5 Christmas Movies You Never Realized Had Insane Messages
According to Hollywood, Christmas is the one day a year when the existential horror of the universe goes on sabbatical for 24 hours and everybody gets a happy ending. But screenwriters are often so hellbent on Yuletide perfection that these movies accidentally end up with plots darker than a three-hour French indie drama about a bunch of orphans trapped in a box without air holes. We're talking about movies like ...
Miracle On 34th Street -- Kris Kringle Uses Christmas Wizardry To Knock A Woman Up
The 1994 remake of Miracle On 34th Street follows the same plot as the 1947 classic -- Santa Claus, seemingly bored with his existence as a hermetic Arctic Highlander, decides to slum it with us mere mortals and moonlight as a mall Santa in New York City. The film ends with Mara Wilson's character, the skeptical child Susan, waking up to find that all of her Christmas wishes came true: Her mom has married Dylan McDermott, and she has a gigantic new house and a baby brother on the way. Yes, the message of this film is "try hanging out with the local neighborhood crazy, because there's an outside chance he might be magic."
And if you are the neighborhood crazy, acting whimsical is a great way
to make strangers let you into their homes.
But, wait a goddamn second here. For the first two wishes, Kris Kringle is able to stealthily maneuver Susan's mom and new stepdad so that they fall in love and buy the house, but in both cases they're exhibiting at least a modicum of autonomy. When the hell did her mom and new stepdad choose to have a baby?
Uh, they didn't. Acting on the orders of a precocious near-tweenager, Kris ensured that Dylan's McSpermott impregnated her mom with a baby brother. Seriously, Santa waved his mistletoe wand and used XXX-mas magic to pierce a condom or induce ovulation or made a diaphragm explode. The adult characters are somewhat shocked when they hear Susan's final wish, because this is how people get pregnant in H.P. Lovecraft stories. We're not relationship experts here, but something tells us that their wedding night didn't end with the words, "Put a baby in me now!"
The actual words were, "SANTA CLAUS HAS POSSESSED MY CERVIX. NOG THESE EGGS."
A real miracle would've been to magically make $250,000 worth of diapers, clothes, food, and tuition appear as well. Anyway, the movie ends before the adults start discussing whether or not to abort the eldritch starchild conceived using Laplandic fertility magic, which is why to this day it remains a Christmas classic enjoyed by families all over the land.
It's A Wonderful Life -- George Bailey Is Dooming The Entire Town By Not Killing Himself
In order to coax George Bailey out of committing suicide, Clarence the angel shows George a vision of the future where he'd never been born: His brother is dead, his friends are drunks, and his beloved town of Bedford Falls has transformed into Biff Tannen's alternate Hill Valley 1985. Reinvigorated with the knowledge that his life is meaningful, George returns home and happily spends the season with his family and friends ... all of whom are still doomed by his existence.
And not just because they gave up their life savings to make up for George
neglecting to put his uncle in a home.
You see, during the movie, we see George bring a manufacturing industry to Bedford Falls through (among other things) his new housing project, Bailey Park. That might be great for Bedford Falls in the short term, but the manufacturing industry isn't exactly doing so great nowadays, particularly in the upper states like Connecticut and New York, where the film is set. If you can't picture what happens when a major employer such as the manufacturing industry goes sideways, take a look at Detroit. The effect would have been felt even worse in a small town such as Bedford Falls. Look at what almost happens when George's doddering uncle loses the deposit -- the entire town loses its mind and everyone makes a run on the bank. Now picture those exact same people all getting laid off from their jobs at the same time. Bedford Falls would turn into fear-gassed Gotham city from the end of Batman Begins.
Angels get wings, and bankers get stitches.
Ironically, the alternate future version of Bedford Falls, Pottersville, would have thrived in this environment, because resort cities full of strippers and gambling tend to avoid feeling the sting of economic collapse as hard. (In point of fact, New York has been working at overhauling its gambling laws to allow slot-playing grannies to stimulate the economy.) So while George Bailey's continued existence will keep his brother alive and prevent his friends from turning into dipsomaniacs, his stepping down from the edge of Suicide Bridge is like an albatross dooming Bedford Falls to decades of financial ruin. Things might be better for the entire region in the long run if he told Clarence to buzz off and jumped into the goddamned river.
"Merry Christmas, smut house!"
Jingle All The Way -- Sinbad's Life Is Fucked
Jingle All The Way might be a movie about the very worst aspects of Christmas -- rampant commercialism, shitty parades, Phil Hartman trying like hell to have sex with your wife -- but, at its core, it's a story about the importance of being a good parent to your child. Which makes it doubly a shame that at least one parent-child relationship in the movie is destined to end in tragedy.
In the movie, middle-class toy executive Howard (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and a working-class postal worker named Myron (Sinbad) are locked in an escalating series of competing hijinks over whose kid will get to wake up to a super-rare TurboMan doll on Christmas morning.
