DVD REVIEW: BLOODY CHRISTMAS

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03.31.2013

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MSRP $14.95

RATED Not Rated

STUDIO MAS Effect Entertainment

RUNNING TIME 90 minutes

SPECIAL FEATURES

• Deleted Scenes

• Cast Interviews

• Original Trailer

The Pitch

The war on Christmas just got grainy and badly acted.

The Humans

Steve Montague, Robert Youngren, Robert Arensen, Geretta Geretta

The Nutshell

In a small American town, police hunt for a child murderer. Meanwhile, has-been 80s action movie star Rich Tague plays Santa Claus on a local Public Access TV show and secretly fantasizes about murdering all those who do him wrong. Will Rich end up on his own naughty list this year and will he have the strength to stop the killing?

Go home Tim Allen, you’re drunk.

The Lowdown

Bloody Christmas revolves around two central characters. Rich is a public-access TV Santa/down-on-his-luck former action star who is having the worst Christmas Eve ever. Fired from his job as a mall Santa, evicted from his home, mistreated by everyone he knows, nursing the guilt and grief of losing a daughter to drug abuse, and disgusted with the commercialization and materialistic nature of Christmas. He has fantasies about brutally murdering anyone and everyone in his path.

Father Michael is a Catholic Priest facing the loss of his clergy. One of his attendees is dealing with a drunk and abusive husband, his helpers apparently realized they’re being played by Suicide Girls and are abandoning him on Christmas to have sexy lesbian orgies or something. He prays for the strength to remove the sinners and remind everyone that Jesus is the reason for the season.

Pictured: An 80‘s action star in his prime

As you’ve probably figured out by now, Bloody Christmas is about the so-called “War on Christmas” that gets toted out every December based on the reasonable argument that a slant toward commercialism is making the holiday hollow and meaningless and the less reasonable argument that “X-Mas” is some sort of atheist hate crime being committed against Christianity.

While the movie itself never falls on one side of the issue or the other, our characters both seem to agree it exists in some form or fashion. Rich tends to just feel the holiday should be more about family and kindness than getting things and Father Michael feels that everyone should spend the holiday praising God and spreading Jesus’ message.

Pastor Lloyd Kaufman: Not the pastor you need, but the one you deserve.

There’s a b-plot where two police officers find a murdered child and go searching for the killer. Is it Rich or Michael? Well… we never really know. Don’t mistake, one of these men does indeed snap and go on a killing-spree that results in a very nearly literal Jesus vs. Santa metaphor. Said killer is identified as the child murderer at the end but it’s never actually proven or confirmed in any way. A news reporter just tells the audience that he did it and it’s left to us to trust them.

Of course the reason for this seems to be that, outside of Rich and Michael, the script just isn’t very good. The child-killer subplot never actually connects with the main plot until the very end of the movie and the only pay off is that the cops show up and shoot the bad guy, which is something they could’ve done anyway without all this sideshow nonsense. This diversion might even be forgivable if not for the fact that the cop scenes are all just awful.

Pedophile Joke

The cops have the most insipid bullshit lines in the entire movie; stuff like “This is bad.”, “I think we’re dealing with a serial killer.” “I think you’re right.”, and “We need to get this guy.” Add this to the fact that their scenes are about nothing and carry on forever for no reason and it makes a 90-minute movie seem to creep along.

Thematically, Bloody Christmas is like a cross between Christmas Evil and Taxi Driver, though lacking the craft or charisma of either movie it’s easily more comparable to The Driller Killer and I mean that in both a bad and good way. It feels like a 30-minute short film that someone felt deserved to be a full-length movie despite not having enough plot to fully realize that dream.

It’s padded out, slow, badly acted, and the film and sound quality are not great. There is a movie to love buried deep within this thing, however, and by the end it had won me over. If you’re a fan of Christmas horror films of yesteryear such as Silent Night, Deadly Night, Christmas Evil, Silent Night, Bloody Night, or Elves or if you’re just good at finding charming and likeable qualities in D-Grade horror movies then I think this is worth your time.

The Santa Claus 4 returns to the series’ dark and gritty roots

The Package

As I mentioned above, the picture is grainy (though it is properly lit, which is its own tiny miracle in movies of this quality) and the sound is muddy and filled with echoes. The editing, however, is superb and one of the things that really help saved the movie for me. Never underestimate the power of a good editor.

The disc itself is very obviously published by a company that mostly produces cheap indie films, so while it doesn’t have a lot of special features it at least has some. And as most cheap discs do, this one lacks any subtitles.

Rating:
★★½☆☆

Out of a Possible 5 Stars



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