On the surface this is the perfect Christmas horror movie. It has a surprisingly known cast, a good budget, lots of kills/swearing, some nudity and (of course) a murderous Santa Claus. That said, all I remember about it from last year is a promising start before getting worse and worse. Has time been kind to our wrestling friend ?
The movie has a pretty straight forward plot (for a movie like this anyway). Santa Claus was essentially the anti-christ and Christmas had been a day of soul crushing evil. Eventually Santa is challenged to a game of curling (bare with me) by an angel and loses. This gave the world a 1000 year respite from his terror, but, but that was exactly 1000 years ago ! Now he’s back to wreck havoc on us all !! Can he be stopped ?
As I mentioned, the cast is pretty respectable actually. The opening scene alone has Fran Drescher, Chris Kattan, James Caan, Rebecca Gayheart and (of course) Bill Goldberg. We also get appearances by Dave Thomas, Robert Culp (who was also in Silent Night Deadly Night 3), Saul Rubinek and Tiny Lister ! Yeah, that huge black prisoner from the boat in “The Dark Knight” ! Plus the main girl played Claire in “Lost”, so that’s something.
The cast is clearly enjoying themselves, and seeing as this was produced by Brett Ratner I have to think he pulled some strings and convinced a lot of people that it would be fun to make a direct to video tongue in cheek Killer Santa flick. I remember when it came out I saw it at Blockbuster and thought “That could be okay, but I bet it sucks”. It wasn’t until years later that I finally had a chance to see it.
Well, maybe it’s just the Christmas spirit or the beverages involved, but this is a really fun movie. Yeah, it’s stupid and corny and by no means a masterpiece, but it achieves exactly what it sets out to be. A ridiculous, over the top, tongue in cheek holiday horror flick with its heart in the right place (ripped out and stuffed in a stocking I assume).
One thing that I remember finding somewhat irritating the first time around was the over abundance (or, apundance) of puns that Santa felt the need to spout off. Now, as you may know I’m a big fan of puns. I’m not sure what it takes to cross the line from chuckle worthy to groan inducing, but I didn’t find it nearly as distracting upon second viewing. I mean, he has the usual clunkers (“Yes Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus !”) but he also had some pretty good lines too. Mostly bad ones though.
The deaths are plentiful and include the usual suspects – Stabbed with a candy cane, Jewish guy impaled with a menorah, Guy electrocuted with stripper pole (wait, what), hellish reindeer exploded with rocket launcher, etc. The movie knows what we expect from an R-rated Killer Santa flick, puns and guns, and it delivers right to your stocking !!
As I said, “Santas Slay” isn’t necessarily a “good” movie, but when viewed with friends, an open mind and some “holiday cheer” it can be quite entertaining. I don’t think I’d watch it at any other time of year, but I do think its earned a place in my permanent list of Christmas Horror flicks. Lets just call it a case of “Claus and Effect”.