Bloody Good Cheer: Our Top 5 Favorite Christmas Horror Movies

blackchristmas

SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT (1984)
As a young boy, Billy was given the unfortunate gift of witnessing his parents murdered by a mean old Santa Clause. Needless to say, christmas will never be the same for him. As a teen, the disturbed Billy dresses up as Santa and goes on a holiday killing spree before returning to the orphanage he grew up in. The inventive deaths and quirky towns people make this a must see during the Christmas season.

SILENT NIGHT
A fun remake that creates some great new moments, while still paying the original its respect. Silent Night featured wonderful camera work and solid acting. Malcolm McDowell steals the show with great one liners and facial expressions that will leave you laughing at times and wanting more. The wood chipper scene is one of my favorites of the year!

BLACK CHRISTMAS
An all-time classic in the slasher genre, Black Christmas really brings out the creepy as a group of sorority sisters are terrorized in their own house. A demented killer lurks closely to the girls and makes a few phone calls that will make your skin crawl. With the killers voice, cinematography, and great deaths found here, the sad remake had nothing on the original.

SILENT NIGHT BLOODY NIGHT
Whereas “Black Christmas” features calls coming from a killer that’s hiding inside the house already, “Silent Night, Bloody Night” deals with the murderer calling each of the people that they intend to take vengeance on one by one, inviting them to the property. Fearful that their secret may be discovered (a pretty disturbing one at that, which I will not reveal for those who may have not seen it or would like to), they each visit the old dark house that they hate so much and long to destroy forever.

ELVES
Elves is about an elaborate plot cooked up by the Nazis to breed a superhuman by having a teenage virgin who is the product of incest mate with a weird-looking, killer elf. Which there is only one of; there are no elves in Elves. Just one shitty elf puppet in a Santa hat who can barely open and close its mouth. It’s kind of a bad plan on the Nazis’ part, and takes forever. One of the soldiers has to have a daughter, wait until she’s breeding age, then rape her and get her pregnant, to produce the child of incest. Which, if they’re trying to create superhumans, I’m fairly certain incestuous reproduction is not the secret to stronger, more evolutionarily developed stock.

Horribly Entertaining Holiday Horror Movies: “Elves” (1989) Review

Elves is about an elaborate plot cooked up by the Nazis to breed a superhuman by having a teenage virgin who is the product of incest mate with a weird-looking, killer elf. Which there is only one of; there are no elves in Elves. Just one shitty elf puppet in a Santa hat who can barely open and close its mouth. It’s kind of a bad plan on the Nazis’ part, and takes forever. One of the soldiers has to have a daughter, wait until she’s breeding age, then rape her and get her pregnant, to produce the child of incest. Which, if they’re trying to create superhumans, I’m fairly certain incestuous reproduction is not the secret to stronger, more evolutionarily developed stock.

So then, the Nazi has to wait for the incest baby to be born, wait for her to become a teenager, and then just hope that she and her friends accidentally summon the elf during a witchy anti-Christmas forest ritual. Which they do, obviously, but regardless, it’s already 1989. The war is long over, and this killer elf is no match for an aspiring department store Santa (he can’t seem to actually get the job) played by Dan Haggerty, who helps the teenage incest daughter fight the elf and her Nazi grandfather/father. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but those Nazi folk had some terrible ideas. And I am absolutely blaming the fictional Nazis in the movie for such bad plotting, and not the filmmakers, who made an amazingly entertaining film. I fucking love this movie. Please, have yourself a Nazi little Christmas, and treat yourself to this classic tale of Christmas delight!

–Austin Wolf-Sothern

Holiday Horror Movies: “Silent Night, Bloody Night” (1972) Review

Filmed 2 years before “Black Christmas”, yet released the same year, this seasonal shocker revolves around a dark secret several prominent members of a small town share in regards to a large mansion on the outskirts of the community.

