02 September 2014

Silent Night, Bloody Night (1974)
83 min.
Directed by Theodore Gershuny.
With Patrick O'Neal, Mary Woronov, James Patterson, John Carradine, Astrid Heeren, Walter Abel, Fran Stevens, Walter Klavun, Philip Bruns, Candy Darling, Ondine.
This bargain basement Yuletide slasher predates Bob Clark's Black Christmas, having been filmed in 1972 but not released until a few months before the Clark classic.

The story: it's Christmas Eve 1929, and crazy Wilfrid Butler sets himself aflame right on the lawn outside his home.

Flash forward 20 years. In partnership with real estate agent John Carter (O'Neal), Wilfrid's grandson Jeffrey (Patterson) is preparing to sell off the old Butler mansion.

Meanwhile, a maniac escapes from an asylum, sneaks into the Butler house, and begins a local bloody murder spree on Christmas Eve.

The interesting premise suffers from some crude low-budget production values, and amateurish acting at times threatens to make the whole thing cave in on itself. But for fans of early '70s drive-in fare, this might hit the spot.

Decide for yourself: a midnight viewing might make this more fun.

Also known as Death House as well as The Night of the Dark Full Moon.

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