We’re in the home stretch now, eh kiddies? It’s the week of Christmas and in just a few short days we’ll be swigging egg nog, wearing goofy sweaters, and tearing into brightly wrapped presents at the ass crack of dawn (I can’t be the only one …). The Holiday season always seems to go just as quickly as it comes, and nothing’s more depressing then taking down the Christmas tree or turning on the tv only to find a distinct lack of Rankin/Bass specials… fret not though!
I bring bloody good tidings with today’s Action Packed Christmas Countdown, a look at some of the all time greatest manliest movies set during the cheeriest time of the year! Toss another badguy on the fire & deck the halls with C4, we’re gonna show you how to end this holiday season with a BANG!
#5 First Blood (1982)
Yes, First Blood is a Christmas movie… although, much more subtly so then the other entries on this list. Christmas trees and various decorations can be spotted throughout town and even inside the police station, which when taken into consideration that it’s the holidays only makes Rambo’s situation even more depressing. The yuletide theme doesn’t play a big role in the plot of the movie… but that little extra layer of Rambo realizing he’s all alone in the world and then subsequently fighting for his life in a cold, lonely forest during what’s supposed to be the merriest time of the year is more then enough to earn its spot.
#4 I Come in Peace (1990)
An evil alien druglord descends upon the streets of Houston during the holiday season with the intent of harvesting our bodies for endorphins while killing anyone in his way with a razor sharp flying CD of death….I’m not making any of this up. I Come In Peace (known as Dark Angel internationally) is a pure 80’s action flick that just squeaked its way into the 90’s, full of cheese, one liners, and explosions. The plot may sound ridiculous (ridiculously awesome!), but boy does it work! Full of funny lines, great action sequences, and Dolph Lundgren doing what he does best, I Come In Peace is just an all around fun way to ring in the new year.
# 3 Lethal Weapon (1987)
A Christmas movie that doesn’t feel very Christmas-y at all! Lethal Weapon is a film that redefined the action genre with its witty dialogue and heroes who were human, and weren’t invincible killing machines or infallible. The movie is set prominently during the holidays, even featuring songs such as Jingle Bell Rock and I’ll be Home for Christmas on the soundtrack… but the sunny L.A. setting betrays what we usually expect of Christmas movies….snow! Watching it today though, Riggs doesn’t seem nearly as crazy as his real life counterpart…
#2 Die Hard (1988)
“Ho, ho, ho… now I have a machine gun.”
One of the greatest action movies ever made, set in a skyscraper on Christmas Eve, starring Bruce Willis AND Alan Rickman.
#1 Batman Returns (1992)
Holy tinsel, Batman! Its Christmas time in Gotham City! Batman Returns seems to be one that splits the fanbase… you either love it or you hate it. Personally, Returns is my favorite Batman movie, so I’m probably a bit biased here. Burton’s imaginative, uh, weirdness(?) is fully on display here, what with the army of circus freaks, Penguin being a deformed mutant, and Selina Kyle literally having nine lives but… it all somehow just works. The holiday backdrop just makes for such a great contrast… seeing all those cheery decorations and bright white snow falling around Gotham’s gloomy architecture (Burton’s Gotham will always be the definitive Gotham in my eyes) is just such an amazing visual.
The tone of the film is pretty dark, and the innuendos fly like crazy (which caused quiet a bit of controversy when it was originally released) so while this is easily the most family friendly entry on the list… its still not for everyone. Still… tis’ the season, and what better present is there then Michelle Pfeiffer in a skin tight catsuit? Its the gift that keeps on giving.