By Leah Cifello
I love the Christmas season. I love all the lights and decorations and parades and cheesy crap and old TV specials I've been watching since I was a kid. Sitting comfortably and seamlessly among all of this holiday ephemera are all the Christmas-related horror films that have come out over the years. There's nothing better than sitting down with some eggnog and sugar cookies (or gin and pain pills, whatever) and alternating between Mickey's Christmas Carol and Silent Night, Deadly Night. And speaking of Silent Night, Deadly Night, it's been remade and is all wrapped up in a pretty bow, waiting for you to unwrap it this holiday season. But will you be hastily re-gifting it or cherishing it for seasons to come?
First of all, I don't think it's really fair to compare the original with the remake. Obviously, the makers of the film have brought that upon themselves, but the films are really two different beasts entirely. There are winking nods to the original peppered throughout, but this movie has its own story to tell. Or, well, at least it has its own blood to spill.
The story, such as it is, concerns a small Wisconsin town getting ready for a big celebration on Christmas Eve. The mayor dutifully decorates his house as his daughter snorts coke and picks up her paycheck from the dubious porn photographer she works for out of a scuzzball motel. The town's pervy priest tries to get his hands on some fleshy Christmas cheer. The pretty, plucky Deputy Bradimore is forced to work on this day despite dealing with her first Christmas after losing her husband. Does Malcolm McDowell's Sheriff Cooper give a rat's ass? Hell no! He's much too busy spouting lines that sound like they came out of an episode of Baretta and being a cranky asshole to everyone around him, but since it's Malcolm McDowell, he's a fun asshole to watch. Into this sordid mess of a dead-end town enters a mysterious Santa suit-clad killer who's offing the town's naughty folks in very, very unpleasant ways. One problem: this whole damned town seems to be populated by Santas. It's like a Santa convention has descended upon Wisconsin. This makes finding the Bad Santa very difficult, especially since most of the other Santas are degenerates anyway. Some enjoy making kids cry, some deal coke, and some fuck whatever pussy they can get their hands on. Definitely brings me back to my formative years of small-town living.
Okay, since nobody really cares about the plot of this movie (I know I didn't), let's get down to brass tacks and talk about what really matters. The original Silent Night was renowned the world over for its nasty, sleazy tone, gory deaths, and complete glee in destroying any semblance of innocence relating to Christmas. This film has and does all of that in spades. You get electrocutions, exploding eyeballs, kids being killed, flamethrower carnage, all manner of hackings and impalements, dismemberment, a particularly nasty and drawn out woodchipper death, lovely natural titties bouncing all around, a head split in half, and yes, the infamous, amazing antler impalement remains. The creepy grandpa is still here, at least as creepy as before, and there's even a mention of the famous "Garbage Day!" line from Part 2 that had me howling with delight.
The film never lulls or outstays its welcome, nor does it get bogged down with character backstories or trying to be serious. This movie doesn't take a frame of itself seriously, yet the humor is strictly of the morbid variety, so don't let the humor aspect scare you off. This is essentially the perfect movie to kick off your holiday festivities with. Gather your friends and/or loved ones (you sick fucker), get crocked on your libation of choice, and have a ton of fun with it, because that's all this movie is interested in doing for you and all you'll want from it. It delivers.