Jamie King and Malcolm McDowell co-star in this loose remake of the original classic, Silent Night, Deadly Night (my take on the original can be found here.) Like the original, it’s a cheap exploitation flick, but unlike the original there is no real story being told here. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It clocks in at a pretty tight 90 minutes and fills it with enough tits and carnage to make it worth your while.
The film takes place in the fictional town of Cryer, WI. A little town, with little people. Among the populace stands a giant of a man. A giant of a man with a grudge to settle and a dream to fulfill. He slashes through the snow looking for his prey with an ax and a flamethrower. This, for reasons unknown, doesn’t sit well with the local police who try to track down this heroic man and stop him from reaching his goal of punishment and revenge. Of course, it doesn’t help them narrow down the search for a man in a Santa suit on Christmas Eve.
Jamie King and Malcolm McDowell play as the two lead antiheroes, they are law enforcement officers who overstep the nature of reality itself by trying to kill Santa Claus. Malcolm McDowell chews the scenery like he’s starring in a Cujo remake as the titular character and Jamie King actually does a good job acting in this. She’s a cop new to the force and unsure of herself and her capabilities as a cop. In the introductory scene to her, we see her doing a crossword puzzle. That’s called “character development”, and I appreciated their attention to fleshing out the characters in this film.
The story is drastically different from the first. I was going to compare and contrast the two films but as I’m writing this I realize what a stupid idea that’d be — if you see both of them you’ll spot ’em right off. The films are so different, other than the killer Santa, that this one can hardly even be called a “remake” — it’s more like “inspired by”. There are a few lines from the first that are used here. There is a scary Grandpa that isn’t scary at all and I don’t know why they put it in. Will Hare’s performance is so iconic, hilarious, unhinged, and downright scary that it’s a thing of delirious beauty. Whoever the asshole playing the Grandpa in this one can’t hang with that, and the line doesn’t matter anyways because the monologue is delivered to a minor character who is insignificant to the plot other than to die real pretty.
All in all, you can do much worse than this film. It has some really nice kills in it and I had fun with it. It’s not as good as the original, Billy Caldwell is the Santa killer Supreme, but it’s not bad at all. Cheap exploitative fun, just in time for the Holidays.
So grab you a cup of eggnog, get the family together, fire up the hearth, and watch Santa do his thing as we celebrate the holidays of horror together.