I’m a big fan of ‘so bad, it’s good’ films (and cult ones) as generally I find that there’s a lot of good intentions behind them, it’s the same reason why I like outsider music and art brut. Although the end product is not great, there’s a certain endearing charm. Silent Night, Deadly Night is a bit different.
The plot is simple. Young Billy’s parents are murdered by a killer dressed as Santa, which gives Billy a Pavlovian fear of Santa, something which affects him throughout the rest of his childhood.
As Billy grows up he finds a job at a toy store and then during the Christmas period he has to dress up as Santa Claus. This triggers all those old feeling and he goes on a killing rampage, only to be killed at the orphanage he spent his childhood years in.
Time has not been kind to this film and there are a lot of flaws.The acting is horrible from all protagonists. One gets the feeling all the actors felt that they couldn’t take their roles seriously and had to do their best to stop from sniggering on set.
The dialogue is weak and borders on the over simplistic, with totally random statements that are uncharacteristic of the way some characters are portrayed. The best example is when the toy store owner, who is presented to be a dour personality, locks the shop’s door, punches the air and yells ‘lets get shitfaced!!!’
The nudity is totally gratuitous, with an emphasis on breasts. In the beginning when Billy’s mother is being killed, Santa drags her to the ground and slits her throat but not before opening her shirt and looking at her chest. In another scene a couple are about to have sex on a pool table but then billy knocks on the door, the girl exclaims that she has to answer the door with her clothes on. Naturally she just puts on a pair of daisy dukes and answers the door lady Godiva style. I assume as a punishment Billy impales her on a deer head.
Oh and although I do understand gore is part of every slasher film, I do believe that blood should emerge out of the area that is being hit, so here a person may be bludgeoned on the back of the head a blood will mysteriously gush out of the victim’s nose. Oh yes soundtracked to very obvious Foley techniques. You can hear stagehands kicking a box when Billy punches people.
All this renders this horror film as a comedy.
However despite all the flaws is the film entertaining? The answer is that for the first forty minutes there is an actual story being told, so yes. Billy’s fear of Santa is explained well and the murder spree in the toy shop is good but when Billy leaves the toy shop for another forty minute of pure killing the film loses its pace and becomes a dull parade of blood and boobs. Still the film is worth a watch but more for curiosity’s sake.
ho ho ho