Years before director Chris Columbus directed the heartwarming holiday classic Home Alone, he helmed this 1984 black comedy set during Christmas time. In the film, a struggling inventor searches for an unusual present for his son, and decides upon a seemingly harmless and adorable pet Mogwai. The cute factor ends quickly when they realize that, when doused with water, this pet spawns other creatures who transform into small, destructive, evil monsters that enjoy eating power cords and body parts, among other things, and run rampant through town before they are destroyed. Gremlins is a prime example of why it's always better to write a Christmas wish list.
This ain't your children's Santa! Gone is the jolly, good-natured gift-bearer and in his place is Billy Bob Thornton's glorious Willie T. Stoke, a slovenly, profane, horny, cantankerous alcoholic who masquerades as a department store Santa to rob the mall. If you're an anti-holiday Scrooge, this is the movie for you. Santa isn't real, but he's real f---in' funny here.
Sure, this 1993 Disney film may include the word "Christmas" in the title, but don't be fooled. There's a reason it was released days before Halloween and it wasn't to get a leg up on the competition. From the imaginative but dark mind of Tim Burton, this stop-motion animated musical follows Jack Skellington, aka The Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who tries to jazz things up by introducing Christmas. But Christmas by Halloween standards means creepy and dangerous toys for all the little girls and boys, skeletal reindeer and throwing Santa to the wolves a bogeyman to be tortured. (Someone is going to be on the naughty list for a very long time.) Instead of visions of sugar plums, most children probably had horrific nightmares of bugs and other disgusting creatures dancing in their head after seeing this "Christmas" film for the first time.
Howdy ho! Thanks to South Park, a talking piece of poop has now joined Rudolph, Frosty and Santa himself as one of the most beloved holiday characters. Mr. Hankey originated in Season 1 of the irreverent cartoon, when Jewish character Kyle felt left out of Christmas festivities and was comforted by the cheery, fecal toilet-dweller. The episode spawned its own South Park Christmas album, which featured timeless tunes like "A Jew on Christmas," Cartman's rendition of "O Holy Night," and Mr. Hankey's own catchy theme song.
Nothing says holiday horror like a killer Santa. The original '80s slasher film is about a young boy who witnesses his parents' murders by a man dressed as Kris Kringle. The sick twist? After growing up in a Catholic orphanage he becomes a killer himself! No surprise that while the franchise has a cult following now, at the time of the first film, viewers were not happy with the grisly, anti-holiday spectacle.
"A Very Supernatural Christmas" was designed to be "the most violent Christmas special in the history of television," and it very might well have been until AHS premiered a few years later. The episode found Sam and Dean hunting a pair of Pagan gods who kill humans as sacrifice. After a few stumbles, the brothers find themselves gruesomely being prepped to be the duo's next victims until Sam and Dean manage to stab them to death with Christmas tree branches. After the horrifying ordeal, they go back to their motel room, which Sam decked out with holiday cheer, exchange gifts and watch a football game. Aww, brotherly, yuletide love!
It might not be up there with Miracle on 34th Street or Love Actually on the list of the most heartwarming Christmas movies, but the 1997 low-budget horror film has become a certified cult classic. Written and directed by Michael Cooney, the movie takes place a week before Christmas, when a truck carrying convicted serial killer Jack Frost (Scott MacDonald) to his execution collides with a genetics truck. Frost is presumed dead, but in reality, his body morphs with the genetic material and the snow on the ground and he turns into a killer snowman who's out for revenge on the sheriff who put him behind bars -- and commits rape with a carrot. Stocking stuffer: Keep an eye out for a pre-American Pie Shannon Elizabeth.
There wasn't a lot of plot in the AHS Christmas episode (a fact that should surprise no one). Instead of real story, viewers were subjected to a Briarcliff inmate dressed up as Santa and murdering people with a star Christmas-tree-topper. Why? Who cares! Sister Eunice sure didn't because she was the one who encouraged him to rampage again. It could have something to do with the fact that she was possessed by a demon and wanted to murder Sister Jude. Although it should be noted that Eunice did get herself some more traditional Christmas cheer when the Nazi, Dr. Arden, gave her rubies (that he stole from a woman who had been swallowing them in a death camp).
If you're living in the 29th century (and beyond) you definitely don't want to end up on Robot Santa's "naughty" list. Unfortunately, you will, since thanks to a programming error he targets anyone NOT named Dr. Zoidberg. Even worse, instead of delivering a bag of coal under the tree, he'll most likely drop a bag of grenades on you. You know, just part of his mass murder Christmas spree. We wish you a scary Christmas!
Johnny Depp stars in his first collaboration with filmmaker Tim Burton as an artificially created man who has scissors for hands and is befriended by an Avon lady and her family. Although death, violence and hatred paint this film rather dark (this is a Burton film after all), there are hints of magic -- such as the creation of "snow" when Edward uses his scissors to create an angel ice sculpture -- that warm the heart and create a mythical winter wonderland.
With a Christmas party at the beginning, Christmas shopping at the end, and debauchery in-between, this is a disturbing yuletide film that only Stanley Kubrick could realize. Throughout the film, married couple Bill and Alice (Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman) dance around the idea of infidelity, and although neither spouse actually cheats, the tenuous ties of marriage are questioned in an unromantic, unflinching way. Although the film is best known for a scene when Bill infiltrates a mysterious masked sex party with quasi-religious overtones, it's at its most disturbing when viewers are positioned to feel like voyeurs when witnessing the intimacy between real-life spouses Cruise and Kidman. Ho, ho, NO!
Never was it so dangerous to be naughty, not nice than in the supernatural drama's episode "Twelve Days of Krampus." When Krampus, an anti-Santa Wesen that looks like a demonic ram, hits Portland, he preys on law-breaking teens. After lashing them with a switch, he stuffs them in a big sack and hangs them from the tallest tree. Before Nick interferes, Krampus intends to chow down on the tender teens during the winter solstice. Yikes! What ever happened to milk and cookies?