Merry Christmas! And holy crap, this is our 10th Mass Invasion!! WOW! That's super awesome! I decided to tap into the Christmas well again and focus on this little movie because, frankly, I'm dying to cover the sequel, which I feel is better, despite the first 45 minutes being just a recap of this movie.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. "Silent Night Deadly Night" was release in 1984 and was pretty much universally panned by uptight people, including Siskel and/or Ebert (I forget if they both hated it or just one of them). It got a bad rep cause it's a movie about a dude dressed like Santa Claus going around killing topless women. And I guess kids were hard to control in 1984. I was only 4 and my thoughts about it were "MOMMY! I MADE A POOPY AGAIN!"
So apparently, the version released in theaters was heavily edited and this version that we watched (I assumed) put all the edited material back in. As a result, we get a warning off the bat about how certain scenes of the movies look horrible cause they didn't survive the quality transfer or some bullshit like that. Honestly, the added scenes didn't seem too bad. Just some additional shots to scenes that were already in the movie. Honestly, film editors are a weird bunch.
Ok enough of my jibber jabber, let's get on with it. This being the 10th Mass Invasion, you probably know who everyone is just by name by now. So I won't bother with introductions. Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you "Silent Night, Deadly Night".
Here we go! Head's up: The opening credits try to trick you. I'm serious. An innocuous title screen with "Silent Night" and a festive holiday wreath appear on the screen, and suddenly, it EXPLODES in cartoonish blood and the word "Deadly Night "appear! Ok, seriously, did this title think it was fooling anyone? Was Silent Night Deadly Night playing alongside a movie simply called Silent Night? Why the trickery?
From the extremely handy establishing shot, we learn that it's Christmas Eve 1971. A car is driving in a snowy mountainous area. Did I put in "The Shining" by mistake? Inside the car, a happy couple, 4 year old Billy and an infant listen to ridiculously sappy Christmas music. That baby isn't in a car seat! I hope the stupid parents are killed violently.
What's the young family's holiday destination? Is it a traditional family meal with all the relatives? A quest to obtain the perfect tree? Christmas Mass with a tacked-on Nativity play? Nope! They're driving to a mental facility! "Facility: doesn't sound as bad as "asylum," but slightly worse than a mental hospital. Apparently, crazy Grandpa is kept at the facility.
Grandpa is pretty much comatose, and the adults talk about him like he isn't there, then leave Billy alone with him while they fill out paperwork. As soon as they're out of the room, the old man grabs Billy and tells him that Christmas Eve is the scariest night of the year. This is news to me, as I've always considered any night that my creepy grandfather accosted me in the mental hospital to be the creepiest night of the year.
Grandpa tells the kid that Santa punishes all the naughty children on Christmas Eve while creepy music plays in the background. Why is this a revelation? I thought that was the whole shtick. Santa fucks over the bad kids to learn 'em a lesson and rewards the good kids with Power Wheels, Slim Jims, and anal beads. But little Billy seems terrified by this revelation. The parents walk back in and grandpa fakes being comatose again while Billy shits himself (probably).
Billy rats out grandpa while they drive away, and the kid admonishes his parents for being bad, and insists that Santa punishes bad people. Although only 4, Billy is an expert at foreshadowing. The parents seem concerned that grandpa snapped out of his catatonic state, but not concerned enough to turn around and tell the doctor.
Elsewhere, a man dressed as Santa robs a convenience store. The fat shopkeeper gets shot and the murderous Santa makes off with $31. Santa drives off in his awesome car that looks like a red version of the car from the Playstation game Driver. I hope Santa brings me a working Playstation this year! I'd cash in my anal beads to be able to play that game again...
The happy family drives down a desolate country road and runs into the killer Claus, who appears to be having car trouble. Billy, still freaked out about Santa, pleads with his father to keep driving. Unfortunately, nobody listens to whiny-bitch children. After a brief conversation, Santa shoots the father in the head. Billy has foresight enough to run away and hide in a ditch, while mommy does nothing but scream. Santa pulls mommy out of the car, rips off her top and slits her throat while Billy looks on. Thankfully, there's no inappropriate song like "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" playing while Santa slits her throat and stares at her rack. Santa can't find Billy, who must have slipped on the Invisibility Cloak that Aunt Rose got him for Christmas, and the scene fades away to 1974...
