Christmas Evil: B+
Christmas Evil has everything I look for in a good cult classic. It takes itself somewhat seriously, has abysmal acting from people trying as hard as they can to act, and has clichés before they were clichés. This was like a Taxi Driver Christmas Special. And before you get on your Silent Night, Deadly Night high horse, please note that Christmas Evil came out four years before SNDN…
Harry experiences some Christmas-related trauma as a young boy (he sees his father dressed as Santa, going down on his mom RIGHT NEXT TO THE CHRISTMAS TREE) and then grows up with a weird Christmas complex. He learns Santa isn’t a guy who comes down the chimney with a sack of toys, he’s a guy who smells like Pall Malls and does naughty things to your mom just 18 inches away from your stocking.
Harry grows up and gets a job at a toy factory and in his spare time, he spies on little girls and boys, keeping a genuinely creepy naughty/nice list. He also hums Christmas carols non-stop, builds his own custom dolls/action figures, and shuts out the outside world completely, effectively turning his home into his own demented South Pole.
The people at the toy factory start taking advantage of him even though it’s Christmas time. It’s very Dickensian. After an escalating series of minor abuses from coworkers and family members, Henry does the only thing that makes sense: He dresses like Santa and goes on a killing spree. “Naughty” people get attacked with a hatchet, “Nice” people get toys that Henry made after hours at the toy factory and in his South Pole jack-off dungeon.
There are some demented scenes of people getting slashed during midnight mass and another scene where Henry kills a guy in his bed on Christmas morning and then leaves behind toys for the guy’s kids. There are also some hilarious scenes of Harry hiding in bushes and driving around in a sex offender-y van, dressed like Santa, talking to himself.
At one point, some townsfolk form a mob, gather torches and weapons, and run around looking for Harry like some 18th century Carpathian villagers.
Henry is a likeable slasher who has a Travis Bicklian moral code he tries to stick to, but he is eventually undone by his own need to be a real-life Santa. I’ll leave it at that. This is a good slasher and I recommend you check it out.