Forget chestnuts roasting on an open fire – ’tis the season for the trashiest festive films known to mankind!
From beloved 80s B-movie gems to pulpy 90s superhero classics, here’s our whistle-stop tour of the most fabulously silly Christmas movies loved by LGBTIs around the world.
1 Batman Returns
Hands up who wanted to be Catwoman in Tim Burton’s 1992 blockbuster? The famously flamboyant director scored a massive Christmassy hit in his second film based on the caped crusader.
Long before Val, George, Christian and Ben, Michael Keaton did a decent job of looking sexy/ridiculous in Batman’s rubber suit. But really, this film belongs to the fierce Michelle Pfeiffer (‘Life’s a bitch – now so am I’). Her feline garb wouldn’t look out of place on RuPaul’s runway.
2 The Muppet Christmas Carol
Miss Piggy is our spirit animal, obviously. And she’s on typical diva-esque form in this critically-praised adaptation of Charles Dickens’ allegorical 1843 novel A Christmas Carol.
Of course, it’s full of camp humour and absurd moments. But the film won extra plaudits for taking the story – about a selfish, uncharitable man haunted by ghosts of Christmas past, present and future – with an air of seriousness. Miss Piggy puts in an assured performance as Emily Cratchit, mother of Tiny Tim. She’s still waiting for her Best Supporting Actress Oscar nom.
3 Meet Me in St Louis
You could watch Wizard of Oz for the hundredth time over your Christmas break. Or you could see the Judy Garland musical that’s actually festive-themed – and introduced the standard ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ to the world.
This story of four Missouri sisters learning lessons of life and love while wonderfully overdressed is a classic, colourful romp. It’s also what Carrie watches in the first Sex and the City movie, after deciding to stay in on New Year’s Eve on her lonesome.
4 The Nightmare Before Christmas
Another cult classic from Tim Burton, Nightmare is a Christmas/Halloween mash-up of epically queer proportions. In it, the sharply-dressed (and clearly bisexual) Jack Skellington, Pumpkin King of Halloween Town tries to take over the Christmas Town via a magic portal he finds in the woods.
This film is based on a poem of Burton’s, inspired by seeing Halloween products replaced by Christmassy items on shelves. It took three years to make. The timeless stop motion animation and its unique style still look fresh today.
5 Die Hard
Action classic Die Hard once again proves how versatile the Christmas genre can be. Bruce Willis stars as an LA police officer saving an office Christmas party held hostage in a skyscraper. It qualifies as camp because Brucie (we still would) smoulders in a skimpy little vest for most of its 123 minutes.
The film is also notable for featuring the late Alan Rickman as as the impeccably-mannered and refined German terrorist Hans Gruber. Some have opined that the iconic British actor played the role as gay.
6 The Family Stone
Written and directed by the openly gay Thomas Bezucha, The Family Stone is a lovely Christmas movie with political bite. It features a killer ensemble cast (Diane Keaton, Claire Danes, Rachel McAdams). In it, Sarah Jessica Parker’s tightly-wound conservative businesswoman causes a stir when spending the holidays with her boyfriend’s liberal family.
The above clip is especially pertinent for LGBTIs, as SJP garbles her words and offends the entire family by suggesting any parent would choose a ‘normal’ child over a queer one. By the way, the gay couple in this film are gorgeous.
7 A Diva’s Christmas Carol
Another Dickens adaptation, this one features Vanessa Williams as a fabulous pop star who’s absolutely vile to everyone around her. We’re so in.
Oh, and the entire thing’s on YouTube. Merry Christmas!
Adorable and cute one minute and hideous monsters the next – sounds like half the guys we’ve dated. Gizmo the mogwai is eternally cool though: we want him for Christmas in cuddly toy form.
Forget Stranger Things: this 80s hit about mischievous monsters taking over a small American town epitomises a decade rich in eerie, surreal horror with a blackly comic edge. It has producer Steven Spielberg’s fingerprints all over it.
What is it about festive horror that’s so trashily brilliant? This 2015 hit stars Toni Collette as the head of a family snowed in at Christmas and stalked by the horned devil-goat folk figure Krampus. Think the demonic antidote to Santa Claus.
Throw in some homicidal gingerbread men and you have the newest addition to the camp Christmas movie canon. Enjoy!