Ever wonder what the Top 10 Worst Christmas Movies Ever are? Blogger and Scene-Stealers sitegoer Will Dawson is back after over a year off to contribute today’s terrifying holiday-themed Top 10 list. If you have a list you’d like to contribute, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here’s Will!
Hello Scene-Stealers peeps. I know that I’ve taken a long hiatus from writing Top 10 lists, but in between graduating and relocating across the country from Lawrence, KS to Detroit, MI, you probably would be a bit pressed to come up with one too. Anyone who has read my previous lists (Top 10 Worst James Bond Movies and Top 10 Worst Sequels) knows that I have a penchant for bad movies, and since this time of year is when holiday films and music are being blasted at us from every angle, I have come to realize that for every good Christmas movie there are at least five bad ones. This list is a comprehensive look at the 10 I consider to be the worst Christmas movies of all time. To make it on the list, each film had to be released theatrically, plus it had to heavily incorporate the Christmas theme. This list was so popular, here’s a link to its sequel: 10 More of the Worst Christmas Movies Ever.
Ok, you’re probably sitting at your computer wondering what the hell I’m thinking when I name Frank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life” one of the 10 worst Christmas movies of all time. But if you really look at the movie, and I mean really look at it, does “It’s A Wonderful Life” add anything to the Christmas movie canon except overtly sentimental themes, over the top acting, or a contrived plot? The answer, in case you were wondering, is no. In addition to the above things, the film has also inspired so many countless clones and variations that we have “It’s A Wonderful Life” to thank for other syrupy, contrived Christmas movie that air on our TV during the holiday season.
The first Ben Affleck Christmas movie on our list, but certainly not the last, this one deals with Affleck’s ex-con striking up a romance with Charlize Theron. However, it turns out that Theron is playing for the wrong side, and ends up forcing Affleck to rob an Indian Casino with a grizzled Gary Sinise. Eventually it turns out that Affleck is double crossed and he somehow learns the true meaning of Christmas through the whole thing. Although this film was a disaster (even if it is enjoyable in a bad way at times), it was actually marketed as a way to somehow make Affleck an action star. Another notable thing about the film is that you get to see Charlize Theron with her top off, which is always a plus.
This Michael Keaton Christmas vehicle is meant to be a kids movie, but ends up being more of a frightening exercise in how not to make a family Christmas film. Keaton portrays Jack Frost, the leader of the aptly named Jack Frost Band, who plays Christmas songs. Keaton somehow ends up dying in a car accident (gotta kill him off somehow) and ends up being reincarnated as a snowman and proceeds to teach his son the true meaning of family and Christmas. Instead of coming off as sentimental and fun, the film instead comes off as scary and brainless. Instead of making Keaton come back as a snowman (that looks unnerving I might add), why couldn’t Keaton come back as one of Santa’s helpers and somehow teach his son about Christmas that way? (Oh wait, that was the plot of “The Santa Clause.”) I might also mention that Keaton sings in the movie, and the soundtrack features such Christmas songs as performed by 90s music stalwarts Hanson and The Spice Girls.
Man, this movie sucks. Basically, “Santa Claus: The Movie” rips off “Superman” (not surprising considering that the producers were the same team that produced the original “Superman”) and basically a whole bunch of other Christmas movies in-between. Basically the story concerns how Dudley Moore (as an elf) is trying to use Santa’s techniques to mass produce toys for a toy company, whose head is John Lithgow (who is supposed to be Scrooge), and Santa comes and teaches them all about the true meaning of Christmas and blah blah blah. The film is notable for being one of the biggest box office disasters in the U.S., although it did make its budget back worldwide.
Although it’s hard to think of it today, Jonathan Taylor Thomas was actually considered to be one of, if not the biggest teen idol in Hollywood during the mid to late 90s. This film, made to capitalize on Thomas’ teenage girl fanbase, bombed in every respect not only as a film, but as a Christmas movie as well. The story basically is a teenage plot of “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” with Thomas put into increasingly ridiculous situations which involve hitchhiking, a Santa suit, and Jessica Biel. After the film, Thomas took a hiatus from acting and has not appeared anything of note since.
The second Ben Affleck vehicle on our list was released in the same three-year period as “Christmas with The Kranks” and “Deck The Halls.” Although I could have easily substituted “Surviving Christmas” with any of the aforementioned films, this one takes the cake for having the worst plot and worst acting. Affleck plays a self-spoiled millionaire who decides to pay a family so he can spend Christmas with somebody because he has alienated his friends and family with his selfish ways. Why he couldn’t use the money to spend it with a hot-looking escort is beyond me. Eventually Affleck and James Gandolfini (who should not be allowed to play a role unless it’s Tony Soprano) end up getting into a tizz over Christmas and Affleck ends up learning the true meaning of Christmas some way or another. In addition to being a huge box office failure, the film wasn’t released during the holiday season, but was instead released around Halloween in order to not interfere with Affleck’s other film “Paycheck.” This date of release ended up furthering the film’s box office failure as well.
Maybe I don’t like this movie because I was subjected to it dozens of times when I was kid at Christmas parties or at a school, but if I was somehow presented with the chance to destroy every copy of “Jingle All The Way,” I would grab the opportunity by the bull’s horns and pay for the kerosene myself. When you cast Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad together as two fathers trying to get the same toy for their bratty sons, you know you have a serious problem. I don’t even need to tell you the rest of the plot, because I think you can probably know what happens. What makes this film even worse is that the great Phil Hartman is completely wasted as a rival to Arnold’s wife, and this role was one of the last films he ever made before being killed by his own spouse.
3. Santa with Muscles (1996)
Oh man, I really can’t do justice by merely describing “Santa With Muscles.” The film was made to capitalize on Hulk Hogan’s acting career that started with the “classic” film “Mr. Nanny.” Anyway, just look at the trailer, which does a better job of describing “Santa With Muscles” than I ever could:
2. How The Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
This is an example of where Hollywood should just leave a classic story the way it is in short format, instead of trying to extend it into a feature-length film. The original story and cartoon of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” are absolute holiday staples, and the fact that they turned it into a live-action movie and came out with this garbage probably made Dr. Seuss roll over in his grave. The added backstory to the Grinch really doesn’t flesh out the character any better than the cartoon did, and whatever charm the Grinch had is lost in Jim Carrey’s strange Carrey-fied performance. Plus,am I the only who feels that the Grinch is a tad bit too scary and Who-Ville looks like something out of a bad LSD trip?
This is the only Christmas movie that could be #1 in the worst Christmas movies of all time! If you don’t know this holiday classic, all you have to know is that involves Santa, a group of kids, Mars, robots, Pia Zadora and stock footage that was also used in the opening credits of “Dr. Strangelove.” Although the film is too terrible to watch by itself, it works greatly if you are on holiday substances or watching the 1991 Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of the film, which is arguably one of the greatest episodes of the series. Watch the full original movie below… if you dare.