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Christmas Evil (You Better Watch Out) (1980)

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Release Date: Nov 1, 1980 Limited

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33

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Average Rating: 2.7/5
User Ratings: 1,987

My Rating

Movie Info

He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, and it's best not to get on his bad side in this quirky thriller that's gained a loyal cult following. Harry Straddling (Brandon Maggart) was traumatized as a child, when late at night on Christmas Eve, he walked into the family living room and saw his father, dressed as Santa Claus, having sex with his mother. Now grown to adulthood, Harry is malignly obsessed with the holiday season, particularly the myths of Santa Claus; he works

R,

Mystery & Suspense, Horror

Lewis Jackson

Nov 14, 2006

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Latest News on Christmas Evil (You Better Watch Out)

December 25, 2008:
Further Reading: Seasonal Slaying - The 12 Horrors of Christmas
Thanks to Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol, the Yuletide season has long been associated with...

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All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (1) | DVD (4)

Harry is played... with the kind of range & intensity more usually associated with De Niro's Travis Bickle or Joe Spinell's Frank Zito than with the blankly cartoonish Jasons, Michaels & Freddies who would come to dominate the mainstream slashers.

March 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Grolsch Film Works
Grolsch Film Works

The film is noted for starting a sub-genre of the jolly St. Nick as a psycho slasher killer.

December 26, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Even before "Halloween," there was "Black Christmas."

July 26, 2002
eFilmCritic.com

Audience Reviews for Christmas Evil (You Better Watch Out)

As if a Norman Rockwell painting was shattered over the fireplace, a child's fragile perception of Santa as a caretaker is skewed when he sees Santa caressing his mother's leg. If your idea of heart-stopping insanity is a man humming Christmas tunes and donating toys to mentally challenged children, this is the movie for you. The whole premise is far-fetched and ripe for a dark comedy, not a psychological drama. The film is entirely poker-faced when a newscaster announces "avoid anyone dressed as Santa" and during a police lineup where they coerce belly laughs out of the suspects. The film feels very dated and is exquisitely moronic. The last frames defy justification and only accentuate the film's tin-ear fancifulness.
October 18, 2011
Cory Taylor

Super Reviewer

This is a slasher movie where the psycho is obsessed with creating a great Santa Claus for children, and with punishing the adults who don't believe anymore of course. He even works at a toy factory! The guy who plays him is pretty creepy, but there's not as much blood and gore as there could have been, and the other actors aren't so good. Overall, it's an okay Christmas horror movie.
June 15, 2011
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

After Harry sees a man dressed as jolly St. Nick make love to his mother one Christmas Eve as a child, he grows up obsessed with Santa Claus, going so far as to spy on neighborhood kids and keep his own list of who's been naughty and nice. One Christmas Eve, he snaps. A character study and not a slasher film, despite the marketing. It alternates between atmospheric and darkly witty, and just plain ridiculous. Still, it's probably the "best" killer Santa movie ever made.
January 8, 2009
366weirdmovies
Greg S

Super Reviewer

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