The ultimate killer Santa movie, Silent Night Deadly Night is bloody, sleazy 80s slasher gold. When Billy finally goes all axe on his co-workers at the department store during their Xmas pissup, its a nonstop murderthon. Before that we witness his traumatic childhood at a nun-run orphanage following the brutal murder of his parents by a psycho Santa.
But amidst all the prurient elements (which let’s be honest are a big part of why we’re drawn to these films), is a fairly well handled examination of Billy’s troubled life. He’s a fairly likeable, good hearted young man until they force him to don the Santa suit and all that Xmas coloured trauma come bubbling up to the surface.
This has some memorable kills from Linnea Quigley impaled on deer antlers, the bobsled decapitation to the cop shooting the poor deaf priest dressed as Santa as he approaches the orphanage.
I actually saw the second movie first, so there was a huge amount of deja vu watching this film, given the sequel rehashes the whole movie for 40 mins!
But don’t take it from me, check out these glowing reviews from 1984, just prior to the film being boycotted by angry parents and pulled from cinemas:
“If Charles Dickens were alive today, if he lived in Utah, and was raised by a castrating nun, if he learned to hate women almost as much as he hated life, if he admired grade - B horror movies and - most importantly- if he suffered from massive brain damage, he might have written the screenplay for Silent Night Deadly Night.”
“Silent Night Deadly Night is a sleazy, miserable, insulting, disgusting, worthless, exploitative piece of garbage.”
4 ‘naughty’s’ out of 5.