SPOILER WARNING!!! This post spoils movie Silent Night Deadly Night (1984).
This movie is infamous for showing Santa Clause killing people. But that is not real reason, why this is infamous. I think, real reason is this movie showing, how Santa myth combined with really bad timing and streight religious mentality, can make kid go crazy. This became one of my favourite horror movies, because this shows, how killer is made and some blame could go to ones, who made him what he became. Movie is quite hard to find. My copy is dutch version, I bought couple years ago. It was only one I could find. It is shame that this has become obscure movie, when this is one of more though provoking slasher movies. It is not just killer killing people creative ways as most other movies in this genre are.
Billy is a normal kid. It is christmas eve and Billy’s family is visiting grandpa at mental hospital. When Billy is alone with grandpa, he tells, how Santa Clause punishes everyone, who hasn’t been nice all year. You can’t do any naughty things. Billy’s family’s trip is running late. They are driving past bed time. Being up past bed time on christmas eve is naughty thing. Family is stopped by Santa Clause, how just robber store and killed clerk for 31 bucks. Santa kills Billy’s parents in front of his eyes.
Billy and his brother is taken to orphanage run by nuns and Mother Superior. Mother Superior believes punishing for everything and teaches Billy, nothing goes unpunished and punishment is absolute. Christmas times are worst for Billy, because he remember, how Santa killed his parents. Billy can’t control his actions and is punished for everything. Mother Superior doesn’t listen other nuns, who think her way is not the best possible. In orphanage Billy learns, sex is bad thing and anyone having sex should be punished.
When Billy turns 18, he goes working for toy store. Everything goes well until christmas. Christmas decorations make him remember the night Santa killed his parents. Boss tells Billy, he has to be Santa Clause, because regular Santa injured his knee. Billy’s view of Santa is little bit different than others. He tells kids, they have to be nice or Santa will punish them. Parents doesn’t see anything strange and people think Billy is good Santa. After toy store is closed, owner and employees are having their christmas party. Drunken owner tells Billy he should be doing what Santa does on christmas eve.
When Billy see one of his co-worker trying to rape other co-worker, he turns into what he thinks Santa is. He hangs raping co-worker with christmas lights. When rape victim freaks out, he kills her too and continue to kill every one at store. This is where movie turns into regular slasher movie. There is one scene I like to mention. Billy has just killed two teens for having sex, when young girl sees him. She thinks he is real Santa. Billy asks her, if she has been nice all year. When she replies she has been, Billy gives bloody knife to her. Girl doesn’t know what to think, but Billy feels good for himself, because he has acted like Santa. He has punished bad people and given gifts to good people.
Police knows Billy is the killer and he is going to Orphanage. Police shoots wrong Santa at orphanage in front of the kids. Billy comes there later. Kids let him in, because they think he is Santa. He comes to kill Mother Superior. He is shot before he could do that. Billy’s younger brother is among kids. He start to call Mother Superior naughty. I am sure, he will turn out to be good kid after seeing police kill two Santas one day, other one of those being his brother.
I planned to make this movie my christmas tradition. This year I had to watch this early to write this post. Maybe next year. This year I could watch heart warming story of what happened to Billy’s brother.