A murderous Santa Claus, Chuck Norris fighting Christmas terrorists and other oddball holiday films
An eclectic list of Christmas movies now available for streaming
By Josh Hadley
Hans Gruber has fallen from Nakatomi Plaza. That means it’s Christmas season once again, despite our current snow-base.
Instead of harping over average Christmas movies like “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” “Home Alone” or “The Santa Clause,” I’m rounding up an eclectic list of films you can stream this holiday season. Death to false Christmas classics!
“Die Hard” is a Christmas movie and so are these others
Let’s settle this debate up top. “Lethal Weapon” and “Die Hard” are Christmas movies. Both films are soaked in the sights and sounds of the season. It is that simple. “Lethal Weapon” writer Shane Black sets his movies at Christmas time for you to enjoy the season all year long. “Lethal Weapon” can be found on HBO Max and the “Die Hard” franchise can be found on Peacock.
“Prometheus”—the not-really-but-kinda-sorta-maybe “Alien (1979)” prequel—is a Christmas film. Before the mission starts, Idris Elba sets up a Christmas tree in the lounge and finds it fitting they are landing on LV-223 on Christmas. The story has a religious theme and nativity-adjacent undertones, so yes; the “Alien” universe does indeed have a Christmas movie. “Prometheus” can be streamed on HBO.
“Silent Night, Deadly Night” is a franchise void of plot depth, but rich in holiday season. The franchise follows a killer Santa for the first two movies, a run-of-the-mill killer for the third, a cult of witches in the fourth and a sinister toymaker for the final entry (we don’t speak of the remake). The first, second and third movies are a single story and the following two are separate from the original trio but a continued story contained in themselves. Because nothing can be easy in this digital day and age, Part one is only available on Tubi and the rest of the franchise is found on Shudder and Tubi.
Kick punch Christmas
How about Chuck Norris stopping a deadly invasion just in time for Christmas? That’s the plot of the 1984 film “Invasion USA.” Richard Lynch plays a villain (big surprise) who wants to create chaos in America (Florida mostly) and so he and a vague nondescript group of terrorists invade the USA. It’s right there in the title. They stand no chance as Chuck Norris and his beard made of fists put a stop to it. The Christmas setting is there but is not a huge part of the movie but who cares? Chuck Norris blows up Richard Lynch with a rocket launcher at close range. That alone is worth it. The film is available on Tubi.
What about a movie where Dolph Lundgren fights a space drug dealer while also fighting Dallas, Texas human drug dealers? That would be “I Come in Peace,” released in 1990. The movie opens in a Christmas tree lot and the holiday season kicks off from there with decorations decking the film’s halls. While Christmas is not central to the plot in any way, these minor details qualify it as a festive movie. “I Come in Peace (also known as Dark Angel)” can be streamed on Tubi for free.
Richard Stanley’s debut film “Hardware (1990)” is a cyberpunk dystopia drenched in sex, grime, post-punk music and gore all filtered through an red/orange filter of despair. It’s also a Christmas movie with holiday cheer intermittently spliced into the film, including a commercial for “Radiation Free Reindeer Steaks.” The film is not available on streaming services but is worth a watch.
Finally, I urge you to watch the 1984 Empire Entertainment movie “Trancers.” It’s about time travel, long seconds, weak minds, punk rock and features Helen Hunt as Santa’s helper. The film, streaming on Tubi, also depicts the death of Santa Claus, as the jolly old man is murdered in a rain of gunfire at a mall, in front of children. Happy holidays!
Josh Hadley is an analog warrior writing for the varied likes of Fangoria, Rue Morgue, Horrorhound, The Dark Side, Hustler, Delirium, Cashiers du Cinemart and many others. He’s a veteran of low-budget television and film. Flying through the night with a VCR and the perspective of a Luddite, Hadley zigs while others zag and takes you along for the ride.