Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
He’ll sleigh you!
This notorious movie sparked massive protests upon release and spawned four sequels and a remake. It’s less gore soaked than the average ‘Saw’ movie, it’s the mean spirited jabs at Christmas that made this film infamous.
Billy and his baby brother accompany their parents to visit their mad grandfather who looks like a demented Burt Reynolds. On the way home a hood dressed as Santa kills the parents as a terrified Billy cries. Billy and his baby bro Ricky end up in an orphanage run by nasty nuns. When Billy is a strapping 18 year old, he is given a job in a toy store at Christmas. Cue a happy musical montage. Then Billy has to be the store Santa. This leads to Billy having a psychotic break and stringing a co-worker up with Christmas lights. Then he heads out to kill more people.
In a famous scene he stumbles across two fornicating babysitters. He impales Denise (Linnea Quigley of ‘Night of the Demons’ and ‘Return of the Living Dead’) on antlers then throws her boyfriend out the window. There are more mean spirited hilarious jokes. Then there is the brilliant ending. This was okay.
“Your brother’s a nutcase. That’s what wrong.”
“Try not to scare the little bastards.”
Through a series of idiot happenstances, a man ends up possessed by voodoo snakes. He chases down and kills various unpleasant people for no clear reason. This was boring, populated by morons and afflicted by terrible acting. All the characters speak with a flat effect and the bad guy looks like a mobile compost heap. This was murky with an idiot ending. This had screaming, a Bijou Phillips cameo, CGI snakes and people just stand around screaming instead of running. There are bad movies, there are inept movies and there are movies like this.
Neglectful pot smoking parents find their children are endangered by spirits in their house. The actresses who played the two daughters, Dominique Dunne and Heather O’Rourke, died before their time which is creepy.
The family live in suburban joy with fluffy toilet seats, mom jeans, a creepy tree and a creepy clown doll and then the chair stacking poltergeists show up. Maybe if the parents had turned their damn TVs off then this would never have happened. The spirits erupt in a welter of dated SFX.
Paranormal investigators show up, none of the neighbours notice anything and Craig T. Nelson chews the scenery after learning his home is built on a cemetery. This was okay OTT hysteria. It was followed by two crappy sequels and a wildly uneven TV show.
“I don’t know what hovers over this house. But it was strong enough to punch a hole into this world.”