Sunday, 29 December 2013

Don Jon

Title: Don Jon
Director: Joseph Gordon-Levit
Released: 2013
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levit, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly, Brie Larson, Rob Brown, Jeremy Luke, Channing Tatum, Anne Hathaway

Plot: Jon (Gordon-Levit) a modern day Don Juan, ruled by his material possessions as well as his lust for casual sex and porn, only to soon find his life thrown into turmoil by his new relationship with the feisty Barbara (Johansson) .

Review: Not content with making the successful transfer from indie favourite to the Hollywood mainstream, Joseph Gordon-Levit extends his range here to include directing as he appears both side of the camera with his "Jersey Shore" esq tale. It's an interesting change of pace for JGL, while at the same time not so surprising when you consider some of the varied  roles he has undertaken previously, from a gay rent boy in “Mysterious Skin” to a high school private eye in “Brick”, he has continued to surprise with the roles he has been able to pull off while needless to say approaching all of them with a fearless attitude as anyone who has seen “Mysterious Skin” can certainly attest to. Here though he goes into Guido mode as Jon, as he engages in an endless cycle of working out, casual sex, cleaning his apartment and nightly rounds of what could almost be seen as a highly choreographed routine of porn watching before finishing out his week by attending confession to cleanse himself of his numerous sins.

Porn of course is the main subject of interest here, as Jon certainly loves his porn even openly admitting to preferring it over sex with one of his many real life partners. Needless to say these nocturnal activities don’t sit too well with Barbara, which leads to the surprising main meat of the film as Jon attempts to break away from his porn addiction. Of course if you’re now taken by surprise by that last part you would certainly be experiencing the same feeling I had while I was watching this film, as honestly the last thing I was expecting here was a study on how pornography has warped men’s expectations of sex. A subject certainly given some thought here, as Jon bemoans how his real life partners are unable to compare to his porn fantasies, their flaws being reeled off in almost a checklist. Of course such commentary on society and its porn obsessions, I’m still unable to tell if it’s a subject close to JGL or if he is just using working the subject into the film due to it currently being such a hot topic.

Jon trying to find redemption from his porn obsession forms the meat of the second half of the film, which is also the weakest part, as Jon soon meets Ester (Moore) through his night school classes, who might be what he has been looking for all this time, while together they engage in their own mutual and highly unorthodox form of therapy to try and cure each other’s issues, which generally involves smoking pot and having sex in Ester’s car. Sadly which I’m sure that JGL intended for these scenes to have some form of emotional resonance with the audience, who instead suddenly find themselves jerked to the polar opposite of the film they were watching in the first half, which ultimately proves to be detrimental to the film as a whole.

Ultimately though it is hard to classify exactly what this is trying to be classed as, with most critics seeming to be mark it as a modern romantic movie and one which aims to shy away from the more textbook fairy tale ending kind of romantic movie. JGL certainly has the experience with this films be it via “500 Days of Summer” or perhaps to a lesser extend “10 Things I Hate About You”, so it wouldn’t be overly surprising that he would choose to make a similar sort of film for his debut. Still this doesn’t truly describe the film for while the film certainly sees Jon trying to deal with two very different relationships, only the first half could be seen as trying to break this mould, especially when JGL includes a mock trailer for one of the kind of movies he is trying not to make, while also clearly making use of his little black book of celebrity fans, as Anne Hathaway and Channing Tatum camp up the romantic leads.

Such confusion over what sort of film he is trying to make alongside the polar opposite halves to this film only makes it something of a shame especially when the first half shows such potential with JGL perfectly embodying the Guido stereotypes, which have become so familiar to those of us who may have caught an episode of “Jersey Shore”. You know while flicking through the channels looking for the Discovery channel and of course not intentionally watching it for the sleazy cheap thrill it provides…but I digress as JGL here if anything only continues to prove himself every bit the human chameleon as he perfectly embodies another role. This of course is more than just dressing hip and speaking with a Bronx accent, as he even manages to include even the smaller details of the culture such as striping down to his vest when eating dinner with his family, while his ear for dialogue is none the better than these moments, as Jon has to contend with a father (Danza) more obsessed with watching the game than the lives of his children and a mother who puts most interrogators to shame with her constant stream of questioning.

