30 May 2024
Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
84 min.
Directed by Charles E. Sellier.
With Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Robert Brian Wilson, Toni Nero, Britt Leach, Linnea Quigley, Nancy Borgenicht, Danny Wagner, Leo Geter, Randy Stumpf, Will Hare, Jonathan Best.
Yuletide slasher also known as Slayride.

Five year old Billy (Best) witnesses his parents brutally murdered by a psycho in a Santa Claus outfit.

The poor boy is taken to Saint Mary's orphanage, where he has a difficult time exorcising his horrific childhood trauma...

Years pass by, and 18 year-old Billy (Robert Brian Wilson) - now a strapping hunky lad - gets a seasonal stock job at a holiday store called Ira's Toys.

But when Billy is asked to stand-in as the new Santa for the store...something snaps in the demented young man's mind.

Billy goes ballistic and starts murdering all those on his naughty list. And that list goes on and on and on and on....

Now Santa's got a brand new bag...and it's full of dead bodies!

A straightforward narrative charms this earnest splatter effort, with some decent death sequences and a few visually arresting moments (antler impalement, anyone?).

Underscored by some outrageous performances, most notably from the menacing Mother Superior (Chauvin) not to mention Grandpa Chapman (Hare).

Bottom line: Silent Night remains one of the better eggnog bloodfests.

Followed by the atrocious Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 in 1987, which was in turn followed by three more sequels.

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