 80’s vibe to it just like all the others made around that time. Just like you would see in The Friday the 13th movies, this one has gory murders with half naked girls running around. The twist to this horror movie is that the killer doesn’t dress like Santa like the other movies but instead is out killing people that do. How’s that for a twisted Christmas story? If you can imagine how many Santas you typically see out on the streets during Christmas, this killer had more than enough victims to go after. If you are looking for a badly made Christmas movie, then look no further than this one. The greatest part of the movie is the guest appearance of an old Bond girl, Caroline Munro. I would avoid this movie entirely but if you are feeling morbidly festive than give it a chance.
4. South Park’s Woodland Critter Christmas
You probably won’t be surprised to find out that South Park made a Christmas special that was truly a special kind of evil. The story is about woodland creatures getting ready for Christmas; sounds cute right? Well, it might have been except South Park had to give it a twist by turning it into a story about Satan wanting to worship these animals in some anti-Semitism act. There’s no doubt about it, South Park is hilarious, and they have had some pretty epic Christmas specials in the past, some even featuring Mr. Hanky. In this special, however, you might want to lock your children’s door because the kids in the show swear and the sweet little animals play-act scenes from Rosemary’s Baby. Probably the most appalling part of this Christmas special is the fact that the characters talk about abortion in great detail throughout the special.
3. Santa’s Slay
The pun was fully intended, and you will find many like it when you are watching this horror flick. I’m always surprised to see so many horror movies based off of the holidays. I have to say that I have watched very few horror movies over Christmas. It’s definitely not a high rated movie, a B at best, so if you are looking for a great horror classic you might want to pass on this one. You can’t expect much out of a movie with this tagline: “He’s making a list, pray you’re not on it!” Yikes! It’s not even a very gory movie; it’s funny. After all, when a girl is drowned in eggnog or a man chokes on a chicken leg, you don’t need to worry about any Saw-like antics. The movie is full of cheesy lines and ridiculous murder scenes. If you are looking for a laugh, however, it might be a good bet.
2. A Very Brady Christmas
This movie is not so much as disturbing as it is painful to watch. Even for fans of the old The Brady Bunch show this one is going to be really hard to watch. The crazy thing is, they keep playing this Christmas special every year despite the fact that it has some seriously horrendous acting. The Brady Bunch was indeed a popular TV series, but that doesn’t mean it makes for a great reunion special every Christmas. Many of the actors in the special did not transition well from being child actors, and they don’t have the same skill level they did as children. So we are left with an awkward display of acting as well as an overall boring movie to watch over the holidays. The last thing you want to think about over the holidays is unemployment, divorce or death, but this Christmas special touches upon every one of them.
1. Night Train Murders
The number one movie on this list also happens to be the most messed up movie made for Christmas. It’s hard to believe that it’s even considered a Christmas movie. This is an Italian movie about two young girls taking a train through Europe. They are on their way home for Christmas to see their family when they run into two men. You might as well forget the idea of romance because these guys have some serious mental issues. So follows the fate of the girls that involves sex, knives being plunged in areas they don’t belong as well as heroin use and of course the eventual murders of the girls. When the father of the girls realize they aren’t coming home, he too becomes homicidal. He hunts down the men and proceeds to use any gory means possible to show the guys what he thinks of them. The father uses a chair leg to cave in one boy’s face while injecting needles into the other. Let’s not forget the use of a shotgun to blow body pieces off. If your mind works the same as the criminally insane, then this might be the movie for you. But be warned, this movie was banned in many different countries.