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TheStreet Open House

10 Best Christmas Movies That Aren't About Christmas

Stocks in this article: TWXDIS

5. Gremlins
Released: 1984
Box office gross: $153.1 million

If that Furby you bought a few years back was alive and spawned evil, killer versions of itself that destroyed your hometown, this is what your Christmas might look like.

This film about an inventor who buys a furry little pet in Chinatown despite the shopkeeper's misgivings, gives it to his son and takes off while his kid ignores every instruction he provided about that creature's care is going on 30 years old and is holding up pretty well for its age. While it was a Steven Spielberg-tinged merchandising machine when it was released, the passing years have kindly stripped away the toy-store schmaltz and left bits of director Joe Dante's original vision exposed for all to see.

Forget all of the glowing Christmas decor and Snow White sing-alongs. Mean old lady Mrs. Deagle is dispatched in unflinching fashion, a science teacher's hand is eaten clean off his arm and co-star Phoebe Cates relates a story about her father snapping his neck while trying to climb down the chimney dressed as Santa Claus that is the Gremlins equivalent of the USS Indianapolis speech from Jaws. Oh, and a gremlin is microwaved until it explodes.

How that was all cereal-box and fast-food promotional fodder in the '80s is still a mystery, but Gremlins lives on today as one of Christmas' few midnight movies.

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