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The 10 Best-Worst Christmas Movies

They’re so bad they’re good! Actually, they’re just bad. We’re really high. 

10. Santa With Muscles (1996)
 
Starring: Hulk Hogan, Mila Kunis & Ed Begley Jr. 
Plot: A bad guy on the run from the law disguises himself as Santa, only to hit his head and wake up believing he actually is Santa. With his newfound do-gooding spirit he tries to take down a pack of evil scientists. 
Why it's the best: It’s called Santa With Muscles and it stars Hulk Hogan as Santa.
Why it's the worst: Weirdly enough, the exact same reasons as those above.

9. Santa's Slay (2005)

Starring: Pro wrestler Goldberg, Fran Drescher, Rebecca Gayheart, and Chris Kattan.
Plot: Turns out Old St. Nick is really the Devil's only son who lost a bet with an angel and was forced to play nice as Santa for 1,000 years. When that time is finally up, all bets are off and Santa sets out to show the world his demonic ways by murdering people.
Why it's the best: A Jewish wrestler playing an evil Santa Claus, children and grannies with potty mouths, and an actually pretty good “Grandma got run over by a reindeer” joke.
Why it's the worst: Any film starring a wrestler is always going to be the worst. Unless it’s Suburban Commando, obviously.

8. Santa Conquers the Martians (1964)


Starring: A bunch of actors from the '60s who didn't star in much else, for reasons that quickly become painfully obvious.
Plot: When the Martians realize their children have become obsessed with Santa from watching Earthling TV, they kidnap Santa so that their kids can have toys too. Is interstellar travel really more cost-effective than making a bunch of Nerf guns and whoopee cushions?
Why it's the best: Men with giant mustaches in green jumpsuits with tubes coming out of their heads saying things like, “What is a Christmas?”
Why it's the worst: The acting really is beyond terrible. At one point, they’re supposed to be frozen by Martian rays but shake like a bunch of recovering meth addicts (which, we’re guessing from the budget on display, they probably were). Also, at one point a newspaper misspells "kidnapped.” What kind of crappy product can’t evne preform a basac speel check?

7. Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)

Starring: John Lithgow and Dudley Moore.
Plot: After telling the story of how Santa and Mrs. Claus came to the North Pole and began the tradition of distributing toys around the world on Christmas, the story turns to a modern tale about an elf who goes off to work for an evil toy-maker trying to get rid of Santa Claus, then devolves into some this-makes-no-sense bullshit about exploding candy canes.
Why it's the best: John Lithgow says “Uh-huh” approximately 10,000 times. It’s the most brilliantly annoying impersonation you’ll ever learn to do.
Why it's the worst: It’s like a mix of eight different, opposing movies that somehow manages to make a combination of Dudley Moore, explosions, and animatronic flying reindeer into something cripplingly, brain-meltingly boring. It’s just… it’s just awful.

6. Babes in Toyland (1986)
 
Starring: Drew Barrymore, Pat Morita, and Keanu Reaves.
Plot: A TV movie take on the classic tale about a young girl who travels to Toyland and gets wrapped up in helping to solve the toys' interpersonal troubles. In other words, a
Christmas Wizard of Oz
Why it's the best: A good musical score, a lot of heart, and fucking Mr. Miyagi as a bizarro Santa Claus!
Why it's the worst: This thing is so cheap-looking, it’s amazing they actually had real cameras to film it with.

5. Rankin-Bass' The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus (1985)

Starring: A bunch of terrifying, dead-eyed Claymation figurines.
Plot: Based on a story by L. Frank “The Wizard of Oz” Baum, this epically weird tale takes the usual Santa narrative, turns it on its head, screws it up into a ball, sets it on fire, and then feeds it to a turkey. We get an abandoned baby Santa, a forest wizard called "The Great Ak," and a lot of talk about eternal life before the baby becomes Santa, having seen how much mortals suffer and wanting to bring them happiness with toys.
Why it's the best: It's the Lord of the Rings of Claymation Christmas movies.
Why it's the worst: The above sounds good in theory, but even an industrial bong can’t save this creepy-yet-dull crapfest.

4. Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983)

Starring: David Bowie and Tom Conti.
Plot: Set in 1942 at a Japanese prison camp, this flick tells the story of the Japanese man who runs the camp, and his belief that British soldiers who surrender instead of committing suicide are cowards. An interpreter (Mr. Lawrence) tries to bridge the gap between the two cultures.
Why it's the best: Watching David Bowie trying to act is always a pleasure.
Why it's the worst: Dude. It’s a Christmas movie about Japanese POW camps and seppuku. That’s worse than spending the holidays with our in-laws (just barely).

3. One Magic Christmas (1985)


Starring: Mary Steenburgen and Harry Dean Stanton.
Plot: A spin on It's A Wonderful Life featuring a down-on-their-luck family led by a mother who has lost all faith in humanity and Christmas. Her daughter and a Christmas angel set out on a mission to show her the real meaning of the holiday.
Why it's the best: In the large pool of Christmas schmaltz out there, the more realistic dark edge is refreshing, in a depressing way.
Why it's the worst: Harry Dean Stanton is supposed to be an altruistic Christmas angel, but he really does spend entirely too long hanging around with small children for our liking.

2. Christmas with the Kranks (2004)


Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Tim Allen, and Dan Aykroyd. 
Plot: Fed up with how commercial Christmas has gotten and sad that their daughter's away, a couple decides to go on vacation instead of celebrating Christmas… until said daughter decides to come home after all. A mad scramble to throw Christmas together ensues – hilarity does not.
Why it's the best: Dan Aykroyd’s in it. And…that’s it.
Why it's the worst: If you can’t even find enough jokes to pad out a two-minute trailer, you’ve got a bona fide yuletide stinker on your hands.

1. Prancer (1989)

Starring: Sam Neal, Cloris Leachman, Abe Vigoda.
Plot: A 9-year-old girl who still believes in Santa stumbles across an injured reindeer in the forest and is convinced it's actually one of Santa's fold - Prancer, in fact. She hides it in her barn and tries to nurse it back to health until her father comes across it and tries to shoot it to put it out of its misery, but it disappears in front of his eyes. Much to the public embarrassment of her father, the little girl tries to get in touch with Santa to return Prancer to his home. 
Why it's the best: The reindeer makes noises like a depressed frog. This is funny after nine brandy-and-eggnogs.
Why it's the worst: It’s called Prancer. There are enough cool reindeer names around (Blitzen, anyone? Comet, perhaps?) and they went with fucking Prancer. That’s just unforgivable.