In celebration of Krampus II (and honorable mention: Once Upon a Deadpool) we at Gorehound’s Playground wanted to let you in on a few exciting holiday frights. While not all of these are particularly bloody, they are all fantastic (and twisted) films tied to our favorite pagan holiday, Christmas—in no particular order.
(From “The Grinch,” Imagine Entertainment, 2000)
1. The Grinch (2000)
With the new Grinch adaptation coming out, the live-action take deserves more attention than ever. Barely family-friendly, this movie doesn’t shy away from adult jokes, scary sets, and an avant-garde approach to Dr. Seuss’ classic Christian tale. Everyone can relate to Jim Carrey screeching ‘LOATHE ENTIRELY’ on the top of a mountain come the holidays or eating a glass bottle while having an existential crisis in one’s cave. This movie is worthy of being on anyone’s spooky holiday watching list.
(From “Black Christmas,” Film Funding LTD of Canada, 1974)
2. Black Christmas (1974)
A Christmas cat-and-mouse slasher between police and a madman. After a young local girl is brutally murdered, other girls in her social group begin getting unsettling phone calls in the dead of night. With Jack Frost nipping at their nose, a young woman and police officers must run against both the clock and the murderer to stay alive. This vintage piece stays true to its genre and is perfect for any classic slasher fanatic wanting to get into the holiday mood. There is al 2006 remake, but I would recommend watching the original that came out the same decade as The Exorcist and follows in a similar vein of style that era is known for.
(From “The Addams Family,” Paramount Pictures, 1991)
3. The Addams Family (1991)
In 1946 Charles Addams published a comic that would soon rock the pop culture world: “Boiling Oil.” The iconic comic repeats itself in the first scene of The Addams Family, where we see Morticia, Gomez, Lurch and other timeless characters do what all of us want to—pour boiling oil onto carolers from three stories up on Christmas Eve. With this as the opening note, The Addams Family ushers in holiday delight for all us fellow Addamses.
(From “Silent Night, Deadly Night,” Slayride Productions Inc., 1984)
4. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
This grindhouse film goes out of its way to not take itself too seriously. Painfully 80’s, Silent Night Deadly Night follows an axe-murdering Santa causing havoc in a small town during the dead of night (pun fully inten-dead). From a toy shop to sledding, Santa takes his slay to every imaginable holiday cliché. This is a cheesy, kitschy flick fit for a MST3K-style commentary fest with friends—all in ugly sweaters, of course. Oh, did I mention how uncomfortable it is that the murderer is a total babe?
(From “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” Walt Disney Pictures, 1993)
5. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Most people believe this to be a Halloween movie. Crazy, right? I mean, the entire movie takes place during Christmas (and conveniently forgets that Thanksgiving exists in between). For the uninitiated, this stop-motion cult classic follows the spirit of Halloween Jack Skellington discovering and immediately wanting to take over Christmas with his friends in tow. Through song and fright, this movie is perfect for a low-key night in.
(From “Tales from the Crypt/”And All Through the House,” HBO, 1989)
6. Tales from the Crypt, episode 2 “And All Through the House” (1989)
I know, I know. This isn’t a movie. But stay with me here. The second episode EVER of THE horror show of the late 80’s/early 90’s is all about Christmas. The costumes of the episode reflect the murderous mother’s hubris biting her in the ass by matching the just as murderous Saint Nick, and overall is a wonderfully bloody nuanced twist on the idea of a cheesy costumed serial killer. If you’re in the mood to marathon your favorite Christmas specials with your friends, be sure to add this to your list.
(From “Gremlins,” Warner Bros., 1984)
7. Gremlins (1984)
As a child, I couldn’t look a furby in the lifeless eye until I was at least 10 because of this movie. I still don’t trust those animatronic bastards. During my last trip to Gorehound’s for the film club meeting, Jeff (the owner!) reminded me that Gremlins is, in fact, a Christmas movie! Yet another cult classic, Gremlins follows a young man and his girlfriend as they deal with tiny creatures possessing a mighty need to cause mayhem. This spooky flick is perfect for those who love a good spooky time for the holidays without blood and gore.
(From “Demonic Toys,” Full Moon Features, 1992)
8. Demonic Toys (1992)
Imagine the island of misfit toys meets The Babysitter’s Club meets Saw III. An oddly lighthearted romp, Demonic Toys follow as a group of kids are determined to beat a warehouse of evil, possessed toys. The special effects will transport you back to the days of VHS tapes and cobalt blue windbreakers and will give you a sense of adventurous nostalgia perfect for the holiday season while still satisfying your horror-fan side.
Everyone has their own favorite holiday movies, but if you want to rent to add any of these to your own collection come in to Gorehound’s Playground on Drake and Shields. If you think there is any honorable mention I’ve missed, leave a comment and I’ll give my favorites a less-official review next week!
Deck the halls with bowels and bodies!