Christmas Evil - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Christmas Evil Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ October 18, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
June 15, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
½ March 31, 2011
This started out rather slowly, but kept building. It winds up getting more and more serious until it just goes flat-out silly at the very end - with an ending totally off-the-wall and completely insane that I have to give the filmmakers props for being so ballsy. It may not be perfect, but it's got some good things going for it.
Super Reviewer
½ January 2, 2009
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.
Super Reviewer
½ November 30, 2007
Wouldn't let my children see this one. Just a little to off the wall, Mom and Santa Scenes are something that Jr is going to ask about erest asured.
Super Reviewer
½ July 14, 2007
A terrible movie. It's not Santa running around killing people like they make it out to be. The actual story has a mentally ill toy factory worker who is obsessed with the idea of Christmas. Brandon Maggart would've been better off growing his white beard for this movie. The film also looks dark and murky. I hated it for misrepresentation. Check out Santa's Slay and Silent Night Deadly Night, which are more in line with a killer Santa image.
Super Reviewer
December 12, 2009
I don't think since Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer have I seen such a disturbing and convincing performance, Brandon Maggart very effectively portrays a very mentally unstable man who embarks on a very odd, and bloody journey through the snow covered streets of New York city dressed as Santa and set out giving presents to those who have been good, and a well placed axe to the head to those who have been naughty. This is a hell of a lot of fun to watch, but only if you are in the mood for something a little darker than the regularly scheduled Christmas films that are usually on TV this time of year.
Super Reviewer
January 30, 2007
My second favourite Xmas film after A Christmas Story. Brandon Maggart's perfomance is truly amazing, it's too bad he wasn't in more films. And after just watching it again, Jackson was far ahead of him time. The image of Santa being chased by villagers with torches in the style of Universal monsters isn't too far from how he's treated by the public today who don't want you saying "Merry Christmas". Brilliant and thoroughly entertaining. Much closer to Taxi Driver or Driller Killer in being the story of a lonely, disturbed man going insane rather than the slasher films everyone wants this film to be. I am a little surprised when after someone watches it they still insist on throwing it in the slasher genre (a genre I love, but c'mon if this is a slasher film then so is Taxi Driver, 187, Death Wish, etc) when it clearly isn't.
December 30, 2006
Gave this another watch tonight as part of my Christmas anti-programming regimen, and I was amused by how much it grows on you when you know how strange it gets in the end.

Such a bizarre ending, it's worth the watch for the last ten minutes alone, and the John Waters commentary is a lot of fun to listen to as well.

Worth a rental at the very least.
½ December 13, 2014
This Christmas-themed horror film is about a guy who saw his dad totally trying to bang his mom when he was a kid...only his dad was dressed as Santa at the time. Since he has become obsessed with Saint Nick, spying on children to determine whether they are naughty or nice, and even working at a toy factory. But this Christmas he has finally snapped...he gets all dressed up as Kris Kringle and goes on a bizarre spree to hand out toys to kids and murder people that have screwed him. It is a fun oddball Christmas movie if weirdo B-movies are your thing. I think it is more entertaining than something like "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians."
June 21, 2012
This is one weird psycho thriller movie. Talk about being obsessed with Santa Claus and Christmas, and you thought the next door neighbor who had a million Christmas lights outside, and kept them up all year long was obsessed, you haven't seen nothing until you've seen this movie.

Harry Straddling (Brandon Maggart) has been obsessed with Santa Claus since he was a kid. As an adult, he makes his own Santa outfit, keeps records of the kids in the neighborhood who have been good and nice (talk about a pedophile type situation), and kills those adults who don't believe in Santa Claus.

Moral of the movie. Believe in Santa Claus. . or else.
½ April 25, 2012
Made and Released long before Silent Night Deadly originally as the great titled You Better Watch Out is a nifty little cult classic...not as violent or bloody as Silent Night but just as effective and strange.
January 21, 2012
Low budget doesn't bother me, but bad acting and bad writing do. The entire premise is shaky and hard to believe from the start - the kid knew it was his dad, so what was the big trauma? Later, we have a scene right out of a medieval period piece with the "villagers" brandishing torches and chasing the villain through the streets of town. Effects are about what you'd expect on this budget; actually, that's being generous on my part. This is just lame.
December 22, 2011
It's a Christmas movie about a mentally troubled man who thinks he's Santa Clause. This movie strings scenes and flashbacks together pretty poorly. There isn't a whole lot of dialogue. With this movies flaws I must say the ending I did love and if you want to see one great twist(?) ending look no further than Christmas Evil, lol. I just loved how it ends xD
November 26, 2010
5% Christmas, 5% horror, and 90% B-movie glory.

PLOT:Harry Stadling (Brandon Maggart) was scarred for life as a child when he found out there was no such thing as Santa Claus in a horrible way. Nowadays, he works as a toymaker and is friends with the neighborhood kids, but he has a few tricks up his sleeve. He keeps his own list of who's naughty and nice so he can give the kids what they deserve that he didn't get, but people like his scroogy co-workers that get in the way also get what's coming to them: death and revenge. It's actually a pretty dull plot, but it's executed with campy, B-movie glory.

ACTING:The acting was pretty good actually. Maggart did a great job of acting insane and jolly all at the same time. The child actors were, of course, pretty dreadful. The shiner besides Maggart is the guy who played his brother.

