Christmas Evil (1980) - Rotten Tomatoes

Christmas Evil (1980)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Christmas Evil Photos

Movie Info

A deranged department-store Santa becomes a cold-blooded killer in this taut psycho-thriller that spends time looking back at the poor fellow's life. The story is also titled Christmas Evil and Terror in Toyland.


Brandon Maggart
as Harry Stadling
Dianne Hull
as Jackie Stadling
Scott McKay
as Mr. Fletcher
Joe Jamrog
as Frank Stoller
Peter Friedman
as Mr. Grosch
Ray Barry
as Det. Gleason
Bobby Lesser
as Gottleib
Sam Gray
as Grilla
Ellen McElduff
as Harry's Mother
Patty Richardson
as Moss' Mother
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News & Interviews for Christmas Evil

Critic Reviews for Christmas Evil

All Critics (6)

Lewis Jackson's Yuletide UFO puts the manic in Manichaeism.

December 15, 2017 | Full Review…

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…

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

December 26, 2011 | Rating: B | Full Review…

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

July 26, 2002 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for Christmas Evil


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.

Cory Taylor
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.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


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.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

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