Silent Night, Deadly Night DVD Review
Written by: Goon
Silent Night, Deadly Night is one of the few films that has ever been really protested. Back when the film was originally going to theaters they began running a television campaign. Well what they did was they ran commercials during the day which pissed off a lot of soccer moms. As you can imagine they were not going to put up with the "corruption" of Santa Claus and the damage it might do to there children's "fragile" psyche. With telephones at their side they made several calls to the films distributors which shook them up quite a bit. After fearing some major back lash they decided to pull the film from release. So does a film that was too intense for theaters really deliver?
The story begins with a young boy traveling to meet his Grandpa who is in an old folks home. Once they arrive he soon finds himself in a room with the old man alone. Grandpa lets him know that he should be afraid of Santa because he punishes anyone who has been naughty. During the ride home with his parents he gets spooked when a man in a Santa suit is having trouble on the side of the road. Turns out that man is a thief and murders the boys mother and father right in front of his eyes. As he grows up in an orphanage run by a snobby Nun he begins to have flashbacks of that night every Christmas.
Finally when he becomes old enough to hold a job one of the nicer nuns finds him a great one as a stocker for the Toy Store in town. Everything is fine again which is obvious because of the fantastic and cheesy montage as time goes by in the shop. Of course that all ends once again when Christmas time rolls around. His co-workers begin to give him a hard time and he finds himself at odds again. The good natured boss thinks as a kind gesture he will let him dress up as Santa Claus for the kids this year. Bad move.
From that point on the film basically turns into any other slasher film from the 80s you have seen. But this one actually shows a lot of the gore on camera and has some great gags. Unfortunately the really good stuff is a little hard to see because the film has been cut so many times they had to find the footage and put it back in. This means that when something bad ass is going to happen the quality usually degrades. Its nothing to ruin the film for you though, just a shame that it had to happen.
Making a very brief but memorable appearance in this film is Linnea Quigley. She is in the film shirtless for almost the entire time she is on screen so any slasher fan will appreciate her contribution to the film. Her death scene is also one of the most memorable in the entire film. Lets just say she got real acquainted with Santa's reindeer. Some other deaths include several decapitations, hanging and some nice axe wielding madness.
Anchor Bay released this one with just a couple special features. Their is an audio interview with the director Charles E. Sellier Jr which isn't that great. I had a hard time sitting through the first five minutes so I just stopped it at that point. The best feature is probably Santa's Stocking of Outrage. This is basically just reviews and complaints that were given about the film. Some really golden comments can be found and it makes you wonder why there was so much animosity toward the film. Of course they also added the trailer and the poster and stills gallery.
Overall I would say this is a great flick that you should check out before the holidays are over. The box art is really great and kind of has this "grindhouse" feel to it even though the film never played in a grindhouse. Heat up some hot chocolate, snuggle up by the fire place and throw this bad boy in your DVD player and get ready for a great Christmas Slasher.
- Luke Franklin