On this the eve of our website’s first acknowledgment of the Christian hijacked Winter Solstice celebration, I’d like to take a little bit of time and space to discuss a couple things, including our upcoming breakdowns, a few other films worth watching and a tradition of my own volition, that I hope can touch you all and in turn be spread much like the holiday greetings vomited forth upon you by department store geezers.
The AOBG Guide To Surviving Christmas
First, a quick note on our next six breakdowns. As you would imagine (unless you’re a complete dumbass), they are all associated with Christmas. Being that they all take place on, or around the holiday. I mention this now as I have no plans to delve into the fact within the breakdowns, at least not to any substantial degree. Ergo, I just want to say that while it may not be clear as to exactly how these flicks are Christmas films, rest assured, as Argyle might say, “Man, these ARE Christmas movies!” Hope you guys enjoy them.
– Cobra (1986)
– Dark Angel (1990)
– Die Hard (1988)
– Die Hard 2 (1990)
– First Blood (1982)
– The Frightened City (1961)
– Gang War (1958)
– Ghostbusters II (1989)
– Invasion U.S.A.(1985)
– Lethal Weapon (1987)
– The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996)
– On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
– Reindeer Games (2000)
Second on Ranta Claus’s list, I’ve decided, out of the awesomeness of my 3-sizes-too-small heart, to include a brief holiday movie guide to a few non-action X-mas themed flicks, should you find yourself forced into one of those ‘mixed company’ situations that so often occur this time of year.
Note: I intentionally left off all my favorite Christmas/Horror flicks (BLACK CHRISTMAS, GREMLINS, SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT), as even though they are great films, I’m sure some other genre geek site has, or will cover them in detail and I’d rather leave them to it. That said, without further ado, here is…
Rant’s Top Five Chrismassacre Movie Alternatives For All Ages List
[#5] The Ref (1994)
Comedian Denis Leary is Gus, a lovable scoundrel and pathetic pilferer, who in a fit of on-the-run desperation, kidnaps THE bickering couple from Hell. Forced to hideout in their home, Gus has to make the best of an ever worsening situation as Lloyd (Kevin Spacey) and Caroline Chasseur (Judy Davis) circle the marital drain with fits of cross-firing emotional attacks. Adding to the festivities is the Chasseur’s criminally delinquent son, their insufferable relatives, and a partner in crime, even more pathetic and useless at bailing out his pal than Gus is at masquerading as the Chasseur’s family shrink. And it’s all 110% awkward comedy gold.
Easily Leary’s finest work, THE REF is a tour-de-force in on-the-brink, insane-driven aggression. Even if you’re one of the few fuckers out there lucky enough to have avoided an atrocious family get-together, you should still be able to relate to the sad sacks of broken-down emotional baggage that are these characters. THE REF is more human, more real, more honest and more heartfelt than the Bailey and Cratchit family films combined.
[#4] National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
After making one of the single greatest family comedies of all time (VACATION), screenwriter/cinematic angst god, John Hughes and actor/comedic genius Chevy Chase reunited to hit yet another Yule-ball outta the park in this, the second sequel in the tale of the Griswold Family’s failed attempts at suburban normalcy. Chevy once again plays Clark, the greatest would-be family-man in the world and with him as always is the world’s most patient better half, Ellen, played by the sexy Beverly D’Angelo. And together with their ever evolving children, Rusty and Audrey, form the Griswold family. And joining them for their winter vacation are a cavalcade of train-wrecked relatives, including everyone’s favorite uncle, Eddie Johnson (Randy Quaid).
The plot couldn’t be more simple, we follow the Griswold clan through the month of December as they inadvertently prove Murphy’s Law with an unending stream of good intentions, sent straight into the shit-covered asphalt of route 666. And few movies have ever captured the hilarity that is the middle-class family man’s struggle for a storybook ending like this one. Silly, stupid, funny and cringe worthy, CHRISTMAS VACATION is guaranteed to make anyone’s December 25th “The happ-happ-happiest Christmas, since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny Fuckin’ Kaye!” “Halleluiah, ho-lee shit! Where’s the Tylenol?”
[#3] Scrooged (1988)
Bill Murray is Frank Cross is Ebenezer Scrooge in an modern adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This needs no further explanation.
[#2]—Alright, alright, fine.
Frank Cross is a middle-aged television executive who aside from being harassed and given non-stop grief over his success during the rest of the year, is given special attention one holiday season by having the misfortune of being chosen by mysterious super-natural forces to be haunted by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. Using a series of painful psychological and physical torture techniques (including beatings and fiery death threats), these evil spirits twist and coerce a hard working businessman into an unwanted relationship, disownment of his wealth, and religious zealotry. It’s a fucking nightmare.
Thankfully though, as I stated above, Cross is played by the fucking outstanding Bill Murray, who gives, as he always does, a stellar performance. Easily the greatest adaptation of that over-hyped stack of “feel-good” propaganda, SCROOGED ties itself to my obligatory Christmas movie list with 3-inch wide chains. Dark, twisted, violent and comedically spot-on, it truly is a must-see. So put a little love in your heart, toss that George C. Scott shit into a frozen bum-riddled sewer drain and pick up SCOOGED. It even has the criminally under-appreciated Bobcat Goldthwait as a scotch-soaked shotgun-wielding bum. And what’s not to love about that!?