SCORE:Besides the Christmas songs, the horror score was pretty unique and very unnerving.

EFFECTS:The effects were used to shock value, but you could tell they overdid it a slight bit; the effects of a B-movie.

OTHER CONTENT:This movie had its moments of Christmas warmness, its moments of unnerving murders, and its moments of utter boredom, but overall it was B-movie glory. Everything in here was done to the unnerving max in a weird way-that of a B-movie, not to mention the bizarre, sensless
ending. It's definitely a horror to watch for fun and not to take too seriously.

OVERALL, an ok Christmas B-movie with a campy plot, good acting aside from the children, unique and unnerving score, shocking and overdone effects, and a fun, bizarre, and senseless ending that only a B-movie could pull off.
August 1, 2011
Everyone knows that certain someone who takes Christmas just a little too seriously every year, and the lead character in "Christmas Evil" personifies that person in every way, shape and form. In a way, Brandon Maggart reminded me of a homicidal Pee Wee Herman, and that's a big part of why the film isn't entirely successful. It strives to be something different, and it definitely is that, but it's impossible to take any of it seriously. It's not as campy as the other perennial Christmas favorite "Silent Night, Deadly Night", and it's not as good either. Still, the moments that are supposed to be psychologically creepy are mostly just funny. But the film is not without a certain appeal.
I liked the idea of this holiday zealot spreading his peculiar brand of holiday cheer and terror equally, but the film goes nowhere. And then there are touches of weirdness that go unexplained and just left me wondering. But the final scene in which Maggart's Christmas van flies off in front of the full moon is priceless. It's easily the best moment in a film that tries so hard and almost makes it.
It's ultra-cheap and hasn't aged well over the years, but in a strange way that only accentuates the film's charm. What little gore there is is unconvincing and poorly filmed, and while the movie is never dull, it is dated and laughable. It admittedly has its moments, but "Christmas Evil" isn't likely to become a new holiday favorite. It has an undeniable quirky charm, but that only takes this oddball picture so far.
December 19, 2010
If ever there was a movie in need of a remake this is it. Fun concept but horrible execution. We need a do-over.
½ October 18, 2010
Another lousy slasher film from Troma that features some genuine craziness and some laughs but is ultimately too crappy to bear. If you want a good Christmas slasher, watch Silent Night, Deadly Night or--even better--Bob Clark's classic Black Christmas.
½ August 15, 2010
Nothing spreads holiday cheer like a slasher pic showing Santa hacking a midwestern family to death. Merry Christmas.
½ January 13, 2010
What is it about Christmas that brings out so much sexual frustration in the horror genre? And is it intentional? I like to think that it is, and the only way the industry knows to retaliate in the overtly wholesome winter wonderland created by mainstream media. I thought after Black Christmas holiday carols would never sound the same again, and you know what? I was right. They took on an eerie, unnatural quality. Now I guess I'll be looking at jolly Ol' Saint Nick in a whole new light. Or maybe I should say shadow-Ominous, child molesting shadow to be more exact.
"You Better Watch Out," was actually entitled "Christmas Evil" in the free movies section on my OnDemand. I'm not really sure why this is, or why movies change titles in any case, I'm assuming for most it has something to do with copyright infringement which I know nothing about and have no desire to google at the moment. With this B-rated flick however I have my doubts, partly because both titles have different release dates. I'm thinking this movie did so unbelievably bad with it's first release that someone decided to re-release it with a different title hoping to trick all us avid horror movie watchers into thinking it was not in fact the 100 minute douche-chill generator we would most likely remember from years earlier, which is unfortunate because it's actually quite watchable regardless the name. The fact that every poster I've seen for this movie is illustrated doesn't do much to sway my thinking that there was/is some intentional deception tied to the marketing of this film. Never the less, it made it's way into my living room as so many abominable slashers do, and just in time for Christmas, too. Aren't you the lucky bloggers.
Ok, so I'll get to the summary. Whatever this movie may be called it begins with a young boy, Harry, witnessing his mom and Santa fooling around one Christmas Eve. No, they didn't make a slasher based on a Jimmy Boyd song from the 50's, unless there's a version I haven't heard that goes "I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus... then brutally murdered four people thirty years later while delivering presents to handicapped children." Needless to say, Harry was more than a little affected by the scene being performed in front of the family Christmas tree when he was supposed to have been in bed... Or was he?
I realize I've given this movie a bit of a negative spin, and it's probably well-deserved. It's got some pretty corny acting and a pace slower than an ice cream truck passing a weight watchers meeting. However you might be surprised to hear that I, along with John Waters, in fact loved this movie. It's surprisingly complex and unpredictable, with no clear antagonist until the final scene of the movie, which also reveals a twist so unexpected for me I began to watch the movie again as soon as I had finished it. An all around pleasant surprise for someone sick to death of knowing how a horror film will end within the first 10 painful minutes. I would even go so far as to recommend this movie, only it would be better watched as a morbid and off-center indie flick instead of the bloody slasher it was billed as.

I would give this movie a 7.0/10, and am once again disappointed by the lower ratings of my fellow movie reviewers. I would have to agree with John Waters on this one, "(You Better Watch Out) is the best Christmas movie ever made."
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