With everything swaddled in festive lights and colorful decorations this time of year, and many facing some well-deserved holiday downtime, thoughts often turn towards good action movies that are set in the season. As connoisseurs of everything ballistic-- ranging from derringers to surface-to-air missile systems-- we took on the task of compiling this list for your perusal. 

First, we subtracted many excellent war movies filled with lots of hardware that are set at Christmastime ("Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence," "Joyeux Noël," "Infernal Guidon," "White Christmas," etc.) as well as traditional Christmas movies that just happen to have a few great guns firearms pop up momentarily (the SWAT team entry scene in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" and the "You packed guns" scene in "Krampus," for instance). That leaves us with the following list. Then we subtracted some just outright terrible suggestions from our staff (no, Seth, "Reindeer Games" didn't make the cut, no Affleck). This left us with the best of the egg nog, so to speak. 

On with the list (in no particular order)!

 

Violent Night

 

I'm personally torn on David Harbour as an actor, loving him in some things and hating him in others, but if you haven't seen "Violent Night," his hard-R Christmas film in which he falls back on Santa's old Norse background to drop a war hammer John McCLane-style on a band of well-outfitted home invaders, you are missing out. After all it is directed by Tommy Wirkola of Nassi-Zombie "Dead Snow" fame, and John Leguizamo's pack of modern "Die Hard" knockoff toughs have enough nice hardware to keep you gesturing at the screen in the DiCaprio pointing meme. 

Speaking of which, "Scrooge" carried a Grand Power X-Calibur, which is kind of unusual.

 

 

Batman Returns

 

Ok. Now hear me out. Sure, it is Keaton's Batman, but he is easily better than most of the others (Affleck, for instance), and it is directed by Tim Burton but "Batman Returns" is A) set at Christmas, with tons of decorations in just about every scene, B) has lots of great guns including a Cobray Street Sweeper, C) has clowns with UZIs and MP5s, D) Michelle Pfeiffer with a garter Derringer, E) Danny DeVito’s umbrella gun, and F) Christopher Walken with a .357 magnum.

 

Oh, yes, did we mention Christopher Walken, with a K-frame Smith & Wesson Model 66? (Screencap via IMFDB)

 

Fatman

 

We loved this movie a couple of years ago and for obvious reasons as Mel Gibson plays a jaded Claus (the Fatman) facing off an assassination attempt from The Skinny Man (Walton Goggins), a professional killer who has a personal beef with Cringle. We are talking suppressed Beretta 92s, an ACOG-equipped and be-quieted M4 with a giggle switch, a massive Colt Walker, and a Government Issue .45, among others. 

 

The Night the Reindeer Died

 

A movie-within-a-movie that came gift wrapped in the 1988 Bill Murray vehicle, "Scrooged," "The Night the Reindeer Died" includes a hand-held M134 Minigun-wielding Lee Majors popping in on Jolly Old St. Nick just in time to warn him of an inbound attack by anti-North Pole psychos. Of course, Santa has a well-stocked small arms locker of his own and elves who know how to set up an M60 for sustained fire, but nonetheless appreciates the help.

 

Die Hard 

 

Yes, we've said it. We've always said it. We even did a 15-minute video on it. It's not Christmas until Karl's brother does the HK slap.

 

“NOW I HAVE A MACHINE GUN. HO-HO-HO.”
-John McClane, 1988

Home Alone

 

While not traditionally a gun movie, you must admire the tenacity of young Kevin, who just wants to be left alone but is persistently confronted by the Wet Bandits, a nickname that gets worse every year. Plus, there are those who have taken on the task of "what should have been" in "Home Alone."

 

Lethal Weapon

 

Our Alex Reville defended this choice clearly: 

Lethal Weapon. So many cool guns. Another great 80s movie where I fell in love with the Berretta 92F. And fun fact, the 92F used in that movie was the same 92F used in die hard and it features an extended slide release because Bruce Willis was left handed. Some cool retro ARs, the PSG-1, and lots of Uzis and HK94A3s!!! 

Think about it!! Gun fight in a Christmas tree lot, people buying Christmas presents in the movie, decorations everywhere, classic "Merry Christmas" line, ending scene with the car going through the house into the living room with the tree and presents!

 

Rambo

 

Set in Hope, Washington of all places, Rambo: First Blood occurs at Christmas, as witnessed by the decorations around town. There is even a Christmas tree in the police station. Premiering 40 years ago, it is one of our treasured holiday favorites, after all, it launched a five-film franchise and made sure the M60 machine gun will forever be remembered.

 

The Long Kiss Goodnight

 

Both a Christmas movie and possibly one of the most underrated and forgotten action films of all time (maybe people couldn't buy Geena Davis as a trained killer with amnesia), 1996's "The Long Kiss Goodnight" featured what was probably Samuel L. Jackson at his post-Jheri Curl/pre-eyepatch prime. Plus, the guns, oh man, the guns. As logged by the fine folks over at the Internet Movie Firearms Database, it has everything from nickel-plated West German SIG P226s to early Deagle Mark Is and includes just about every cool SMG you could get in the 1990s: MP5s galore, a Walther MPL, Beretta M12, Mini UZI, Steyr TMP, and Skorpion vz.61. 

Plus, there is Jackson's unforgettable "ham on rye" line, delivered via Colt King Cobra. 

 

A Christmas Story

 

Kind of an honorable mention in this lineup, you have to have lived under a rock to not have sat through the classic retelling of young bespectacled, and soap-eating Ralphie and his quest for an  "official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time." He even used it in a cutaway fantasy scene to defend the ponderosa against Luger-armed crooks.

 

 

Come to think of it, the Red Ryder was most folks first introduction to the lessons of firearms safety as a kid.

 

Although some of us lucky ones also got a Big Wheel and a plastic Tommy gun under the tree. 

 

Anyway, here's hoping you get what you wanted under your tree this year. Merry Christmas from the gang at Guns.com.

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