Holiday season is in full swing, and soon our homes will be filled with family members we've been successfully avoiding for the last 11 months, many of whom will wear out their welcomes before their Members Only jacket hits the pile on the bed. We in the media may be secular humanists with no regard for traditional family values, but we can still sympathize with your plight. Use this list of room-clearing Christmas movies sparingly.
5. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
Take my word for it, it's probably not a good idea to allow a child who still believes in Santa Claus (like, say, your 8-year old sister) to watch this with you when you're supposed to be babysitting, even if you think doing so will totally get your parents back for not buying you a ColecoVision.
4. Invasion, U.S.A. (1995)
As if Chuck Norris hadn't taught us enough about the dangers of Communism and the advantages of elasti-crotch blue jeans already, in Invasion U.S.A. we also learn that 1) America's highest-profile targets aren't refineries or our electrical infrastructure, but malls and churches, and 2) a dedicated and highly trained terrorist organization with an unlimited supply of weaponry is no match for a guy who can fire two Uzis at once.
3. Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
To be honest, I don't really think the "Ernest" movies are that bad. This is a list of flicks you're hoping will send unwanted house guests fleeing to the hills, however, and there aren't a lot of folks who can comprehend the underappreciated genius of Jim Varney's performance.
2. Anything with Tim Allen
Convicted drunk driver and cokehound Allen always seemed a curious choice to be the poster boy of Disney's brand of Christmas fare, until you realize none of his apparent hell-raising proclivities bleed through into his movies. Lord knows shit like Wild Hogs and Christmas with the Kranks might've been livened up with the addition of a little blow.
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1. Surviving Christmas (2004)
What's that? A cynical professional-type who's "too busy for Christmas" somehow finds love, laughter, and life lessons during the holiday season? "Surviving" should be in the title of all Ben Affleck's movies, since it's the most accurate word for how you feel when you emerge from the theater, blinking back tears as non-specific pains and sharp feelings of guilt war for control of your consciousness.
-- Pete Vonder Haar