Holidays are a time for family and moralistic inspiration. A few times a year, our ancestral roots call out for us to remember our cultural and religious heritages, and to allow those traditions to envelope us for a few hours at a clip. As times have progressed, media outlets have progressed as well, taking us from childhood parables about love, duty, and togetherness to movies and television specials about love duty, and togetherness. These films and shows are not only cute and heart-warming, but they remind us how to be good people in an overly complicated world.
They also suck eggs.
That is why, for every holiday, I try to find a selection of movies that I can enjoy in all their gun-toting, blood-splattering, and laugh-out-loud glory, and still be able to tell family members, “I wasn’t hiding, I was watching a holiday movie! Yes, that guy just ripped off that other guy’s arm and is now beating him to death with it, but he has strong religious values!”
But I shouldn’t be the only one to know about these holiday classics, so I bring to you ridiculous movies with quasi-Easter themes.
The Monty Python crew had satirized the past, present and future of humanity for ages. Lucky for Easter, one of those comedic masterpieces took aim at the story of Jesus with their film, Life of Brian.
Using the plight of feminism, revolution, and martyrdom as their themes, the Monty Python crew correlates the actual life of Brian, a half-Jewish half-Roman twit hoping to just through life alive, with the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The gags include a group of women pretending to be men(ironically played by a group of men) so that they can participate in a stoning, gladiator games, a group of people mistaking a speech by Jesus because they’re too far away, and Pontius Pilate with a speech impediment.
The finale involving a line of crucified characters singing “The Bright Side of Life” places a nice, awkward stamp on the humor John Cleese and company bring to the story of Jesus.
Night of the Lepus
While Easter does have religious implications, a visit to your local drugstore will rarely mention them. Instead of Zombie Jesus, they will introduce you to something much easier to believe: a giant rabbit wearing a vest that breaks into your home to hide chocolate eggs.
Obviously this isn’t Santa Claus we’re talking about, so it must be that there is not one giant rabbit breaking into the homes of good, Christian girls and boys, but several. And what if these giant human-hares decided to attack? Well now we know, thanks to the “so bad it’s good” movie Night of the Lepus.
Night of the Lepus tells the tale of how trying to solve a rabbit infestation with science led to the creation of giant, mutant, killer rabbits, bent on satiating their hunger by eating horrible actors. The special effects include extreme close-ups of live rabbits to make it look like they are, indeed, huge. Slosh around some red paint, and you have an Easter story gone wrong.
Not enough to signify this movie being an Easter movie? Well suck on this trivia: DeForest Kelley, also known as Doctor McCoy in the Star Trek universe, was doing underground Western films before he was featured in Night of the Lepus. Now, a billion Trekkies are quoting him. How’s that for a resurrection story?
When I think of the Easter Bunny, I think of a large white rabbit that hops only on its hind legs wearing a green, blue, and yellow vest and bow-tie that magically opens doors to hide chocolate Easter eggs independently.
In the Canadian comedy Hank and Mike, Easter bunnies(yes, more than one) are actually man-bunnies. These Easter bunnies are sometimes unshaven, sometimes fat, sometimes on steroids, sometimes chain smokers, and many of them seem to be alcoholics. The few things they have in common are:
a) They look like men dressed up as pink rabbits
b) They all work for a corporation led by the Greek god of Spring, Pan
c) They wear giant backpacks, mining lights, and pick the locks of your homes
Hank and Mike tell the story of two Easter bunnies, aptly named Hank and Mike, who are fired from their careers as Easter bunnies due to downsizing. The movie follows them as they look to find other jobs(yes, while still wearing their bunny fur. See? It’s not a costume! They’re real-live Easter bunnies, dammit!), look for love, and eventually look to reclaim the only job they were meant for: being Easter bunnies.
Definitive horror movies placed into the Easter holiday season are hard to find. Luckily, the brainiacs behind the Critters franchise were the first to defile this cheerful, refreshing holiday with their second movie, Critters 2: The Main Course.
In case you’ve forgotten, critters are man-eating porcupines from space that are hunted by faceless bounty-hunters because of their breeding behavior and rampant hunger that can obliterate the population of a whole planet in a year. In the first movie they are thought to be blown up, until we see a few green, spotted, reptilian eggs that are clearly not from chickens.
In this sequel the eggs are found, and just in time for Easter!
With the help of a hot stove, the eggs are hatched, leading to an attack on the Easter Bunny, and the whole town hiding for safety in a church as the critters multiply in their Spring-time fever.
The Last Temptation of Christ
While the movie is aggressively controversial by religious standards, there are certain elements about it that traverse the man-scape and make it an acceptable movie to entertain us during the holidays.
a) The movie is directed by Martin Scorsese
b) Harvey Keitel plays a bad-ass Jewish assassin as Judas
c) T & A
Not only does The Last Temptation of Christ hit all of the important attributes for a manly Easter movie, it also makes you look like an educated bad-boy with a flair for art, a trifecta that will make both church-girls and female heathens swoon.