You’re a vile one, Mr. Grinch. You have termites in your smile. You have all the tender sweetness of a seasick crocodile. Mr. Gri-inch. Given the choice between the two of you, I’d take the uh… seasick crocodile.
There have been many a poignant, many a funny and many a silly movie that celebrates the Christmas season. From the blockbuster to the obscure, film has been a crucial partner in the wintry wonderland we call Christmas.
At TGON, film is a large part of our tech love as nerds. Here-in no particular order-is a list of films that embody the warmth, neuroses and family fun of Christmas.
1. Home Alone-the tale of the boy left at home by his family before Christmas. I’m aging myself, but I saw this in the theater when it came out and it was gutbustingly hilarious. The slapstick, the message of family being the reason for the season, all worked.
2. ELF-I’m not a huge Will Ferrell fan (except for his SNL oeuvre) but his portrayal of Buddy the Elf was whimsical, touching and laugh out loud funny. Never forget Buddy eating all of the doctor’s cotton balls. Never forget.
3. Holiday Inn-a totally convoluted plot line about an entertainer converting his farm to an entertainment venue…but the male leads are Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. ‘nuff said.
4. The Polar Express-this was beautifully animated and had the voice of Tom Banks lending its dulcet tones. Win-win.
5. A Charlie Brown Christmas-the CBS classic that shows the kid in all of us what the true meaning of Christmas is.
6. Mickey’s Christmas Carol-the Disney take on the classic Dickens’ tale of Tiny Tim and Ebenezer Scrooge.
7. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer-classic 60’s claymation and animation. The original anti-bullying film for kids.
8. White Christmas-the film that gave us Bing Crosby’s seminal version of the song of the same name.
9. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation-who doesn’t remember the Griswold’s tale of neighborhood light competition (and Clark being electrocuted in the process)?
10. The Santa ClausE-Tim Allen was at the height of his 'Home Improvement’ prowess and the film showcased his humor perfectly.
Here’s to the next generation of Christmas films and the hope, laughs and mistress it inspires within us all.
It’s no secret that I love both horror and Christmas so why not list my top 10 favorite holiday horror movies and TV specials? So here they are in no particular order:
1) BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974) - A sorority house is terrorized by a stranger who makes frightening phone calls and then murders the sorority sisters during Christmas break.
2) TALES FROM THE CRYPT (SERIES) “AND ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE” - A greedy woman makes the mistake of murdering her husband while an escaped mental patient dressed in a Santa Claus outfit is on the loose.
3) SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT (1984) - After his parents are murdered, a young tormented teenager goes on a murderous rampage dressed as Santa, due to his stay at an orphanage where he was abused by the Mother Superior.
4) TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE “SEASONS OF BELIEF” - On Christmas Eve, a father ends his two children’s boredom by holding them spellbound with a scary story about a fearsome beast known as the Grither.
5) BLACK MIRROR “WHITE CHRISTMAS” - In a mysterious and remote snowy outpost, Matt and Potter share an interesting Christmas meal together, swapping creepy tales of their earlier lives in the outside world.
6) RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE (2010) - In the depths of the Korvatunturi mountains, 486 metres deep, lies the closest ever guarded secret of Christmas. The time has come to dig it up! This Christmas everyone will believe in Santa Claus.
7) KRAMPUS (2015) - A boy who has a bad Christmas ends up accidentally summoning a Christmas demon to his family home.
8) TWILIGHT ZONE “THE NIGHT OF THE MEEK” - After a derelict Santa Claus is fired on Christmas Eve, he finds a mysterious bag that gives out presents. With this bag he sets out to fulfill his one wish - to see the less fortunate inherit the bounties of Christmas.
9) GREMLINS (1984) - A boy inadvertently breaks 3 important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters
10) THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS (1993) - Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but doesn’t quite understand the concept.