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Added by PhineasPoe on 28 Nov 2012 03:13
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Best Alternative Christmas TV & Movies

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People who added this item 90 Average listal rating (59 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 7.5
Season of Belief

I will be honest with you, this entire list is solely so I can talk about this amazing episode of a kind of terrible show.

I really don't want to give away too much about it, but here's the basics: It's Christmas Eve and a mother and father are telling their son and daughter about The Grither. If you say The Grither's name he sets out to murder you.

This episode is actually kind of scary. It's very tense, you start to believe in The Grither. It's so fucked up for a Christmas episode. It's absolutely amazing. Watch it.

People who added this item 1017 Average listal rating (711 ratings) 8.2 IMDB Rating 9.1
Night of the Meek

The best thing about the Twilight Zone was how versatile it was (while still being rigidly formulaic). The same show that gave us mysteries about who the Martian is in the diner can give us Night of the Meek. A down on his luck man gets fired from his job as a department store Santa. Then he finds a magic bag that allows him to make the Christmas' of other unfortunate people better.

PhineasPoe's rating:
People who added this item 1058 Average listal rating (725 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.5
Community (2009)
For all of its three seasons Community has done a great Christmas episode. The first year it was pretty generic, except for a gigantic fight pitting the study group against a group of toughs led by Anthony Michael Hall.

The second season had an entirely claymation episode that makes me cry. It's still funny, but it's also so touching. It deals a lot with the loneliness of the season and what traditions really mean. It's really beautiful.

The third season has a musical episode. Very funny, a lot of ridiculous songs and Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs wear very hot outfits.

All three are great.

PhineasPoe's rating:
People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (37 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 7
This one still gets played, but never got really big which I thought was a shame. It's a cute, star-studded animated musical about a dog determined to help Santa make his yearly flight. Drew Barrymore, Dan Castellaneta, Michael Stipe, Ed Asner and others.

PhineasPoe's rating:
My favorite Jim Henson movie. A lot of people find it dull and it is kind of slow. There's not much in the way of antics, but I love the characters and the music. That someone made a Christmas folk music with otter and porcupine puppets and a jug band complete with washtub bass is a weird cross-section that hits on some of my favorite things.

Also, you've got some hilarious, old fashioned vilification of rock and roll in the River Bottom Nightmare Band.

PhineasPoe's rating:
People who added this item 1717 Average listal rating (1270 ratings) 6.5 IMDB Rating 7.4
Rugrats (1991)
A Rugrats Chanukah

When I was a kid I loved that Rugrats would do episodes about Judaism. It's something that's still really, really rare. But it was great watching a holiday story that I wasn't hearing 100 times a month from every other show.
People who added this item 371 Average listal rating (255 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.5
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

A crazy, terrible movie where Santa is kidnapped by Martians and...kind of just ends up working with them. Meanwhile, Crow composes a new Christmas classic.

You can also enjoy the MST3K episode "Santa Claus" where they watch a movie that pits Santa against Satan.

PhineasPoe's rating:
People who added this item 150 Average listal rating (95 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 8.2
Snowflake Day

It's Snowflake Day! The non-denominational, politically correct winter-time holiday that the United Nations has officially mandated. Everyone's in the spirit, except for Joan of Arc, but luckily Mandy Moore is around to teach her the true meaning of the season.

Also has a sub-plot where Abe Lincoln and Ghandi invent a knife-fork.

PhineasPoe's rating:
People who added this item 2165 Average listal rating (1419 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.6
A Christmas Carol

Nu-Who has been doing a Christmas special every year and I've enjoyed all of them. If I had to pick I'd say my favorite is their take on A Christmas Carol. It's genuinely moving, a unique take on a story that's been done to death and there's a flying shark. Win, win, and win.
PhineasPoe's rating:
People who added this item 4269 Average listal rating (3434 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 8.7
South Park (1997)
Woodland Critter Christmas

There are so many South Park Christmas episodes, I'm just going to talk about my favorite. It's so fucked up and terrible only South Park could get away with. Narrated in Seussian style it tells of how Stan inadvertently helps a bunch of talking woodland creatures conceive the anti-christ and how he tries to fix it.

