Even the happiest of Christmas movie fans eventually get sick of seeing the same thing. That is why every now and then you need to insert a non-traditional Christmas movie into your DVD player. “A Christmas Story” and “Bad Santa” aren’t exactly your run-of-the-mill happy, full of the spirit Christmas movies, but they are still a little bit too traditional for what I’m talking about. I’m talking about holiday movies that you feel a little bit guilty referring to as Christmas flicks. I like to call these the non-traditional Christmas movies for men. Women are more than welcome to indulge in these guilty pleasures also.
The best non-traditional manly Christmas movie is hands down “Die Hard.” The action movie directed by John McTiernan and Beau Marks has everything a man needing a break from regular Christmas movies could want. Bruce Willis supplies a ton of action and Alan Rickman is a believable bad guy. All this great action still incorporates a family theme and takes place on Christmas Eve. What better way to celebrate the holidays than have a few terrorists with guns crash your party? “Die Hard” even supplies some great Christmas Quotes like “Now I got a machine gun. Ho ho ho.”
Just in case “Die Hard” didn’t have enough Christmas violence for you, try “Gremlins.” What’s not to like about this Joe Dante directed comedy horror movie on Christmas? After all, Gizmo was a Christmas present and gremlins are green. Plus they do know how to party and spread some Christmas havoc, I mean, cheer. These little green elves are a bit on the nasty side, but Gizmo will find a way to make you smile. Only during this holiday horror movie could Zach Galligan not only save the world, but also get the attention of Phoboe Cates. The supporting roles played by Judge Reinhold and 1980’s king-of-teen-hits Corey Fieldman top off this Steven Spielberg produced movie. Be warned you might want to make sure there isn’t a gremlin hiding in your tree before you turn of the lights to watch this non-traditional holiday movie.
In the mood for a Christmas movie that is neither overly festive nor violent? “The Ref” was a 1994 movie directed by Ted Demme and could be just the movie you are looking for. How can it be Christmas time unless Dennis Leary is kidnapping people at gunpoint? That might sound like a set up for another violence-filled action flick, but “The Ref” is a dark comedy. Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis team up with Leary to show us just how distorted family really is. Contrary to most Christmas movies, “The Ref” implies that just because it’s the holidays, does not mean everybody is on good behavior.