Since it is a few days after Christmas, I thought it only appropriate to make a list of some of the silliest/corniest/stupidest Christmas movies I’ve seen. This list is shorter than the one of good Christmas movies I made a few days ago. This is because I decided to only put movies on this list that I’ve seen before and most of the truly terrible Christmas movies I’ve heard of… I just don’t force myself to watch. Here are a few I have seen (unfortunately).
Jingle All the Way (1996)
I’m gonna deck your halls!
Arnold Schwartzenegger plays a stressed out business man who has disappointed his son one too many times. After promising his kid the Turbo-Man action figure, Arnold thinks he’s got it in the bag… until he discovers Turbo-Man is the hottest toy of the season and Christmas is coming up fast. He finds one more Turbo-Man, only to discover an aggressive and paranoid mail worker (played by Sinbad) wants the toy for his son, too. And the hilarity ensues…. and by hilarity, I mean more than an hour of crappy puns, tired visual gags and references to the Unabomber. Is it any wonder that the kid in this also played Anakin in Episode I? Perhaps the only redeeming quality is the ever smarmy Phil Hartman (one of his last films before he died), but even Hartman couldn’t save this stinker of a film. And Arnold wears a shiny codpiece… ew.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
Santa, you will never return to Earth, you belong to Mars now.
I don’t know about you, but when I first heard of this movie many years ago, I assumed a few things from the title. Most of all, I assumed that Santa Claus defeated the Martians using bazookas, ray guns or bombs of some kind. Would you like to know how he actually “conquers” the aliens? Through love and friendship. Who the hell does Santa think he is? Harry Potter?
The premise is that all the Martian children are analytical and unhappy. One Martian father decides to give them something to be happy about… so he and a handful of others kidnap Santa. I can’t be the only person who sees some flaws in this plan, right? So they kidnap Santa and two children who try to warn the big guy and take them all back to Mars. Of course, there is an evil Martian who wants to kill the three Earthlings and Santa ends up thwarting him. What’s weird is, Santa kind of laughs off the attempted murder and let’s it slide, which is weird, to say the least. Let us not forget Dropo, the bumbling Martian that makes Charles Nelson Reilly look calm. Plus, there is something very, very creepy about the way Satan Claus (I mean Santa Claus) laughs.
The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978)
You’re like… family… to me.
Let’s face it… the Star Wars Holiday Special is the holy grail of crappy holiday movies (ancient Knight Templar and all, if Lucas has anything to do with it). Interestingly enough, even George “Everything I do is genius” Lucas is extremely ashamed of this special, which was wedged in between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. This is so stupid, it makes Episode I look like The Departed. The wookies are celebrating Life Day and Han is trying to get Chewie to his family (hairy wife Mala, ugly kid Lumpy and horny father Itchy) in time for the celebration. Unfortunately, the Empire has issued a blockade on the planet (which worked so well in Phantom Menace). Han and Chewie do finally get through towards the end of the special. Here’s the thing; Life Day involves the family holding up plastic orbs that transport them to space (somehow) toward a glowing ball of light. When they get there, Han, Luke and Leia join them to celebrate. This is where logic comes in… if it was easy for Han to get to the freaky floating ball in space (which makes no sense in and of itself), why didn’t he just bring his copilot to the ball and have the family meet them there? My only theory is that the writers wanted the audience to suffer longer by prolonging the family’s reuniting. What sick bastards.
Even before this stupidity, we get to experience what an elderly wookie finds erotic (which is apparently Diahann Carroll in a wig made of tinsel). Among the other guest stars are the band Jefferson Starship (for absolutely no reason), Art Carney (who gives Itchy the erotica) and Harvey “Hedley Lamarr” Korman as a stalker, a cyborg and a five armed, green Julia Childs. And then there’s Bea Arthur as the bartender as Mos Eisley (which is also shown for no real reason). The truth is, her character isn’t the worst, but the song she sings ogoes on way too long. Also, we see some characters in the bar that look suspiciously like Greedo and the alien that threatened Luke. The cartoon spliced in the middle was probably the best part of the special, but it couldn’t redeem the full length POS. And we can’t forget a coked out Carrie Fischer smiling just a little too wide. If you look for a copy (which are a bit of a rarity), try to find one with the cheesy 70s commercials kept in.