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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column 12.23.13 Issue #287: Silent Night (2012)
Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz on 12.23.2013



The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #287: Silent Night (2012)


Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that often wonders if Santa has a jetpack as backup in case something happens to his reindeer, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number two hundred and eighty-seven, I take a look at the 2012 slasher movie remake Silent Night, starring the great Malcolm McDowell and Jamie King.


Silent Night (2012)




Silent Night, a sort of remake of the 1984 slasher classic Silent Night, Deadly Night, is a little too serious for its own good. The story is ridiculous, and there are times where it seems as though director Steven C. Miller wants us to be in on the joke, but the majority of the movie is slathered in a gray haze and a deadly seriousness that demands we take what we're seeing seriously, even if it isn't serious at all. What the heck ever happened to the notion of fun when it comes to killer Santa Claus movies?

The flick stars Jamie King as Aubrey Bradimore, a small town sheriff with a dark past who ends up investigating a series of gruesome murders by a guy dressed in a Santa outfit very close to Christmas. The town, home of the biggest Santa parade in the world, wants to keep the parade alive despite the killings, but Deputy Bradimore isn't too sure about that. She also isn't sure about the identity of the killer. There are plenty of potential candidates in town, like Donal Logue's nasty Santa Jim, but the real culprit is a brutal savage that will kill anyone or anything in his way (we see him electrocute a foul mouthed pre-teen girl in the movie's opening moments, Kills the little turd with some sort of cattle prod thing and then stabs her with a big ass blade). Is Jim a killer like that? Or is it the seriously down on his luck professional Santa Stein Karsson, as played by the brilliant Mike O'Brien? As the bodies pile up and the leads reveal little, Bradimore's boss Sheriff Cooper (Malcolm McDowell) promises that he'll find the killer Santa no matter what.

There were moments in the middle of the movie where I had absolutely no idea what was going on. There are quick flashbacks to the day Ronald Jones, Sr. (Rick Skene) went ape shit and killed a bunch of people with a flamethrower and there are moments where King's Bradimore whines about this and that, but none of it ever seems to go anywhere. The opening scene, where we see a mountain of a man shave his face and then put on a weird Santa costume, is creepy because we have no idea what's going on, but there's no real payoff to the scene because you're not sure if it matters (I still can't answer that question). We do get to see a woman bound and gagged on the floor for some reason, and some guy tied to a chair covered in big Christmas lights who is eventually killed via electrocution (or something), but so what? What the heck is going on?

When we do find out what the Santa killer is up to it isn't as big of a revelation as the movie itself thinks it is. The movie probably would have been better off simply making the killer a killer dressed in a Santa outfit instead of some guy with a complicated back story that isn't all that interesting to begin with, but then so few movies ever grasp that. Make it simple, keep it simple, and in the end it will all work. I know there's this need by slasher movie makers to "transcend the genre" and "make it special," but that strategy rarely ever truly works.

The kill scenes are generally interesting. The opening bondage scene isn't all that great, but the cattle prod/giant blade killing of the pre-teen is good enough to start the movie off with (so why the heck didn't it start off with that scene?). There's a very cool chase scene involving a porn shoot, a topless woman running for her life, and a big wood chipper. It's nasty, it's terrifying, and it's kind of funny. I'm also a fan of the not long enough flamethrower scene in the police station. The flamethrower idea is one of the better slasher movie concepts in recent memory; it's featured on the movie poster/DVD cover. Why not do more with it? Can you imagine how epic it would be if Jason used a flamethrower in a movie? We'd all be talking about it twenty years later like it happened yesterday. A major missed opportunity.

The performances are decent enough throughout. King does a good job as Deputy Bradimore. She's a little whiny at times, but she's good enough to carry the movie. McDowell is hilarious as Sheriff Cooper. It's fun to see McDowell in something other than a villain role, too, although I really wanted to see him kick a little more ass. I think its high time McDowell gets his Jack Crow opportunity.

The great Donal Logue is funny as Santa Jim. He's rude, crude, and he doesn't give a flying hooey. Watching him tell the kids "the truth" about Christmas, etc, is awesome. The movie could have used more of him, too. The movie also could have used more of Courtney-Jane White as Tiffany, the uber hot daughter of the mayor (Tom Anniko), too. We do get to see her in a nifty red Christmas lingerie, but we don't get to see enough of it, if you catch my drift. And her death scene, a play on the immortal deer antler scene with Linnea Quigley from Silent Night, Deadly Night, should have been bloodier. And a little less serious.

