Tuesday, December 20, 2016

When Santas Attack, or Thoughts on Silent Night, Deadly Night

The gold standard for killer Santa movies, and the one you think about even if you’ve never seen it, Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) is about Billy, a troubled teen that snaps on Christmas Eve.  He’s had a hard life, what with witnessing the murders of his parents at the hands of another homicidal Santa wielding a Colt 1911 (my favorite handgun) and being raised by a sadistic Mother Superior at the orphanage.  
A third of the movie is spent on Billy's back-story and psychological makeup, adding elements of corporal punishment and teen sex voyeurism before he gets a job at a toy store where the audience is treated to a vintage 80’s toy montage featuring the ultra-rare 1983 Kenner Jabba the Hutt Action playset in the original box.  Everything’s fine until the holiday season rolls around and Billy has to put on the Santa suit. 
The same Santa suit, I might add, that the killer who murdered his parents and the Santa who traumatized young Billy at the orphanage wore.  I suppose the production saved money on costumes because they spent so much on the soundtrack, creating an entire playlist of fake Christmas carols and generic 80’s holiday pop songs.  The nudity made Silent Night, Deadly Night a late night hit on cable TV, while the Santa axe murders made it certain you weren’t watching another rerun of It’s a Wonderful Life (1946, and to be honest, the actual gold standard for Christmas movies).
Tasteless and uncharismatic, it’s a hard-R slasher movie that would have never been made today in our easily offended cultural landscape.  Watch out for 80’s scream queen Linnea Quigley from The Return of The Living Dead (1985) and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988) as Denise, an unlucky babysitter.  There were lots of unlucky babysitters in the 80’s; it was a popular role for her.




my first novel?  thanks for asking:)  it’s a the first book in a 4-volume supernatural martial arts series chock full of killer kung-fu witches, haunted carnivals, punk rock assassins, and a 24-hour diner with the best pie in town…
read for free on kindle unlimited or buy the paperback, available at fine bookstores everywhere (amazon).