Equally strong is the supporting cast which JGL assembles here, from a pitch perfect Scarlett Johansson who gives one of her best performances since “Ghost World” with a classy trashy attitude to boot as she refuses to be just another conquest for Jon, teasing him relentlessly and could at one point potentially be the one to make him settle down if it wasn’t for her adverse reaction to his porn watching habits.  Julianne Moore is equally watchable and brings a suitable amount of emotion to her more powerful scenes as she reveals that she is dealing with the loss of both her son and husband.

Despite JGL once again confirming that he is still one of the most interesting actors currently working today, he however appears less comfortable behind the camera, with a disappointing second half striving to show redemption only proving detrimental to the overall film with its sudden mood shift. This is not to say that there aren’t still sparks of potential and flashy cinematography throughout, its just more of a stumble than a memorable debut.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Alt. Christmas 2013 - The Full Countdown

Okay so for those of you who follow either my Facebook page or Twitter feed, you will know already that this month I have been counting down the run up to Christmas with some of my favourite Alt. Christmas moments. Be they musical tracks, films or even just creepy Santa photos I wanted a fun way to share my love for all things Alt. Christmas.

So now for those of you who missed any of those posts I now present the full 25 day rundown....enjoy.

Alt. Christmas - Day 1: Won't Be Home For Christmas - Blink 182

So kicking things off this great pop punk track aswell as the first of two tracks to be featured in this countdown. While this one is often more overlooked, it still contains plenty of Blink 182's trademark humour and who doesn't associate with the desire to chase carol singers with a baseball bat.

Alt Christmas - Day 2: Rare Exports Inc.

The original short film which lead to the full length film and which also answers the question as to where Santa Claus comes from.

Alt Christmas - Day 3: A Muppet Family Christmas - Pass It on

Thanks to Claire for recommending this often forgotten classic, in perticular this song, which I still can't decide if it's adorable or irritating?

Alt Christmas - Day 4: The Night The Reindeer Died

Taken from "Scrooged". Surely this is the one Christmas movie we all want to see made

Alt. Christmas - Day 5: RUN-DMC - Christmas In Hollis

Another overlooked Christmas classic, as nothing puts you in the festive spirit like old school hip-hop!

Alt. Christmas - Day 6: Die Hard / Die Hard 2: Die Harder

Arguably the greatest Christmas double bill ever, while sadly John McClaine had terrorist free Christmas's after this. Still on the plus side we are currently only two movies away from Die Hard week!!

Die Hard Review:

Die Hard 2: Die Harder Review:

Alt. Christmas - Day 7: Christmas Evil

The definitive serial killer Santa movie even if it is unfairly overlooked in favour of "Silent Night, Deadly Night" which it predated by four years! Thanks to Emily of "The Deadly Dolls House of Horror Nonsense" for recommending it.


Alt Christmas - Day 8: Creepy Mall Santa's Can you find a Santa Creepier than this?

Post your own creepy Santa in the comments section and lets see who can find the creepiest one

Alt. Christmas - Day 9: Rare Exports: The Official Safety Instructions

The follow up to the original short which in turn lead to the wonderfully unique film which will also be shown on Film4 this month. So why not enjoy the safety video in the meantime.

Alt. Christmas - Day 10: Making Christmas

One of the more underrated songs from "The Nightmare Before Christmas" yet in so many ways captures the fun spirit of the film, especially in seeing how the residents of Halloween Town interpret what Christmas is.


Alt. Christmas - Day 11: Bikini Bloodbath Christmas

A film which within the first fifteen minutes gives you enough nudity, foul language and toilet humour to put most teen comedies to shame...possibly one of the more random alt. Christmas movie ever


After this review was originally posted it got picked up by the director Thomas Edward Seymour, who posted on his blog

"This is a really entertaining new review for my flick Bikini Bloodbath Christmas from – Depths of DVD Hell. It’s not glowing or eve
n kind in spots but it is awesome!"

You've got to love a director who can take critism without throwing a diva strop. Thomas Edward Seymour, I salute you!

Alt Christmas - Day 12: Carol of the Bells - Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Truly epic cover while surely this is what a Viking Christmas must sound like!!

Alt. Christmas Day 13 - Jack Frost

Because if you watch only one serial killer snowman movie this Christmas...if you watch two I guess you could always watch the fantastically titled sequel "Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Killer Mutant Snowman"


Alt Christmas Day 14 - Louis Theroux Werid Christmas

What happens when you invite a preacher, a mountain man, a porn star and an intergalactic space psychic for Christmas? Documentary film maker Louis Theroux found out in his Weird weekends special

Alt Christmas Day 15 - What's This?" - The Nightmare Before Christmas

Another of my favourite songs and one were the animation is so perfectly choreographed to the music. There is also so much fun in spotting all the small details, which even now after numerous viewings I'm still finding new things.

