It's the Booze Talkin', We love cheesy Christmas horror flicks!

We all have a favorite Christmas movie to get us through the holidays. There are so many choices this season, all you need to do is turn on the television and you have something playing already. From the Peanuts gang to WHITE CHRISTMAS, each of us have that special movie that really brings out the merry in us all. Mine? Well, aside from DIE HARD, I always go back to BLACK CHRISTMAS. This incredibly eerie flick has genuine scares and a very creepy final scene. The other Bob Clark Christmas classic - aside from his charming A CHRISTMAS STORY - was a huge inspiration to genre filmmakers. Hell, even HALLOWEEN owes a little to the 1974 classic.

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However, today I want to talk about the other X-mas horror flicks. You know the ones, the movies that always compete for worst acting or worst dialogue or just worst movie altogether. The first time I had my fill of a cheesy holiday horror flick was the killer Santa movie SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT (1984). When I was a kid and they still had video stores, it was always a treat to find some cool and crazy movie I’d never watched. And yes, Santa’s arm coming out of a chimney carrying an axe grabbed my attention. Hell, the poster is much better than the actual movie, yet somehow this controversial horror flick still puts a smile on my face.

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If you thought it was bad the first time, you haven’t experienced the terrifically terrible SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT PART 2 from 1987. This sequel took a ton of footage from the original film, but thankfully gave us a legendary lead performance from Eric Freeman. I love this dude! The actor plays it for laughs, and goes about as far as he can to make it all as ridiculous as possible. This movie is a classic in the so bad it’s good camp. While this may be a horrible film under normal standards, the sheer audacity of it’s awfulness makes for a required December viewing.

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Every so often we get a solid horror flick this time of year, and sometimes they are pretty great. Last year brought us KRAMPUS, and that was pretty damn terrific. However, there are far more features closer to SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT. One low budget flick that people confuse with the killer Santa flick is SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT. The 1972 flick featured Mary Woronov and was drenched in gothic scares, but it is also insanely dated. Yet for me, the bad clothes and the cheap production design only add to the proceedings. If you can find a decent copy of this one, let me know.

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Horror and Christmas have always had an interesting connection. Generally the movies that are released are low in quality, but big in bloody goodness. If you are looking for a silly holiday scare there is so much to choose from. Little movies that embraced this time of year with a vengeance. And if you’d like a different choice for a killer Santa - nothing can replace Billy or Ricky for me - you can always check out 2005’s SANTA’S SLAY - starring friggin Bill Goldberg as a jacked-up Santa! There is also the cheeky terror of the 1980 slasher CHRISTMAS EVIL (must see). And that same year, Jennifer Runyon was trying to survive yet another maniacal Santa in TO ALL A GOODNIGHT. Let’s just say in genre, Santa can be very naughty himself.

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Aside from BLACK CHRISTMAS - let’s not even talk about the awful remake - GREMLINS and KRAMPUS, the X-mas scares are usually not high quality. You have ELVES, DON’T OPEN TIL CHRISTMAS and so much more to enrich your genre loving lives. My love for scary flicks and all of these awesome movies happily helped inspire a little movie called SICK FOR TOYS - well, perhaps less the cheese and more the holiday. Written by Justin Xavier and myself, the story embraces Christmas in a big way and hopefully will freak the f*ck out of audiences. Directed by David del Rio, the film is heading into production in early January. I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to a Christmas themed horror story this time around.

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Maybe it’s the booze talkin’, but we here at AITH love the magic of cheesy X-mas flicks. Whether it is Eric Freeman proudly announcing it is “Garbage day” or a bunch of killer elves making everyones holiday a whole lot bloody, it can be fun to see a cheapie slasher flick so heavily drenched in the holiday spirit. So this year while you are wrapping presents and singing carols, don’t forget that we as genre fans have a pretty solid selection of scares to entertain in this holiday season. So have some egg nog, put up the stockings and get your twelve days of terror ready and revisit some gory December fun.

Extra Tidbit: What is your favorite X-mas themed horror flick?
Source: AITH



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