Right, a few things before I get to my actual review for this one. First off I know everyone saw that I was reviewing Slasher films around Christmas and I didn't see this one and it perplexed everyone. Well, now I have so are you Happy? I saw it! Here you go I saw it and I'm writing a review of it! So there. Yeah. We all good now? Good. (I'm too late with this one aren't I?) Well you happy everyone? I got it right this time. So there. :)
Also, I have a story with this one. My mother was talking to me (and I don't remember how this subject came up) and she told me a story about how when she was in her teenage years, she had gone to see a slasher film with a friend and her young sister She told my young aunt that whenever something bad was going to happen, she would put her coat over my aunt's face to shield her eyes. As it happened, my aunt spent pretty much the whole movie with the coat over her eyes something that deeply annoyed her. My mother finished the story by saying that she couldn't remember the title of the movie but she did remember that it had a killer Santa in it. I being me immediately said "Was it Silent Night, Deadly Night?" and my mother said "yes, yes it was" and given that at that time I was not allowed to watch films of this nature she said "How do you know about Silent Night, Deadly Night?" I simply smiled and looked a the camera while the Twilight Zone theme played in the background. Anyway, I'm boring you I'm sure.
Finally I would like to say that I know that this film was heavily protested when this came out. I find that terribly ironic. That got the film much more attention than it would have otherwise received. I have observed life and I have found this to be true: If you want someone to see your film, ban it. If you want someone to read your book, make a big deal about it and try to get it banned, If you want someones ideas to really take hold and grow, martyr them. Yeah anyway, Silent Night, Deadly Night.
Acting/Characters: I still don't understand how and/or why some characters can be so dumb. By far the most unintelligent person in the film was Mother Superior. In the beginning of the film she was more evil than the killer was at the end. I would even go so far as to say she molded the killer to be a killer despite consistent warnings of that happening. I don't blame the killer for turning into the killer really. It makes sense. There weren't really any characters that I liked but there were some that I felt that I could stand watching. The Killer in particular but that isn't really abnormal. The killer, identity known or not, is usually the most interesting character. 4.5/10
Plot: Kinda unique for a horror film. The killer is still slicing up bimbos and airheads so that hasn't changed. But the idea of a killer Santa Clause was really new for the time. So, at least I can praise the director for a fresh take on the genre. But, frankly that's the only thing that has changed. The plot is still predictable in most parts particularly the exposition leading up to when the killer starts killing. I mean, can't you at least try to hide it? I know that since it is a slasher film and the opening scenes totally give away who the killer will be but yeah. At least try to make it so that I won;t know exactly how everything is going to happen in the first 20 minutes. But it is a better effort than many I have seen. 4.5/10
Screenplay: Again, not the worst I have ever seen but certainly it is no Scream. It's not even the original Nightmare on Elm Street. But it certainly is not as bad as say, Slaughter High or something like that. It was only okay. there were definitely some horrible lines in there but for the most part, it was just barely passable. 4.5/10
Likableness: You know, I was kinda entertained by it. Not the best slasher film around (as everyone knows I'm sure, I give that award to Scream) But certainly not the worst. This is another entry in a list of "Slasher films that if someone is holding a gun to your head and demands you watch a bad Slasher Film" that I would suggest. It wasn't too terrible. 5/10
Final Score: 18.5/40 46% (M)
Trivia Time: 1. The release of this film was picketed by angry parents who were not happy to see Santa Claus depicted as an axe murderer. As a result, box office sales plummeted and the film was shelved for another year where it saw new light in an uncut video form (that has since gone out of print).
2. This film was planned to be a limited release but open wider by Christmas, but the protest canned the idea, and was pulled after two weeks of release.
3. To protest the film, critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel read the credits out loud on their television show saying, "shame, shame, shame" after each name.
4. This film was known as "Slayride" though out its production. Tri-Star decided to change the title to "Silent Night, Deadly Night" at the last minute. The title "Slay Ride" actually ended up as a subplot in another film, the Disney holiday movie Ernest Saves Christmas (1988). In the Ernest film, the prospective Santa that Ernest was looking for was appearing in a horror film entitled "Christmas Slay".
5. The toyshop where Billy gets his first job is called "IRA'S TOYS", Ira is the first name of one of the film's producers.