Merry Christmas, for some not so much, at least if they’re victims in a slasher movie. As killers don’t usually care for the season, or maybe some do a bit too much. So ho ho ho…here comes not Johnny, but a nice selection of mostly fun (intentionally or not) slashers to watch out for.
(USA 2005, director: David Steiman)
Santa gets rid of all the naughtiness in a small town.
Having a wrestler as big Santa is already a win (though he can’t act), but making him crack jokes with bad puns on the season plus killing with Christmas accessory is even more fun. It’s not as bloody and violent as the cover of the German BD version makes you think (also the title Very Bad Santa is misleading as it doesn’t have anything to do with Billy Bob Thornton’s character), it’s more over-the-top silliness than anything else.
There’s a silly story somewhere between the madness, and one could argue that it’s just a bunch of Santa-beating-up-and-killing-people scenes, but that wouldn’t do the movie justice. There are so many parts which are just too hilarious to go into now, not taking away the surprise. Suffice it to say that it’s a fun little slasher with an awesome punk-soundtrack-interpretation of Xmas jingles which is more light-hearted than it is bloody.
(Netherlands 2010, director: Dick Maas, original title: Sint)
After being burned alive with his crew, Saint Nicholas is back and wants to take revenge on the naughty people in Amsterdam.
It sounds like trash and nonsense, but the movie is actually a serious slasher with some dark humor. Making fun of the whole Dutch commercialization of the legend, it’s also something of a satire. This of course poses the questions: is it suspenseful, scary, violent and funny?
Like most slashers, there’s again the problem of character introduction, and it takes a while (not taking the intro into account) until the man with the staff shows up. Annoying teenagers are fortunately more or less replaced with a grumpy police man who’s fun to watch.
Otherwise there’s not a whole lot of innovation. It sure looks great to see Saint Nicholas being chased by police cars while he’s jumping from one rooftop to the next with his white steed. And there’s something creepy about the zombie-like helpers. But all in all, the movie lacks suspense and it’s soon over before a big fight can take place. At least the ending is very good and again takes the form of biting satire.
Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
(USA 1984, director: Charles E. Sellier Jr.)
After watching his parents get killed by a guy in a Santa costume, a boy becomes institutionalized and has to cope with his psychological fears of Christmas as a grown up when he snaps and gets his axe.
Like most early slashers, what was once controversial, is now not that big of a problem. Granted, the introduction scene is pretty sick, but while watching the uncut Arrowhead version which includes all the scenes in poor video quality, one is pretty shocked why some were cut. But those were the times with censorship…still practiced today in Germany to a certain degree.
The movie itself isn’t that great to be called a classic (and I’m looking forward to watch the remake which just came out). Some horrible acting leads to some unintentionally funny scenes. Special mention has to go to the “Naughty!” line the killer delivers every time he kills a victim. Killing sequences are of course pretty outdated, but at least some are quite imaginative.
There’s not a lot of stuff happening, and the idea of psychological fears of Christmas is badly executed, mainly because of the poor acting skills. It’s also lacking any kind of suspense or interesting characters. A slasher which is sort of funny to watch, because it’s so bad that it’s sort of good. Naughty guilty pleasure, to sum it up.