It’s October, the month of Halloween. That’s why we will talk about the 1984 stone-cold slasher Christmas classic Silent Night, Deadly Night.
This movie was so controversial at the time that the Karen Moms of America “Reeeeeee’ed” so hard about it that they got the ads pulled, and then the film pulled from theaters. Seeing a slasher Santa was right up there with Dungeons & Dragons Satan worship when it came to the biggest threats to the well-being of our children. The children! Please God, won’t someone think of the children!
The story is that old chestnut, where a family goes to the nursing home to visit a creepy old relative which foreshadows the story. Then Dad is killed by a robber who then rapes and kills Mom in front of the kids.
The two small boys end up in an orphanage where they are abused and punished by a cast iron bitch of a Mother Superior. Young Billy is forced to sit on Santa’s lap by the nuns and punches him. A natural reaction to the man you think shot Dad and raped and murdered Mom in front of you.
We then skip ahead 10 more years and Billy is now 18 years old. He’s working as a stock boy at the local grocer with a crush on a girl he works with named Pamela. Most unfortunately for the town, his boss makes him dress up as Santa.
Poor Bill tries to play along and be a sport, but the PTSD flashbacks start and send him into a spiral of depression. Things are made worse when he sees his crush making out with co-worker Andy. He follows them into a back room just in time to see the dude start getting handsy past the girl’s comfort zone. No means NO!
This is when Billy snaps and things get fun. He immediately strangles Andy with Xmas lights and gives Pamela a Colombian neck-tie with a box cutter. This sets off his rampage through the town.
Silent Night, Deadly Night gives us some great moments in slasher movie history. The perfect Linnea Quigley gets impaled (while topless, natch!) on the antlers of a mounted deer’s head. We see him decapitate a bully with an axe while sleigh riding. It’s great fun.
The story winds up as Billy cuts a bloody path back to the orphanage and the most hated Mother Superior. I won’t ruin the end for those who haven’t seen it.
It really was a major scandal of its day. I didn’t even get to see in the theatre before it got yanked. Thanks to the well-meaning Mommies, I grew up perfectly normal and sane because I wasn’t exposed to this film in theatre. Luckily I got to see the uncut home video release which is much more graphic — well done girls. Well. Done.
If you want to see Silent Night, Deadly Night, Scream Factory has you covered with a 4K BluRay. There were some sequels… that we will never talk about. There was also a remake that is pretty damn good. That one, we will talk about in a few days.
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