SPOILER COUNTRY’S TOP HOLIDAY FILMS
It’s that time again, folks! The holiday season is here and we are here for it! Join the folks who make scpod.net (as well as their wonderful podcasts) happen as they talk about their favorite Christmas films. Let’s do this, y’all!
Sarah Varner : A Christmas Carol
I will be perfectly honest – I’m not big on Christmas time traditions. My daughter and I put the tree up on Black Friday, we buy presents…that’s about it! I do, however, love A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Ghosts, live burials/cremations, old rich guys being forcibly pulled from their homes in the dead of night…what’s not to love? These things are the very essence of the holiday spirit in my household. Probably my favorite rendition of this tale is the animated Jim Carrey version, which is not only visually incredible, but is actually true in many ways (script-wise) to the original novel. Not that I want to get into any great religious debates, but I also love one quote in the Jim Carrey movie which very closely resembles the original quote from the novel. Spoken by the Ghost of Christmas Present: “There are some upon this Earth of yours who claim to know me and my brothers, and do their deeds of ill will and selfishness in our name. These so-called men of cloth are as strange to me and my kin as if they never lived. Charge their doings to them, not us.” I find this quote so incredibly interesting, because Dicken’s is essentially calling out people who would be cruel or discriminatory in some way in the name of the Holy One. Also, I find interesting the phrasing “me and my brothers”. Dare I say that Dickens is acknowledging the existence of many gods? As a Pagan and an obsessive interpreter of literary symbolism, I clap my hands with glee! There’s a thesis to be written here; I can feel it! I did use the example of Scrooge and his adventures many times during my World Mythology class in college – those were good days. For now, I suppose I’ll just sit back, watch the hi jinx, and keep my literary analysis to myself. Happy Holidays, all!
Sarah Varner is a Writer and contributor to scpod.net, as well as the spoiler-verse’s very own paranormal expert.
JJ Roach: Christmas Tradition
Honestly, since I split with my now ex wife, we are bereft of traditions and/or Christmas spirit. I used to watch Nightmare Before Christmas when wrapping gifts. I like Tim Burton, Danny Elfman’s soundtrack is one of the best ever, and I loved the style of the art, and the story as well.
Now my tradition is to beg my family to take my name out of the gift exchange, and in turn, someone gets a free pass that year because I do like giving gifts. Every year they deny me, and get me stuff I don’t want. Millions may wear Old Navy, I do not.
I also bake pies for friends. I’m trying to cut back this year, because some years it’s close to 40 pies between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I don’t have it in me this year, yet my mom keeps promising them to people
Jay Roach is a writer and DJ living in the great state of Illinois. Keep your eyes peeled for more of his writing here.
Eli Sirota: So my favorite holiday movie is “The Hebrew Hammer”
Basically answering the question no one had ever asked, The Hebrew Hammer is basically the Jewish Shaft. Staring Adam Goldberg as Mordechai Jefferson Carver, or as he is known on the streets as the Hebrew Hammer, our hero has to come out of retirement when Santa Claus’ evil son takes over the family business and tries to eliminate Hanukkah (which fits in nicely in the theme of Jewish holidays being about someone trying to eliminate the Jewish people and their traditions.)
Filled with early 2000’s stereotype jokes that would never fly in today’s society, this movie is a jam AND is included with Amazon Prime so watch it this holiday season!
Eli Sirota is a writer, artist and podcaster living in New York State. He is the human of a cat named Blizzard the Wizard.
John Horsley: Just Friends
One of my all time favorite holiday movies is Just Friends. I bought it on DVD on a whim at Target one year for Kaylie (my wife) as a gift after a surgery, strictly on the fact that it was a Ryan Reynolds, Amy Smart, and Anna Faris movie and I love them all. Didn’t even think about it being called “Just Friends” and the possible implications of giving this to my significant other. Luckily she didn’t see it as a message for us to be just friends, and thought it was hilarious, and even more hilarious that I didn’t even see it until she pointed it out.
John Horsley is a writer, artist, and podcaster living in Seattle, Washington. Follow him on social media with the handle @y2cl.
Robert Slavinsky: A Very 90’s Christmas
I was asked to write a small paragraph on my favorite Christmas movie. With the crazy amount of Christmas films, out there I have to say this wasn’t an easy choice. I do have those few that I have to watch on a yearly basis. However, I never have sat there and said… “This, This is my favorite Christmas movie.” Because of that I will give you the three films I never miss watching during the holiday season. Home Alone, Elf and The Santa Clause. For me Home Alone reminds me of simpler times in my life. The film released in 1990 when I was just four years old. For me though I was able to look up to Kevin McCallister and dream that one day I could pull the same pranks and set similar traps that he did in his home. When it comes to Elf, well that movie is just fantastic fun entertainment. Will Ferrell has never been better and it gives us on of the best Linus moments (The moment someone realizes the true meaning of Christmas) that I have ever seen on film. Finally, The Santa Clause with Tim Allen. Releasing in 1994 I was 8 years old and was still full of the blissful holiday ignorance. The joy this movie brings with the witty comedy of Allen and the Elves is unmatched by any other Christmas film featuring Santa. So there you have it, my top 3 Christmas movies because I couldn’t just pick one. Happy Holidays Everyone!
