Now, we know what you're saying....Why is TVStoreOnline.com putting out a list of their Top 5 Halloween Horror Movies with Christmas Themes now in late September 2015? Shouldn't they be smart and just release it in late October so that it entices those with the Halloween bug in their systems to search these wonderfully gross and bloody Christmas horror movies out? Heck, they'd be smart too if they released it at Christmas time too, because, that way they'd be able to get the yule tide following with that crowd as well. Nope, not us. Nope, we here at TVStoreOnline.com do things a little differently from the rest. We like to be rebellious, in fact, it's in our nature to act such a way. Now, we also know that people that see this list might wonder about the omission of Gremlins (1984) from such a list. We know, but we wanted to pick 5 Halloween horror movies with Christmas themes that showcased Santa or one of his helpers in a demented way.
We don't like our Halloween horror Christmas movies to be nice, cute, and sweet--only scarring the crap out of us after midnight and after they've been had water poured over 'em. We like our Christmas-themed horror movies bloody and evil. There, we said it! Here's our five picks for the best Halloween horror movies that have Christmas themes, bloody rampaging-killer, psycho-on-the-loose-with-an-ax Santa Claus, and supernatural Gothic evil elves that want to taste your blood with their egg nog.
And while we here at TVStoreOnline.com acknowledge that there have literally been dozens and dozens of Christmas-themes horror movies to come out since 2000, we want to keep it old school, the way it should be, and only feature horror movies made in the 1980's--when life was good, Reagan was destroying our country with his trickle-down economics and yearning for redemption for Vietnam.
And don't worry...We'll come up with another cool list for Halloween time. Maybe we can do Top Five Halloween horror movies with Thanksgiving themes?
In no particular bloody order.....
SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT (1984)
The granddaddy of demented dark Christmas movies. If you've ever been scared of Santa Claus there's a good reason to be. This movie is so disturbing and gross that it's a wonder how it ever got made in the first place. Little Billy Chapman, a five-year-old, on the way home with his parents from visiting his grandfather (who has warned him that Santa punishes those who are naughty) is attacked by a man wearing a Santa suit. He rapes little Billy's mother and shoots his father, eventually turning his gun on Billy's mother as well. Traumatized, Billy, an orphan, grows up in an orphanage, only to acclimate into the outside world again at age 21, when he is hired to work as a Santa Claus at a toy store during the holiday season. Strapping on the Santa suit sparks Billy's psychological trauma and he picks up an ax and goes on a killing spree in the toy store and the neighborhood. The film was released into theaters around the United States at the same time as the original Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) film, and it out-grossed Freddy Kruger at the box office significantly, before parents launched a national campaign to have it pulled out of movie houses and shelved. They don't make movies like Silent Night, Deadly Night anymore. Anything like it is an homage, whereas, this sick puppy started a entire new genre basically. Santa slasher films that have come in its wake have only emulated it and have never superseded it. Silent Night, Deadly Night was made in the wake of the uber success of John Carpenter's Halloween (1979), and it made no bones about being inspired by it as well, as it used the tag line in it's advertising on release: "You've made it through Halloween, now try and survive Christmas..."
Where Silent Night, Deadly Night took the whole childhood-trauma-via-Santa idea and turned it up to a hundred, Christmas Evil marks the first implementation of the concept itself. A little boy, who has an obsession with Christmas catches his mom one Christmas Eve with Santa in bed, grows up and wears the suit around time slashing those who have been naughty up with a knife. Where John Carpenter's Halloween likely influenced generations of horror films with it's use of the subjective camera showing the audience what the killer sees from his perspective, Christmas Evil does the same thing with it's hyper-creepy subjective camera angles. Whereas, Silent Night, Deadly Night, is so-over-the-top and almost pure camp, Christmas Evil is just plain sleazy.
TO ALL A GOODNIGHT (1980)
Directed by actor-turned-director David Hess, no stranger to the horror movie genre, Hess cut his teeth and made a name for himself as a super-creep in Wes Craven and Sean Cunningham's ultra sleazy and gross Last House on the Left (1972) which featured Hess as a rapist and murderer, who along with a pair of friends kidnap a pair of hippie girls and holds them hostage amongst their family in upstate New York. To All A Goodnight, plays on the Santa slasher notion, but this time, it finds a psycho dressing up as Santa and slicing and dicing his way through a group of sorority girls and their boy-toys at a Christmas party on campus. To All A Goodnight, marks an earlier screen appearance for actress Jennifer Runyon, who many, remember from the television series pilot of Quantum Leap as well as the young, pretty, blonde girl who gets tested for having psychic powers by Bill Murray at the beginning of Ghostbusters (1984).
Nearing the end of the '80s, Elves comes at a time in horror movies when things were slowly moving away from the slasher sub-genre and into the supernatural realm of gross-out monsters trolls, elves, and bugaboos. Elves, a low-budget monstrosity that features actor Dan Haggerty (TV's Grizzly Adams), features Haggerty as a crazed psychotic Santa Claus who must save the "world" from an army of demonic selves, who were created as part of an evil Nazi experiment that involved monster breeding. Yes, it's a bit much, even for us here. But, damn, it's kind of gross.... And Dan Haggerty never really got the respect he deserves. There, we said it.
BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974)
Don't waste your time watching the remake for Black Christmas. We don't care how much you want to, don't do it. This is the only version of the film that you need in your collection. Directed by Bob "Porky's I, Porky's II: The Next Day, A Christmas Story," Clark, Black Christmas is one of the most frightening and creepy movie experiences anyone will ever have. The story for the film happens in a Canadian sorority house over the holiday break, when only but a few girls are left to stammer around with the holiday blues. And of course, a crazed escaped psycho from the near-by mental home is on the loose. As the bodies in the house begin to pile up, a creepy, distorted, voice begins to call the house and scream and mutter about his mommy into the phone to the girls one-by-one as they're picked off by "something" inside the house itself. Is the killer calling the girls in the house from inside the house itself? Is the killer hiding in the house, perhaps in the attic? Black Christmas is super creepy, and director Bob Clark really goes for broke with a extreme use of distorted sound effects and the rantings of a crazy maniac actor. The scariest part of all is that we never know who the killer is! We only know that he's in the house, but we never see his face, and he's never caught by the police. He kills and then he leaves the house? Or does he? All we see of him is this creepy eyeball starring through a doorway crack in the final moments of the movie. It will send chills up your spine time and time again, even when you know it's coming, even if you've seen Black Christmas 100 times. It's that creepy.