When the living heir of the estate announces he intends to sell the property to the committee (to be destroyed), an insane mental patient escapes a sanatorium and comes home for a visit.

Whereas “Black Christmas” features calls coming from a killer that’s hiding inside the house already, “Silent Night, Bloody Night” deals with the murderer calling each of the people that they intend to take vengeance on one by one, inviting them to the property. Fearful that their secret may be discovered (a pretty disturbing one at that, which I will not reveal for those who may have not seen it or would like to), they each visit the old dark house that they hate so much and long to destroy forever.

One by one they suffer the revenge of an old friend who whispers softly to each one of them on the phone: “Come see me, I’m lonely…”

This film features a young Mary Woronov who, in my opinion, plays her role very well. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that she has a very “Laurie Strode” quality about her in this one. People who get to see this underrated classic, pay attention to the final climax chase scene at the end. When you hear her screaming and whimpering, you’ll see what I mean.

I love this movie and watch it annually every year.

I recommend checking it out on the Mill Creek Chilling Classics 50 Pack compared to other sources I’ve found, because it’s much more touched up than its VHS release on Paragon and even has additional scenes.

–Houston Fisher

The Gore, The Merrier: “Piranha” (2010) Review

So, I may be pushing this one, but my choice for holiday horror (since a lot of my favorites have already been reviewed, haha), is the Spring Break horror film Piranha 2010, aka Piranha 3D.

It is Spring Break in Lake Victoria, Arizona. It is a time for booze, swimming, boating, topless girls and…prehistoric piranha? While the local sheriff Julie Forrester (Elisabeth Shue) is out patrolling the young and wild crowd, her son Jake (Steve McQueen) is out with a porn crew when he should be babysitting his younger brother and sister. Leading the crew is Derrick (Jerry O’Connell), and one of his Wild Wild Girls is Danni (Kelly Brook). Also along for the ride is Jake’s love interest, Kelly (Jessica Szohr). What the crew and the unsuspecting spring breakers don’t know is that they will soon be on the menu for the some hungry prehistoric piranha that have broken free after a quake in the ocean floor. Can our local sheriff save her kids as well as the spring breakers before they all become fish chow?

So even though Spring Break isn’t legally a holiday, many young people will consider it one in their own world. It is a time when they can break free from school, work, etc. and just go crazy and have fun. That is exactly what Piranha is. A fun-filled movie. Definitely not one to be taken seriously. The film successfully captures the goings-on of the Spring Break crowd. Loud music, lots of alcohol, and may tit shots. It also throws in some FANTASTIC gore scenes. This is probably the goriest movie I’ve seen in my life. Maybe there is gorier, but it is one that’s stuck with me the most. The cast was more or less likeable. Julie is an excellent hero character, Ving Rhames in the film is also a great hero with some good one-liners, Derrick may be a dick but he was funny as hell, and honestly, despite Danni being a whore, I loved her way more than Kelly (whom I found annoying). Danni was kind-hearted and was actually trying to help Jake and Kelly get together. I can’t say I was a fan of the Jake character, like most of the characters like him, he doesn’t man up until the end. The massacre scene is absolutely mind-blowing. So many deaths, and so much gore. Half the deaths aren’t even piranha-caused.

I can’t imagine Piranha being directed by anyone other than the great Alexandre Aja. To me he is this generation’s king of gore. Eli Roth (who ironically has an appearance in this), is definitely in that race too. As long as someone views the movie with an open mind and realizes the movie is meant for pure fun, they will enjoy it. Anyone who’s ever been on a crazy spring break in a beach area may definitely be able to relate to this film. Minus the hungry piranha of course.

–Cody Landman

Favorite Holiday Horror: Valentine (2001)

In 2001, Jamie Blanks’s Valentine was released, and slowly just drifted away because I rarely hear people talk about it. But I have loved it ever since it still came out, and still love it today. It’s not my favorite holiday horror film,but it is one of my favorites. Plus, it’s a perfect triple feature to watch with My Bloody Valentine (1981), and My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009).

