Cable channels have been playing Christmas movies since the night after Halloween, and they won't stop until New Year's Day. Yes, I love Scrooged, Christmas Vacation and Bad Santa with all of my candy-coated soul, and I can even stand marathons of Elf and A Christmas Story, but sometimes I need a change.
These Christmas movies aren't the best or the most critically adored, like the ones I already mentioned, but they got heart, I tell ya. And Tim Allen!
It's not really Christmas around my house until we've watched a grainy version of Santa Claus Conquers The Martians on YouTube.
So take in some of these flicks while the weather is still chilly and merry. You could be wearing shorts and a tank top on Christmas morn'.
Santa Claus: The Movie
The one with John Lithgow and Dudley Moore. Yes, it cannot be fucked with. I mean, you got David ("The Bigger Lebowski") Huddleston as Santa, Lithgow as an oily, greedy corporate man trying to make a sequel to Christmas, and of course Moore as a non-drunk elf. Bonus points for Burgess Meredith as an old, Obi-Wan-type elf.
The Santa Clause
Santa Claus dies falling off a roof and Tim Allen gets tapped as the new Santa. But think about this: St. Nick is magical, flies to and fro all over the world once a year aided by reindeer and knows exactly how you acted all year long, yet he cannot survive a fall off of a roof? Either way, we all win because Tim Allen in a fat suit is funny.
Ernest Saves Christmas
In terms of total enjoyment and rewatchability, Ernest Saves Christmas is a grease-ball classic. Even better than Ernest Goes to Camp. Jim Varney's Ernest P. Worrell was one of the best and weirdest parts of growing up in the late '80s and early '90s. Varney's grinning idiot was ubiquitous, whether he was going to camp, going to jail, joining the Army, riding again, being scared stupid, going to Africa or miraculously saving Christmas.
Babes In Toyland
Who thought of a dream cast like Keanu Reeves, a chubby teen Drew Barrymore and underrated Richard Mulligan? Probably coke dealers. But it's Pat Morita as "The Toymaster," which is puzzling and possibly racist. Top it all off with a big ol' dollop of Googy Gress, and you have yourself a cult hit. You know you are an '80s baby if you remember this movie being sold at McDonald's.
A Smoky Mountain Christmas
Huge boobs and Christmas go together like mustard and mayo. Dolly Parton is a rich, busy country singer who comes into the lives of a group of mountain chillens and they end up changing one another for the better. Child actor Danny Cooksey is on board as one of the backwoods kids, and Lee Majors plays a burly, sexy mountaineer. All this magic was directed by Henry Winkler to boot!
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Santa Claus Conquers The Martians and a Mexican flick called (natch) Santa Claus were awful in their own right, but when they were given the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment, they became beloved classics. Both of them are on YouTube in one form or the other, so get your Roku box and get humming.