Every year around Christmas, we get the same old Yuletide fare on TV. The classics are fine and all; I can watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) and Die Hard all day long. Heck, in the past few years, A Christmas Story has actually played all day long. But besides Elf, what Christmas movie since 2000 has staying power? OK, Love Actually is great and sort of a Christmas movie, but you can cram Four Christmases, Surviving Christmas, all The Santa Clauses, and every Hallmark Christmas movie (except for Tomlin’s) straight up your chimney-hole. It’s time for new blood:
S.A.N.T.A.: Stealth Assault Nuclear Task Assembly is the deadliest and sexiest national security team ever assembled. Their mission: to prevent nuclear material from falling into the hands of The Snowman, a brilliant super-villain bent on detonating warheads in the world’s greatest cities and bringing about Nuclear Winter. In this first installment, Vixen and Cupid use their considerable physical charms to infiltrate the Nefarious Overlords of East London. When martial artist Dancer and explosives expert Blitzen penetrate the defenses of N.O.E.L.’s headquarters, they bring in hacker Donner (who wears glasses and/or has crazy hair + tattoos) to access the organization’s database. Donner gains invaluable information, but discovers that S.A.N.T.A. might have a double-agent–and it may be head honcho Rudolph himself.
The Thing (2014): A sequel to John Carpenter’s masterwork The Thing, an extraterrestrial being that can take over and perfectly imitate other organisms crash-lands at the North Pole thousands of years ago. Some of Santa’s elves begin excavation work for a global distribution center miles away and uncover the frozen alien, which thaws in a storage room and attacks a project manager taking toy inventory. The creature sows paranoia and mistrust among the remaining elves, who are cutoff from Santa’s workshop by an intense winter storm. Will any of them make it out alive? Will the creature make it back to Santa’s headquarters and infect the Man himself? Are those really reindeer?
Goodelves (or Snitch in the Ditch): so you had a few incidents that got back to Santa last year. Nobody but you knew about them, but somehow, instead of getting a Nerf Zombie Strike Sledgefire Blaster, you got a VeggieTales Beauty and the Beet DVD. Hmm, you know who knew? Elfrid, Elf on the Shelf, that’s who. You ask the Elf Mafia to help you with the problem. Shortly after, Elfrid turns up in a field in Letcher County with two in his brain pan, and you get everything you want for Christmas plus a few things. Problem solved, right? Sure, until the littlest gangsters return for their cut of your haul. 50% is fair, yeah? No? Well maybe they’ll just take it all, and make an anonymous phone call to the cops. Tell you what? They’ll pick, and maybe they’ll even leave you with some good stuff. Hey, you lie down with dogs, you’re gonna get some fleas, right? (Thanks to Sean Gilroy for this idea.)
The Honour of Your Presents: when Mrs. Claus dies in a horrible kiln accident, Santa hangs up his tools and travels the world to assuage his grief. During a trip to Gambia, Santa meets a beautiful British aid worker, who wears a ponytail, khaki shorts, and functional but somehow still flattering work shirt. When he watches her work with underprivileged children, he sees in her the kindness and exuberance of his late wife. She sees in him a man who fulfilled the dreams of literally billions of children world-wide. They fall in love and marry in a church in rural Gambia. Santa resumes his gift-making for the children of the village, and eventually the world.
South of the Pole: directed by Steven Soderbergh, this film will make you rethink the reason for the season. South of the Pole explores the greed and corruption that makes Christmas possible. Soderbergh follows one of Santa’s stimulant-fueled elves across the planet as she greases the palms of politicians to avoid tariffs and customs. She pays warlords for access to the rare earth metals used to make the most sought-after Christmas electronics. She employs booze-mules to get rare liquors across borders. And if a dealer says that there just aren’t enough copies of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to go around, especially after Kris Kringle gets his shipment, he may just find himself dangling off a balcony in Trump Tower until his answer changes. Christmas is a dirty business. You’re about to find out just how dirty.
Make these now, Hollywood, or at least a full-length version of The Night the Reindeer Died. We’re not getting younger. What Christmas movies would you like to see made?
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