Friday, December 18, 2015

Manly Holiday Movies: If it's Christmas, it must be bloody

"Rocky IV:" What says "Christmas" more than Rocky Balboa single-handedly 
ending the Cold War? 
     In the American tradition of ignoring everything non-football related after Halloween as we bully our way toward Christmas, I thought I’d take this time to reflect on one of the great American holiday traditions – movies. But not just any movies, Christmas movies.
     “It’s a Wonderful Life”? “A Christmas Story”? “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”?
     Blech.
     There’s a misunderstanding made by the casual movie fan that a Christmas movie has to be about Christmas. The film needs a message of love, hope, redemption and sappiness. Not at all. A Christmas movie is simply a movie that happens at Christmastime, and for a guy, the bloodier the better.
     So to enhance your yuletide movie watching experience, here is A Guy’s Top10 Christmas Movies of All Time:*
     10. “Psycho” (1960): What? You didn’t know the Alfred Hitchcock classic is a Christmas movie? There are Christmas decorations in the B-roll of Phoenix. That counts.
"American Psycho:" Serial killer Patrick Bateman wondering if those felt 
antlers could eviscerate that woman.
     9. “American Psycho” (2000): This wholly disturbing movie features a scene at an office Christmas party.
     8. “Batman Returns” (1992): A movie that begins with Pee Wee Herman and his co-star from “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” Diane Salinger tossing their newborn in the sewer on Christmas, it has to be a Christmas movie. It’s OK, folks. The baby survives and grows up to terrorize Gotham as The Penguin.
     7. “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969): Yes, Telly Savalas tries to take over the world using germ warfare, but he does so during the holidays. Ho, ho, ho. Hope you got your shopping done early, 007.
     6. “Iron Man 3” (2013): Tony Stark battles not only the Mandarin and those super freaky heat-spewing villains, but during the fight scene in Tennessee, my, oh, my, would you look at all those pretty lights.
"Gremlins:" Oh, dear God, it's cute. You hungry little fella?
     5. “Gremlins” (1984): When inventor Randall Peltzer realizes he’s nearly blown Christmas for his family, he buys a Furby-like creature from Chinatown, complete with cryptic rules. When those rules are broken, little green murderous monsters overrun his town and it’s up to two teens and a drunken snowplow operator to save them all. Now that’s Christmas.
     4. “First Blood” (1982): When ex-Green Beret John Rambo gets run out of town by a redneck sheriff, he escapes into the mountains and picks off his pursuers one-by-one – at Christmas. Ho, ho, ho.
"Lethal Weapon:" It oozes holiday spirit. 
     3. “Lethal Weapon” (1987): A suicidal cop partnered with a grumpy cop? The holidays? Violence? What could go wrong?
     2. “Rocky IV” (1985): Rocky Balboa fighting a Russian killing machine on Christmas Eve at the height of the Cold War. Not only is “Rocky IV” on this list, it’s the Number One Christmas Sports movie of all time.
     1. “Die Hard” (1988): Bruce Willis vs. Alan Rickman in a skyscraper owned by a Japanese company during a Christmas party. Gunfire, blood, explosions, quippy one-liners and Santa hats make “Die Hard” the ultimate guy Christmas movie.
     Yippee-ki-yay.
"Die Hard:" The greatest Christmas movie of all time.
*Honorable mention. “Jaws: The Revenge” (1987): Sure, “Jaws: The Revenge” has a ridiculous plot (a great white takes revenge on the Brody family), it rated zero on the Rotten Tomatoes review site (if it could have gotten worse, it would have) and the tagline “This time it’s personal” isn’t even close to the first movie’s “Don't go in the water,” but the “The Revenge” is not without its charm. Especially when a 25-foot shark starts its eating frenzy a few days before Christmas.

Jason’s parody survival guide, “How to Kill Monsters Using Common Household Items,” is available at amazon.com. 

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