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Silent Night, Deadly Night - Anchor Bay Entertainment Print E-mail
User Rating: / 6
Written by Richard Taylor   
Monday, 05 January 2015
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AKA: Sangriento Papá Noel, Тиха нощ, смъртоносна нощ, Natal Sangrento, Noche de paz, noche de muerte, Jouluyö murhayö, Douce nuit, sanglante nuit, Natale di sangue, Silent Night, Deadly Night - Un Natale rosso sangue, Cicha noc, smierci noc, O Fatal Silêncio da Noite, Тихая ночь, смертельная ночь, Slayride, Stille Nacht - Horror Nacht

Directed by:
Charles E. Sellier Jr.
Written by:
Paul Caimi, Michael Hickey
Produced by:
Ira Barmak
Henning Schellerup
Editing by:
Michael Spence
Music by:
Perry Botkin Jr.
Special Effects by:
Karl Wesson
Linnea Quigley, Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Robert Brian Wilson, Will Hare
1h 25min

Distributed by: Anchor Bay Entertainment

The seminal, sleazy Christmas time horror/exploitation classic. Revered by movie critics (Siskel and Ebert) and protested by morality family groups upon its release in theatres. Charles E Sellier's cult killer Santa Clause slasher, Silent Night, Deadly Night, is a must see for horror/exploitation movie aficionado's and I mean once a year around Christmas time every year. I watch it once a year every Christmas. It has become as much a tradition for me as hanging stockings by the fireplace. To be noted, in the uncut version you can notice the decline of film quality in the extended scenes, all appearing grainy much like the extended disembowelment scene in Wes Craven’s Last House on the Left.

All the deer antler impaling, axe decapitating, Christmas light strangling and box cutter slicing is here in full holiday spirit. Santa punishes the naughty and gives gifts to the nice children, such as box cutters. Silent Night, Deadly Night delivers all the cruel cliché stereotypes from a sadistic mother superior at an orphanage and teenagers engaging in sex romps before getting offed to the police gunning down innocent folks dressed in Santa costumes. Lead character Brian Wilson plays Billy, a young man (and wonderfully wacko Santa) whose fate was chosen in such a cruel way, with an unflinching downward spiral.

The story begins when young Billy, his baby brother and their folks decide to take a seemingly never ending road trip on Christmas eve to a mental institution to visit a crazier than a shit house rat Grandpa, played menacingly by Will Hare. Gramps has been in a catatonic state for years it seems and only when Billy is left alone with him does he revive long enough to spin a demented tale about Santa punishing the naughty to scare the living shit out of Billy. I quote from Grandpa: "You see Santa tonight boy, you better run, run for your life!" This is probably one of the best segments in the movie and deserves to be viewed repeatedly on YouTube.

Poor Billy who is now terrified of Santa makes the drive home with his family but as coincidence should have it that a killer robber dressed in a Santa suit has been wreaking havoc at a nearby convenience store. Billy's family drives by the killer and his broken down car on the highway and stop to help him, especially due to the fact that he is dressed as the friendly Christmas symbol. The sadistic Santa slashes and shoots his way through the parents (Billy's mom gets her shirt ripped off and tits exposed before she's done in) whilst Billy runs away and his baby brother is left screaming in the car, leaving them both traumatized for the rest of their miserable lives.

To make things worse the boys are thrown in an orphanage with a cruel mother superior who believes "punishment is absolute!" One of the gentler nuns tries to help Billy but her efforts are futile and he always ends up on the wrong side of the whipping belt. You can't help but feel bad for the boy no matter how ludicrous, violent, clichéd and over-the-top the story seems, he just couldn't fight the traumatic events of the past. The system failed him miserably. Years and beatings pass in the orphanage and Billy now a seemingly strong physically and mentally healthy young man gets a job at a toy store as a stockroom clerk, conveniently around Christmas time of course. Billy turns out to be a model employee at "Ira's Toys" and even connects with another female employee there.

Things take a turn for worse when Christmas arrives and Billy starts exhibiting strange behaviours leaving his coworkers to wonder what the hell is going on with him. The demented icing on the cake for Billy, the one thing that drives him over the edge and pulls at the last frayed ends of sanity he has left is when he is approached in a desperate last minute attempt to fill in for the sick staff member who didn't show up to play Santa in the store -- Billy's worst nightmare has come true. Soon all the painful memories resurface with flashbacks of the night his parents were murdered, all the naughty people, all the punishment and what his warped mind is telling him to do, one thing and one thing only, punish!

Silent Night, Deadly Night will forever go down in the annals of bad horror/sleaze/exploitation films as a classic of cult cinema and will be appreciated for years to come. The acting, the music, the characters, it’s all a camp cult celebration in grade z movie fashion. It’s maybe not quite, say, the status of John Carpentar's Halloween during Halloween but when I think of Christmas horror movies this is the first one that comes to mind and maybe Bob Clark's Black Christmas. Silent Night, Deadly Night has spawned a bunch of sequels including a hilarious so bad its good second installment which picks up right where the first one left off. Billy's younger brother dons the killer Santa moniker, a film that makes the original seem like a masterpiece. Sit down with a nice glass of egg nog and rum, turn the Christmas lights down low, lock your windows and doors and enjoy -- you might hear Billy outside your door in his Santa suit yell "Punish!" or "Naughty!".



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