5 Ridiculous Holiday Movies You Won’t Believe Actually Exist
Holiday movies are right up there with decorating the tree, wrapping presents and singing carols, as seasonal traditions that just scream “Christmas!” From Alastair Sim’s 1951 classic Scrooge to the beloved 1964 stop motion TV movie Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to It’s a Wonderful Life to Home Alone or even Die Hard, almost everyone has a favourite Christmas flick they watch to get into the holiday spirit.
But what about those Christmas flicks that are more apt to make you scream “Bah humbug!” (and we aren’t talking about A Christmas Carol)? You know, the ones that stray a little too far out of the box and have Santa encountering aliens, or falling prey to cat allergies, or going on a murderous rampage on a Zamboni (yes, it’s happened). Because they’re out there, and because we’d hate for you to ruin the holiday by accidently stumbling across one of these absurd tales while channel surfing with the grandkids, we’ve compiled a helpful list of terrible Christmas movies that you won’t believe are actually real.
Santa Claus Conquers The Martians (1964)
Genre: Technically comedy, but in reality … well, you’ll see.
What’s the story?: Basically, the Martians see Santa as someone who can help save the children of Mars, who, as Wikipedia explains, “are growing distracted due to the society’s overly rigid structure; from infancy, all their education is fed into their brains through machines and they are not allowed individuality or freedom of thought.” Huh, kind of sounds like a pack of Earth kids parading aimlessly into traffic like lemmings with their smartphones to catch Pokémon Go creatures.
Anyway, rather than overhaul the Maritan education system, they take the much more convoluted route of kidnapping Santa and taking him and two Earth kids to Mars to replicate the jolly one’s work from Earth. What follows is more kidnappings and Martian madness that doesn’t sound at all appealing. On top of it, Santa doesn’t so much actually conquer the Martians as much as he gets along with them and does what they want until everything works out in the end. Oh, sorry – spoiler alert.
Fun fact though, this film is notable as the first movie ever to depict Mrs. Claus.
Who’s in it?: Singer and actress Pia Zadora, eight-years-old at the time, plays one of the kidnapped children.
Naughty or Nice?: The film was universally panned but caught traction in later years as a cult “so bad it’s good” flick. You can see the trailer here:
Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 (1987)
Genre: Horror, apparently.
What’s the story?: The brother of the holiday-themed serial killer in the first film is now the deranged killer in this film. Nice family.
In this film, Ricky, brother of dead murderer Billy, goes on a killing spree after the death of his foster father and an encounter with his girlfriend’s ex. He eventually kills a whack of people, including a mob boss that he stabs with an umbrella – a scene that earned some camp fame online – which you can see below. Thankfully the cops kill him before the viewers themselves die of boredom.
Who’s in it?: No one who cares to admit being in it.
Naughty or Nice?: Very naughty. The film, however, has a sequel – Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out! I’m not making that up.
Santa Claws (1996)
What’s the story?: It revolves around a creepy dude who’s not above murdering people who come between himself and things that he wants. In this case, he wants Raven – a B-movie actress whom he has, lets just say, an unhealthy obsession with. Essentially he stalks her and kills anyone he feels is getting too close to her.
So what makes this a holiday movie? Well, our naughty neighbour dresses as Santa to murder people with a “claw.” Because, as we all know, serial killers tend to dress in bright, easily identifiable costumes and kill their victims with the most pointless, time-consuming weapon possible. That’s how Jack the Ripper evaded capture, right? Also, for some reason the titular claw isn’t featured in the artwork for the movie above.
Who’s in it?: Canadian actress Debbie Rochon, who you may remember from such films as Play-mate of the Apes, Corpses Are Forever, Demon Divas and the Lanes of Damnation, and Killer Rack, about a woman whose surgically-enhanced breasts go on a killing spree (don’t ask).
Naughty or Nice?: He dresses as Santa, and kills people with a claw. Enough said.
BONUS: There’s actually another holiday movie called Santa Claws, from 2014, that’s a family film about Santa being allergic to cats left out for him by a child. Seriously, who leaves a basket of cats out for Santa? Ever heard of milk and cookies kid? Anyway, this goofball kid leaves out a basket of cats, which gives Santa an allergy attack that’s so bad he can’t continue going around leaving presents for all the little boys and girls. So who do you think takes over Santa’s duties that night? The kid, right? Wrong. The cats. Yes – the cats. And we aren’t talking cats like in the stage musical Cats, where they’re big like people but act like cats. We’re talking actual, honest, purring, scratching, lifting their legs to lick themselves cats. In the sleigh. Flying around the world delivering presents. With a 28 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it looks like this feline film landed in the litter box.
Santa’s Slay (2005)
Genre: Black comedy
What’s the story?: Get this – Santa is actually a demon who lost a curling match to an angel in A.D. 1005 and the punishment was that he had to deliver presents for 1000 years. But it’s 2005 and he’s free from his gift-giving duties so he travels via sleigh and his hell-deer – yes, you read that right, that’s hell-deer – to some town where he starts killing everyone in sight, tossing exploding presents and taking a murderous joyride on a Zamboni.
Who’s in it?: Former pro wrestling champ Bill Goldberg stars as the evil Santa, while Canuck comedy legend Dave Thomas also makes an appearance. Other notable co-stars include television great and I Spy star Robert Culp, Lost and Roswell’s Emilie de Ravin, Canadian star of Wall Street and Unforgiven Saul Rubinek and Canuck Big Love star Douglas Smith. Cameos include James Caan, Fran Drescher, Rebecca Gayheart and Chris Kattan.
Naughty or Nice?: Filmed in Alberta and featuring some cool Canuck stars, a Zamboni massacre and a heavenly curling battle, it’s hard not to consider this perhaps the most Canadian of holiday horror comedies ever made. We’re not ready to put it on the nice list just yet, but at 43 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes that’s better than most other films on this list. Check out the trailer below:
Hercules Saves Christmas (2012)
What’s the story?: First of all Hercules is a dog, not the Greek hero, which already makes this film infinitely less interesting. He, however, is no ordinary dog. Hercules is Santa’s magical dog helper, who compiles his naughty and nice list. Yes, a dog is responsible for the list that takes Santa around the world in a night, and that keeps the elves working year around to make toys. Seems sensible. Next thing you know the Tooth Fairy will have her pet hamster handling the dental records of the kids to whom she owes money.
Anyway, Hercules the dog meets Max the annoying and troublesome orphan boy and brings him to the North Pole to plead his case to be included on the “nice” list before a court tribunal that includes Santa and the Elves. Yes, Hercules the dog is also a lawyer. Does that make him “Puppy” Mason? Marcia Bark? Okay, I’ll stop now.
So there’s a court case and then some other wacky antics take place, which one synopsis calls “comical” and “hysterical” – I’m “sceptical” – before presumably little Max finds a nice family to adopt him and Hercules gets promoted to the Supreme Court for his legal efforts.
Who’s in it?: Mackenzie Phillips. Random, right?
Naughty or Nice?: Not even Max is a cunning enough attorney to land this on the nice list.