"It's Critter Christmas, dude. It sucks ass."
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People who added this item 1392 Average listal rating (947 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 7
Bad Santa (2003)
The king of alternative Christmas movie. Nothing needs to be said.
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People who added this item 4295 Average listal rating (2965 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 8.2
Probably the movie that made people realize that to qualify as a Christmas movie a film doesn't actually have to be about Christmas. Loopholes!
PhineasPoe's rating:
People who added this item 142 Average listal rating (109 ratings) 6.2 IMDB Rating 5.4
Of course godless communists would try to invade America around Christmas. Some movies would make some sort of comment on that, what with all the commercialism and what not. Invasion USA doesn't have time for that, it's too busy exploding things and having Chuck Norris always show up just in time to thwart the terrorists.

It's amazingly bad. And what other Christmas movie has Chuck Norris wrestling alligators?

PhineasPoe's rating:
People who added this item 1787 Average listal rating (1098 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.5

A great movie, that's too unknown. It's often relegated to bargain bins along with other truly great works like "Brick" and "Avenging Disco Godfather."

Anyway, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a really clever, kind of meta detective story. Robert Downey Jr is a petty thief who ends up crashing an interview and gets sent to Hollywood. He gets teamed up with Val Kilmer and Michelle Monaghan to try to solve a murder. Really funny and you gets to see Michelle Monaghan in a skimpy Santa outfit.

PhineasPoe's rating:
People who added this item 1213 Average listal rating (765 ratings) 8.3 IMDB Rating 8.3
The Apartment (1960)
One of my all-time favorite movies. A lot of the story takes place between Christmas and New Year's. The greatest romantic comedy of all time. Jack Lemmon's a kind of spineless schmuck, Shirley MacLaine's a cute, funny elevator operator who has poor taste in men.

It's funny, it's also surprisingly dark and sad but it still warms your heart at the end.

PhineasPoe's rating:
People who added this item 394 Average listal rating (228 ratings) 6.7 IMDB Rating 6.7
Cronos (1993)
If there's anything that says Christmas more than this weird, Mexican horror movie I don't what it could be. An old man finds a strange device that forcefully pricks him and injects him with...something. He notices he's changing, re-growing hair, losing wrinkles. There's other more disturbing side-effects He doesn't know what it is, but Ron Perlman wants it. And you know how Ron Perlman gets things.
People who added this item 1980 Average listal rating (1372 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 7.9
In Bruges (2008)
Another very clever movie. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson are hitmen laying low is the very quaint Belgium town of Bruges around Christmastime. A nice, dark comedy with some angst, some hookers, some coke and a little person for your Christmas.

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Dead Author's Podcast

The amazing Paul F. Tompkins does a monthly podcast called The Dead Author's Podcast. He plays H.G. Wells, who uses his time machine to pick up various authors (played by people from the world of comedy) and interviews them.

One of my favorite episodes features Charles Dickens and O. Henry. The guy playing O. Henry is incredibly drunk and the guy playing Dickens is very proper. It's hilarious, especially given how much disdain their seems to be on stage for Henry's work.

Dead Author's Podcast-Appendix A: Charles Dickens and O. Henry
PhineasPoe's rating:
People who added this item 32 Average listal rating (22 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 7.5
Comedy Bang! Bang!: The Podcast

CBB has done two entertaining Christmas episodes. The first one in 2010 featured Jon Hamm, Nick Kroll, Paul F. Tompkins (as John C. Reilly) and others. Jon Hamm and "John C. Reilly" have an acting competition. It's a lot of fun. Have A Merry Christmas

Their 2011 episode is even better. Colin Hanks, PFT (as The Cake Boss), the amazing Andy Daly, Brett Gelman and Seth Morris (who are on the NBC show "Go On") and Nick Kroll. It's hilarious. It's the first appearance of Daly's character Don de Mello, the lacivious theatrical producer. One of my favorite episode: That's One Way of Doing It
PhineasPoe's rating:

So, you're sick of It's a Wonderful Life, the dreadful Christmas Story and watching every show trot out their Christmas Carol parody. Well, here's some alternatives. Sure, some of them put Christmas in the background, but sometimes that's the best way to experience Christmas.

I know there's some big ones missing. Namely Black Christmas which I somehow haven't gotten around to seeing it.

If you want some alternative music for the holidays as well, check out: www.listal.com/list/best-alternative-christmas-music

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