Movie of the Day

Santa’s Slay

It is amazing how much the horror film has become part of mainstream culture since the early ‘80s. While parent and Christian groups throw a hissy fit in 1984 when Silent Night, Deadly Night featured an insane killer who just happened to be dressed in a Santa suit, Santa’s Slay, made 21 years later, actually features the real Santa Claus who shows up on Christmas Eve and kills everyone in his path, whether they have been naughty or nice, and the whole thing is played for laughs.

In one of the mind-boggling opening sequences ever to start a film, Santa, played by former pro wrestler Bill Goldberg, bursts through a fireplace into the home of a high-dysfunctional family, kicking the Scribbles Chihuahua into a ceiling fan, pinning the pater familias James Caan’s hand to the dinner table with the turkey carving knives, setting the lewd mother Fran Drescher’s hair on fire and drowning her in eggnog, dispatching with the son-in-law who has been flirting with her by kicking him into a china display case as his wife is impaled on the wrought iron posts of the doggie bed, bludgeoning one daughter with the leg of the dining table, felling another by throwing a Christmas ornament into her back like a ninja star, and finishing dad off by choking him with a turkey leg.

And all of this happens before the opening credits start. The whole film could hardly be expected to keep up the manic pace, but there is plenty of violence played for comedy, leading up to an epic confrontation in a skating rink which pits man against Zamboni. There is not too much of a plot, but in a backstory that is filmed as a homage to the hokey 1964 claymation TV special “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” we learned that Santa is actually the son of Satan, and lost a bet to an angel in the year 1005, forcing him to be nice to all little boys and girls for the next millennium. The time limit has run out, and now Santa is back to kick some ass.

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