FANGORIA Presents - Silent Night, Deadly Night
Tonight I had the pleasure of attending Fangoria's screening of the Christmas horror classic: Silent Night, Deadly Night. I was too young to see that in theaters when it came out, so I was thrilled they decided to show the film at the Laemmle NoHo 7. And my first time seeing it in the theaters was incredible. In fact, I don't know that you've fully experienced the movie until you see it with a crowd of people. It was awesome to hear other people laugh at the same things I laughed at the first time I saw it. I hadn't seen it in a long time either, so it felt like the first time I was seeing the movie altogether.
In case you haven't seen the movie, the plot is pretty simple, but the execution is clever and really fun. Billy's grandfather tells him the Santa Claus rewards kids that are 'good', but that he punishes kids that are 'naughty'. That night, an armed robber dressed as Santa holds up the car with Billy and his parents. When they try to escape, Billy's father is shot and killed. Billy then hides in the woods and watches his mother murdered. He is sent to an orphanage where the Mother Superior beats him and locks him in his room for months at a time. Later, when he reaches the age of 18, one of the nuns helps him get a job in a toy store, where they end up asking him to play Santa Claus. Needless to say, he snaps, and the fun begins. Chock full of extremely corny dialogue and one of the cheesiest 80's style montages ever put to film, there's also copious amounts of female nudity, and one gratuitous shot of Robert Brian Wilson's overly hairy backside. Lovely.
But like the holiday itself, this movie is all about giving, and it just keeps giving us more to cheer for and more to laugh at. The pace of the movie works well, and allows for a satisfying climax, albeit a predictable one. But all of it's flaws seem so forgivable because of how much fun it is. The kills range from mildly gruesome to fully hilarious. My personal favorite has always been the sled-beheading. Brilliant. The effects weren't terrible either. A little dated, but certainly not as bad as some of the other films released in 1984. And I think it holds up fairly well. As I have already said, I love this movie for one reason, it's fun. And seeing it in the theater was even more fun. So thank you to Rebekah McKendry and Fangoria for starting my holiday season off right - Watching people get murdered. Just kidding. Happy Holidays.
- Leo Francis
The Children of Samhain