Terrible Christmas films

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Terrible Christmas Films
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Terrible Christmas Films
Yuletide brings with it a special shelf of films, called into action to help celebrate/tolerate/get through the season. It's A Wonderful LifeThe Muppet Christmas Carol, White Christmas... you don't need us to tell you about the great ones.
 
But there are some festive 'treats' that should be approached with severe caution. Starting with these...

Four Christmases
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Four Christmases

Four Christmases

One of a run of really quite bad Christmas movies that infested cinemas in the 2000s, Four Christmases is based on a decent idea. A couple, each the child of divorced parents, have to go through Christmas across four different gatherings to keep everyone happy. The clue clearly is in the title.
The rumour mill suggested that stars Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon didn't get on at all making this one, but it makes no difference: after 88 minutes in their company, it takes every ounce of festive goodwill to still care. One Christmas, running to a quarter of the film's already brief running time, would be overkill.

Deck The Halls
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Deck The Halls

Deck The Halls

A-ha! The battle between neighbours to see who has the best Christmas light display! What's the worst that could happen if you made a film of that? Well, Deck The Halls. It's a pity, as the pairing of Danny DeVito and Matthew Broderick could and should work. But good grief, this one's tough going. A strictly fun-free zone, your pennies would be better spent on a cheap, tacky bauble and a fine Matthew Broderick boxset. Preferably featuring older films.

Christmas With The Kranks
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Christmas With The Kranks

Christmas With The Kranks

Christmas with the Kranks is actually based on a John Grisham book by the name of Skipping Christmas. But it would be fair to say that Grisham comes out of this tiresome mess better than the filmmakers, given how little resemblance it bears to the book. The source text is broadly ignored in favour of a slapstick comedy. And not a good one.
 A shame, as there's strong talent in front of the camera (Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Cheech Marin), and the screenplay was written by Chris Columbus (who wrote Gremlins and The Goonies, and directed Home Alone). It all counts for nothing though by the time the end credits roll, and the desire to remove your eyeballs kicks in...

Santa with Muscles
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Santa with Muscles

Santa with Muscles

From the We Didn't Make This Up department comes a vehicle for Hulk Hogan as Santa, where the only real point of the film is... well, in truth we're not too sure.
It's clearly a vehicle to build on the acting successes of Hulk Hogan (Suburban Commando was fun. Don't judge us), and this one casts him as, er, a millionaire with amnesia. Who believes he's Santa. Oh, and he has muscles.
Tragically, it's a hard film to track down this one. But if you're so inclined, copies do pop up on eBay from time to time. 
Santa Claus Conquers The Martians
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Santa Claus Conquers The Martians

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians

A film with a reputation of being the worst Christmas movie ever made (along with one of the worst films of all time), Santa Claus Conquers The Martians certainly has its, er, 'problems'. The basic premise? There's nobody on Mars to hand out Yuletide gifts to the alien anklebiters. So invaders from Mars kidnap Father Christmas, and take him to the red planet.
Films set on Mars already run the risk of being stinkers (Mission To Mars and Red Planet being relatively contemporary examples), but at least Santa Claus Conquers The Martians goes down with stylish ineptitude. It's that strangest of things: a genuinely terrible film, but that's no reason not to watch it. Only once, mind.

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