Ah, Christmas season. One of my favourite things about the month of December is having a large glass of “eggnog” and munching on some sugar cookies while watching classic Christmas films like “Home Alone” and “Jingle All The Way” to help celebrate the holidays.
But what about all the terrible Christmas movies that don’t get much love and simply aren’t remembered? Well, look no further.
Here’s a list of 10 (actually 14) Christmas films that are so incredibly bad they go past being bad all the way back to being good again. Or, depending on your tastes, maybe they just stay bad?
Before we get started, just a quick note. I left all the cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies off this list as there’s just way too many of them to go through. Let’s just call them all crap and move on.
10. Santa With Muscles (1996)
What better way to start this list off than with a Hulk Hogan Christmas movie? Hogan plays an evil millionaire who believes he’s Santa Claus after an accident leaves him with amnesia. This movie is so incredibly bad it could actually ruin the entire Christmas season for you. Be careful if you do decide to give it a chance, you may turn into the Grinch after viewing it.
9. Home Alone 3, 4, 5 (1997, 2002, 2012)
With the sixth Home Alone film (Home Sweet Home Alone) recently being released on Disney+, you could be brave and try to make it through the three worst movies in the entire series before putting it on. Be forewarned though, with no Macauley Culkin, Joe Pesci, or Daniel Stern in sight to save these three from stinking up the joint, you’ll wish you hadn’t actually been brave enough to put them on in the first place.
8. Santa’s Slay (2005)
Another Christmas movie starring a wrestler, this time Bill Goldberg, who plays an evil Santa that is actually a demon in disguise. Terrible filmmaking all around, but it’s not totally without its charms if you enjoy cheesy b-movie horror.
7. Trapped in Paradise/The Family Man (1994, 2000)
I’m a huge fan of Nicolas Cage, but I couldn’t choose between these two Cage starring holiday films, so I picked them both. Trapped in Paradise is a bland crime comedy where Cage and his two dumb brothers plan to rob a bank on Christmas Eve. It’s an okay watch on a quiet December afternoon, but I guarantee you won’t remember it afterwards.
The Family Man on the other hand, is actually a pretty touching story that takes place during Christmas, where Cage, who plays an arrogant millionaire, gets sucked into an alternate universe that shows what his life would have been like if he’d gotten married to his former flame. There’s flashes of Cage Rage in it, but for the most part he plays it pretty straight and it’s suprisingly effective, yet despite this, it’s still definitely a bad movie full of preachiness.
6. I Believe in Santa Claus (1984)
This godawful French Christmas movie has to be seen to be believed. The plot follows Santa having to rescue hostages in Africa with the help of child soldiers, a fairy princess and an ogre. I definitely had a few too many eggnogs while watching this one last year. You can watch it for free on Tubi, but only do so if you have enough eggnog on hand to dull the pain.
5. Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)
While the first Santa Clause is an absolute classic and the second one is a decent follow up, the third one in the series is painstakingly bad, with only Martin Short’s ridiculous performance as the villainous Jack Frost trying to take over Christmas bringing some laughs.
4. Surviving Christmas (2004)
Ben Affleck plays a lonely rich man who decides to rent Tony Soprano’s family as a replacement for his own during the holidays. What could go wrong? As it turns out, a lot. Okay, I know I’m in the minority here, but I love this movie. I think it’s hilarious. Affleck and James Gandolfini really are a great comedy duo.
3. Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)
A mean toy manufacturer tries to takeover Christmas, causing the legend of Santa Claus to be put in jeopardy. Not particularly memorable or entertaining, but John Lithgow does, as per usual, steal the show as the villain.
2. I’ll Be Home For Christmas (1998)
Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Jessica Biel look embarassed to be seen in this one. Thomas plays a trickster college student who’s avoiding his family for Christmas, but when his father promises him a Porsche if he comes home for the holidays, he’s determined to make it. He learns the error of his ways in the end, but nobody really cares by that point.
1. Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
Can’t go wrong with some Ernest P. Worrell for Christmas. Unless of course you hate the character of Ernest P. Worrell, in which case, he won’t be saving Christmas for you, he’ll be destroying it. This one is definitely a “love it or hate it” kind of movie. I personally fall into the “love it” category, so I won’t rip on it too much.
To wrap things up, this column is the last you’ll be hearing from me this year, enjoy the holidays with your family!
Tyson Whitney is an award-winning journalist who was born and raised in Port Hardy.