So let that be a lesson to all the negligent parents out there: Put your kid in a car seat, or Santa will rip off your top and slit your throat.
After the traumatizing events of that Christmas Eve, Billy is sent to live with the nuns and other orphans in Saint Mary's Home for Orphan Children to be traumatized some more. After Billy draws a picture of Santa with knives sticking out of him and a beheaded reindeer he's sent to see Mother Superior for his punishment. Another nun tries to tell Mother Superior that Billy needs help and he gets worse every Christmas. But Mother Superior thinks that if Billy is punished enough he'll get over it.
The nice nun goes to where Billy has been locked in his room and tells him that it'll be ok if he goes outside and helps build a snowman with the rest of the children. Billy doesn't want to go out at first because Mother Superior will probably be mad but the nice nun convinces him that it'll be fine. Billy leaves his room and hears a lot of squeaking and moaning and heavy sighing coming from somewhere in the orphanage. He follows the sound and he looks in through the key hole and there are two naked people making out in there. I don't know who these people are though. A nun and a delivery boy? Two older orphans that you never see again? People that get turned on by orphanages and just snuck in? And they certainly weren't very discreet considering Billy could hear them down the hallway and around the corner. When Billy sees the girl's naked breasts he flashes back to his mother being brutalized by Santa. Yeah this kid is gonna be really messed up later. Mother Superior finds what's going on, shoves Billy out of the way, flings the door open, grabs a belt and the punishments start flying.
Mother Superior finds Billy outside and tells him that the people that were making out were naughty and they wear doing it because they thought they wouldn't get caught but when you're naughty you're always caught! And when you're naughty you need to be punished! "Punishment is absolute! Punishment is necessary! Punishment is good!"
Billy has a dream where Santa Claus is murdering his parents. He wakes up screaming and runs out of his room. Of course Mother Superior catches him right away. And her solution to all of Billy's problems is to tie him down to his bed!
It's Christmas morning, all the other kids are downstairs and playing with their presents. Billy is finally let out of his room and tells Mother Superior that he's learned his lesson and he'll be good from now on. Of course he's gonna say that when presents are involved. Mother Superior accepts that and lets him have his present. Mother Superior thinks that she has cured Billy and that he'll sit on Santa Claus's lap and behave, but is she ever wrong. After being forced to sit on Santa's lap he punches him in the nose! And then runs to hide in his room knowing that he's in for the punishment of a life time.
Ten years later the nice nun, Sister Margaret, is pleading for the owner of a toy store to give Billy a job. But Mr. Sims doesn't need help from some kid, he needs a man. "Oh here's Billy now," says the Sister. And Billy is buff! I guess the new gym that they added on the orphanage really worked out! Mr. Sims gets a look at Billy and he's hired on the spot. So now we get a wonderful "Billy working at the toy store" montage complete with a "working at the toy store" song. Billy's lifting heavy boxes. And helping people get things on high shelves. He's opening boxes and putting together Mr. Potato Heads. Eating his lunch and making goo goo eyes at one of his cute coworkers. And life is swell! But Christmas is coming soon...
‘Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the store
The shoppers were merry
On the warm side of the door.
Porny coworker was dropping f-bombs
And Billy was lifting some stock
But Billy saw Santa, his face in a scowl
And that really rankled his smock.
Pamela can’t really offer support
As her bra offers none for her
Billy’s a freak with a Santa Complex
Tormented by red suits and fur.
Porny coworker gives Billy more shit
And Santa won’t show for his job
Mr. Sims decides Billy should be Santa Claus
Oh Sims, you are quite the knob.
With Billy as Santa and booze on their lips
The employees drink and get loud
While Porny sweeps Pamela off to the back
To whip out his North Pole away from the crowd.
Pamela falls for Porny’s lame tricks
She’s obviously such a noob
But FINALLY a redeeming point to the flick
We actually get to see boob.
A flashback for Billy of bad things he’s seen
His demons come out of their cage
With an axe and a crossbow and evil in his eyes
He takes down his coworkers with rage.
Off into the night with his axe and his beard
Billy Santa goes out on the run
To bring Christmas tidings to naughty townsfolk
And narrowly missing the nun.
And I heard him exclaim
As he left the toy store
“Got a sack full of whoop-ass
Now who wants some more?”