Alt Christmas Day 16 - A John Waters Christmas

A sorely overlooked collection of Christmas songs, from bad taste legend John Waters, so here puts together a collection of Christmas songs as unique as the soundtracks of his own films. The perfect remedy to the mass market Christmas albums

Alt Christmas Day 17 - This Trinity's Goin To War

Okay not officially a Christmas song, but who doesn't like an excuse to see evil Robot Santa, Kwanzaa-bot and the Chanukah Zombie (voiced by Mark Hamill).

Alt Christmas Day 18 - Silent Night, Deadly Night

While it might be mistakenly credited with creating the idea ("Christmas Evil" was first) of a serial killer Santa it is certainly still the most controversial while also spawning an four questionable sequels.


Alt. Christmas Day 19 - "Happy Holidays, You Bastard" - Blink 182

Time for another round of festive cheer from Blink 182

And now the super festive mix feat. Ben Folds

Alt. Christmas Day 20: "The Christmas Card" - Terry Gilliam

Terry Gilliam uses his trademark animation style to unleash some festive mayhem, in the way only he can.

Alt. Christmas Day 21 - Mr. Bean Nativity Scene Chaos

Another of my favourite Xmas special's yet for some reason this scene is always so overlooked. Still only Mr. Bean could get so much out of a simple Nativity scene.

Alt. Christmas Day 22 - Santa's Slay

Former WWE / WCW wrestler Bill Goldberg as a demonic Santa...what more could you possibly ask for? A sorely overlooked, let alone hilarious cult movie in the making and one well worth discovering this Christmas


Alt. Christmas Day 23 - Santa Claus Conquers The Martians

Because we all remember that one time when Martians came to Earth to kidnap Santa Claus because there is no one on Mars to give their children presents. A cult b-movie and also the #83 worst movie on IMDB.

Alt. Christmas Day 24 - Gremlins

The movie I saw so many times as a child I even wrote a novelisation of it, after my granddad quipped that I could probably write the script I had seen it that many times.
This of course was the scene as a child I loved to play over and over, especially as it showcases that wonderful theme music!!

Alt. Christmas Day 25 - The Star Wars Holiday Special

One of the few things in this world that even knowing how horrible it is, still does not prepare you for this car crash of a cash in, which even the George Lucas refuses to talk about it. Bizarrely "Glee" would for some reason try to convince the world that this is the special most fondly remembered by Star Wars fans as I've yet to find even the most die hard of fans who like this one.

On the plus side it does feature the first appearance of Boba Fett in a cartoon were Han Solo looks strangely like Mick Jagger and the millennium falcon has fuzzy dice.

The Star Wars Holiday Special by FilmGeek-TV

So there you have it my 2013 Alt. Christmas countdown in full. I hope you've enjoyed it and thanks to everyone who submitted ideas for what to be featured. So until next time have a great Christmas which if its like my own will be filled with movie watching and food induced comas.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Santa's Slay

Title: Santa’s Slay
Director: David Steiman
Released: 2005
Starring: Bill Goldberg, Douglas Smith, Emilie de Ravin, Robert Culp, Dave Thomas, Saul Rubinek, Rebecca Gayheart, Chris Kattan, James Caan, Fran Drescher

Plot: Santa Claus (Goldberg) it would seem is not quite the jolly fat guy we all thought he was. Turns out he is in fact a demon who 1,000 years ago lost a bet to an angel which meant that he was forced to become a bringer of toys and happiness. Now the 1,000 years are up and Santa has now returned to his former ways which is especially bad news for the residents of Hells Township as Santa Claus is coming to town!

Review: Wrestlers as a rule rarely make good actors, somthing the failed attempts to break into the field by Hulk Hogan highlighted, especially when these movies ultimately ended up being as laughable as his wrestling career and like that one better remember through the rose tinted glasses of nostalgia. Hogan of course is not the only example as “WWE Films” have seemingly only just learned this same harsh lesson seeing how their latest output see’s the wrestlers now being given more supporting roles than anything resembling the leading roles the studio originally had planned with this off shoot. However this is not to say that there have not been those who have broke the mould as John Cena proved to be quite a watchable action star in both “The Marine” aswell as “12 Rounds” while Kane also proved himself a menacing force in “See No Evil” even if he was essentially just transplanting his wrestling persona into a horror set.

