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Shake up your Christmas viewing

At this time of year every TV network regurgitates the same old Christmas movies.

Why not change it up this year by watching these unusual movies with Christmas undertones.
* The Life of Brian. To think, it could almost have been called Brianmas. This Monty Python spin on the origins of Christ follows Brian, born on the same day as Jesus in the stable next door, and continually mistaken for the son of God.
* Bad Santa. Black as coal comedy starring a grizzled Billy Bob Thornton as Willie, a jaded mall Santa who is a really bad boy, delighting in hedonistic pastimes, buckets of booze and frivolous cash splashing. You’ll never look at Santa Clause the same again after seeing what Willie gets up to in his big red suit. Willie isn’t as bad as all that, showing affection toward a sad loner kid, and nurturing him like a messed up father.
* Silent Night, Deadly Night. A young boy watches his parents killed by a thief in a Santa suit. He spends his youth in an orphanage, keeping quietly to himself, but his mind is further bent by an iron-handed Mother Superior. He finally gets a job at a local store, where he finally snaps when he is required to wear a Santa suit, and goes on a killing spree that leads him slowly back to the orphanage.
* Gremlins. A gadget salesman is looking for a special gift for his son and finds one at a store in Chinatown. The shopkeeper is reluctant to sell him the “mogwai” but sells it to him with the warning to never expose him to bright light, water, or to feed him after midnight. All of this happens and the result is a gang of gremlins who decide to tear up the town on Christmas Eve.
* Die Hard. New York City policeman John McClane is visiting his estranged wife and two daughters on Christmas Eve. He joins her at a holiday party in the headquarters of the Japanese-owned business she works for. But the festivities are interrupted by a group of terrorists who take over the exclusive high-rise, with everyone in it. Very soon McClane realises that there’s no one to save the hostages, but him.

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