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Happy Yuletide, from Ian.

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English: Still from the silent short film The ...

English: Still from the silent short film The Night Before Christmas, 1905 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, the BFI has taken a breather from compiling informational corporate safety films from the 1950s to try to work out what makes a good Christmas film. And, in so doing, have revealed that they know nothing about what makes a good Christmas film.

There are lots of things one does at Christmas that one doesn’t do at other times of the year, but watching White Christmas isn’t one of them. There is never a good time to do that.

Christmas is a time for giving. Parents beam as tousle-headed moppets tear open presents with squeals of delight. Either that or they slump in an easy chair, paper hat drifting over an ear, Christmas scotch clutched tight, detailing at length the cost of each item unwrapped and how you weren’t worth it, none of you were worth it; he didn’t have to stay here, he had options, he could have been a musician if it weren’t for you lot; he’d been in a band, and they were good, really good, someone from London, from a record label, said they’d come to see them once, they could have been huge, but he gave it all up to look after us kids, and did we appreciate it? Did we? He’d abandoned his dreams for an Our Price voucher, and a mug saying ‘World’s Best Dad’, well who’d the fucking mug now, eh? Eh? Who’s the fucking mug now? I’m going to bed.

I always preferred Easter.

Anyway, without further ado, here are my top ten Christmas films. Ones you can watch without wanting to kill yourself or your fellow man. In reverse order…

  1. Scrooged (1988) – Okay, it’s by far the worst thing on this list, but I had to get Bill Murray in somewhere, and Ghostbusters II is not a Christmas film. It’s a New Year film. Yes, it is. Oh, shut up.
  2. The Long Kiss Goodnight (1996) – Rewatch it. You’ll be surprised by how many good bits are in it. I promise. It’s not as bad as you remember. Either that or action films have become incomparably worse, so, by today’s standards it stands up.
  3. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) – A wonderful look at how our struggle to create the perfect Christmas we remember from childhood can destroy our current Christmases. Includes exploding tree, yuppie torment, and a full shitter.
  4. A Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) – This would be higher if it weren’t for the dreadful songs. Still, one you can watch with the children. “Quiet down back there, you melons.”
  5. Twelve Monkeys (1995) – “The Freedom For Animals Association on Second Avenue is the secret headquarters of the Army of the 12 Monkeys. They’re the ones who are going to do it. I can’t do anymore, I have to go now. Have a Merry Christmas!”
  6. Home Alone (1990) – Another one you can watch with the kids, as long as you don’t mind them watching burning, scalding, piercing, and the acting of Daniel Stern.
  7. Batman Returns (1992) – From the moment Peewee Herman drops Danny deVito into a sewer, it’s a Christmas miracle. And it allowed me to get Tim Burton onto the list without including The Nightmare Before Christmas, which is a Hallowe’en film. Maybe.
  8. Rare Exports (2010) – It’s about a race of evil Santas. It’s awesome. You must watch it this Christmas and every Christmas.
  9. Gremlins (1984) – Nothing fills me more with the Christmas spirit than seeing a demented, homicidal creature get exploded in a microwave.
  10. Die Hard (1988) – It had to be. It was a close-run things with Gremlins, but it’s practically perfect in every way.

So, those are mine, what are yours?

(This is the point where people notice that I’ve missed something like Alien or Jaws or Mouse Hunt being set at Christmas, and I have to rewrite the whole thing…)

"Freyr" (1901) by Johannes Gehrts. T...

Image via Wikipedia

This is a little something I wrote a couple of years ago about the ongoing assault on our most precious religious festival. Enjoy.

Yes, it’s that time of year again. No sooner does an important traditional religious holiday roll around than the PC-brigade feel the need to strip-mine it of its original significance, just so’s no-one’s feelings get hurt. Fuck that.

For many years now, it’s become unfashionable to talk of Geola, as Muslims, atheists, and Christians have all attacked our traditional holiday.

It is the Christians who have the most gall of all, daring to attach the name of some first-century Palestinian to a once-proud British festival. ‘Yule’ I can live with, despite its being a continental bastardisation of our British pronunciation ‘Geola’, but ‘Christmas’ is just wrong. You even have to mispronounce ‘Christ’ to say it.

It’s important that we remember that Geola isn’t just about family and friendship, it is also about the ritual human sacrifice of male slaves, once every nine years. When was the last time any of our loony local councils allowed this traditional practice? Once again the feminazis and Health and Safety Ceaucescus have stamped their grubby little Christian boots over our heritage.

Just think of what we have lost because of our spineless governing elites. Where once we swore fealty on the back of our best boar, loud enough for the god Freyr to hear, before slaughtering it and spending 12 days eating its carcass; now we have dried-up turkey and Iceland breaded prawns.

What is perhaps most disturbing is the way in which the Christian brigade have felt free to take the bits of our festival they liked (the decorated tree, the holly, the mistletoe, the Yule log, gammon), and pretend that our holiday has nothing to do with our traditional celebrations of the death of winter. They even crow about it!

When Pope Gregory wrote to St Mellitus as he came to convert the Britons, he instructed him not to change too many of the details of our festivities, but just the god they were worshipping. Such blatant contempt for our pagan heritage is, quite frankly, frightening, and yet another example of what happens when you let immigrants from the EU roam willy-nilly, preaching their message of hate.

The fact that our once proud Joulenpukki, who came to distribute presents to good children and devour the bones of bad ones has been forced in many government depictions to take off his robe of rotting goat hides and wear instead a red coat is surely shame enough.

Now, his belly shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly, rather than rattling with the femurs of naughty children. Will we never learn?

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