SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT
Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
Charles E, Sellier, Jr.
Robert Brian Wilson
What's it about
Santa Claus murders a young boys parents, forcing the child to grow up in an orphanage. Years later, he's forced to wear the Santa suit, which makes him nutty.
Is it good movie?
Silent Night Deadly Night is one of those 1980’s movies that you always saw at the video store, but never ended up renting it. You meant to but something else always seemed better. It was like Troll 2 or Exterminator. Always in stock but never rented. This is how it was for me. I recall picking up Silent Night Deadly Night several times at the local video store (the best was Pop N’Go Video here in Kansas), but I always went for something supposedly better like Goonies for the 30th time. Fast forward twenty years and the film finally arrived in my mailbox. It boasts “Uncut and Uncensored.” The case even claims that, “Hordes of Angry Mothers Couldn’t Keep It Away!” Well, I wasn’t old enough to recall this film being a public outcry, but the image of a murdering Santa with an axe seemed strangely appealing. Did it hold up? Did my years of waiting pay off?
To start, here’s the weapon run-down: gun, knife, Christmas lights, box cutter, hammer, axe, bow and arrow, deer antlers, telephone cord/being thrown through a window. So, if there’s a question of gore, plenty of it exists. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised by the shock factor. When violence erupts, it comes with a fury. The problem comes from the lull in the action. It tries too hard to develop characters that no one cares for. See, poor Billy Chapman watched his parents murdered by Santa. He then grew up in an orphanage, where he ended up all screwed up, and with a serious phobia for Mr. Claus. And just as everything starts to go well for Billy at age 18, at work he’s suddenly forced to wear the dreaded uniform, thus unleashing yuletide havoc. Yep. That’s the story. And while it certainly seems like classic 1980’s (it is at times), mostly there’s a lot of cheese here, including a montage of work sequences that rivals that worst of the chewing gum ads. Also, there’s a lot, I mean a lot of waiting for the thing to move. The pacing is dreadful as the audience becomes forced to live as Billy did. But who cares. The audience for Silent Night Deadly Night wants a killer Santa. That’s it. Blood. Slashing. Cookies. Milk. Nudity. Luckily, director Charles E. Sellier, Jr. knew how to solve that problem. With lots of hot nude girls, including a nun. That’s Christmas.
Video / Audio
Video: 1.85:1 Letterbox Version
Audio: Full Mono Dolby Digital
Audio Interview: Yep, it’s a phone interview with director Sellier, Jr. that lasts for 35 minutes. While interesting at times, there’s no visuals to go along with it. For fanatics only as others will be sleeping while waiting for the fat man.
Santa’s Stocking of Outrage: A funny collection of irritated moviegoers and critics. One review sums it up best. “Silent Night is plain awful.” That's good.
Trailer, Poster and Stills: Hopefully you can guess what’s here.
Silent Night Deadly Night is the sort of film that NEEDS played on TV at midnight every Christmas. Well, maybe at three a.m. It’s not that good. At times this approaches cult classic status, but it doesn't live up to the hype.