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'Tis the season, after all.

Some argue that bad Christmas movies aren't as horrible as bad non-Christmas movies, if only because at least the intentions of bad Christmas movies are more or less good. We disagree -- those good intentions actually make bad Christmas movies worse. Some bad movies get off the hook because they're not attempting to be anything more than just a bad movie -- there's actually a sense of self-awareness to some bad movies, as if they know they're never going to appear on anyone's All-Time Favorites list, but hey, it's not like they're spreading infectious diseases or anything. 'Tis the season, after all.

Some argue that bad Christmas movies aren't as horrible as bad non-Christmas movies, if only because at least the intentions of bad Christmas movies are more or less good. We disagree -- those good intentions actually make bad Christmas movies worse. Some bad movies get off the hook because they're not attempting to be anything more than just a bad movie -- there's actually a sense of self-awareness to some bad movies, as if they know they're never going to appear on anyone's All-Time Favorites list, but hey, it's not like they're spreading infectious diseases or anything.

But a bad movie that's a bad movie and also wants to spread holiday cheer? That makes it wretched on a whole different level. You watch Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito make fools of themselves in the name of Christmas in a movie like 'Deck the Halls' and a dark cloud comes over you. You actually feel depressed -- for them, for yourself, for the entire holiday.

Yes, the damage a bad Christmas movie can do is vast and unsettling -- avoid the following at all costs this season. They're ho-ho-horrible!

Warning: Clips Contains Explicit Language

15. 'I'll Be Home for Christmas' (1998)
The tagline for this movie is "Somewhere between L.A. and N.Y., Jake found the meaning of Christmas," and it stars Jonathan Taylor Thomas -- if those two things don't set off your warning bells, nothing will. Thomas plays a college student who finds it difficult to get back home to the tricked-out Porsche waiting for him in his dad's garage after he's been left in the desert wearing a Santa suit (oh, college!). Jessica Biel plays his girlfriend, and you know she just hates having this movie on her resume.


14. 'Miracle on 34th Street' (1994)
No offense to the late, great John Hughes, who had the sheer chutzpah to produce and co-write a remake of what many consider to be the Christmas movie (next to 'It's a Wonderful Life'), but his version of 'Miracle on 34th Street' is pretty awful. While it's charmingly subversive to have Richard Attenborough play Santa just a year after he portrayed the grandfatherly mad scientist in 'Jurassic Park,' but the rest of this mess is hopeless sappiness -- a trap Hughes was unfortunately known to sometimes fall into (see: 'Curly Sue,' 'Only the Lonely').


13. 'All I Want For Christmas' (1991)
Yeah, this is the one with Leslie Nielsen as Santa Claus, released the same year as the weakest of the Frank Drebin misadventures, 'The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear.' Ethan Embry and Thora Birch, who both grew up to do bigger and better things, play adorable youngsters who conjure a ridiculous scheme to get their divorced parents back together for the holidays -- and yes, the plan involves kidnapping Santa Claus. It also involves a bunch of mice and an ice cream truck. Our gift to you is this advice: stay away.


12. 'Fred Claus' (2007)
This is a movie that thinks it's hilarious to put Santa's elves in black jackets and sunglasses and have them act like badass undercover spies or something. It's also a movie that thinks a plot involving Santa having a ne'er-do-well older brother who's forced to move to the North Pole is a "clever premise." It's also a movie that somehow got Vince Vaughn, Paul Giamatti, Miranda Richardson, Elizabeth Banks, Kevin Spacey and Rachel Weisz to star in it. Huh.


11. 'Black Christmas' (2006)
'Black Christmas' doesn't stand much chance at being anything more than a lump of coal -- not only is it a bad Christmas movie, it's also a bad horror-movie remake. The original 'Black Christmas' is sort of quaint in that '70s horror-movie way, but the 2006 incarnation was just Dimension Films spewing out a piece of garbage in the hopes of making a couple of bucks before the new year. Too bad, as the cast is actually pretty game (emphasis on the "pretty"): Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Katie Cassidy, Lacey Chabert and Michelle Trachtenberg play sorority sisters marked for death by a maniac on Christmas Eve.

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10. 'Reindeer Games' (2000)
A heist-gone-wrong flick that pretty much fails from the get-go, asking us to sympathize with Ben Affleck as a convict who pretends to be his cellmate so he can sleep with Charlize Theron when he gets out of prison. From there, it's all sorts of tiresome double- and triple-crosses in a plot that ultimately doesn't make any sense, with Gary Sinise chewing the scenery as a snarling villain. It was around this time that Affleck should've found another agent, but he was destined to make a lot more bad movies in the years to come.

