In 1005, Santa Claus (the son of Satan) lost a bet to an angel. The wager? 1,000 years of Christmas present delivery. One thousand years have passed. Santa is free from his obligation and is allowed to go back to his favorite pastime- slaughtering humans in outlandish ways.
Professional wrestler Bill Goldberg stars as Santa in one of the most over-the-top Christmas gorefests the world has ever known. You’ll come for the eggnog drownings, but you’ll stay for the helldeer.
Since I closed yesterday with some words with Leonard Maltin, I thought it would be appropriate to open with a couple from Roger Ebert: “stupid and incompetent.”
Jaws: The Revenge is either the third or fourth film in the Jaws franchise. No one is really sure. It is remarkable in its lack of continuity, both in characterization and plot. The story follows Ellen Brody who travels to the Caribbean to spend the Christmas holiday with her one remaining son (the other was killed by a Great White early in the film). The shark, of course, follows her and tries to eat her other son, too. Because it wants her to die a childless widow. Or something.
I don’t care who you are- this movie is brilliant. The shark roars like a water tiger. The last Brody boy is all grown up and tagging conch shells to study their migration habits. So, you know, forget Ebert. As one reviewer on IMDB no one has ever heard of said, “It’s not just so bad its good, it is so utterly bad it is incredible.”
Okay, I’ve mentioned this one twice already. I’d be remiss if I didn’t include it. My only reservation is that I haven’t been able to track a copy down to watch it again, and it has been a few years. But whatever. I will soldier on.
After his usually-catatonic grandfather gives him an prophetic earful about how Santa is a bad man, Billy watches his dad get killed and his mother get raped (and then killed) by a man in a Santa suit. This, of course, messes up his mojo and sets the course for him to don a Santa suit as an adult and go on a murderous rampage. Billy’s out to punish the naughty, as any good man ought to do.
See the movie Leonard Maltin called a “useless splatter film”!
Back in 1984, Charles Sellier shook the world with Silent Night, Deadly Night. Okay, maybe not the world. But he definitely ruffled the feathers of a few concerned parents. Apparently the idea of a killer Santa Claus was a bit much to handle in the year of Driving Miss Daisy.
Anyway, the original film is a classic in the holiday slasher genre, as I mentioned a couple of days ago. Silent Night is its much anticipated remake and, arguably, the must-see holiday slasher of 2012. Remake is perhaps too strong a word for this, though. The plot only follows the original very loosely. The majority of the references to the original are mostly just nods of the head in its general direction. Except the naked-lady-hung-from-the-wall-by-deer-antlers scene. That’s pretty faithfully redone.
The editing is sometimes poor. And the acting is sometimes bad. The tone goes from grisly to campy with hardly any notice. But when the camp hits, it’s in full effect.
If you’re one of those mouthbreathers who doesn’t appreciate a good alternative Santa Claus origin story, avert your eyes now. Go watch Four Christmases or Jingle All the Way or something.
For the rest of you sophisticates, I offer you Rare Exports. There’s not a lot happening in rural Norway. The adults are herding reindeer, the kids are enjoying their snowmobiles, and the archaeologists are excavating Santa from an earthly prison deep inside of a mountain. One of the kids catches on to what’s going down and spends a night researching the true story of the man in red. Luckily, his home library is incredibly expansive, even though his family is very clearly living in poverty. Those Norweigans have their priorities straight.
No amount of knowledge halts progress, though, and the scientists, on Christmas Eve, succeed. For the first time in centuries, Santa’s free and ready to deck the halls with entrails.
Harry saw Mommy banging Santa Claus and it messed him up forever. Now he’s a delusional adult who has come to believe he is the big guy. Only he’s still slightly unhinged. And a bit stabby.
On the surface, this seems like a straight-up holiday slasher. But it isn’t. There’s something intangibly weird deep at its core. The movie isn’t right. The whole thing is subtly surreal. I am able to follow the plot without difficulty, but I still feel like I am missing something. The closest comparable film I can think of is Eraserhead.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, dear friends, is one of the worst movies you will ever see. A concerned Martian father, advised by a Yoda-like old feller in a cave, decides that the children of Mars spend too little time having fun. Being that his own children are enamored by the Santa Claus they see on TV, he decides to kidnap the big guy (Nightmare Before Christmas-style) and bring him to Mars. He, apparently, did not see that scene in Total Recall where a human is exposed to the Martian atmosphere.
The acting is as serious as a prostate exam. The costumes are a cross between third grade school play and the Goodwill electronics section. The plot is simultaneously completely implausible and boring. My thanks go out to David at Obscene Chewing for sending me the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode of this cinematic mistake. Even Gypsy and Crow were hard-pressed to make this garbage entertaining.
I recommend booze, friends, and cocaine.
Sinterklaas is not quite the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus, but he is close enough for our purposes. In fact, he may be a better fit. Santa might be a bit of an oddball with his sleigh and his elves, but ol’ Sinterklaas delivers gifts with the help of a team of “dark” men, represented in the flesh by Dutch dudes in blackface. When you combine that with the terrible dubbing of the English version of the film on Netflix, you’ve got a recipe for camp cupcakes.
As this alternative history goes, Sinterklaas was a bad, bad man who was burned to death a long, long time ago. But, for some new agey reason, he gets to return every time there’s a full moon on December fifth. As you may have guessed, the moon is full this year.
And so it happens- kids are sucked up chimneys, parents get cleaved by axes, and a number of teenagers get inappropriate gifts in their high school secret Sinter gift exchange.
This one may require alcohol. You’ve been warned.
Because what’s Christmas without Gizmo?
A kid gets a weird little creature from his dad that comes with a very specific set of rules. Those rules get violated and bad shit happens. It’s a morality tale for the ages.
When I was a kid, I never really understood that the gremlins were bad. I spent many hours wishing that I had a mogwai of my own that I could feed late at night and drop in the bathtub. It would be sweet to have a house full of gremlins.
I’d say more about the plot, but you’ve seen it. Take the opportunity to watch it again.
Better late than never, right?
In 2004, SyFy did something amazingly ridiculous. They got the rights to two classic and obscure Full Moon franchises and forced them together for the Christmas spectacle of the ages. Those darned evil toys are back and they’re going to ruin Christmas! And it’s all up to Alexander Toulon’s murderous puppets to stop them!
This film violates the histories, futures, and natures of both series. And it has Corey Feldman.