Robert Slavinsky is our resident Star Wars fanatic. Not only does he write for this site, but he also records a podcast called Shootin The Sith. Look it up on any major podcasting.
Mike Peacock: My Favorite Christmas Movie
There have been a lot of cool Christmas movies, and the easy way to go would be to name Die Hard or A Christmas Story as my favorites. Admittedly, those are absolutely epic and hold a special place in my heart, but there’s one movie that gives me the warm fuzzies when it comes to Christmas: Gremlins.
Everything about that movie is so awesome: Awesome writing, great direction and cinematography, superb acting, and a great cast of actors. Set amidst the backdrop of a cheery Christmas season, things go horribly wrong and we find ourselves immersed in a deadly race against time all because someone just wanted to get their kid the ultimate Christmas present. So many deep themes were also explored in this movie: A parent’s desire for their child’s acceptance, The hubris of youth in deciding no not heed the cautionary tales of elders, disaster serving as a catalyst for bringing people together , and the realization that the holidays don’t necessarily hold the same meaning for everybody.
And who could forget the ultimate warnings: Keep them out of the sunlight, don’t get them wet, and never EVER feed them after midnight.
And as much as I loved those cute little Mogwai, I’d be lying if I didn’t find myself rooting for those evil bastard Gremlins half of the time. Also, my favorite death scene is in this movie: Exploding Gremlin in microwave. Classic. I look forward to watching heavily edited versions on late night TV every Christmas season. This year will be no different.
Mike Peacock is a podcaster and host of the show Misery Point Radio. He lives in Washington State and spends his spare time teaching crochet to elderly cats.
Kenric Regan: A Holiday Nightmare
The first holiday film I remember watching with my grandmother is A Christmas Carol from 1951…It scared the shit out of me. I was four.
Casey Allen: Christmas Movie Memories
It’s strange how a relatively short film can imprint itself onto your brain for the rest of your life. I’m using Simpson’s quotes that I initially heard when I was 12, and there are several jingles I’d learned as a kid that have burned their way into my psyche so hard that if I hear a snippet, I’m immediately compelled to finish the song or else be damned to roam the countryside fighting this catchy advertisement from bubbling forth from my lips on instant repeat like a broken record (“Call Goldberg/ 800-600-601…). So, steering my way back to the subject at hand, I have a few films that make me think of the holidays and they’ve forever cemented themselves into my memory.
The first would probably be Olive the Other Reindeer, an animated film about a dog named olive that wanted to be a reindeer. It’s the first Christmas film I remember watching with my oldest daughter and wife and realizing that “holy shit, I’m doing dad things on Christmas”. It’s a pretty amazing realization.
The second would have to be Romeo And Juliette (1968) because I got sick in the car (ie: I coated the interior of my family car in a thin sheen of spaghettio vomit) on the way home from getting our Christmas tree and was forced to watch it with my sister on the couch while my dad deep-cleaned the car. I’m pretty sure my sickly five year old brain was happy to see their demise at the end of the film.
The third film that remindS me of the holidays is the 1989 Tim Burton’s Batman film. I received this on VHS for Christmas one year and I played it so often that the tape became warped. Now whenever I think of ‘89 Batman, I think of what my mom had to do to make our Christmas amazing and it always blows my mind. I feel silly getting choked up over a damn comic book movie but here I am, and more people should join me, dammit. Getting teary-eyed over things like film, pop music, books, and comics is the most sane and normal thing you can do. These works serve as a lens through which we view our lives and an anchor for those memories that we cherish. Comics aren’t just a past-time that I enjoyed as a kid that I’ve carried into my adulthood, it’s a memory I have of my dad reading to me as a small child. Listening to the early Modest Mouse albums reminds me of falling in love with my wife and how amazing it was to experience for the first time. The art is coopted by the emotion and is now forever changed by the viewer. And that’s the way it should be. So, with all of that said, tomorrow is Christmas Day 2019. Let’s make some more memories.
Casey Allen is a writer and editor of comics, as well as an interviewer for Spoiler Country. Check out some of his work with The Comic Jam here. If you want to learn more about The Comic Jam, be sure and contact them via twitter, IG, or Facebook. If you want to learn more about Casey, don’t waste your time. He’s boring.