Merry Christmas All. As a horror fan I have to make mention of one of, if not the, most controvesial movies of the 1980's, Silent Night Deadly Night. Was happy to add this to my collection and give it a watch prior to this festive holiday. Let's start with a brief synopsis of the movie.
A young boy watches his parents killed by a thief in a Santa suit. He spends his youth in an orphanage, staying quietly to his self, but his mind is further bent by an ironhanded Mother Superior. He finally gets a job at a local store, where he finally snaps when he is required to wear a Santa suit, and goes on a killing spree that leads him slowly back to the orphanage.
This movie created quite the stir in 1984 when released due to the killer being dressed as Santa Claus. The PTA fought the release of this film due to it's subject matter and it's Christmas release. Siskel and Ebert even went as far as to read the film's production credit's on the air and saying "Shame, Shame" after each one. Large crowds (mostly angry families) formed at theaters and malls around the nation to protest the film. TriStar Pictures, its original distributor, pulled all ads for the film six days after its release (November 15). The film itself was also withdrawn shortly thereafter due to the controversy.
It was later re-released by an independant distributer, Aquarius Films, beginning in Spring of 1986, with an ad campaign which replaced the original "Twas the Night Before Christmas" audio track with a new one that centered around the controversy surrounding the film and edited out all the close up shots of Billy in the Santa suit with weapons.
Despite the controversy, it became a cult classic among horror fans. Myself on the other hand, I thought it was just okay. The movie is very tame by today's standards. Not that that is a big issue with me. Some of my favorite films are old school B & W films. But to be honest I personally felt sorry for the character of Billy.
As much as I love horror and the more gore and craziness in a horror movie the better. Just seeing someone in a Santa suit shooting someone or chopping them up with an axe actually did disturb me, and that takes a lot. It is a decent movie but just a little disturbing at the same time. The acting is so-so and the story does actually seem like it could happen. Overall it gets 3 burning skulls out of 5. Please enjoy the trailer below and again, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.