Christmas comes early as Scream Factory brings a merry murder spree home to glorious HD.
‘Tis the season for holiday movies, and while conversations will surely be held regarding the glorious likes of Die Hard and Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang this particular post is going in a different direction. Holiday horror films bring their own unique brand of cheer, and one of the most infamous is coming to Blu-ray next month from the delightfully twisted folks at Scream Factory. Keep reading for a look at the brand new Collector’s Edition of the controversial classic that is 1984’s Silent Night, Deadly Night.
Young Billy is just a boy when he witnesses a deranged man in a Santa Claus outfit murder his parents, but things go downhill from there when he’s stuck growing up in a nun-run orphanage. The mother superior’s cruelty heightens his already unstable state of mind, and by the time he turns eighteen it appears he’s grown into a normal young man. April Fools! Billy’s (Robert Brian Wilson) still bonkers, and when he’s convinced to play Santa at his local department store the final twig snaps in his fragile mind, and he begins killing all the naughty people in his path.
Director Charles E. Sellier Jr. made four films, and while the other three are mostly unseen by human eyes his Christmas-themed slasher immediately entered into pop culture infamy. Silent Night, Deadly Night caused outrage upon its release as concerned parents and religious groups protested the portrayal of Santa as a maniacal killer. The controversy only fueled interest in the film further, but lost amid all the noise is the truth that the movie is a legit good time for horror fans.
The slasher elements are pretty straightforward, Santa costume aside, with a mix of T&A and bloody kills (most noticeable in the uncut version) delivering familiar but fun beats. We get axes to the neck, hammers to the head, and even a topless Linnea Quigley impaled onto deer antlers. What lifts it above many in the genre fray, though, is its sense of humor. The film avoids obvious punchlines and instead finds laughs in the absurdity of the situations, the overly straight-faced dialogue delivery, and more. It’s no Pieces — of course, nothing is — but it’s a fun watch.
Scream Factory’s new Blu-ray is a two-disc Collector’s Edition with the theatrical cut (79 minutes) on disc one and the unrated cut (85 min) on disc two. Both are sharp-looking HD transfers with the uncut version featuring standard definition inserts of previously excised footage. Extras are numerous and include trailers, a poster/still gallery, and more.
- *NEW* Slay Bells Ring: The Story of Silent Night, Deadly Night [45:51] — Thorough and entertaining documentary about the film’s production featuring interviews with various cast/crew members.
- Oh Deer! Linnea Quigley on Silent Night, Deadly Night [21:50]
- *NEW* Christmas in July: Silent Night, Deadly Night Filming Locations Then and Now [10:00]
- *NEW* Commentary with actor Robert Brian Wilson and producer Scott J. Schneid
- Commentary with writer Michael Hickey, composer Perry Botkin, editor Michael Spence, and producer Scott J. Schneid
- Audio interview with director Charles E. Sellier Jr. [58:11]
- Santa’s Stocking of Outrage [4:31] – Offers a selection of quotes from concerned parents and critics slamming the film for various reasons.
Buy Silent Night, Deadly Night on new Collector’s Edition Blu-ray from Amazon.