Bad Movies Beware!
INTO THE HOLIDAY SEASON!!
That’s right! Time to sip eggnog, listen to Christmas music, watch Christmas episodes of our favorite shows, and spend time with the family!
Or just work, stare at Facebook, and buy a bunch of s**t for them to return the next day.
No one loves Christmas more than Harry, though. The movie opens with him, his brother Phil, and his mother waiting on the stairs for Santa. “Santa” comes down the chimney, eats the cookies and milk, then begins dishing presents out of his sack. Harry makes a noise, and Santa turns to see that he’s being watched. He puts his finger to his nose, winks, and climbs back up the chimney.
The boys head to bed and debate over what they just saw. Phil tells Harry that it was actually their dad in costume. Harry gets upset and leaves the room to go to the bathroom and hears Santa and his mom in the living room.
Yes, I was also singing the song in my head.
As it turns out, sugar cookie wasn’t the only cookie Santa wanted to eat that Christmas.
A traumatized Harry runs back upstairs and hides in the attic. He takes a knife and cuts the webbing between his fingers as the opening credits roll.
Okay, pretty decent opening, and the kid cutting his hand was a little disturbing. Maybe I’ve found a gem!
A gem that resembles a badly-edited monkey turd.
The scene changes from the living room, the bedroom, and the attic to the opening credits chop like Gordon Ramsey on meth.
Fast-forward to Harry about twenty years later. He’s working in a toy factory, moving up the corporate ladder, and still catching grief from his coworkers. He’s also got a hang-up on Christmas—particularly Santa Claus.
Harry also interacts with the neighborhood kids and keeps a log of which ones are good kids and which ones need to disappear without a trace. He’s got a bitter dislike of one kid in particular named Moss Garcia. This kid gets his thrills pulling pranks, looking at porno mags, vandalizing the neighborhood, and picking on Susie, the little girl next door that Harry thinks is perfect.
Yup. Harry’s a creeper.
Harry’s brother, Phil, has fared better and has a stable family and career. (By the way, kids, it’s Jeffery DeMunn!!) Phil constantly worries about Harry, but that doesn’t really play much into the story.
In fact, there really isn’t much of one. The entire movie isn’t much more than what I’ve just described. It’s pretty much an hour-long montage of Harry losing his s**t and assuming Santa’s identity.
Let’s skip ahead to the fun part: Harry the Psycho Santa! Harry creates a solid metal toy soldier with its sword out and paints it up. He also Christmases up a hatchet and tucks it in his sack along with a cluster of toys he’s either built or stolen from the factory. He then dresses up like Santa and hits the streets in a Creeper Edition white van with Santa’s sleigh painted on the side.
His first stop on his hit list of naughties is Moss Garcia’s place, where he leaves a mystery package. What is it? A bomb? Dog s**t? A copy of Troll 2 on DVD?
The world may never know because, like some seasons of American Horror Story, the movie sets up a plot point and then walks away from it like a happy little distracted puppy armed with a butcher’s knife and sadistic mean streak.
Harry makes a few heartfelt stops that makes you forget that you’re supposed to be watching a “Serial Santa” flick. Hey, I just created a new section at the video store!
Oh yeah. Damn it.
He stops off at a few houses and delivers toys, and even makes a trip to the local children’s hospital and drops off several sacks of toys for the kids.
Okay, damn it, where the hell are my cadavers? I watch a Serial Santa movie and I expect cadavers, not candy.
Ah, here we go! Harry visits the local church and waits for a couple of his coworkers to come out. They approach him and begin to ridicule him, and he takes out his toy soldier and stabs one in the eyeball, pushing it in further until it pierces through his brain and skull. The other attacks, and Harry is ready with his trusty Christmas hatchet.
He runs off and ends up at another coworker’s house, where he smothers the guy in his sleep while the guy’s kids and wife sleep. The wife wakes up next to her dead husband and screams as Harry flees the scene.
Harry ends up in a local neighborhood with his van stuck in the ice. He gets out and continues on foot. A group of people show up, and the kids run right up to him while the parents cower because, you know, Santa.
One of the parents finally grows a pair and approaches Harry with a knife. They wrestle, and Harry accidentally stabs himself and takes off. A mob forms—torches and everything—and they pursue Harry through the streets. I couldn’t hear what they were saying over my groans of anguish at the stupidity I was watching, but I’m totally sure it had something to do with wanting Santa’s head on a pike for Christmas.
Harry escapes to Phil’s, but they have a falling out and Harry leaves with Phil chasing close behind. Harry makes it back to his van and takes off, heading straight for the crowd. They jump out of the way just in time as Harry crashes through the guardrail and…
Harry flies away in his van. He is the real Santa Claus.
I am now dumber for having watched this.
VERDICT: THAT’S NOT COAL IN YOUR STOCKING…
All I wanted was damn Santa Slasher Flick.
Look here, Lewis Jackson (director/writer): you tell me you have a slasher flick about a serial killing Santa, I expect no fewer than ten bodies. Period. That’s not much to ask. And you give me three?! That’s just enough to piss me off! I can’t do anything with just three corpses! A mere three corpses is about as good to me as a monkey with six asses (for my South Park peeps).
This movie tried very hard to be a gritty, hard, psychological drama. Instead, it ended up taking itself way too seriously. There were a lot of plot points it could have developed and directions it could’ve taken, but it just kept wandering in one specific direction that ended up in what has to be the most random ending I’ve ever seen in a film.
The editing is the biggest sore thumb of the film. Scene shifts look more like the projectionist spliced the film with a damned butter knife rather than using the film splicer. (Yes, that’s what it’s called. I looked it up. So there.) The frame will shift and jerk, and characters will even warp from one space to the other in between camera angles and shots.
Not that the writing is any better. Jackson favored a lot of exposition, and it’s really not until Harry goes to the church and goes waffles on the two guys harassing him that action really takes place. Frankly, with him being slightly (read: WAY) creeper on Susie next door, it wouldn’t have hurt my feelings to see it go into a Law & Order SVU type of film where we follow the cop looking for Harry.
But no. We just get plain old Harry.
Point blank: it’s a snooze-fest. You want a good Serial Santa film? Hit up Santa’s Slay with Bill Goldberg as Santa. For crying out loud, he sets Fran Dresher on fire!! This movie, on the other hand, is a great cure for insomnia.
And you get to see a young Jeffery DeMunn, so bonus.
I miss Dale.
This movie rates three steaming piles of s**t. It’s bad, though it’s watchable. Then again, so is cat cleaning his anus.