Horror’s Merriest Movie: Silent Night Deadly Night

Certain concepts are just too amazing to pass up. One of them has got to be a murderous ax-wielding Santa Claus. This was the idea whizzing through the collective brain of the film scene when Charles E. Sellier Jr. introduced his wicked Saint Nick on audiences in the 1984 slasher classic Silent Night Deadly Night.

The plot basically is an excuse for the movie, a young boy gets a warning about Santa from his insane grandfather, and watches his parents get murdered by a crook in a Santa suit. Afterwards he is taken to a Catholic nun-run foster home, where his fear of anyone in a red suit and good spirits only gets worse. He draws picture of bloodied reindeer and punches the foster-home’s Santa in the face (one of the most satisfying scenes in the entire movie).

After some wierdness involving voyeurism, Catholic discipline, and being tied to a bed, we travel forward in time, to where Billy (our protagonist) is all grown up, buffed up, and working at a toy store. Events eventually lead up to Billy getting drunk in a Santa costume, going crazy, and murdering every amorous teenager in town.

The movie works almost in the same way that Wizard of Gore does. The cheap ridiculousness of a killer garbed as the poster-man for Yuletide cheer is simply too funny to be scary. However, the movie adds to its cooking pot one element that Gordon-Lewis left out of Wizard: Breasts.

There is a ridiculous amount of female nudity in this movie. From the murder of Billy’s mom to the impaling of a topless floozy on a mounted Elk head, one will not miss their daily dosage of cleavage. This kind of sensationalism gives the movie its edge. To further aid the process was a storm of angry mothers who picketed Tri-Star after their children got nightmares from the TV commercials of the killer Santa Claus.

The controversy, silliness, breasts, and blood all mix together perfectly to form one of the most brainless and brilliant ninety minutes you could spend watching a movie. So if you’re a gore guy or gal and need a stocking stuffer, this one is sure to be your new Christmas Classic.

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