Genre Grandeur – Silent Night Deadly Night (1984) – BluePrint: Review

For this month’s first review for Genre Grandeur – Films With Santa Claus or Santa Claus impersonators., here’s a review of Silent Night Deadly Night (1984) by David of BluePrint: Review.

Thanks again to James of Blogging By Cinemalight for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s genre has been chosen by Me and we will be reviewing our favorite Movies that take place in Cold weather situations (snow, ice, hail, etc).

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Jan by sending them to

Try to think out of the box!

Let’s see what David thought of this movie:


Director: Charles E. Sellier Jr
Script: Michael Hickey
Cast: Toni Nero, Robert Brian Wilson, Linnea Quigley, Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick
Running time: 85/ 82.5 minutes
Year: 1984
Certificate: 18

Back in the early to mid-eighties the ‘Slasher’ film boom was at its height, following the massive successes of Halloween and Friday the 13th. Silent Night, Deadly Night was lumped in with these, although I wouldn’t really bundle it into that particular subgenre as it clearly fits in more comfortably with the smaller subgenre of ‘yuletide horror’. The film received much condemnation on its release with many complaints regarding its depiction of jolly Saint Nick dishing out punishment to those he deems to be ‘naughty’! It didn’t help that much of the film sees violence and abuse perpetrated on children, and even poor orphaned children become witness to some pretty unpleasant violence.

Beginning with a family trip to a sanatorium, in Utah, to visit a mentally disturbed grandpa, (who freaks the older son, Billy, out by telling him to fear Santa Claus), we then follow the family as they head home, only to be waylaid by an armed robber who then kills the parents in front of the boys. The orphans are taken in by an orphanage run by a very strict nun who has no understanding of PTSD and thinks she’s helping Billy by making him face his fears, especially those based around Xmas. When he freaks out he’s repeatedly punished by the sadistic mother superior.

Ten years later and Billy has a job arranged for him by perhaps the only nice nun at the orphanage and he begins to work at a department store. Initially things go fairly well, but, not long before Xmas, he’s asked by his boss to take on the mantle of store Santa when the original ‘Santa’ is taken ill. Once Billy has the suit on he slowly starts to lose it and finally lashes out when he saves a female colleague from being raped by his own line manager in the back store room, but when she seems ungrateful for his intervention he kills her too and then goes on a crazy killing rampage, butchering anyone who gets in his path and who he sees as being ‘naughty’…

Despite what was probably quite a low budget, and featuring some questionable black ‘comedy’, there’s a lot to enjoy here and Silent Night, Deadly Night is actually quite an accomplished low-rent horror flick with a bit more substance to it than many of its ilk. Replete with a discordant musical score and some good photography Silent Night… is a film that stands out and it’s nice to see a horror film set in Utah, during the winter, for a change. The performances are all pretty good, including the child actors who don’t really put a foot wrong.

Horror fans will enjoy the inventive and often gory deaths, including death by Xmas lights, by being cut open by a box-cutter knife, a decapitation during a sled ride and by being impaled on deer horns (we salute you Linnea Quigley!). The film also has a satisfying conclusion, with a nod and a wink at the audience that there might be a follow-up waiting in the wings, which there was…

I watched the extended cut of the film, which has more of the gore and violence left in, apparently

Let me Know what you think!!

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