Holiday Titles with a Twist

December 27th, 2012 by Uri

With the cheerful holiday season around us, it’s time to list some of our favorite festive titles. Since Christmas and Hanukkah sometimes collide (as well as Passover and Easter) we’ve decided to mix these two December holidays together… the more the merrier, right? So bring on the Latkes and Eggnog!

Life of Brian

This controversial – yet extremely hilarious – film follows a quasi-Christ as he reluctantly finds himself leading a popular movement against the Roman Empire. Of course, in best Monty Python tradition, the film is laced with biting political and social observations, some of which are still relevant today.

Bad Santa

Billy Bob Thornton is a criminal anti hero in this cynical skewing of the Christmas spirit. Working as a mall Santa, alongside Santa’s little helper, a constantly cursing midget, they use the holiday as an opportunity to pull off a heist. That is, until “Santa” creates an unlikely friendship with a young and bizarre kid, despite his antisocial behavior. But don’t you worry, this won’t make him a much nicer, or less funny, person.

Bad-Santa

Ushpizin

Set during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, this uplifting tale gives the audience a rare glimpse at the everyday lives and struggles of ultra-Orthodox Jews. A married couple is visited by a pair of old friends linked to the husband’s shady past. This visit makes him contemplate his life’s purpose and meaning.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

A Gothic stop motion animated musical for a family outing? This is not such an odd concept, apparently. This story of a Halloween skeleton who schemes to take over Christmas not only ends happily, but also won multiple awards and critical acclaim.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Hebrew Hammer

A tough private detective is on a mission to save both Hanukkah and Kwanzaa from the clutches of Santa Claus’s evil son in this offbeat blaxploitation homage. It’s heavy on silly humor and light on political correctness. Beware – the creators of this silly tale are out there on a crowed-funding quest, targeting all of us as potential investors for a sequel!!

Lemale et Ha’halal

A tragic event during Purim (a Jewish holiday similar to Halloween, costumes-wise) sets a chain of events into motion, leading a young woman to face a moral dilemma. She must choose between her heart’s wish and her family duty in this Venice Festival winning, touching melodrama about Hassidic society.

Eight Crazy Nights

Adam Sandler brings his signature brand of gross out humor to animated form in this Jewish rendition of holiday redemption stories. As you can guess, being animated doesn’t hold Sandler back from being offensive. If anything, it only encourages him to push it to the limits.

Die Hard 2

John McClane, in a time when he was still surprised by the fact that “the same sh*t happens to the same guy twice”, fights terrorists and saves the day on Christmas Eve in the second, and arguably the best, installment in this ever expanding series of boys’ night blockbusters.

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

In this dark humored comic fantasy from Finland, based on a short film, some legends and myths about Santa Claus gets a fresh new twist. Instead of delivering gifts to kids, the old man is mostly responsible for putting children in danger.

It’s a Wonderful Life OR Christmas Vacation?

Not to be completely iconoclastic, we’ll sign off by giving you the opportunity to choose between the ultimate Christmas classic and a Christmas cult classic. Frank Capra’s paean for Americana and small town life, or Chevy Chase‘s irreverent efforts to have his family enjoy a holiday vacation. Both make us feel good (as can be evident by those tweeting with #SMTA, at least regarding the later).

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