Six Alternative Christmas Films

Break Dancing Santa

Santa Claus (1959)

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Don't be fooled by the utilitarian title: Santa Claus is less a biopic of the jelly-bellied gift-giver than a warped Christmas fever dream in which he happens to play a supporting role. The film's real star is Lucifer, who – angered by society's unshakeable devotion to Saint Nick – sends forth a horned demon to turn the children of Earth against him. Santa, hard at work in his orbiting space castle (don't ask) is powerless to help as the campy incubus schemes to corrupt virtuous little boys and girls.

Holiday In Handcuffs (2007)

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Waitress Trudie takes a decidedly extreme course of action when faced with another Christmas without a boyfriend. Brandishing an antique shotgun, she kidnaps handsome stranger David and whisks him back to her parents' place for Christmas dinner. Though initially alarmed by this festive spin on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, David soon comes to appreciate his captor's unorthodox approach to courtship and breaks things off with his boring, kidnap-averse fiancee.

Santa With Muscles (1996)

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Sadly overshadowed by the markedly similar Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle Jingle All The Way, Santa With Muscles stars fellow strongman Hulk Hogan as a selfish billionaire who – following a particularly troublesome bout of amnesia – mistakenly believes himself to be the real Santa Claus. Look out for a completely astonishing turn by Ed Begley Jr as an evil scientist hell-bent on demolishing a local orphanage so he can mine the magical crystals that lie buried beneath.

Home Alone 4: Taking Back The House (2002)

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Twelve years after the original Home Alone put the "fun" into fundamentally neglectful parenting, plucky eight-year-old prankster Kevin McCallister returned for the franchise's fourth entry, albeit in the form of little-known child actor Mike Weinberg (who wasn't even born when Macaulay Culkin first inhabited the role). Mr and Mrs McCallister once again place their young son within reach of a gang of murderous criminals on 25 December.

Christmas Evil (1980)

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Wrenched out of obscurity after John Waters declared it "the greatest Christmas movie ever made", Christmas Evil exploited 1980s America's twin passions of serial killing and festive cheer. Tony-nominated stage star Brandon Maggart stars as Harry, a downtrodden toy factory worker who spends his spare time spying on neighbourhood children and compiling their names in his ominous book of "Bad Boys & Girls". Needless to say, a lump of coal in the stocking is the least of their worries.

A Kitten For Hitler (2007)

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Cult British director Ken Russell continued making movies right up until his death in November of last year. His penultimate film, the result of a challenge from Melvyn Bragg to write a film that Russell himself would be eager to see banned, was A Kitten For Hitler – a 10-minute short in which a plucky young Jewish boy traverses the globe on a quest to warm the Führer's heart with the gift of a cuddly feline. It doesn't get more Christmassy than that.

Powered by article was written by Charlie Lyne, for The Guardian on Friday 21st December 2012 15.00 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010