Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) [REVIEW]

silent night deadly night movie poster 1984

 

This movie was in my “to watch”  pile for Christmas, but considering I just watched the remake of this movie without knowing it was a remake, I figured I’d see what the original was all about. Even though I know that the remake was just loosely based on this plot, I knew there was going to be some sort of overlap in material, and considering I wasn’t too fond of Silent Night, I had pretty low standards for Silent Night, Deadly Night. While trying to learn a little bit more about the movie, I saw that it was released the same weekend as A Nightmare on Elm Street, and that first weekend, even did BETTER than A Nightmare on Elm Street. Unfortunately, there was a huge campaign against the movie from cranky moms who didn’t want there to be a movie where any image of Santa could’ve been presented as a killer. The next weekend, A Nightmare on Elm Street did better financially, and Silent Night, Deadly Night did so poorly and had such a controversial stigma around it that it was only in theaters for two weeks. Parents ruin everything!

 

silent night deadly night choking christmas lights

No no no, you’re not just getting choked, you’re getting choked by Christmas lights! FUCK YOU!

While driving home from visiting his insane grandpa with his family, Billy sees a man in the middle of the road dressed as Santa claiming to have car trouble. The thing is, the audience has already seen this Santa rob a convenience store and kill the store clerk, so we know that this Santa is up to no good. Billy sees this shithead Santa murder his parents in front of him, obviously causing some psychological issues, especially considering his crazy grandfather told him Santa was evil in the beginning of the movie, so him and his baby brother end up at an orphanage. At age 8, with Christmas approaching, Billy sees some grownups participating in grownups activities (like paying taxes…naked), and is physically reprimanded by one of the nuns. Now this kid hates Santa AND naked ladies! Will he ever catch a break?! Once he is of age and is released from the orphanage, he tries integrating into normal society. He gets a job at a toy store, tries talking to women, all that normal stuff. At the toy store, he is forced to fill in as Santa, and when he hears a coworker trying to have sex with another, Billy snaps and thinks that because he is Santa, he is now the one who judges who is naughty or nice. He kills some of his coworkers, he sees a couple having sex in a nearby house and kills them, and sees a couple bullies stealing a sled, so Billy kills the bullies. The police know that there’s a killer Santa around town, so they intervene when a father climbs in his daughter’s window, and when they realize Billy’s the killer, even shoot and kill a Santa they see at his former orphanage. Not Billy though, just a deaf priest. Billy is stopped at the orphanage, and he is killed, and in his last moments, Billy even seems to be happy that Santa is now dead. How can there be four sequels to this movie? Well, one of the orphans who witnesses his death is his younger brother! What a coincidence!

 

silent night deadly night linnea quigley naked shorts

Probably wouldn’t have happened had you chosen to wear Levi buttcheek exposing shorts, Ms. Linnea Quigley.

I was pretty hesitant about watching this movie because to my knowledge, really the only Christmas horror movie people seem to agree on is Black Christmas, so I was nervous that anything could be as entertaining as that. The reason why that movie, and the reason why Silent Night, Deadly Night, really work is that they don’t need to focus on the holiday to make the story interesting. Whether it was Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny or a leprechaun, the idea of Santa wasn’t intrinsic to the plot so much as a mascot, which normally makes people happy, was being corrupted. I think the themes of naughty vs. nice ties into Christmas more directly than other holidays, but I think that had Billy seen his parents killed by a guy in a turkey costume, this could have just as easily been a Thanksgiving themed horror movie. I understand why the filmmakers really pushed the Santa imagery, because it was gimmicky and would help sell the film, but the costume isn’t nearly as important as the guy in the costume. I think maybe being disappointed with the remake really helped me to enjoy this film, so my judgement might be a little biased. Still, it says a lot that the remake’s opening scene had people getting killed immediately, and it took a solid 45 minutes before Billy turned on anyone. Oh yeah! And let’s not forget Linnea Quigley being in this movie! I didn’t recognize her right away, because she wasn’t dancing naked in a graveyard, but she was the lady who arbitrarily answered her door topless, and she has a knack for that. Even though there wasn’t really a twist in this one or anything, it was a pretty decent slasher with some pretty fun death scenes (the kid riding headless on a sled was my favorite) and a pretty good set up for the next installment. And did I mention a topless Linnea Quigley?

 

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three quarters moon

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4 responses to “Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) [REVIEW]

  1. Pingback: Review: Silent Night Deadly Night « Nameless Horror·

  2. Pingback: Christmas Evil (1980) [REVIEW] | The Wolfman Cometh·

  3. Pingback: Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 (1987) [REVIEW] | The Wolfman Cometh·

  4. Pingback: Don’t Open Till Christmas (1984) [REVIEW] | The Wolfman Cometh·

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