Christmas Evil Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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."