Considering the low take at the box office for THE COLLECTION, I guess it makes sense that no one felt the urge to weigh in on our last Face-Off
. Either that, or I picked the winners of each category so perfectly, that no one had a beef with the final decision. Yeah, I'm sure that's
what it was.
Anyways, we can all forget about that last one, which probably won't be a problem, and focus on the festivities currently at hand! It's Christmas time! And there's no better combo for film than this cheery holiday and some horror-fueled mayhem! And what better way to begin our festive frights than with a battle between a creepy Christmas-themed classic and its current, loose remake?! Okay kiddies, it's time to open your first give under the tree as we pit SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT ('84) against SILENT NIGHT ('12). Since this is the first time I've ever pitted a brand new flick (SILENT NIGHT) in a Face-Off, be warned that there may be some SPOILERS.
The original Silent Night, Deadly Night has become quite famous for its plethora of inventively violent death scenes. The best part is that most of the kills have a touch of holiday mirth to them! From a dude getting strangled by Christmas lights to a sledding beheading (that rhymes nicely) to the ultimate antler impaling (reindeer do have antlers, ya know). All the carnage is gleefully gory and harsh. Very fitting demises for those on the naughty list!
This update was no slouch in the deep red department either, which was a nice surprise for such a mainstream-looking horror flick. We are treated to a sweet electric chair type of execution complete with Christmas lights, an awesome axe face split, and a gore-geous little ditty with a wood chipper that puts the one in Fargo to shame. The infamous antler scene from the original is even paid homage. Very brutal stuff!
This flick definitely does a bang-up job in providing a consistent skin to kill ratio for most of the first and second acts. I counted at least four separate, nicely spaced-out occasions where beautiful breasts were out and on display. The stretch of nudity concludes wonderfully with scream queen Linnea Quigley parading her puppies around while Santa is chasing her.
Jaime King and Courtney-Jane White are both quite hot, but neither of them bestow any gifts of skin in terms of all out nudity. At least Ms. White did show a hint of skin. However, the sole source of nakedness in this flick was supplied by the amply sexy Cortney Palm, who proudly displays her bare bosom for an extended period of time whilst filming a little softcore porn.
Once Billy puts on the red suit and beard, a very ominous chill rushes through you with the full understanding of his very well developed back story. He makes for a very interesting and different type of slasher: you're half scared of him and half rooting for him. He's one tragic Santa and Robert Brian Wilson gives a surprisingly nuanced performance for a low budget slasher flick. Even Wilson's handsome looks, which a slasher almost never has, don't hinder his ability to scare.
This Santa is more of the mysterious type of psycho as he is not presented with a back story. However, that does not change the fact that he is one violent, imposing, frightening elf-f*cker. His aggressive actions towards his naughty victims only enhance his chilling demeanor. I was even down with the simple, but effective, black-eyed Santa mask that we actually get to see him make at the beginning. The silent stalker aspect along with not knowing much behind his motivation is kind of a cool combo of Michael Myers and Billy from the original Black Christmas.
It's fair to say that SN,DN definitely has one sick sense of humor. I mean, it's about a kid growing up with a severely f*cked up phobia of Santa and then actually becoming what he fears the most. Nearly all of Santa's kills come with a bit of cheestastic humor with him yelling "Naughty" each time. There are a good amount of unintentional laughs too.
Despite the brutality of the Santa's actions, this SN is also gushing with a great amount of humor. Many of the kills are set up to at first initiate chuckles like the bitch of a little girl that belittles her kind mother or the pathetically sex-crazed young adults that can't wait to come early for Christmas. Plus, Malcolm McDowell is an absolute hoot as the small-town sheriff with big city crime dreams.
This flick excels the most in this category during the scenes set at the toy store where Billy works. Either the production designer was a holiday ingenue, or the filmmakers used an actual store during Christmas time because that store is marvelously decked out in old school Santa Claus cheer. From the hanging decorations to the animatronic Santa and elves, this is a nostalgic treasure trove of Christmas memories.
Because of the fact that there's a huge Santa parade at the center of this flick's story, the town's streets are not at all short on jolly fat guys dressed in red. It does make for an extreme Christmas feel, though. In fact, the center of the flick's town is wonderfully decorated with joyous zeal and the townspeople do project a holly jolly warmth.
Silent Night ('12)
Oh, shit. I've got a feeling that either the lovers of the '84 cult classic are going to crucify me or go out and check out the new '12 Silent Night. You know what? I honestly would prefer watching the '12 offering as opposed to the '84 version in terms of annual holiday horror viewing. Maybe it's because I'm not a big fan of the opening brutality towards Billy's family, even though the rest of the movie is eggnog aces. Regardless, Silent Night 2012 is one helluva fun viewing experience and is destined to become as much as a holiday horror classic as its 1984 forefather. Deal with it (and enjoy it). And feel free to send any future Face-Off ideas to me at firstname.lastname@example.org