Valentine is opens with a great credit opening at a 8th grade Valentine’s Day dance where a young quiet teenage boy, Jeremy Melton, wants to just dance with somebody. But all the girl’s reject or turn him down till he meets Dorothy, who is a quiet teenage girl who doesn’t have anybody to dance with either. When a few teenage boy spot Jeremy and Dorothy making out, Dorothy accuses Jeremy of attacking her and the boys decide to humiliate Jeremy in front of everybody. Years go by where all those girls including Dorothy start getting strange Valentine’s cards and gifts with the signature “J.M.”. After that, the girl’s start getting stalked and killed one by one by someone wearing a cupid’s mask reaching up to Valentine’s Day. Could this be someone just playing with these girls or could it be Jeremy back for revenge?

For me, this film has so many great elements to it making it one of the last and best kinda late 90’s going into the early 2000’s slasher films. It has fun characters, fun kills, great use of the color “red” hinting that it is Valentine’s Day, well done story, some great acting, an awesome and creepy killer, and Jamie Blanks’s who knows how to make fun and well done slasher film because he also directed one of my favorite 90’s slasher films, Urban Legend. Jamie Blanks’s knows how to make a great slasher film because he uses all those elements that I mentioned before. In my opinion, Jamie Blanks’s doesn’t get the credit he deserves with his films, and Valentine itself just seemed to drift away and I think it is because the 90’s slasher eerie was going away in which Valentine just came to late in it’s prime. If you haven’t seen Valentine then I recommend giving it a watch especially on Valentine’s Day!

–Justin Rhine

Favorite Horror Holiday: “Silent Night, Deadly Night” (1984)

A young, incredibly adorable boy named Billy witnesses his parents being killed by a man dressed as Santa Claus (after being warned by his supposedly catatonic grandfather that Santa punishes those who have been naughty.) Later in life, after being raised in an orphanage with abusive nuns, he gets a job at a toy store, and one Christmas, his boss insists he dress up as Santa. Wanting to do a good job, but mentally unstable and unclear on what Santa’s duties are, Billy goes on a killing spree. The kills are great (there’s a sledding beheading and someone strangled with Christmas lights), but the real charm of this film is the sweetly endearing Billy, who is the most sympathetic killer of all time. His troubled life has left him damaged and confused. He kills without malice, not knowing any better.

He is merely punishing the naughty because that is his understanding of what Santa Claus does, and he wants to be a good employee at the toy store. The film is often overlooked as a campy slasher, and it does fit in to that. It’s a very fun movie. But underneath it all, there’s a sad character portrait that breaks my heart by the end. It’s fucking amazing. My absolute favorite Christmas movie, and one of the greatest, most underrated movies ever.

–Austin Wolf-Sothern

Great Holiday Horror: “April Fool’s Day” (1986)

April Fools Day (1986) is a crafty little film that to the in trained eye could be easily written off as ‘just another slasher film’. Coming at the tail end of the golden era of slasher movies April Fools Day manages to be far more intelligent then the audience watching it. It has a subtle post modern streak running through the entire film. It knows it’s a slasher, it knows things have been done to death and it plays up to them.

If New Nightmare refined this and Scream perfected it Fools Day pioneers it. This ties in with the whole April Fools Day motif and the fact that early into the film a double bluff is pulled so as to keep the audience guessing. Those who dislike the twist at the end miss the whole point the film is the ‘prank’ and better for it. Unlike themed slashers from the 90s onwards this film sticks to its ideas and fils the movie with jokes, scares and deaths all themed around bad luck and pranks gone wrong. The jack in the box wrap around always sets me on edge coupled with the bouncy playful score that’s just the other side of unnerving. The cast do a great job of acting natural and feel like friends who know each other and don’t seem like stock characters. Few films these days manage to make you believe in the people your watching too interested in selling you the movie with sex appeal and ‘stunt’ casting.