Of course with this history of wrester actors in mind you could excuse me for being alittle sceptical about the idea of Goldberg playing a demonic Santa, afterall his stabs at acting previous to this had been limited to playing a super soldier in “Universal Soldier 2” and essentially playing himself in the underrated “Ready To Rumble” but here he really nails it right from his opening dinner party massacre which not only puts the opening of “Punisher: War Zone” to shame but I would love to think that Christopher Nolan found the inspiration for the Joker’s disappearing pencil trick from this opening, were Santa makes a whole turkey leg disappear. True Goldberg might have an advantage with his dominating size certainly helping make the character truly seem imposing, but here he also proves himself more than capable with the scenes requiring him to flex his acting muscles and even pulls off the more subtle comedy moments such as hastily spraying down a stripper pole before he uses it as a makeshift club.

Elsewhere the film has two great young leads with Douglas Smith and Emilie de Ravin who may not have to do anything particularly heavy acting wise, but are still a fun duo to be around especially as the film doesn’t allow itself to fall into the usual pitfalls of having Smith lust after Ravin for the runtime of the film. Instead the focus is kept purely on stopping Santa and only give into their lusts once he has been stopped, which honestly felt awhole lot more natural than it would have been had the film followed the usual template especially considering how majorly out of his league Ravin is yet alone a feisty firecracker who is more than capable of spearheading their misadventure. Still it does make me wonder why they never really went on to do more, much like why Thora Birch didn’t come off “Ghost World” as big a star as Scarlett Johanson did. I guess its this sort of situation which has resulted in me being so frequently forced to endure yet another Emma Watson performance.

Considerably lighter in tone than the other killer Santa movies which came before it, this film plays things strictly for laughs, as established from the opening dinner party massacre whose creative kills see one guest being flambéed and drowned in eggnog and another being killed by a Christmas star while the fact that the film also carries a healthy body count to boot only adds to the fun here, which alongside the quick pacing of the film, ensures that the film never gets a chance to get itself bogged down in minor subplots or disposable characters unless those characters are soon to be meeting a creative death or in one case eaten by demonic reindeer.

Meanwhile the film is shot in a deliberately over the top style this is a confident debut from Steiman, who after despite spending most of his carrer working as a production assistant to Bret Ratner who also appears as a producer here. Sadly despite the fun energy this film brings it remains the sole film from Steiman who seems to have since dropped off the radar since the release of this film. As such this remains much like this film a curiosity especially when they is such a fun film and an essential part of my own alternative Christmas viewing since I first saw it last year. Still if your able to not just the fact that the film features a wrestler in the lead villain role there is plenty to enjoy here, as this is one Santa with muscles who is worth watching even if it does leave you wondering by the end credits why it not as popular as other Alt. Christmas favourites.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Silent Night, Deadly Night

Title: Silent Night, Deadly Night
Director: Charles E. Sellier, Jr.
Released: 1984
Starring: Robert Brian Wilson, Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Linnea Quigley

Plot: As a young boy Billy was left traumatised when he saw his parents being killed by a man dressed as Santa Claus. Now years later he works in a toy store were he after he forced to dress as Santa Claus which causes him to suffer a psychotic break which soon sees him on a murderous rampage.

Review: While “Christmas Evil” might have been the first horror film to feature a killer Santa on the rampage, it would as I covered in my review for that film, soon be overshadowed by the controversy surrounding the release of this film, which many still mistakenly credit with creating the idea of a killer Santa. Unsurprisingly though parents didn’t exactly warm to the idea of the Christmas icon being warped in this way and descended upon cinemas in angry mobs to protest the film while critics branded the films as being pure shock tactics as shown in the documentary “Going To Pieces: The Rise and Fall of The Slasher Film”. Pulled from theatres by the original distributor TriStar Pictures, the film would two years later be re-released by independent distributor Aquarius films with a market campaign which unsurprisingly played off the earlier controversy while paving the way to the film becoming a cult classic.  