Silent Night should have been better. It should have been a modern classic. All of the elements are there to make it happen. However, the movie just doesn't work as well as it should. It's just too serious for its own good. If you don't go into it with any expectations you may enjoy it. Maybe. But if you want it to be a modern classic you'll be incredibly disappointed. It's just okay at best.

See Silent Night only if you need to. Otherwise, find something else to watch. Maybe track down the original? I know you'll have plenty of fun with that.




"I belong on a T-shirt."

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: 10+

Explosions: None. There are some cool fires, though.

Nudity?: Yes. And it's lovely.

Doobage: A very gross bathroom, shaving via razor, Christmas themed chair bondage, nail clipping, mask creation, a tied up woman, electrocution, exploding top of the head, crossword puzzles, heart pills, foul mouthed pre-teen killing, a douchey priest, coffee drinking, a bad sneeze, a cynical Santa, a nursery mugging, a bad smell, barfing, a severed hand in a drawer, household porn, cocaine, breasts, blade through the gut, blade up through the balls, attempted suffocation via plastic shower curtain, a bunch of garbage bags, a topless woman being chased by an axe wielding Santa Claus, a Christmas tree lot with a giant wood chipper, flying severed leg, wood chipper hooey, hidden video, finger slitting, multiple knife thrusts to the gut, money for old people, a flashback story that isn't all that interesting, a man-on-fire gag strangulation via Christmas lights, fellatio, axe throwing, heel slicing, deer antler impalement, axe to the head with a very nasty head splitting, a bloody candy cane, nightstick to the back of the head, bullet to the head, suicide by snowflake, trash removal, pickaxe to the eye socket, a gruesome off screen gutting, multiple door knob removals, a brass knuckle beating, mace to the face, a burning Santa mask, and a slow motion man-on-fire gag.

Kim Richards?: Big time.

Gratuitous: Christmas music, a Christmas themed chair bondage, a killer Santa Claus, foul mouthed kid killing, Jamie King, Malcolm McDowell, Malcolm McDowell as a small town sheriff, Donal Logue, Donal Logue as a cynical Santa, a nursing home mugging, barfing, a woman who sort of looks like Kris Jenner's stunt double, topless woman chased by axe wielding Santa, wood chipper hooey, a town Christmas carol concert, strangulation via Christmas lights, a deer antler impalement, a bloody candy cane, suicide by snowflake, pick axe to the eye socket, multiple door knob removals, and a burning Santa mask.

Best lines: "Say something!," "Fuck church! I want my new LV today!," "Got something for me?," "Has anyone ever done a background check on you? Anyone?," "Never trust your parents," "You better watch out, boy! Christmas Eve is the scariest night of the damn year!," "Jesus! What a bloody mess!," "Merry Christmas. Yeah, have a great one, babe," "Please don't go in there! Once you see it you can't unsee it!," "That's right. Spread some joy to the world," "Gentleman. Ho, ho, ho," "Christmas can fuck you up," "Don't out avocado on the burger! What?," "Shit! Is that my Dad?," "I'm ready when you are, killer!," "You dick!," "Santa, you forgot the cookies," "Fake ass Santas," "You nasty, sadistic little prick!," "Yeah! I'm Santa! Who the fuck do you think I am? Charles Manson?," "What do you think this is? Glee? Go home," "A lump of coal?," "Big mistake bringing a flamethrower to a gun fight!," "What's with the fucking rain?," and "Fuck you! Fuck Christmas! And fuck your plastic face!"


Rating: 5.5/10.0

***

It's a David Bradley December returns next week with a look at his 1995 effort Hard Justice.






(I have no idea why there is no English trailer for Hard Justice. There's got to be one floating around the internets somewhere. Anyone have any info on its whereabouts? Anyone?).

***

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: The Facebook Page!








Please check out The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Facebook page, which can be seen here. There's not much there at the moment, but, as time goes by, expect to see daily questions and musings and other B-movie hooey. And it would be cool if you "liked" it, too.

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Facebook page! Yeah!


