Christmas Evil (1980)
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as Harry Stadling
as Jackie Stadling
as Jackie Stadling
as Mr. Fletcher
as Frank Stoller
as Mr. Grosch
as Det. Gleason
as Harry's Mother
as Moss' Mother
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Critic Reviews for Christmas Evil
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.
The film is noted for starting a sub-genre of the jolly St. Nick as a psycho slasher killer.
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.
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.
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.
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