Forget presents and holiday cheer: These guys pack flamethrowers and booze. Here's a guide to the best, least jolly Clauses in movie history.

By Chris Nashawaty
December 14, 2012 at 05:00 AM EST

Trading Places (1983, R)
What could be sadder than the sight of Dan Aykroyd’s drunk, down-and-out Louis Winthorpe III eating salmon through his stringy Santa beard on the bus? Maybe getting his white boots peed on by a dog in the very next scene? A-

A Christmas Story (1983, PG)
All Peter Billingsley wants for Christmas in this pine-scented perennial is a Daisy Red Ryder air rifle. But a soul-shattering department-store Santa (Jeff Gillen) has different ideas, booting the four-eyed moppet down a slide, telling him he’ll shoot his eye out. B+

Friday After Next (2002, R)
Ice Cube wakes up to discover a Scrooge (Rickey Smiley) in a red suit stealing his presents and rent money. Fear not, though — he catches the crooked Kris Kringle and hangs him from the chimney (with care, of course). B

Bad Santa (2003, R)
I love the yuletide uplift of It’s a Wonderful Life as much as the next guy. But eventually you hit your bah, humbug breaking point and feel a bit like Billy Bob Thornton’s surly, minimum-wage mall St. Nick — a sour, alcoholic safe-cracker who proves it’s funnier being (buuurrrp!) naughty than nice. A-

Silent Night (2012, R)
A loose remake of 1984’s infamous Silent Night, Deadly Night, this festively gory slasher flick turns a snow-globe town into the setting for a bloody killing spree, as an ax-wielding Père Noël punishes the wicked via cattle prod, flamethrower, and wood chipper. Ho-ho-ho! B

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