Jason loves me so much that he gave me the part of the movie where Linnea Quigley busts out her titties. Hooray! Thanks, Jason! And a Merry Christmas to you, too!
Some carolers who look really grumpy and ready to go home are standing outside someone's house in the suburbs, singing a weird, made-up Christmas song that somebody wrote specifically for this movie because they were paranoid about getting sued. One caroler is totally spazzing out, opening her mouth really wide and jerking her head around as she sings because her acting coach told her it would make her look "expressive."
In the basement of the house directly behind the carolers, Linnea Quigley is laying on a pool table and making out with a shirtless guy. There's a close-up of the guy unsnapping Linnea Quigley's blouse, exposing her luscious bazongas to the camera (Hooray!!). Some little girl suddenly shows up at the top of the stairs and starts whining that she wants to see Santa Claus. Linnea hastily re-snaps her blouse and tells the kid to shut the fuck up and go away. "If you don't go back to bed, Santa won't come!" she yells. "He's not the only one," her boyfriend smirks. The little girl looks crestfallen and putters away. Linnea's boyfriend takes Linnea's shirt off again, looking rightfully triumphant, but then all of a sudden Linnea decides to delay the sex some more by going upstairs and letting the cat in. Her boyfriend is irritated and confused. Linnea pulls on some cut-offs and goes upstairs without a shirt, even though the little girl she's babysitting was just wandering around the house like five seconds ago and Linnea should probably be worried about getting caught. Whatever. Nice boobs, Linnea! Shake it!
Linnea opens the door and stands there for like thirty seconds with no shirt on, yelling loudly into the street for the cat. The carolers, tragically, are gone. They'll never know what they missed.
The cat runs in through the door, and then right at the exact same second, Evil Santa appears and Linnea screams and runs away. He chases her around the house with an axe, and then he picks her up and carries her around for awhile so you can see her ass. Then he impales her on a big pair of taxidermied deer antlers that are mounted on the wall. "PUNISH! PUNIIIIIIISH!!!" he moans. Linnea coughs up some blood and dies.
Downstairs, Linnea's doofy boyfriend is sick of waiting, so he goes upstairs, figures out that something's wrong, discovers her body, and then fights Evil Santa with a fire poker. I think Santa falls down the stairs, but from the way it's shot I'm not totally sure what happened. Doofy Boyfriend grabs a princess phone and tries to call for help by dialing the operator (were people seriously still doing that in the '70s?) but of course Santa jumps his ass before he can get through to anybody and strangles him with the phone cord. Then Santa rips the guy's shirt off (?) and throws him out a second story window, which is weird, because that guy only walked up one flight of stairs from the basement a minute ago. But whatever, he's dead.
Santa grabs his axe and is on his way out the door when the annoying little girl from the previous scene shows up and starts bothering him. Ominous music plays as he slowly walks toward her. "Oh Santa Claus, I knew you'd come! Did you bring me a present?" Santa wants to know if she's been naughty or nice. She says she's been nice. Santa pulls out a bloody box cutter and holds it behind his back. "Are you SURE?" he asks. She nods. He slowly kneels down, takes the box cutter from behind his back, hands it to her, then smiles and leaves. Awesome scene.
Some local hick deputies drive around and banter boringly about how the Police Chief wants them to bring in Santa Claus on Christmas Eve and they're surprised he doesn't want them to bring in the Easter Bunny too, etc. A Wacky Hijinks scene ensues where they accidentally arrest some guy who was pretending to be Santa Claus to surprise his daughter.
Elsewhere, some nerdy Jewish kids are going sledding and making bad jokes. One of the kids looks like he'll probably be hot in a few years. Some bullies show up and hassle the nerdy kids, threatening to steal their sleds. "You know, I wanna grow up to be just like you," the nerdy-kid-who-isn't-hot says sarcastically, "Ugly, and VERY stupid!" You'll probably get your wish, kid. The bullies beat up the nerds and the nerds run away. Then the bullies sled down the hill using the sleds they just stole, and Santa jumps out and decapitates the second guy as he's nearing the bottom. "NAUGHTEEEEEE!!!!" The guy's head rolls down the hill after him. It's pretty funny.
Deputy Barney is driving around when he gets a call to go to the Orphanage to protect Mother Superior and the kids. While he's on his way, the kids are let outside to go play in dirty snow. During said playtime, a guy dressed as Santa makes his way to the Orphanage. Some kids take notice are get happy.
