Guest Author - Amber Grey
Getting tired of hearing Christmas songs everywhere you go? Can't watch "It's A Wonderful Life" (1946) or "White Christmas" (1954) one more time? It's not that your a Grinch or a Scrooge, but you want something different to watch during the Holidays. The following list does just that. It's a list of top 5 relatively unknown films that are centered around the holidays, two of which star Santa Claus himself. However, some of these films are not suitable for children, so put the kids to bed and have yourself a Cult Classic Christmas!
1. "Black Christmas" (1974). Almost ten years Before he directed the holiday classic, "A Christmas Story" (1983), the late great Bob Clark delivered us a film that is worthy of cult classic status. Starring Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea and Margot Kidder, the film opens to a Christmas party at a sorority house. But it's not for long before the house starts receiving mysterious phone calls and members of the sorority start disappearing. "Black Christmas" inspired other slasher franchises, such as "Halloween" (1978) and "Friday the 13th" (1980). And would you believe that it is one of actor's Steve Martin's favorite films?
2. "Santa Claus" (1959). Directed by Rene Cardona. Starring Jose Elias Moreno, Jose Luis Aguirre, and Armando Arriola. It is December 24, Santa's busiest night of the year as he works away in his Toyland castle in outer space. But Lucifer has plans to ruin Christmas by sending his demon, Pitch, to turn the children against Santa. With the help of his assistant, Merlin the Wizard, Santa sets out to bring peace to the world once again. Originally produced in Mexico, a year after its release, the film was dubbed and edited for the English language and was released by K. Gordon Murray. It was also featured in an episode of the classic tv series, Mystery Science Theater 3000.
3. "Santa Claus Conquers The Martians" (1964). Directed by Nicholas Webster. Starring, John Call, Leonard Hicks and Vincent Beck. The story takes place on Mars in which the martians are worried that their children are watching too much Earth television. But the wise martian, Chochem believes that the martian children need a figure like Santa Claus in order to bring them joy. And this is when the story starts to get strange..The martians kidnap Santa Claus and take him back to Mars in order to make toys for their children. But an evil martian who goes by the name of Voldar is out to kill Santa and the holiday cheer he brings. Largely considered one of the worst films ever made, this film has also reached cult status, all in thanks to the television show "Mystery Science Theater 3000" in which the film was featured on one of the episodes. Of which, that episode is considered one of the most popular episodes of the tv series.
4. "Gremlins" (1984). Directed by Joe Dante. Starring Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates and Hoyt Axton. There are three rules that Billy is given when receiving his new pet - No water, no food after midnight and no bright light. However, when Billy does not follow any of those rules, hilarity and mayhem ensues in his small picturesque town. And who can forget Gizmo? One of the cutest little furry creatures in film history? The film features cameos from some of Hollywood's famous - director Steven Spielberg is credited as "Man riding Recumbent Bicycle" and the film's composer, Jerry Goldsmith as "Man in Phone Booth." The voice of Gizmo is none other than Howie Mandel. "Gremlins" spawned a sequel, "Gremlins 2: The New Batch" (1990) and is considered a cult classic.
5. "The Legend of Hell House" (1973). Directed by John Hough and stars Pamela Frankin, Roddy McDowell and Clive Revill. Centered around Christmas eve and Christmas day, a group of (paranormal) investigators stay at a house that nobody should visiting for the holidays.