[#2] Bad Santa (2003)
“You’re an emotional fucking cripple. Your soul is dog shit. Every single fucking thing about you is ugly.” Sounds familiar…
Billy Bob Thorton is Willie T. Soke: criminal, degenerate and all around delinquent stain on society’s panties. He’s also an aging con man and world class safe cracker and together with his master planner and partner Marcus (Tony Cox), the duo travel across the states, year after year grifting their way into large scale department stores as a Santa/Elf combo and robbing them blind on Christmas Eve night. We follow the couple on one such holiday season to Phoenix as Marcus tries to play one final hand with an increasingly difficult, apathetic and shitfaced Willie. The genius of this film is not so much in the plot, (which is pretty thin), but in the characters. The “heroes” of the picture, Willie and Marcus, are two of the most contemptibly evil and selfish bastards you could ever hope to cross a street to avoid. In other words, just the kind of people I’d like to hang out with on the holidays.
But, as I am not like most people, the filmmakers decided to try and balance out the non-stop bickering, cursing, pants pissing and hooker fucking debauchery with the inclusion of two more characters. The first, a pathetic, naive rotund little boy, and the second, a female bartender with a heart of gold and a Santa fucking fetish. And the weird thing is, each and every one of them are equally fucked up beyond all hope and yet utterly lovable. Which is a nice change for a Christmas movie. Did I day nice? I meant fucking outstanding and absolutely necessary. It’s films like BAD SANTA, with it’s almost completely unapologetic mean-spiritedness and bitter commentary on our capitalist celebrations that make me feel like I’m not alone in detesting Christmas for the rosy-cheeked, merry-time, bullshit commercial, circle-jerk it truly is. Oh, and Lauren Graham is more fuckable than a fireside warmed stocking filled with peppermint lube.
[#1] A Christmas Story (1983)
This Bob Clark directed classic is simply the greatest Christmas movie ever made. Told in voiceover by the reminiscent third-person narration of a grown Ralphie Parker (Jean Sheppard), we watch his humorous reflections play out on screen as his 9-year-old self (Peter Billingsley) goes about the day-to-day motions of being a child at Christmas time in a 1940s post-war middle-America.
With his impressive imagination (often filled with glorified violence), a selfish disdain for his obnoxious little brother, a fearful respect for his obscenity slinging father and a perfectly captured childlike wonder at the power of Christmas time, young Ralphie is one of the greatest cinematic characters of all time. And I didn’t even mention his perfect depiction of unrequited lust in the pursuit for a Red Rider Beebe Gun, which all but consumes his every thought. And as this longing is that of a 9-year-old and as such his libido has no precedence, make Ralphie’s disillusioned obsessive plight so distinctly innocent and human, the whole family can relate and simply enjoy. Ah, to be a dumbass kid again… And that’s why I think so many, myself included obviously, love this movie. Because despite the time and setting, A CHRISTMAS STORY is really just A KID’S STORY, that just happens to take place during the holidays. And though I’m sure no one reading this needed me to pimp this classic (as who hasn’t seen this one at least a dozen times?), I’m still more than happy to spend a little time talking about it’s greatness. And if for some odd/tragic reason this gem has somehow escaped you, get off your ass and change the channel to TBS this Christmas.
Finally, I’d like to share with you all my aforementioned tradition. Now, my contempt and general hatred for the overblown, commercially saturated and enraging unconstitutional federal holiday that is Christmas, should come to no surprise after having read the rest of this post. And this is not a new revelation to me. Ever since I reached the age of reason (13), X-Mas has been in a steady decline of acceptability in my mind. Which gradually lead to a peak in disgust around three years ago, when even receiving presents became a chore I endured only for the sake of my mother’s feelings. So, needless to say, something had to be done.
I quickly discovered that my bitter hatred could be kept at a socially acceptable low by simply avoiding any and all people, whenever possible. The next step was stress relief, which I chose to do by way of rebellious self gratification. And yes, that means a day of furious ape-like masturbation to the filthiest* pornography I can find for free, whilst still avoiding computer imploding viruses.
As an added bit of naughty pleasure, I do this at the earliest, most sacrilegious moment possible: December 25th, 12:01 A.M. It’s an event I have since dubbed, Jerkin’ For Jesus! And I encourage all of you readers out there that share similar feelings as mine toward this time of year, to proudly drop trou’ and join me this Christmas in non-violent (well, at least to others) protest and let it snow, let it snow, LET IT SNOW!
In closing, if you follow my guide to entertainment by putting our upcoming action flick breakdowns on your holiday to-read list, jerk it for Jesus and avoid like dick-rot, anything and everything associated with Tim Allen, then you should make it through unscathed.
*Though I think it should go without saying, I in NO fucked up way endorse or associate said ‘filthiest porn’ to include torture, rape, children or Ann Coulter. As while there is no Santa, and in all probability no God, there is still evil and grotesqueness and if you’re into that shit—GTFO my website, please. That said, a squirt of midget piss never hurt anyone! At least not in the long run… So lock your bedroom door, grab your favorite stocking, dip your balls in eggnog, stick a candy cane in your ass and have yourself a Merry Fuckin’ Christmas.