By now, you all know about the love I have for slasher films. To me, one of the funnest parts of the sub-genre is that there’s a title for every and any holiday you can think of. There are slashers dealing with Halloween, Valentine’s Day, New Years Eve, Mother’s Day, and anything else you can think of. Perhaps the most popular holiday to be used is Christmas. Of all of the Christmas-themed horror flicks out there, Charles E. Sellier’s Silent Night, Deadly Night has to be one of the most well-known and talked about.
After visiting his mentally ill grandfather, young Billy and his parents stop their car to help a man dressed in a Santa Clause outfit. Little do they know, the man is a murderer. Billy is forced to watch as his father and mother are killed right in front of him. Years later, Billy and his brother Ricky are living in a home for orphaned children, where they are taken care of by Sister Margaret and the mean, old Mother Superior. Mother Superior’s methods of teaching are rather heinous, only crippling Billy more, especially around Christmas time. It isn’t until Billy is much older, however, that things really get ugly…
For most children, Christmas time is a time of joy. A time where they get to spend time with their families and open brand new gifts from under the Christmas tree. Things aren’t so lovely for Billy, though. Silent Night, Deadly Night actually does something that most slasher films don’t; After seeing the painful things Billy has endured, you really start to feel bad for him. His grandfather warns him that he’d better run and hide from Santa Claus, then his parents get murdered ‘by Santa,’ only to be followed up by years of abuse at the hands of Mother Superior. I don’t blame Billy for losing it!
Although we get to witness the terrifying acts done to Billy’s parents early on in the film, things tend to slow down quite a bit quickly thereafter. It isn’t until Billy is forced to dress as Santa at his first real job [at about 45 minutes into the film], that things really start to pick up. Luckily, in true slasher fashion, once things do get going, they really don’t stop until the very end. The body count grows rather quickly and while the effects aren’t the best we’ve seen in the slasher scene, some of the kill methods more than make up for it. My favorite scene, as I’m sure it is the favorite of many other viewers, involves the ever-lovely Linnea Quigley. I don’t want to get into too much detail, as I’m sure there are some of you out there that have not seen the film yet, but just know that her death is very much worth the wait.
I love every film I’ve ever seen Linnea Quigley star in. Aside from her brief performance, the rest of the acting throughout the film was exactly what you’d expect from an 80’s horror flick — cheesy at times, but entertaining nonetheless. Robert Brian Wilson did a wonderful job as the 18-year-old Billy who’s finally snapped. Running around with an axe, along with an assortment of other weapons, yelling “Naughty” and “Punish” is certainly a good look for Wilson.
In order to bring fans the most complete Silent Night, Deadly Night experience, Anchor Bay went back to the vaults of the original film negatives. Combining scenes from two different sources has its downfalls, as it is very obvious when the scenes meet, but that doesn’t take away from the gory fun that is to be had with this 30th Anniversary re-release. Fans finally get to see the original unrated cut, as it was meant to be seen, after all of these years. With audio interviews and still galleries, this 30th Anniversary Edition is definitely the version you’ll want in your collection. Be sure to pick up a copy today from Anchor Bay’s official website or any other online retailer.
While Silent Night, Deadly Night may not be the most unpredictable slasher film out there, it is still an awesome watch and certainly worth your time. It’s perfect for all slasher fans and I highly recommend it. I give it 3.5 Santa costumes out of 5.