Monday, December 21, 2009

Yuletide Crap: Santa Claws

It would be nice to stumble upon a few good holiday horror films that I have not seen before. Sure, the stand-by films like Black Christmas and Silent Night, Deadly Night are there, but you just want more! Lo and behold, a film that seems like it cannot fail shows up: Santa Claws. It looks like it will be tongue-in-cheek and is directed by John A. Russo. Unfortunately, the film turns out about as well as Russo's post-Night of the Living Dead career did. Go ahead- look it up. This movie has a lot of problems, most of them relating to budget, aimless directing and a confused story. I'll get into that in more detail with my review of...
The film begins with a kid wandering around his house, taking a gun and walking into his mother's room. She is in bed with a big, fat guy in a Santa's hat, who is apparently the kid's uncle. Before you can say that this is a mix of Psycho II and Hamlet, the kid shoots them both. Of course, we get some topless shots here to make things all R-Rated. In a deleted scene, the kid is arrested by two detectives, one of whom is played by John Russo. Hey, only Lucio Fulci is allowed to do that! In present day, he is a loner who lives next door to a semi-retired porn starlet. She is married to a porn director/photographer with whom she has two kids, although they are separated. He makes this abundantly-clear when he has torrid sex with a model after he does a shoot with her. As we learn, the crazy guy is obsessed with the woman (Debbie Rochon). He is so obsessed with he has dolls of her and even bought the all-black outfit that a killer wore in one of her horror movies. A porn star make horror films- what are the odds?!?
The man decides to do things: start killing people and befriend our heroine. This bring up one of my biggest problems with the movie: the crazy guy's motivation. He is somehow both 'The Killer Next Door' and 'The Detached Stalker.' You can't be both of them! First on his kill menu is a Producer at the company. The man puts up a fight, although his decision to go grab his gun rather than run away is a bad one. Our killer gets up after getting four shots pumped into his bullet-proof vest and kills the man, because his ribs would not be shattered by that. Next, he kills a model in her home, but only after she takes a shower for the audience. Yeah, that was necessary. I should mention that neither of these killings are done dressed as Santa. During this, the husband has another sex scene with the model. I mention that for later impact. Finally, our killer decides to dress up like Santa Claus and kill another model. Immediately following this, however, he spray paints the outfit. *sigh*
As the film gets closer to wrapping up, it takes an odd turn. After the second sex scene, the guy decides to go back to his wife...for some reason. At the studio, they meet up to try and catch the killer. They figure this out through a bit of logic that escapes me right now, which really speaks to how memorable this movie is. At the studio, they run into the killer who is...wearing the mask and gloves from the first outfit under a burgundy Santa Claus outfit. Was it too hard to just keep him in the outfit for more than one scene, Mr. Russo? He attacks the husband with his weapon of choice: a plastic rake head. I should mention that this was the same weapon that the killer apparently used in the movie. That's right- he is killing people with a movie prop! He stabs the husband, but get shot down by the wife. We get an oddly-happy ending with the family back together. All is forgiven, apparently. The End.
This movie sucks. It is not scary, not funny and not interesting. The whole thing is super low-budget, although they could at least afford working lights. The story has barely any momentum since it keeps stopping for modeling scenes and nudity. Nudity in a horror film is not terrible, but it is when the movie grinds to a complete halt to show it! Our killer is really dumb too & nothing could really redeem him. He has one mildly-good scene where he talks to a poster of our heroine, but it comes right after a scene where he talks to her in person! Why does he need all the posters when he can just use his window? As a Christmas horror film, it is barely-passable. The movie is set around Christmas, but you would lose nothing if you cut all the references to it. Don't think of this as a movie by the co-writer of Night of the Living Dead. Instead, think of it as a movie by the director of Midnight 2: Sex, Death and Videotape.
Up next, the weird middle child of the Silent Night, Deadly Night series. Is it worth the $2.50 I paid for it? Stay tuned...


  1. Welp, thanks for ruining my last hope for trying to find a new Christmas Classic. Is it any doubt why we all watch the same shit every year??

  2. Never mind, new hope found in SANTA CLAUS (1960)

  3. That movie is great for so many of the wrong reasons.

    If you think that I have hit the worst of the Christmas films, you are wrong. I'm saving that for Christmas day. If you have not seen the movie, you are in for quite a ride!