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E.C. McMullen Jr.
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E.C. McMullen Jr.
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JOSEPH CROSS, BRIANA EVIGAN,
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A SIERRA NEVADA
(MICHAEL MADSEN & JOHN SAVAGE).
"I'm Santa Claus, not fuckin' Dracula!"
This little holiday gem is worth your time and effort to seek out and add it to your Christmas viewing list from here on out. I did. This movie is just as funny now as the first time I watched it.
If you like your Christmas unconventional, your humor on the dark side, and aren't the easily offended sort where it comes to certain holiday tropes and religious matters, you should have loads and loads of fun with SANTA'S SLAY, written and directed by David Steiman. It's sort of like what you might get if you blended Airplane! with Miracle On 34th Street and mixed it all up with a generous splash of Mel Brooks and the television series, TALES FROM THE CRYPT. It's an absolute hoot and will have you laughing through much of its over-the-top antics and juvenile humor.
You have to a have weird sense of humor to buy a lot of what happens in the movie. If you take things way too seriously when it comes to your entertainment, stop reading now. This isn't the movie for you. This is a gift bag full of non-stop gags and guffaws. So, saddle up, boys and girls, and get ready for a damn good time!
A kid named Nicholas Yuleson (Douglas Smith: HANGMAN'S CURSE, STATE'S EVIDENCE, ANTIVIRAL, PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS, STAGE FRIGHT, OUIJA, THE BYE BYE MAN, TERMINATOR GENISYS, THE BOTTOM OF THE WORLD, THE ALIENIST: ANGEL OF DARKNESS [TV]) works at a local deli with a girl that he is interested in, but doesn't have the guts to ask out, named Mary "Mac" Mackenzie (Emilie de Ravin: BEASTMASTER [TV], ROSWELL [TV], CARRIE [TV], LOST [TV], BRICK, THE HILLS HAVE EYES , HIGH NOON , ONCE UPON A TIME [TV]). It's Christmas Eve and she presents him with various hints that she is as interested as he is at pursuing a serious relationship. Alas, Nick ain't the sharpest tool in the shed, and makes a wallflower like pre-bite Peter Parker, look like Giovanni Casanova by way of comparison.
After their shift ends, Mary takes Nicholas home and I mean home. No parking and topping off the evening with a nightcap and the figurative Yule Log stoking the fireplace for Nicholas, just more of nonsensical survivalist BS, courtesy of his grandfather (Robert Culp: THE OUTER LIMITS [TV - 1963], A COLD NIGHT'S DEATH, A NAME FOR EVIL, OUTRAGE, KILLJOY , SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT 3, VOYAGE OF TERROR, TIMEBOMB, INNOCENTS, XTRO 3, HALF-LIFE 2 [VG]). Nicholas finally gets the answer he has been seeking all his life: Why does his grandfather not celebrate Christmas?
Destruction, murder and lots of bloodshed are left in his wake. Some of this is also accomplished by Santa's "reindeer" a gigantic white buffalo. Santa has more in common with a berserker Viking raiding an unsuspecting village than the Santa we're used to seeing as created by Coca-Cola. He "slays" many a townsfolk in the most ironic of ways. But he has come to Hell Township for more than just finally being let off the hook and allowed to throw down most violently. He has a specific target(s) in mind. Nicholas, his grandfather and Mary, in are in this Christmas Devil's sights. He is there to set some things to rights, and they are the key to doing so.
As with all monsters, be it vampires, aliens, zombies, or madmen, they do eventually get in. Santa is no exception. He confronts his ancient enemy, whose bloodline has been a thorn in his side for long and long. Terrifying though he is, the ones he seeks don't stand idly by and make it easy on the Menace from the North Pole. Snowmobiles are fun things, but they can save your life, as well. A merry chase ensues on treacherous roads and over the snowy landscape outside of Hell Township. At several points, it is uncertain who is going to make it out alive when the pursuit hits a few snags here and there, one of them being a gun club out shooting clay pigeons.
Besides focusing on four specific principle characters, SANTA'S SLAY contains a bunch of cameo's from known stars like,
These actors really do nothing to move the plot along, with the possible exception of Thomas's character of Pastor Timmons and to a lesser extent, Saul Rubinek, as Mr. Green, the owner of the deli, but their parts are very memorable. Especially, in the case of Thomas. He is a riot in every scene he is in.
I said in an earlier review that I was sort of over wrestlers and rock stars being cast in parts made for actual actors who had honed their craft to do this very thing, that is, to ACT, in movies, or television. As with everything in life, there are exceptions to every rule. Gene Simmons (RUNAWAY, TRICK OR TREAT), of the band, KISS, immediately comes to mind.
I would recommend watching this as a double feature with another Horror / Comedy film that calls up the Christmas holidays, A CADAVER CHRISTMAS. Though not shot quite the same way, and has no major actors, it is just as insane and whacked-out as SANTA'S SLAY. Your belly will be like Santa's and shaking like a bowl full of jelly. You may experience pain and discomfort and shortness of breath, as well.
Four Shriek Girls.