"One night, while mild-mannered Turbias Mann was fixing the speed turbines
at the turbo factory, lightning stuck ..."
Howard's motive is simple: He's a terrible father who values his work more than his child, so much so that he forgets to buy the toy until the last minute. Myron's situation is more complicated. He's a divorced dad being forced to settle for seeing his son only on occasional visits and working a dead-end job to pay alimony. He's so miserable that he drinks throughout the day just to get by. Myron even mentions that, due to the hype around the TurboMan doll, his kid feels like crap because he knows he's never going to get one. We're given the impression that, unlike Howard, who's just waiting until the last minute to go Christmas shopping because he takes his family for granted, Myron doesn't have the time or money to try to scoop up a TurboMan until Christmas Eve (he's still technically working, too -- he couldn't even take the day off to try to get the toy for his son). It's the most depressing Christmas story ever, only the movie just sort of glosses over it and treats Myron like a slapstick foil, rather than the struggling alcoholic father that he is.
He chugs morning whiskey instead of coffee. And to all a wacky night!
It all ends with Myron being arrested for breaking God knows how many laws in his desperation. He strangles an innocent shopper in a fit of rage, vandalizes a diner, (unintentionally) bombs a radio station, and tries to push a damn child off a roof. Howard's son winds up giving his TurboMan doll to Myron at the end as an act of kindness as the cops are dragging him away, but that thing is going to get tossed into an evidence bag, and Myron is going to have to wish his son a Merry Christmas from behind a sheet of Plexiglass.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas -- Whoville Could Be Destroyed In Seconds
Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas is a timeless tale about why the Yuletide season is absolutely the time to brush up on castle doctrine. It's also a good story about the closeness of family and why everything you know will eventually die, although you have to listen very closely to hear that message.
In the live-action remake -- you know, the one where Jim Carrey plays a junkie Chewbacca -- it's mentioned that the town of Whoville, home of the Grinch and the Whos, is located inside a falling snowflake. In the best-case scenario, the crystalline Whoville universe lands on a snowdrift and simply disintegrates into an amorphous mound of snow and/or a giant pile of ruined alien civilizations. What, you think that snowflake is going to be the only one containing life?
This doesn't even factor in the possibility of someone turning their universe into yellow snow.
Meanwhile, the worst-case scenario sees the snowflake melted instantaneously by an errant blast of heat or landing on the tongue of a child who will have unwittingly consumed millions, not unlike Fenrir the wolf in the Norse myth of Ragnarok. Regardless, the Grinch and Whovillians die. But, we guess that the latter is quite a fitting death, because ... well, that's what we watch Cindy Lou Who do to another snowflake.
Galactus' heart grew three sizes that day.
What type of civilization did she just kill? And how far does this go? Did that snowflake's snowflakes contain a town? And what about that snowflake's snowflake's snowflakes? Just don't think about this too hard; it's a snowman-shaped matryoshka doll of horror all the way up, you guys.
The Santa Clause -- Christmas Eve Is A Never-Ending Time Prison
The Santa Clause is the heartwarming family tale of Tim Allen murdering Santa Claus and taking his place as an immortal old man, because that's apparently how the Santa Claus game works. It's a pretty good deal -- Tim Allen gets magical powers, an unlimited supply of milk and cookies, and the adoration of millions of children the world over. All he has to do in return is work a single day each year. However, as one Reddit user pointed out, that single night of delivering presents lasts thousands of years, thanks to Santa's magical time-stopping powers.
Not to be confused with Tim Allen's magical heart-stopping powers.
In 1994 (the year The Santa Clause was released), there were 5.6 billion people on the planet. Of those, approximately 23 percent were children, making a worldwide total of about 1.2 billion present-receiving monsters. If we assume that it takes Santa an average of three minutes to travel and deliver to each child (based on the time that it takes him to make his deliveries in the film), that means his yearly deliveries take 3.6 billion minutes. That's 6,849 years, which is longer than recorded history.
The presents should help take his mind off of having to sit next to his kid's rotting corpse
for 6,775 of those years.
Also, don't forget that -- barring immortality -- Tim Allen is just an average human being. He doesn't have any special physiology or mental powers to withstand the passage of time as he scales houses and leaves toys for ungrateful children. He experiences all six and a half thousand of those years, in real time. That's not a job -- that's his punishment for murdering Santa.
Luckily, after the first 500 years, your bones get used to constantly being crushed into dust.
Think about it -- the actual Santa clause reads "in putting on this suit and entering the sleigh, the wearer waives any and all rights to any previous identity, real or implied, and fully accepts the duties and responsibilities of Santa Claus in perpetuity." There aren't any circumstances where anyone is going to be able to get both the suit and the sleigh without killing or incapacitating Santa. That clause is a trap for ill-doers, and the punishment is eternal responsibility. This is like a Twilight Zone Christmas Special.
Adam will return in 2016, and he'd like to wish his fans a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. However, he can't because he doesn't have any. If you think otherwise, let him know via email at email@example.com.
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