December 23, 2013

The 10 Weirdest Christmas Films
by James
James

by James Forryan

hmv London; 23/12/2013

Bio

"Like the legend of the Phoenix, I've just eaten a whole packet of chocolate HobNobs..." Editor, hmv.com

The 10 Weirdest Christmas Films

We all know the classics: Santa Claus The Movie, Polar Express, The Snowman etc. But what if you fancy something a little different this Christmas? Then look no further than our list below for the 10 weirdest Christmas films you're ever likely to feast your eyes on...

Mixed Nuts

10. Mixed Nuts

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Starring Steve Martin and a young Adam Sandler, this odd film tells the story of a crisis hotline facing eviction and a serial strangler on the loose in Venice Beach. It’s not the best film either actor has been involved with, but its weird plot and litany of oddball characters makes it just weird enough to make or list. Besides that, it’s also pretty good fun.

Monty Python's Life of Brian

9. Monty Python's Life of Brian

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This enduring classic from the Monty Python crew still has the power to raise laughs more than three decades after its original release in 1979. A comic re-telling of the story of Jesus, Brian finds himself being worshipped as the Son of God by the dim-witted residents of this fictional version of Jerusalem, but he’s not the Messiah. He’s a very naughty boy…

Jack Frost

8. Jack Frost

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This 1998 film starring Michael Keaton has one of the oddest concepts for a Christmas film ever. A father who cannot keep his promises dies in a car crash, then comes back as a snowman to make amends with his son. Why the kid would be anything other than freaked out is beyond us, but he befriends the snowman and tries to ensure his dad doesn’t melt. As if this isn’t weird enough, this film features a snowman sex scene of sorts and it has to be one of the creepiest things ever committed to celluloid.

All Is Bright

7. All Is Bright

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New to cinemas this year, All is Bright is a rather bleak tale starring the magnificent Paul Giamatti as a father who takes a job selling Christmas trees in the hope of raising enough money to buy is daughter the gift of her dreams: a piano. Not exactly your typical Christmas feel-good film this, but there are some laughs to be had in this offbeat comedy, as well as some great performances.

The Ice Harvest

6. The Ice Harvest

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Harold Ramis’ 2005 film The Ice Harvest stars John Cusack as Charlie Arglist, a small-time lawyer whose clients are some of the sleaziest businessmen in Wichita, Kansas. On Christmas Eve, Charlie and his associate Vic (Billy Bob Thornton) steal $2 million from boss Bill Guerrard (Randy Quaid) and plan to slip out of town, before an ice storm laves them stuck in Wichita. Vic goes missing and to make matters worse Bill’s enforcer is looking for him. More stressful than shopping in Oxford Street on Christmas Eve…

Black Christmas

5. Black Christmas

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What could be more festive than a good old slasher flick? Bob Clark’s 1974 horror centres around a sorority house that is being terrorised by mysterious phone calls and matters only get worse when the maniac responsible shows up with the intent of killing the lot of them. Festive it is not, but this classic horror film will have you hiding under the Christmas tree.

Less Than Zero

4. Less Than Zero

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Based on the Brett Easton Ellis novel of the same name, Marek Kanievska’s 1987 adaptation stars Andrew McCarthy as a college freshman returning home for his first Christmas since leaving to further his education, but finds his ex-girlfriend Blair (Jami Gertz) has got together with his best friend Julian (Robert Downey Jr.). Worse, Julian has developed a sizeable cocaine habit. Very different from the book it is based on, this film wont fill you with Christmas cheer, but it’s an interesting tale of addiction and how the young and rich struggle to deal with their privilege.

Trading Places

3. Trading Places

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Not exactly the most festive film on the list, but this classic from 1983 centres around an annual Christmas wager between two wealthy brothers who are masters of the stock market. Their cruel social experiment sees protégé Louis Winthorpe (Dan Akroyd) lose everything he has worked for to a tramp named Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy), all for the sake of $1. Helped by a prostitute (Jamie Lee Curtis), he sets about getting his revenge. Merry Christmas everyone…

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

2. Santa Claus Conquers The Martians

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A very close runner-up to our winner in the weirdness stakes, this bizarre little flick from 1964 has to be seen to be believed. When the inhabitants of Mars discover their children becoming obsessed with TV shows from Earth, they want to see what all the fuss is about. They discover the films all feature Santa, so they decide to kidnap old Saint Nick, along with a couple of kids, and take them to Mars. We’re not going to lie: it isn’t the greatest film ever made, but it’s very funny. We’re not sure that was the intention though…

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

1. Rare Exports

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This is as weird as they come. In Scandanavia and other parts of Europe, Santa Claus isn’t quite the jolly round fellow we all know and love. Rather, ‘SinterKlaas’ is an altogether more sinister character where the focus is much more on the punishment of naughty children than the reward of good behaviour. It is this legend that forms the basis for Rare Exports, a Finnish horror tale about the discovery of a sacred grave – that of the aforementioned ‘Santa’, except it appears he isn’t dead. People begin disappearing from the town, so a family sets out to trap the culprit. If you fancy scaring yourself witless this Christmas, look no further.