Barney happens to pull in and spots a Santa dude going up to the Orphanage. Since this dude didn't learn the lesson from the night before with the Dad dressed as Santa, it doesn't occur to him that this could be some OTHER guy. But I guess the State of Utah has a "Shoot first, pray to the Book of Mormon later" policy.
Seriously, look at this! Was this filmed in Spring?!
So Barney jumps out of his truck and yells "HEY! STOP!" but the Santa keeps on approaching the kids. Barney does what any of us would do, and shoot down Santa right in front of a bunch of orphaned kids. On Christmas Day. Yeah, you can just hear his acceptance speech for a Medal of Honor.
A quick scene with Sister Margaret and Detective Guy driving to the orphanage reveals that the Santa Barney shot down ISN'T BILLY! WHA??? Turns out it was a 50-year-old Priest. Who's deaf. Good job, Barney. Somehow, he still has a badge after that and goes inside the Orphanage and exchanges words with Mother Superior, where she says "no harm must come to the children". Unless she's the one doing harm to them.
Barney decides to pretend he's still a cop and roams around outside. He finds a doorway to some weird basement that I'm sure Mother Superior uses as a torture chamber and looks around there. This scene is only here to build suspense. You know the cop is dead cause he just killed a fuckin' deaf priest.
Sure enough, as he makes his way up, Billy arrives and yells "NAUGHTY!" and plunges an ax into Barney's chest. With Barney dead, Billy is free to go kill Mother Superior. But for some reason, Billy takes out the snowman out front. Maybe he thought it held the soul of Michael Keaton.
Inside the Orphanage, Mother Superior is making the kids sing while whipping them (not really but would've been funny) when one little kid notices that Billy Claus is outside. Not knowing any better, or thinking anything about the first Santa being shot down in cold blood, the kid opens the door for Billy, letting him in.
The other kids also don't think anything of the first Santa and are happy to see him. Maybe they thought he was a stunt Santa or something. Mother Superior decides to scar these LITTLE kids some more by saying over and over "There IS no Santa Claus!"
Billy is about to plunge the ax right into Mother Superior's face, while she prays for a Christmas miracle and boy howdy does she get one cause the Detective Dude is suddenly there and he shoots Billy multiple times. So to recap, these kids are not only orphans, and get tormented on a daily basis by Mother Superior, but they just watched TWO random dudes shoot TWO guys dressed as Santa. I think these kids are gonna be even more fucked up than Billy was.
Billy falls down and before he dies he tells the kids that Santa is now gone. Well, THAT helps and he dies. The camera pans to the ax, which is now laying right in front of Ricky, who looks down, then looks up and simply mutters the word "naughty". This shot was created to set up the sequel. And that brings us to the end. Go grab your kids so I can shoot this Santa in the head.
Silent Night Deadly Night is a solid horror movie. It isn't great, but it's never dull and it's short enough that I could follow it while drinking heavily. It gets extra points for having a scene in a toy store with close-ups of vintage Star Wars toys. Also, for a movie less than 90 minutes, there are a surprising number of tits. Nothing says "Christmas" like murderous Santas and 6 titties.
If I was Billy instead of becoming evil Santa and punishing people I would go crazy and start killing other Santas. Isn't Santa the bad guy here? Or is it deeper than that? Billy snaps when seeing bare chested woman and starts killing people like the evil Santa who killed his bare chested mother. If these woman were wearing bras then they wouldn't have been killed. Billy snaps when he sees boobs! This is one big giant pro-bra commercial. Not that I mind really, but ladies, wear a bra or Santa will kill you!
Three stars. I thought it was a great combination of hideous acting and ridiculous plot. I was going to give it 2 stars, but it's the holiday season. Have an extra star on me!
Even though I knew about half of what happened in this movie just by watching the sequel, I still quite liked it. The only thing it was missing was the guy that plays Ricky in Part 2. If he was in this one as Billy, it would've been the greatest movie ever. I want the guy that plays Ricky to be in EVERY movie. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
I can definitely see where all the negative comments come from, it is a fucked up movie. Then again, horror movies aren't made for kids, but I'm not gonna get into that discussion right now. This is a decent horror movie and it's got a shitload of tits, like Adam said. Can't really go wrong with that.