Awfully Good: Santa's Slay
Santa's Slay (2005)
Director: David Steiman
Stars: Bill Goldberg, Emilie de Ravin, Douglas Smith
After losing a bet a thousand years ago, the Santa we know has only been forced to be nice to everyone on Christmas. Now his time delivering presents is up and everyone everywhere is on the Naughty List.
Any movie that sets Fran Drescher on fire and mortally wounds Chris Kattan in the first five minutes automatically gets a pass. (I think that's one of the Ten Commandments, right?) And make no mistake, SANTA'S SLAY has a killer opening scene, one that features Drescher, Kattan, Rebecca Gayheart and James Caan all getting gruesomely murdered by Santa Claus. It's a nice surprise and one that sets the joyful tone for what's to come. In fact, it's such a good start that as soon as the opening credits roll, you know there's no way the rest of the movie can live up to it. That's definitely true, but SANTA'S SLAY is still mostly a fun ride.
You're welcome, anybody who's ever watched "The Nanny."
If you're wondering how they were able to get Sonny Corleone in a movie starring a professional wrestler as Kris Kringle, SANTA'S SLAY was the debut film of writer-director David Steiman, who started out as Brett Ratner's personal assistant, so I'm sure some favors were called in. (Other cast includes "Lost" hottie Emilie de Ravin and veteran actor Robert Culp.) Steiman fares well his first (and only time) behind the camera and thankfully gets the tone right, keeping things darkly comic and making sure the film never takes itself too seriously. A great example: Santa stops by a strip club to wreak havoc inside. He destroys the place and eventually goes to tear the stripper pole down to use it as a weapon, but takes time to spray it with cleaner and wipe it down before touching it. It's this kind of attention to detail that we can all appreciate.
Sometimes the eight crazy nights get a little too crazy.
In addition to some memorable action moments and great kills (the best of which involves the use of a menorah, ironically enough), there are also a few creative Christmas touches—a nutcracker gun, candy cane knives, and even a classic Rankin-Bass-inspired stop motion animated segment—to put you in the holiday spirit. And I hope you like bad puns, because the film is chock full of eye-rolling wordplay. Goldberg gets to deliver the majority of the one-liners (i.e. "Ho, hoe… HOES!" inside the strip club), but nobody is immune from the cheesiness of the script.
Who doesn't enjoy celebrating Luda-Christmas?
While not a great actor by any stretch, Goldberg is perfectly suited for the role of evil St. Nick. In this version, Santa is actually Satan's son that he had with some chick named Erica. Due to losing a bet, he's been forced to be nice for 1,000 years, but wouldn't you know it, that millennium ends this Christmas Eve and he's ready to make up for lost time. Santa comes armed with exploding presents, ornament bombs, and can even shoot fireballs out of his mouth. (Although he does occasionally choose to use a tazer to zap people in the chestnuts.) It's fun to watch the wrestler lay waste to random people who deserve it. Everyone in this movie, from little children to the elderly, are all-around terrible people, so there's no guilt in seeing them all mercilessly slaughtered for the holidays.
"I'll take 'Great Stripper Names' for $100, Alex."
At a little over 70 minutes without credits, SANTA’S SLAY is thankfully short, but it still manages to overstay its welcome thanks to a disappointing third act. After being chased by the demonic Santa for the majority of the film, the heroes finally set the stage for a final battle at a local hockey rink. Santa first comes at them on a Zamboni, which is as hilariously slow and stupid as it sounds. Then, with the fate of humanity at stake, he decides to have a super dramatic curling competition. Yes, that curling—the sport that becomes a punchline at every Winter Olympics. I'm not sure if it was budget or time or some weird creative decision, but after the great first half, I was expecting more carnage in the finale. Not a bloodless sports drama.
Have a Merry Christmas (or other generic Winter solstice celebration) everyone!
Santa's best one liners and much, much more.
Santa's best kills, including the opening scene.
Some strippers unwrap their presents, if you know what I mean. (Boobs,)
Take a shot or drink every time:
- Santa delivers a one-liner
- Santa kills someone
- There's a celebrity cameo (or someone you at least recognize)
- Someone farts
- An elderly person gets trampled by a reindeer
Thanks to Ryan, Butch and Taylor for suggesting this week's movie!
|Extra Tidbit:||Almost all the lead actors in this movie are Jewish.|