Right around now, we get sick of hearing about Elf (yes, we said it), It's A Wonderful Life, Miracle On 34th Street, and sometimes even A Christmas Story. The all-day screenings of the latter on one of Ted Turner's channels doesn't exactly make us clamor for it other times of the year.
Plenty of Christmas movies exist that aren't the traditional holiday fair. It just so happens that the most underrated ones are just that because they're a bit saltier than Will Ferrell preening in tights or Jimmy Stewart trying to kill himself. OK, that is kinda depressing. No one has tried to remake that one yet with Vince Vaughn or something? Seems ripe for a cinematic raping to us. Holi-rape?
Or favorite Christmas flicks are the ones that transcend the season, the ones we could waste two hours on during March, June, or August. And hell, anything with Billy Bob Thornton shagging Lauren Graham works for us.
10. Die Hard It's hard to remember that this Bruce Willis breakthrough was in fact a Christmas flick at heart. In fact so was Die Hard 2. Thankfully by the time 1995's Die Hard With A Vengeance came around, the filmmakers set it in the summer in New York City. Quick, who's the 21st president?
9. Trapped In Paradise Remember when Nicolas Cage was a comedic actor, before he was an action star and had an unnatural hairline? Remember when Dana Carvey wasn't the invisible man? Oh, 1994, you so crazy. You gave us Justin Bieber and this holiday flop.
8. Trading Places This 1983 Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy vehicle was set during Christmas week, but was someone released in June?
7. Mixed Nuts Another dud from 1994, Mixed Nuts had an all-star cast, led by Steve Martin and the late Madeline Kahn. The film revolved around a crisis hotline during the holidays and also featured Adam Sandler and Jon Stewart, who would both go on to star in the tour-de-force Big Daddy in 1999.
6. The Ice Harvest John Cusack is a mob lawyer who is involved in a heist from one of his clients. Catch convict Randy Quaid in one of his last roles before he went batshit crazy.
5. The Ref Remember when Denis Leary was edgy and we all thought Kevin Spacey was straight?
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
4. Gremlins We used to make it our life's mission in our early 20's to live every night like this scene from Gremlins. We never shot anyone, but we did once break a chandelier.
3. Home For The Holidays Weirdly enough, Robert Downey Jr.'s character wasn't that far off from his personal life around the time of the filming of this Holly Hunter-starring, Jodie Foster-directed dark family comedy.
2. Scrooged This seems to us to be the turning point in Bill Murray's acting career, when he stopped being a lovable smart-ass and became a real actor. He played dark in Where The Buffalo Roam, but Scrooged was another human level. Plus, Bustah Poindexter was in it, youse.
1. Bad Santa You know you can quote most of this S-H-I-T by heart. The film also contains John Ritter's last role on Earth, before shuffling off to that big apartment in the sky with the Ropers and Mr. Furley. According to an interview we had with star Billy Bob Thornton, a sequel is in the works.