April Fools Day is a great example of movie making to make a film and NOT to sell t-shirts. Though I know I’d rather own an April Fools tee then a Twilight one. The film sets a great atmosphere and creepy vibe throughout and even shows a mean steak towards the final strech. I applaud it for having guts to pull a last minute scare/prank on the audience literally winking at us before the credits roll. Anyone who isn’t left with a big smile on their face is made of stone.

–Wesley James Skelly

Entertainingly Awful Movies: “Saturday the 14th Strikes Back” Review

Saturday the 14th Strikes Back is a film made for people who laugh every damn time Lucy yanks the football away and Charlie Brown falls flat on his butt. Whether the film is attempting comedy, child-friendly monster mayhem, or basic exposition, it finds a way to fail disastrously.

The premise of Saturday the 14th Strikes Back, a sequel in name only, is simple enough. A family lives on top of a passageway to Hell. Creatures of all shapes and sizes pass through the crack and cause madcap tomfoolery for hero Eddie Baxter (Jason Presson) and his family. Eventually, Eddie is tossed an obligatory, unnecessary love interest and forced to battle the very essence of Evil for his family and for humanity as we know it.

Aimed at children, the movie unfolds like a series of skits meant to provide safe, non-menacing monsters mixed with Airplane! style hijinks. In these small moments, Saturday the 14th Strikes Back embarrasses itself repeatedly, like a dog that can’t stop whizzing on the rug.

One gag involves hero Eddie Baxter lamenting his family doesn’t eat normal food as his mom fills his breakfast plate with sugary desserts. It’s not long after that when a scantily clad vampire appears in his bedroom to sing a doo-wop song about being bored with a vampire’s diet. The gags keep coming: the submarine in Eddie’s uncle’s stomach, the pudding sculptures, the monsters on the miniature golf course, the brain burgers, and the cop-out stock footage battle with Evil that ends the whole mess. Each of these moments takes something that barely qualifies as humorous and awkwardly beats each joke like a dead horse. In fact, one of those jokes literally involves dead horses.

The first five minutes of the film say everything. The credits roll over a calm, peaceful beach. The music, as if from another movie, bleats scary horn bursts as nothing more frightening than waves lapping at the sand appears on the screen. Eddie Baxter stumbles through clunky dialogue and, when the camera finally focuses on him, he looks straight into it and tells us this was the summer where he saved the world.

This is a zero Teddy film, but few films are as entertaining as watching this movie try to be clever and fail. It’s simply that earnest and determined, and pity makes belly laughs deeper. Like a kid in socks trying to turn a corner on linoleum, like a drunken man hitting on a waitress, there is humor in watching repeated clumsy failure. For this, Saturday the 14th Strikes Back should be saluted.

–Axel Kohagen

Follow Axel on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mrhorrorpants

Horror Movie Masterpiece: “Halloween” (1978) Review

If you are a horror film fan, or just a film of fan period you know what John Carpenter’s halloween is, and even if you haven’t seen it then you have heard of it. It’s one of the best films period, and my favorite horror film of all time. No horror film or any other John Carpenter film tops this film.

15 years ago, a six year-old boy named Michael Myers killed his older sister, Judith Myers, on Halloween, and 15 years later people of Haddonfield, IL still remember what happened, remember the house, and the name Michael Myers. In 1978, Michael Myers escaped from a mental hospital, and targets three teenage girls, Laurie, Lynda, and Annie. Can his doctor, Dr. Loomis, get to Michael before Myers gets his three targets on what is consider to be one of the darkness nights of the year…….Halloween.

