Awfully Good: Silent Night
Silent Night (2012)
Director: Steven C. Miller
Stars: Jaime King, Malcom McDowell, Donal Logue
Santa Claus is coming to town! To kill you with an axe.
We've seen our fair share of killer Kris Kringle movies, from SANTA'S SLAY to CHRISTMAS EVIL. Hell, there was even BIKINI BLOODBATH CHRISTMAS. SILENT NIGHT—a loose remake of the 1984 cult classic SILENT NIGHT,DEADLY NIGHT—follows in this fatally festive tradition. And as long as you know what to expect, you're going to have a good time.
How Mrs. Clause keeps Santa so jolly.
I'll tell you the exact moment this film won me over. Near the beginning, we meet a spoiled young girl who's terrorizing her poor mother—cursing at her, demanding she be taken to the mall, and even throwing her heart medication on the floor. As the mom leaves the room contemplating the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, there's a knock at the door. It's Santa! St. Nick reaches in to his sack and pulls out…a cattle prod. He electrocutes the insufferable child for a few moments and THEN impales her with a jolly fireplace poker.
Oh, it's going to be that kind of movie.
A Very Fargo Christmas!
The Santa in SILENT NIGHT really only punishes bad little boys and girls who deserve it, at least in his eyes. It's the kind of flick where you're almost rooting for the bad guy. We see him go after a corrupt and pervy priest, a drug dealer, some teens engaging in pre-marital sex and a porn star, who, in the movie's best kill, gets nakedly chased around for a few minutes before being dispensed into a wood chipper. It's never really explained how Santa knows who's naughty or nice or exactly what his rubric for good behavior is. (One character seems to get offed because he won't quit smoking.) But who cares; he has a flame thrower and brass knuckles that say "HO HO HO."
No, because I'm not currently stabbing my eyes and ears.
Jaime King is no stranger to the genre (having also starred in the remakes of MOTHER'S DAY and MY BLOODY VALENTINE) and is likable as the heroine despite being saddled with the straight and serious role. The supporting cast includes Ellen Wong (SCOTT PILGRIM's Knives Chau) and Donal Logue (the underrated "Terriers" and "Grounded for Life"), but it's madman Malcolm McDowell who steals the show by a mile. I don't know what's going on with the former CLOCKWORK ORANGE star in this stage of his career but it's like he's turned on his inner Nicolas Cage and can't find the "off" switch. McDowell's sheriff character is completely insane—ignoring reality for most of the movie and using a random Southern accent for the rest of it. He gets to spout off classic lines like, "Don't put avocado on the burger!" and "A crime fighter's senses switch to something primeval, from when we hunted cave-bears and dinosaurs." McDowell clearly will not turn down a role (he's credited in over 17 different film and television roles in 2012 alone) and for this we are thankful.
I think that will legally hold up as "She was asking for it!" in any court of law.
I'll admit to having never seen the original SILENT NIGHT, mainly because it was so hard to find on home video until recently. But that didn't stop me from recognizing all the references made in this remake, since they have the subtlety of a brick in your back. Things like the infamous "garbage day" line are eye-rollingly funny but why would you shoehorn in the entire catatonic grandfather scene again, especially when it has no relevance to the movie and completely stops the action for five minutes. And don't get me started on the random and lazy "twist" ending that's less of an actual twist and more of a necessary plot point. "Oh crap, we never explained this." "Don't worry, just put it at the end and they'll think they've been Shyamalan-ed!"
"What's this?! Santa Flambe??"
Some witty banter, sexy puns and the awesomeness of Malcom McDowell unhinged.
A few of the best kills, including a naked chick who loves FARGO, a guy with a splitting headache and a girl who gets really, really horny. (NSFW)
Enjoy the naked girl running around outside while you can.
Take a shot or drink every time:
- You hear a Christmas carol
- Malcom McDowell delivers an epic line
- There's a reference to the original movie
- Santa breaks a doorknob
- Someone gets stabbed in the penis
- Girl meets woodchipper
Thanks to Jim Law for suggesting this week's movie!