FURIOUS XMAS FILM CLASSICS
Happy Holidays from your favorite mad as hell movie geeks at Furious Cinema!
Every year during the holiday season we’re subjected to the same old line up of holiday films on TV, you know the drill: It’s A Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Frosty The Snowman, A Christmas Story etc. While all of these are entertaining movies that convey the festive spirit of the season, here at FC we’ve got some other gems we really like that aren’t often categorized as “classic Christmas movies”. This year we’ve picked out just a few of our favorite furious films that will thrill you and make you laugh as well as deliver the much needed holiday vibes you crave. So, pour yourself a tall glass of spiked egg nog, grab a tasty snack and enjoy this alternate holiday movie list!
Die Hard (1987, Dir: John McTiernan) In the 1980s, there were many great action films being released but when TV star Bruce Willis burst onto the scene in 1987 with this furious breakout film role, he really got movie audiences cheering. Willis plays John McClane, a hard boiled New York cop who has been invited by his estranged wife Holly (Bonnie Bedelia) to her annual Christmas office party in Los Angeles. What he, his wife and her co-workers dont know is that their boss Mr. Takagi (James Shigeta), the owner of the corporation is being targeted by a terrorist named Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his henchmen because of a fortune that is stored somewhere in the building. After the criminals crash the party, McClane (the only guest who isn’t on the official roster) takes matters into his own hands and wages a one man war on “Hans Buby” and his thugs. Not only is Die Hard a highly rewatchable crime-thriller but also a Christmas time classic! WATCH TRAILER
Gremlins (1984, Dir: Joe Dante) During the Christmas season, a hokey salesman, Randall Peltzer (Hoyt Axton) comes into the possession of a unique creature called the Mogwai from an old Chinese man named Mr. Wing (Keye Luke) who gives him three rules he must follow: Don’t get him wet, keep him out of bright light and don’t feed him after midnight…or else! Peltzer brings the mogwai home to his son Billy (Zach Galligan) who adopts the cute little fella and names him “Gizmo”. Well, as bad luck would have it Gizmo ends up being splashed with water and immediately small furballs are excreted from his body creating even more cute little mogwais…only something’s not quite right. They soon transform into nasty, green, scaly, razor-teethed creatures and start wreaking furious havoc all over town. Dante mixes black comedy, horror and all kinds of visual gags to make one hysterical, action filled mini-monster masterpiece. According to Dante, this sci-fi/horror/comedy was inspired by two main films: Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, and Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life. Co-starring Phoebe Cates, Dick Miller, Polly Holiday, Harry Carey Jr. WATCH TRAILER
Black Christmas (1974, Dir: Bob Clark) During Christmas break at a college sorority house in Toronto, a group of girls become the victims of a psychopath. Soon they begin dissapearing one by one while the killer continously makes highly disturbing phonecalls. This is an early effort from the late Director Bob Clark who would go on to make a very popular family holiday classic A Christmas Story (1983). With Black Christmas, Clark actually made the forerunner of what would become the slasher film genre of the 1980s. It should be noted this film came out a full 4 years before John Carpenter’s other holiday slasher classic Halloween and used the same kind of killer point of view shots that film would be so well known for. Clark opted to use purely Hitchcockian methods and left out the explicit gore thus creating a chilling proto-slasher masterpiece. Co-starring Margot Kidder, John Saxon, Keir Dullea. WATCH TRAILER
Scrooged (1988, Dir: Richard Donner) In this modernized, mad as hell spin on the story of Ebenezeer Scrooge, we get to know a very powerful entertainment magnate named Frank Cross (Bill Murray) who, while a highly intelligent, imaginative producer of television shows, is lacking a soul. Cross cares about noone except himself, treats everyone including his family poorly and is in danger of being damned forever in the afterlife. That is until he gets a visit from his long dead crusty-corpsed boss (John Forsythe) who explains his sorry predicament and that to change his situation he will be visited by three ghosts that will help him see the true errors of his ways. This really is an excellent Xmas comedy featuring Bill Murray at his Murray-ist and contains a colorful cast of supporting actors including Bobcat Goldthwait, Carol Kane, Alfre Woodard, David Johansen, Anne Ramsey, Karen Allen and Brian Doyle Murray. WATCH TRAILER
The Ref (1994, Dir: Ted Demme) A burglar named Gus (Denis Leary) and his partner pull yearly robberies in high class homes during the holiday season, but the two suddenly find themselves stuck in a small town after their latest plan goes awry and the cops begin scowering the neighborhoods for them. After kidnapping a married couple, Lloyd (Kevin Spacey) and Caroline (Judy Davis) at gunpoint to evade police, Gus decides to hideout at their house until the police search is over. Only things get complicated when he finds the two are on the brink of divorce, while their teenage son, who is home from military school, is becoming a burgeoning criminal himself. To make matters worse, the family is having a Xmas party and Gus has to disguise himself as the couple’s psychologist. What begins as a clearcut hostage situation turns into a furiously funny family farce as Gus and his hosts try to keep the situation under wraps when the yearly Xmas gathering takes precedent. The Ref is a furious crime-comedy yarn that is also a feel good holiday movie. WATCH CLIP
If you like these furious films we also recommend: Lethal Weapon, Reindeer Games, Silent Night, Deadly Night and Bad Santa