The 10 Best Ultraviolent Christmas Flicks

Santa's a real cut-up in Silent Night, Deadly Night.EXPAND
Santa's a real cut-up in Silent Night, Deadly Night.
TriStar Pictures

Christmas brings about the best and, more often, worst in mankind. Hollywood knows this, especially Shane Black, who seems to set every film of his somewhere in or around Jesus’ alleged birthday.

For what are becoming increasingly dark days, I've compiled a list of what I think are the most physically brutal Christmas-related films, those that undermine and expose what Christmas is truly a symbol of: rampant capitalism in a barbaric country.

Now, for this particular list, I excluded some extremely bleak Christmas films, such as It's A Wonderful Life and Scrooged, as well as psychosexual pictures like Kubrick's wildly underrated Eyes Wide Shut, because they aren't really violent enough, though they delve into somewhat similarly dark, adult territory.

For my Jewish friends out there, I apologize on behalf of all of Hollywood that there are not more ultraviolent Hanukkah movies. Please consult The Hebrew Hammer.

10. Krampus (2015)
This film from last year isn't perfect, but it does a really effective job of realizing its titular monster, the Krampus, one of Germany's most ghoulish and genuinely frightening characters in its extremely bleak mythological history.

9. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
This low-budget slasher flick is pure VHS dollar-bin trash in all the right ways: It flips St. Nick into a murdering Jason Voorhies knockoff. Bonus points for how absolutely on-the-nose it all is. See also: Don't Open Til Christmas, also from ’84.

8. Jack Frost (1996)
A wise-crackin' evil snowman terrorizes a small town called Snomonton (no joke) after a truck carrying a serial killer crashes into "a genetics truck," whatever the fuck that is. This is pure cinematic filth of the highest order. All jokes aside, I truly appreciate how unafraid this movie is of sucking. Apparently there's a letterbox version, which somehow makes it seem classy.

7. Santa Claus (1959)
This Mexican production from the ’50s is technically a cheat because there is little literal violence. I'd argue the violence takes place in your mind, as its portrayal of the power struggles between Santa and Lucifer (and Merlin the magician, natch) are the stuff of nightmares. It's as if someone found a way to make It's a Small World even scarier. This is the entire movie streaming above, BTW.

6. Die Hard (1988)
Part of the reason this is one of the best action movies ever is its attention to character and what a lovable (arguably) sleazeball Bruce Willis is capable of embodying. Its weaving in of the Christmas setting with all the terrorist shoot-’em-up-bad guy stuff is so artful that it naturally inspired a wave of chintzy knockoffs. And it's a good example of the N.Y. tough guy in L.A. subgenre, too. Pour one out for Alan Rickman.

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