"On the first day of Creepmas, Krampus gave to me:
Charles Scott reviewing a movie!"
- Channy Dreadful
A sinister house shields a maniacal killer as he takes his revenge on the unsuspecting town below! An asylum’s doors are thrown wide to release the inmates on an unsuspecting populace! Worshippers at the altar of Bacchus are driven far beyond the brink of madness as the ultimate price for an incestuous love affair is paid in full! Ok, so maybe that last one was a bit much, but this is, no doubt, how the film was sold to producers (which included Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman) in 1970. Unfortunately, this movie never made it past the pitch stage, and what we got in 1972 was Silent Night, Bloody Night.
The movie starts off with a leisurely stroll and voiceover narration from our heroine, which soon gives way to a man on fire running around in the snow until he falls dead. This roller coaster is on its way! But, no, we get narration from the coroner. Then the credits. Then a funeral, with narration from the guy who died on fire. Next -- a daring escape from a wrench-wielding maniac! Hold on- here we go! Five minutes of people driving and boring dialogue takes us to a business meeting. Round and round we go for the first half hour of the film, and finally we get a murder scene!
I thought the murder of the lawyer and his floozy was very well done. There’s little to no special effects here, but fake blood and editing make the scene a real treat. Finally we’re getting somewhere! But, after the killer makes some spooky phone calls, Heroine and Conveniently Appearing From Out of Town House Owner Guy spend some time cruising around town finding out everyone’s gone missing. Then we get another spooky phone call, some library research with- wait for it- narration, followed by finding a car has been attacked with an axe which results in it burning out. Next they run over a guy who’s had his hands cut off by the killer (which is just RUDE). One spooky phone call to the Mayor later, we get a change of pace with about ten minutes of sepia-toned flashbacks aaaand NARRATION!
Everybody left alive ends up back at the house, where we find out Died On Fire Guy wasn’t who we thought he was. Everybody shoots everybody so that only our heroine survives, which is good, because who else is going to narrate the end of the movie?
Barely a Christmas movie -- it takes place on the Christmas Eve 20 years after the Christmas Eve on which the killer set his butler (or whatever) on fire, I thought I was asking to review Silent Night, Deadly Night. While this movie has the better title, the best thing about it is the poster. You can see Silent Night, Bloody Night just about anywhere, though, because it’s in the public domain- I can’t imagine why. There is a restored version of the film available on DVD, which is quite inexpensive, but I suggest you just sit and stare at the poster for an hour and 21 minutes. Merry Humbug.