With the holiday season in full swing, it’s easy to get burned out — cable stations are running crappy movies like Jingle All the Way and The Santa Clause 24/7, saccharine holiday music is blasting out of every speaker, and you’ve still got like half your list to buy, and what the hell do I get these freaks?
Calm down. Have an eggnog. Put some rum in it. And enjoy some of our favorite anti-Christmas movies — not films that hate the holiday, per se (though a couple of them do), but ones that cut through all that warmth and good feeling and get at the darkness underneath. Our contrarian Christmas viewing list is after the jump.
It would be unthinkable to begin this discussion with any film other than Bad Santa, Terry Zwigoff’s gloriously mean-spirited, piss-and-vinegar-filled 2003 holiday comedy. Billy Bob Thornton plays Willie T. Stoke (a decidedly W.C. Fieldsian name for the kind of role Fields could have played, had he been born sixty years later), a horny, drunken, pissed-off safecracker who masquerades as a department store Santa every holiday season in order to pull off a Christmas Eve score that he’ll live off for the next year. John Requa and Glenn Ficara’s script almost seems designed to offend, with scenes of a hammered Santa beating the shit out of papier-mâché animals, urinating on himself in the Santa chair, and sodomizing a clerk in the Plus-Sized dressing room. Acid-tongued and wickedly funny, Bad Santa has rightfully become an anti-holiday classic.