It is kind of sad that the film is more remembered for the controversy it caused than the content of the film itself, which no doubt few (if any) of the films protestors bother to actually watch the film they were protesting. If they had, perhaps they would have discovered a film with surprisingly more depth than many would have expected from a slasher movie like this. For here great effort is given to establishing the cause of Billy’s psychosis, for he is far from the usual nutter of the week, for as a child we see him dealt the double whammy of watching his parents being killed by a killer dressed as Santa Claus aswell as the insane ramblings of his Grandfather, who his parents felt Christmas Eve was the perfect time to go visit him, because after all nothing spells out festive fun like a trip to an asylum. Sent to an orphanage Billy is further bombarded with a heavy dose of Catholic dose at the hands of the Sister Superior who firmly believes that Billy can be put on the right path through the use of regular punishment. Needless to say all this mental trauma leaves Billy as very much a ticking timebomb and a mind set which we see coming together with the slow burn first half as Director Sellier ensures that he highlights each piece which add to Billy’s eventual breakdown  and devoting the first forty minutes of the film to outlining these reasons.

This understandably can be frustrating to those expecting another throwaway slasher which was very much the case the first time I saw this film. Due to the build up to Billy’s snap, you can feel the tension being slowly cranked up especially during the scene were he is forced to play Santa, dealing with spoilt and figiting kids as he begs them under his breath to behave almost as if he can feel himself tittering on the edge. Needless to say when Billy does finally snap, he really wastes little time in making up for it and if variety is the spice of life, then Billy comes with a whole spice rack of creativity when it comes to his kills as he set out to punish those he views as naughty. A personal mission which sees him not only putting a fire axe to good use, but also getting creative with a box cutter, bow and arrow and even a set of deer antlers while racking up a healthy body count. However these victims frequently have no real connection to Billy and more often than not just happened to be in the bloody path he is carving on his way back to the orphanage.

While it might seem from the setting that the film is about a serial killer Santa, the whole costume is really more of a coincidence seeing how it happens to be what Billy is wearing when he snaps and unlike Harry in “Christmas Evil” is less fuelled by a Santa delusion, especially when he is judging people as “Naughty” it seems to be based more on Catholic dogma than anything to do with Santa’s naughty or nice list. However these judgements do lead to a creepy moment were Billy encounters the younger sister of one of his victims, who after being informed of how good she has been, hands her a bloody box cutter which is something I would have preferred to have been one of the candy canes we see him handing out to kids earlier in the film. As such the scene comes off slightly confused, much like the scene were Billy freezes while looking at a Christmas poster while the smaltzy “Warm Side of The Door” by Morgan Ames plays in the background.

Wilson though is really great as Billy, especially during the scenes requiring him to showcase his fragile psyche, even with his size and toned psyche he is still able to sell these moments, while at the same he never oversteps the mark when it comes to Billy’s psychotic side which never falls into a farcical performance even if it does largely consist of him growling naughty and holding a stone cold glare.

One of the real strengths of the film though is the soundtrack provided by Perry Botkin, Jr. whose soundtrack Sellier uses mainly to highlight the current state of Billy’s psyche with the music becoming more erratic the closer to the edge he gets. Outside of these moments he also provides some truly haunting themes for the rest of the film including the title sequence which is filled with dread and it only makes it more suprising considering that he was also responsible for also producing the soundtracks for both “Happy Days” and “Mork and Mindy” whose sunny setting are the truly at the opposite end of the spectrum to this film.

Creepy though is one thing this film has in spades from the crazy grandpa ramblings and the chilling psycho Santa attack on Billy’s parents, even the Christmas decorations frequently have a creepy edge to them, which really makes me wonder where these films find such creepy decorations or perhaps the 80’s Christmas’s were just a lot more creepier than today’s which is no doubt the case looking at some of the horrible jumpers of Christmas past which seem to haunt my childhood Christmas photos.

Needless to say this film is worthy of its cult status and while certainly heavier than “Christmas Evil” it still brings plenty of originality to the table, while audience seemed to prefer their Serial Killer Santa’s more icy cold than confused judging by how this film spawned a further four films, while “Christmas Evil” remained a solo curiosity.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Christmas Evil

Title: Christmas Evil
Director: Lewis Jackson
Released: 1980
Starring: Brandon Maggart, Jeffrey DeMunn, Dianne Hull, Andy Fenwick, Brian Neville

Plot: Harry (Maggart) a production line worker at the Jolly Dreams toy factory harbours an unhealthy obsession with Santa, especially as he takes it upon himself to become the next true Santa. However when Harry is driven over the edge by the lack of festive spirit of those around him, he suddenly snaps and embarks on a murderous rampage.