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9. 'Santa Claus Conquers the Martians' (1964)
This movie is actually a blast -- if you watch the much-beloved 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' version. Actually, this movie is a blast if you don't watch the 'MST3K' version, because you can certainly put a little rum in your eggnog and provide your own 'MST3K' commentary with the whole family, as Martians invade the North Pole. 'Santa Claus Conquers the Martians' is the 'Plan Nine From Outer Space' of Christmas movies -- a movie so bad, it can only be made tolerable with extreme audience participation.


8. 'Christmas With the Kranks' (2004)
The tagline to this movie is "No! Ho! Ho!" Indeed. We wanted more, a lot more, from Dan Aykroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis reuniting for the first time since 'Trading Places,' but then Tim Allen was thrown into the mix. Sigh. Allen and Curtis play a husband and wife who decide to skip Christmas altogether until their daughter returns home -- and strained, contrived craziness ensues. The poster for this movie features the image of Tim Allen hanging upside down, wrapped in Christmas lights; zany stuff indeed.


7. 'Jingle All the Way' (1996)
We wanted to like this movie. We tried to like this movie. After all, it's got Arnold Schwarzenegger as a dad trying to get a much-in-demand toy for his son for Christmas, and usually the novelty of Arnold in a comedy goes a long way. It worked for 'Twins' and 'Kindergarten Cop,' but it didn't work too well for that movie where he's pregnant ... and it really doesn't work with 'Jingle All the Way.' Well, at least Arnold is briefly reunited with his 'Red Heat' co-star James Belushi, who appears as a mall Santa. (Come to think of it, 'Red Heat' was pretty awful, too.)


6. 'Surviving Christmas' (2004)
More holiday despair from Ben Affleck, who plays a lonely millionaire with little to no social skills who pays the family that now resides in his childhood home to spend Christmas with him. What's up with Christmas movies in that they often have the most ridiculous plots, like, ever? Not even James Gandolfini can save this mess, though he certainly has his moments -- and effortlessly upstages Affleck at every turn. Also, Udo Kier is in this movie, which is the only reason this thing isn't further down the list.

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5. 'Four Christmases' (2008)
Remember when Vince Vaughn used to star in smart and really funny comedies like 'Swingers,' 'Made' and 'Wedding Crashers?' Remember when Reese Witherspoon won an Oscar for her performance as June Carter in 'Walk the Line?' If you find yourself forced to watch 'Four Christmases,' try to remember those good times. A train wreck of a movie with truly despicable characters, offensive situations and an inescapable feeling that no one in the cast -- no one -- wants to be there.


4. 'Silent Night, Deadly Night' (1984)
The poster for this movie, which featured Santa's arm coming out of a chimney holding an axe, caused all sorts of controversy, with parents' groups voicing their outrage and demanding the poster be destroyed and the movie banned. The sad thing is that 'Silent Night, Deadly Night' is nowhere near worth all of that fuss. A horror film featuring a psycho killer dressed in a Santa suit might actually be amusing if it were made with skill and had maybe just an ounce of cleverness and wit, but this is not that film -- it's dull, pretty much brain dead, technically inept and instantly forgettable.

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3. 'Deck the Halls' (2006)
A particularly rancid piece of work, 'Deck the Halls' doesn't contain anything resembling real human behavior or motivation, as Danny DeVito is somehow married to Kristin Chenoweth (with two hot twin daughters, at that) and decides that his legacy will be to cover his house in enough Christmas lights so that it's seen from outer space. Really. Matthew Broderick plays his uptight neighbor who just can't stand all that light coming into his bedroom window. 'Deck the Halls' is a cynical and downright stupid portrait of American suburbia during the holidays -- both the Penguin and Ferris Bueller deserve a lot better than this.


2. 'The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause' (2006)
Actually, all of the 'Santa Clause' movies are bad, but Part 3 takes the cake. Martin Short embarrasses himself in ways you never thought possible as Jack Frost, and even Tim Allen, who has it in his contract that 90% of the movies he appears in have to be awful, looks like he's about to snap and set fire to the set. Oh, and Comet the reindeer farts. A holiday movie just isn't complete without reindeer flatulance jokes, is it?


1. 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' (2000)
A loud, garish and obnoxious film, certainly a career low for director Ron Howard -- and it's not exactly Jim Carrey's finest hour (or two), either. Gone is the subtly menacing spell cast by Dr. Seuss' story (and timeless animated TV special), replaced with Carrey reaching into his usual out-of-control and tiresome bag of tricks, creating a truly bizarre and grotesque Grinch who has none of the creepy charm of the character originally voiced by Boris Karloff. Really, watch this disaster and you'll wonder if anyone's in the driver's seat.

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