1984’s “Silent Night, Deadly Night” is probably one of the more infamous of the Xmas themed horror films, in that not only did it suffer heavy cuts at the hands of the US ratings board, but its release was actually targeted by an active hate campaign, lead by angry parents and morality groups, who picketed cinemas and successfully lobbied Tri-Star pictures into pulling the film from its release after only a fortnight.
The story for this revolves around a young lad named Billy, who’s orphaned after his parents are killed by a thief wearing a Santa costume on Xmas eve. He then suffers years of abuse in an orphanage run by nuns, where he learns that ‘sex’ is a ‘very naughty thing’ after seeing some young nun breaking her vow of chastity with a young handyman.
When he turns 18, they get him a job in a toy shop of all places and needless to say, as soon as December comes, things predictably go awry. Catching a couple of his co-workers indulging in some ‘extra-curricula’ activities in the stock room, he dons a Santa suit and proceeds to punish them for their naughtiness with a fire axe.
He then decides to head back to the orphanage, punishing numerous ‘naughty’ teenagers along the way, as they’re axed, knifed and impaled using a variety of inventive methods, as well as stringing up one unfortunate soul with a set of Christmas tree lights.
For my money, this is probably one of the better Christmas horror films of the 80s, which has since been restored to its full uncut glory on Disc, so we finally get to see, in full, the infamous demise of ‘Scream Queen’ Linnea Quigley (of Return of the Living Dead fame) who’s impaled on a pair of antlers, which protrude out through her breasts.
Good clean family entertainment all round!