Sadly I couldn't find a spoiler free trailer so here's a creepy Harry clip instead

Review: So the season of Alt-Christmas viewing is once again here and I thought I’d make up for not getting around to this film last year by reviewing it first, especially when it came so highly recommended by my blogging buddy Emily (Deadly Dollhouse of Horror Nonsense) aswell as the high priest of bad taste John Waters who proclaimed it the “greatest Christmas movie ever made” on the commentary he recorded for the special edition dvd, while reminding me just how underrated he is when it comes to great movie ideas even if he does tend to lean more towards art house movies. Now having finally gotten around to watching this film I can safely say it’s underrated legacy is full justified especially and only when it is so frequently overlooked for “Silent Night, Deady Night” which also memorably featured a serial killer Santa, even though this film predated that film by four years.

Also known under the more colourful titles as “You’d Better Watch Out” and “Terror in Toyland” it may seem similar on the surface to “Silent Night, Deadly Night” but this film is a much different beast, which is essentially all down to the character of Harry who when we first meet him is far from the ticking time bomb which Billy from “Silent Night, Deadly Night” was especially as all Harry wants is to be Santa. It's an obsession he plays out in his day to day life as he wakes in his Santa pyjama’s before setting off to spy on the local boys and girls whose names he writes down in his naughty or nice book. As I said he really likes to play out his Santa fantasy any way he can, with his job in a toy factory only seeming like a logical choice. True Harry’s childhood drama might not be a severe as Billy’s seeing how it essentially stems from Harry finding out that Santa wasn’t as real as he thought he was, after catching his dad dressed as Santa one Christmas Eve while getting rather hansey with his mother.

Harry while a self-imposed loner is still a likable enough kind of guy, even though the world around him constantly seems to be working to try and break his festive spirit, from the crappy toys the factory makes, to the pervert little kid who wants a subscription to Penthouse for Christmas, so it really is only a matter of time before he snaps. However unlike Billy Harry doesn’t set off on a bloody festive rampage, but instead suddenly sets off to be the real Santa, as he dons his Santa suit and sets off in his white van (the reindeer might have been alittle too much of a push) to spread some Christmas cheer as he steals toys from the factory to give out to sick kids at the nearby hospital…ohh and he also punishes those still not showing the right amount of festive cheer. Needless to say Harry is not a cold blooded killer, but more of a guy trying who has been in his Santa mindset for too long, if the mindset of a particularly crazed Santa, which frequently account for some of his more random moments.

More light hearted than “Silent Night, Deadly Night” this film also comes with a lower body count aswell, yet more than makes up for it with original moments as Harry uses sharpened toy axes and even a toy soldiers bayonet to punish those who wrong him. The really special moment though here is when he attempts to further his Santa fantasy even further by trying to go down a chimney only to get stuck in the process this is of course before the truly bonkers finale involving a torch welding angry mob and an ending which has to truly be seen to be believed so I will leave that for you to discover for yourself.

What is especially interesting about this film though is the relationship that Harry has with his younger brother Phil (DeMunn), who seemingly is the only family that Harry has left even though unlike Phil who makes repeated efforts to bring Harry out of his self-imposed exile by inviting him to spend Christmas with his family only for Harry to refuse any of these offers in favour of working on his Santa inspired plans. These moments of course only seem the more potent by the end of the film when he sees what Harry has become and tries to stop Harry himself rather than leaving him to be caught by the angry mob pursuing him or turning him into the police, like a more logical person would.

Maggart the father of singer Fiona Apple, something I only found out over the course of writing this review (what a fair weather fan I am) is great as Harry and really makes the role more believable than you would expect from this kind of film, especially when he spends most of the film hiding behind a fake beard he is still able to perfectly translate through his eyes exactly what Harry is feeling, from the twinkle of excitement he gets from playing Santa in a more traditional role such as the scenes of him handing out gifts, to the cold dead eyes of his darker side it really is a memorable performance he gives here and one which never feels campy or OTT, even during some of the more surreal moments and kind of makes the fact that the film is so over looked only more of a shame.
While it never might have caused the same kind of controversy as "Silent Night, Deadly Night" this in no way makes this any less of an essential alt. Christmas watch, especially when this is such a unique take on the idea of a serial killer Santa and one only elevated by Maggart's performance.
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