In my opinion, no horror film tops John Carpenter’s Halloween. I love a lot of horror films, and everybody has their opinion on their favorite horror films. But John Carpenter’s Halloween is the best when it comes to horror films. First, I love the atmosphere in the film with the mix of that creepy and simple music score from John Carpenter. That score has become so well known that when people hear it they know where that music has come from. Second, I love the point of view shots in this film especially in the beginning of the film and the point of view shots from Michael Myers. I think that creates something creepy and effective in the film. Third, I love that John Carpenter and co-writer/producer, Debra Hill, went for an unknown cast in this film and of course I am glad they went for Jamie Lee Curtis (Laurie Strode) who went on to have a great career and she is the daughter of Janet Leigh, who was in another classic horror film, Psycho, from 1960.

I also thought they really picked three great women who played likable teenage girls. Of course, you can’t forget Donald Pleasance who played Dr. Samuel Loomis. Great acting and role for Pleasance. Fourth, I love that they put the film on Halloween, which some people might consider to be a evil day where ghouls, and spirits come out to play. I think it creates something creepy having the film take place on Halloween. Fifth, Michael Myers himself. You have that creepy movement that Myer’s has in the film, and of course the mask which is a very simple white mask. But still there is something creepy about that mask that you never forget. Carpenter is able to make that mask creepy with some classic scenes like all of a sudden seeing the mask appearing from a dark room. It’s affective, and works well. After Halloween, many sequels came out and Rob Zombie has made his version of what Halloween is with Part 1 and 2. But none of those Halloweens films and no other horror film top Halloween.

—Justin Rhine

Tim’s Slasher Tweet Reviews: “Silent Night Deadly Night” (1984)

Hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July and kept the gore on the screen with no real life accidents. With that holiday now complete, what else can we celebrate at Slasher Studios? Christmas in July!!! Who doesn’t love watching a gory Christmas movie when it is 90 degrees outside and you don’t want to leave your air conditioned house? To celebrate Christmas in July our resident Twitter reviewer Tim Schilling is taking a look at the controversial “Silent Night Deadly Night.” It’s going to be a blood red Christmas…five months early.

Thoughts before the film:
I’m pretty sure I’ve seen it before, and I remember getting mad at the movie cause it upset me or something. I’m not sure if it was this, or another movie with a killer Santa Clause… but there aren’t many of those. #SilentNightDeadlyNight

Thoughts while watching:
0:07 Grandpa takes this whole Santa Clause thing pretty serious.
0:12 I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t help a guy dressed up as Santa in the middle of nowhere.
0:14 This kid was a baby when his parents were killed, how could he be messed up?
0:16 Oh this kid wasn’t the baby. they made it look like it was though!
0:19 Nuns are wack, they were just having some fun!
0:21 ‘Mother Superior’ is a total bitch. Aren’t nuns supposed to be nice?
0:24 Billy to Santa, pow right in the kisser!
0:28 When billy is shown working at the toy store: I feel like I’m watching a bad 80’s tv show opening credits.
0:37 I hope Mother Superior died over the 10 year gap. What a bitch.
0:39 I wanna spend my Christmas Eve in a toy store getting drunk.
0:45 Billy and Darth Vader are the same person.
0:48 I think it’s hard to find a slasher movie that doesn’t have some sort of reference to Psycho.
0:57 Everyone blame the cat for getting that girl killed.
1:00 Billy you sicko. Why would a girl want a knife for Christmas!
1:07 The police office has to be the same building they used for the police office in The Walking Dead!
1:09 Oh hey Mother Superior, you’re still alive I see. I can’t wait until billy gets here.
1:13 Why would you hire a deaf guy to be Santa? He can’t hear what all the kids want!
1:21 Oh come on! He was about to chop mother Superior right in half!
1:22 So is the sequel gonna be about all of the kids in the orphanage going on a killing spree dressed as Santa?

Overall:
Pretty much loved #SilentNightDeadlyNight, for how messed up is was, I had so much fun watching it! It’s a movie that you can’t really explain, it’s one you’ve got to see for yourself.

To follow Tim on twitter: https://twitter.com/schillingt
To follow Slasher Studios on twitter: https://twitter.com/slasherstudios