It's almost that time of the year again! When people all over the Western world at least pay lip service to the holiday tradition that is Christmas. And everyone jumps on the bandwagon. Toy manufacturers, clothing companies, television and, of course, movie makers. Because there's nothing like some uplifting Christmas spirit and cheer on the big screen, or on television. Right?
Well, right. These five films are NOTHING like uplifting Christmas spirit and cheer.
Now, I am something of an afficiando of bad movies. I go out of my way to see the ones that are classified as really bad. Especially old horror and science fiction movies. But I have not seen every bad film. Not by a long shot. And, in that regard, it must be noted that a certain Jim Carrey Christmas film is not here because I dislike most Jim Carrey films and so won't watch them.
So, anyway, starting at the fifth worst and going through to the very worst, here are the bottom five Christmas films I have seen.
5. Santa's Slay (2005) While not a terrible film, per se, the whole concept makes it an awful Christmas film. Bill Goldberg (former NFL footballer and professional wrestler) plays Santa Claus - a demon who is forced to be the Santa we know and love because he lost a bet with an angel. And, wouldn't you know it, the time of the bet is up and evil Santa is here to wreak his revenge upon the human race. But he doesn't count on being confronted by Robert Culp in a game of curling. The acting isn't any worse than any other horror film out there, and the special effects are also run of the mill, but there are two things that make this a bad Christmas film. One, it's Santa who's evil. Not a maniac dressed like Santa, but Santa himself. And two, curling. The finale involves curling. Still, I own a copy of this so... yeah. Anyway.
4. Santa Claus (1959) We got to Mexico for a film that I saw once on a dodgy VHS tape twenty years ago, and then again on Youtube a few years ago, but two things stand out in this film. First is the laughter of the reindeer. That sound could creep out Freddy Krueger. And second is Merlin. Let me explain. Santa lives in a cloud palace, the devil (known as Pitch here) tries to stop him from doing his good-guy thing and Merlin the Magician turns up at the end to save the day. And, for what it's worth, it makes even less sense than what I've just described.
3. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) and it's seemingly never-ending cycle of sequels. A kid sees his parents killed at Christmas by someone dressed as Santa, is then abused in the orphanage by a nun, and so dresses himself as Santa Claus in order to become a rampaging killer. Sure, just the standard serial killer film, done a hundred times before and since. But what makes this one stand out, apart from its oh-so-cheery Christmas theme is the really, truly awful acting and special effects. I haven't seen all the sequels (only three of them) and they somehow manage to get even worse. The shocks and scares are clichés, and the only good thing about this film is that there are two films on this list that are even worse.
2. Santa Claus Conquers The Martians (1964) Obviously somewhere out there in the dark past of Hollywood, someone must have said, "You know what's missing at Christmas? Science fiction!" And thus was born this... this film. Martian children are depressed and all they do is watch TV programmes from Earth, so the King of Mars (Kimar) and a band of Martians come to Earth to kidnap Santa Claus, and along with him two children. The bad guy Martian Voldar tries to kill Santa at every opportunity, but kidnaps a Martian wannabe called Droppo instead and is finally conquered by kids with toys. And if the story wasn't bad enough, the special effects are... well, the word 'special' is not anything that should be applied here. The robot looks like something kindergarten kids would come up with and the less said about the 'polar bear' the better. Oh, and I own this one as well. And yet, there's one even worse.
1. Santa With Muscles (1996) Not only the worst Christmas film ever, but also the worst movie I have ever seen, and I've seen all of Ed Wood's output, Robot Monster and even Mega Python Vs Gatoroid. Hulk Hogan (another former wrestler... sigh) plays a rich man who gets amnesia, thinks he's Santa Claus and saves an orphanage which is set above caves with exploding gemstones that he uses to sword fight with. I just re-read that and I think I'm giving the film way too much credit. This film features the worst acting I have ever seen; the children in particular look like they all recently survived lobotomies. For a wrestler (and other wrestlers play some of the bad guys), you'd think at least the fight scenes would look okay. You'd be wrong. This film stupefies with its awfulness. Needless to say, not only do I own it, but I am on my second copy because I wore the VHS tape out and so bought it on DVD.
So, for a truly memorable Christmas experience, why not find all five of these and have a movie marathon the likes of which you will never ever forget.