My Sleigh Ride To Hell pt:4 (Or, Fuck Chritmas)

What’s worse than Christmas? It’s not the hangover that follows… Nope, It’s having to re-watch one of the films in your list because no matter what, you just can’t remember the fucking thing, even when sober.

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A pointless remake that nobody asked for manages to cock up nearly everything in the film, while adding more sleaze and retaining none of the charm of the original. This time we have an faceless Santa who gets right to work killing people in the opening moments. He’s set up a bizarre Holiday Electric Chair that uses Christmas lights as both restraints, and as a means of roasting his victim. Inventive, yes, but it feels like a low rent Jigsaw. The first moment that made me scratch my head is when Santa makes his disguise. He chooses to wear one of those plastic masks that is nearly transparent but has expressions painted on. Creepy, right? He then cuts the bottom of the mask off just below the nose, puts it on, then puts the Santa beard on over top. What the fuck was the point of removing the bottom if he was just going to cover it up anyway? Fuck sakes… *pulls out flask and takes a long pull*

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The killer stalks around a sleepy little town that has fallen on hard times, and somehow the Santa knows what everyone has done wrong…it’s never explained how he knew how much of a snotty cunt that little girl was, or that Porn was being filmed in that Hotel room, but somehow he just knows! He sees you when your sleeping…he knows when you’re awa…aw fuck it! The film clearly tries very hard to be engageing to the modern audience by ramping up the violence and brutality from the previous film, but overall the film lacks depth. Aside from the scene where Santa stuffs a nearly naked porn actress into a wood chipper, the film is almost unwatchable. Only Malcolm McDowell can save it!

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Yes, good ole Alex 6Double5321, is the Towns Sheriff! While inept as all small town Sheriffs are in horror movies, he feels compelled to deliver bizarre one-liners that aren’t particularly memorable, nor do they make sense. It’s impossible for me to hate anything this guy does. The other hidden gem is when one of the Deputies references one of my favorite moments in cinema history. As he takes out the trash from the Sheriffs office, he grumbles “What is this? Garbage Day?” A few other references to the original are slipped in, but it’s just not the same. It’s like hearing some one sing a Meatloaf song for karaoke, The original may be cheesy and fun, but when anyone else tries to do the same thing, it’s just lame.  Overall, this movie is pretty bad, even by my standards, and just doesn’t need to exist.

Well, it’s only fitting that I finish this lil series off by delving into a true classic of the genre: Black Christmas (the good one)

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Released in 1974, Black Christmas predated the slasher boom of the 80s and along with John Carpenters Halloween, served as a template for the genre. The plot is simplistic enough, depicting a sorority house full of girls who receive obscene and harassing phone calls from a maniac who unbeknownst to them, is hiding out in their attic and stalks them in secret. The film is partially based on popular Urban Legends of the time, most notably “The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs”, and contains the now famous cliche “The calls are coming from inside the house!”

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What i find most interesting about this film is that despite a very simplistic plot, it still brings a seriousness to its delivery that would often be lacking from later day slashers. We have pregnancy conflict, Red Herrings, Characters developed quickly and effectively, and a lack of real gore, leaving the real terror to our imagination. The ending also is possibly the most frightening of all, almost to say that “You are never really safe, the Monster will always come for you”.

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Even though the season is well and truly over, don’t let that stop you from watching this gem. Sure, it’s very dated, but Black Christmas really does stand as a true classic of the Slasher genre, and has helped set the tone for hundreds of films that followed. One of the films that was heavily influenced by Black Christmas, was Friday the 13th…keep your eyes on this page as very soon you’ll see my film by film breakdown of the Friday the 13th Franchise!

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