21 February 2024
Christmas Evil (1980)
95 min.
Directed by Lewis Jackson.
With Brandon Maggart, Jeffrey De Munn, Diane Hull, Joe Jamrog, Scott McKay, Peter Friedman.
An interesting little Christmas horror-cum-psych study.

As a young child, Harry Stadling (Maggart) is mentally scarred when he witnesses his mother getting a tad kinky with a fake Santa. Years later, an adult Harry ekes out a meager existence in a mid-level management job at the Jolly Dream toy factory.

However, clearly starved for love and kindness, an unbalanced Harry has taken to worshipping all things Christmas...including dressing up as Ole Saint Nick and dispensing goodies to the less fortunate.

But when he uncovers the cold, corporate machinations of Jolly Dream, Harry becomes unhinged - and sets out on a bizarre yuletide killing spree!

Essentially a subdued black comedy at heart - and therefore no match for true seasonal horror gems like Black Christmas (1974) or Home for the Holidays (1972) - still, this offbeat xmas terror is spirited along by an inspired performance from Maggart as well as some occasionally intriguing touches from director Jackson.

Also known alternately either as Terror in Toyland or as You Better Watch Out.

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