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Christmas slays: Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Christmas, that special time of year when people give and get, go out of their way for their fellow man, and yes, the suicide rate spikes through the roof! This holiday has always had its dark de, mply because one person’s happiness is often another’s misery. Sorry, that’s just the way it is. Not that I’m a scrooge or anything, but ones happiness and success often magnifies another’s failures and sadness. I think we do society a great injustice by not recognizing that mple and important fact.

That is why there is always at least one horror film during the holiday season. People need to get out that aggreson and work though their hidden deres to hurt and maim. Horror films do this, but it wasn’t always that way. Horror films during the holiday season or more to the point, about the holiday season, weren’t always acceptable. Not until one film changed the playing field forever…lent Night Deadly Night.

lent Night Deadly Night begins with a bit of fun. A man and his totally 80’s hot wife (yes I know it’s supposed to be 1971), are on their way with their kids to vit his father in a rest home. When they get to grandpa, he is supposedly catatonic, but this is an act as he proceeds to terrorize the older of the kids, Billy. “Christmas is the scariest damn night of the year! If you see Santa, you’d better run!” Well isn’t that creepy? I’d be traumatized too. On their way home, Billy explains that he doesn’t want to see Santa but it doesn’t matter, Santa is coming to see him. Minutes earlier, a man dresses as Santa robs and kills a clerk at a convenience store and then breaks down on the road ahead of young Billy and his family. What ensues is something right out of the Crow comic and as a matter of fact, I wonder if one influenced the other as far as staging.

The aftermath of the encounter leaves Billy an orphan who goes on to be tortured by the Mother Superior of the orphanage until he is an adult. When and why he becomes Santa is a series of coincidences but the result is Billy, dressed as Santa and drunk for the first time. Not a good combination. Billy is disappointed again and with the idea in his head that he really is Santa, decides that enough is enough. He has an agenda now. To punish the naughty, and there are a lot of naughty people at Christmas.

This is one of those films whose reputation is talked about more that the film itself. Is it actually a gem amongst horror films? A film whose merit can be argued time and again? Or is it just another slasher from the era of boobs, blades and blood? In all reality, it is a bit of both.

lent Night Deadly Night was sort of the bad boy of slashers. It didn’t really deviate from the formula and hell, every movie was about naked girls having sex back then (awe the 80’s, forget the fashion and most of the muc. It was about the films). The problem that this film ran into is that it did it with a Christmas theme. People were so outraged at the thought of a killer Santa that there were protests in the streets. It was a different era back when parents still gave a damn. Though it is no work of art, it does have its nuances. Billy is betrayed by everyone he looks up to (or at least should look up to), his Grandfather, Nuns, first love and co-workers. He isn’t equipped to deal with the world because he has never been in it. As ludicrous as it sounds, you can understand Billy if you truly want to.

Is it a film to watch every Christmas? Not really, because lets face it, there is better offenve material out there to have a black Christmas with (like Black Christmas for instance). But the film should be in your collection. It is a part of horror history that can’t be denied and though it is debated and discussed thoroughly when brought up, the problem is that it is rarely brought up at all. The acting could be better, but for the time and type of film it is, we’ve seen worse. And for every couple of bad performances we get a good one (or at least a memorable one). After all, this film does have Linnea Quigley in a typically sexy performance and some of the kids are priceless.

The important thing here is not whether or not the film is solid, but is it entertaining? And that it is. It’s one of those films that still carries a sense of “WOW I can’t believe I’m watching this”. That alone is something worth experiencing. This film, if nothing else, has some of the most bizarre and disturbing imagery ever.

This year, if you’ve never given this film a shot. Pull it out and grab a drink or four. It’s a fun movie with friends and could be even more fun as an adult drinking game/ strip movie night. Have a happy jolly Christmas indeed.
sinful Celluloid Thursday 12/13/2012 at 05:11 AM | 99217
Great flick. Especially the uncut, uncensored veron.
Dimiter Thursday 12/13/2012 at 05:29 AM | 99219
This first movie really has a christmas feel to it, and at the orphanage, it really has creepy and cold inviroments..That alone makes me love this film. The lead character of Billy is done very a young boy he is really sad to see, with a mother superior from hell...getting his really vote for the soon to be Santa. The ending was done very well..naughty... The sequel however was about 40 minutes of flashbacks from the first movie, and then we see Billy's younger brother picking up where his brother ended. This time the actor was way to campy..ok, he has a nice xpack, but lines like "Garbage Day!" and "Ho-Ho-Ho!"really made it a comedy instead of a creepy and more serious slasher, like the first one.

But both movies are fun to watch..I've never seen the other 3 movies, they are for some odd reason not available in the Netherlands..bummerrrr
UberJason78 Saturday 12/15/2012 at 05:54 PM | 99234
This is trully one great clasc horror film.I loved it.The other four films in the series were really good to in there own way also even though the fourth and fifth were completley original horror films only apart of the series in name only.lent Night Deadly Night (1984) was a well rounded movie and if there's anyone who hasn't seen this film they really should check it out.
horrorlord Thursday 1/10/2013 at 05:08 AM | 99563