Cult Following’s Favorite Quirky Holiday Films



Welcome to the HOLIDAYS at Cult Following. I present to you my personal recommendations for favorite Holiday movies & TV specials. The common denominator is quirky lead/ensemble.


Bill ‘F’ing’ Murray is the classic Ebenezer Scrooge. In this universe he’s an angry TV Executive. This is a Murray-centric movie, so if you’re a fan you will love it. Watch for the subtleties he brings to the role, similar to his expressions and reactions in Lost in Translation. Bobcat Goldthwait is magic with a shotgun and the Ghost of Christmas Present is my favorite. The cherry on top is the top notch makeup and special effects. Take a close look at Lew Hayward (John Forsythe) as the ‘Marley’ ghost/zombie. The makeup is still great even based on todays technology. Best quote: The truth can be painful but it’s made your cheeks all rosy and your eyes bright as stars. 2nd best: The bitch hit me with a toaster.

The Ref.

Dennis Leary is a cat burglar who can’t catch a break. He takes the wrong hostages Kevin Spacey and shrew of a wife Judy Davis. They are arguing non-stop until everyone is uncomfortable. You know, like your parents, that crazy aunt & uncle, and those friends that are always fighting in public until everyone around them are UNCOMFORTABLE. We all know these people, which makes this movie special. Leary has to escape the cops with these cranky people and their crazy family in his way. It’s a great story with a full cast of funny and unusual characters. Best quote: Excuse me, the corpse still has the floor. 2nd best: Great, I just beat up Santa Claus.

Mixed Nuts

Mixed Nuts winds a magical ensemble holiday story. Steve Martin as Philip runs a small crisis/suicide hotline on Venice Beach, LA with a cast of ‘Mixed Nuts’ (if you will). Lifeline is about to be evicted and forced to close and Philip has to break the news but, in reality, he’s very bad at dealing with crises. Martin’s co-workers include an emotionally fragile Rita Wilson and great Madeline Kahn as the uptight widow. Enter very pregnant and unstable Juliette Lewis with boyfriend Anthony LaPaglia as a wall artist with no wall. You’ll meet a very young Adam Sandler, Parker Posey & Jon Stewart and a cross-dressing Liev Schrieber and more! Nora Effron is the writer & director in this light & clever holiday comedy. Best quote: My God, if you don’t have tits like Dolly Parton, no one wants you.

Die Hard.

Wading through an ugly divorce, a tough NY cop with a heart of gold wants to win back his LA wife & kids. This movie has it all, kidnapping, broken glass, witty dialogue, bloody feet, explosions, and Ho Ho Ho dead Swedish guy. Love it! Best Quote: I don’t have to say, you know it.

Batman Returns.

With holiday cheer, Batman has to defeat grotesque Penguin, kinky Cat Woman & heavily makeup-ed Christopher Walken to help Gotham get through Christmas. Tim Burton before he jumped off the CGI building. Quirky, detailed, GOTH, and funny. Check out that neon in Selena Kyle’s apartment. Best Quote: Meow.

Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special.

Your Christmas wish has come true because this actually exists! PeeWee and his AMAZING cast of special guests is just as fun, odd and creative as PeeWee can be. He’s got Frankie Avalon & Annette Funicello working slave labor making Christmas cards. Musical guests include K.D. Lang, Grace Jones & the DelRubio sisters. Yes, Grace Jones sings… Tons of other special guests like Oprah, Joan Rivers, Magic Johnson, Little Richard, Zsa Zsa & more! There’s also the normal cast, Cowboy Curtis (Lawrence Fishburne), King of Cartoons, Ms. Yvonne & Jambi. It’s a slice of the 80’s within the mystical Playhouse. Best Quote: Floory to Ms. Yvonne. Hey Ms. Yvonne, come stand over me! *wink

What to leave behind this year: Love Actually.

Sorry fans, but this movie has not aged well. I enjoyed it for years but as I re-watch it; I find several of the plot lines unsatisfying. The worst is the awful storyline of Kiera Knightley & husband/husbands best friend love triangle. That whole exchange is creepy, and makes the wedding a bit distasteful in retrospect when it should have been romantic. Bill Nighy does wash some of the bad taste out of my mouth by being the bad granddad of Christmas. Then there’s always Colin Firth in a sweater (hubba hubba). I strongly suggest watching the deleted scenes for Emma Thompson’s son Bernie’s storyline. Bernie gets in trouble in school and Thompson has to meet with the school principal. His source of trouble is really funny and the school principal has her own very touching story that extends from there. If we could release new cut of solely my doing, maybe I’d add it back into the rotation.

Enough about me, what do you think? There are so many more great stories. What about It’s a Elf, Wonderful Life, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, & A Christmas Story? What is your Holiday movie tradition? Share your thoughts with me in the comments.