And please check out my interview with director Brett A. Hart about the Ain't It Cool internet show and more!


***

TV Quick Hits







- The Walking Dead Mid Season Finale thoughts: I guess it wasn't all that surprising that Herschel didn't make it past the mid-season finale, especially after that impassioned speech about what you should live for. I was a little surprised, though, at how he went out. I expected him to sacrifice himself somehow for the greater good or rescue his daughter and Glen from death. But, instead of any of that, he was decapitated by the Governor.

Holy hooey, the Governor went out like a punk. I wanted to see him die in the tank (you know, grenade down the barrel, right into the path of some mega explosive round that blows up him and the tank). But he was instead beaten into submission, stabbed, and then shot. Do you think it's possible he's still alive somehow?

Is Rick's baby daughter dead? Did she become a zombie snack in all of the commotion involving the infiltration of the prison? I'm going to assume that the opening scene of the next episode is going to deal with what happened to her (that's what I would have as the opening of the next episode if I were running the show). She was probably taken by someone, rescued from a gory, zombie teeth filled death, although there's still a possibility that a zombie did eat her. There was that scene in the opening of season 2, where, while going through the abandoned cars on the freeway, someone (was it T-Dog? I can't remember) found the empty car seat with blood on it. I still think Rick's baby daughter is alive, but the show has shown that it will go there if necessary.

So where does the season go from here? The prison is gone, the Governor is no longer a threat, and everyone seems to be on their own. Will we see the groups run into more human survivors roaming the woods and whatnot, or will we see each group figure out how to survive in new surroundings? And will we see a new human villain appear?

February can't get here fast enough. I want to see what the heck happens next.












- The Black List: Red is so Liz's father: I know that Liz asked Red if he was her father and he said no he isn't, but why should any of us believe him? He didn't tell her that he knew her "father," played by William Sadler, and he hasn't really said, unequivocally, why he's doing this "black list" thing. And what is all of this stuff involving the sinister secret group that has Alan Alda as one of its members?

Again, why should Liz trust Red when it comes to this father stuff? Why did he have that house burned down? What is he really covering up?












- I now like Hawaii Five-O: I didn't really care for the Hawaii Five-O reboot when it started back in 2010, but I've started watching it again and, for the most part, I think it's a pretty good show. It's fast paced but not too showy, it's full of action, and it has a great cast. Alex O'Laughlin has finally found a show that people outside of a small group want to watch, and if he's smart he'll stay with it until CBS decides to cancel it (never leave a hit show). Scott Caan is great as Danny the sidekick, and Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park are the kind of people you want on your team (they're smart and they can kick ass at the drop of a hat. You need that kind of thing when you're part of a badass crew of super cops). The only character on the show I'm not thrilled with is Masi Oka's Dr. Max Bergman. Every cop show needs a medical examiner, yes, but why are they always weird nerds? Aren't there any medical examiners in the world who are, well, not weird nerds?

I believe TNT airs reruns of the show once a week (Thursdays?). I'll definitely have to make an effort to catch some of those. And, now that I'm a bit of a "5-O" nerd, perhaps my opinion of the pilot will change with a second viewing. Perhaps I missed something the first time.

Are there any episodes I should be on the lookout for?


***

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Theme of the Week



Enjoy.







***

And here are some of my favorite Christmas themed tunes.



Enjoy.




















***

And now, Dr. Phil


DrPhil1

"I know you may be tempted to wear a Santa hat while fucking a hot bitch during the holiday season. It always sounds and seems like a great idea at the time. And some bitches love that kind of thing. It shows them that you care, that you're interested in making it special. But be aware that if you do decide to wear a Santa hat it has to stay on for the duration of the fucking. It can't fall off in the middle of ram jamming the ass or pounding the pussy, and if you decide to go down there you have to make sure that the top of the hat doesn't flop into your eyes and that the furry ball on top doesn't get stuck in her hole. It's happened to me before and it's not pretty. She's going to want you to pull it out and you're going to want the bitch to stand up and walk around a little just to see how far you actually jammed it in there."


Jesus Christ, Phil. What the hell is wrong with you? And how the hell do you keep the hat on while doing the deed?


DrPhil1

"You can use a thin but sturdy clear plastic chin strap. They're easy to find and easy to put on. And if you really plan ahead you can get a Santa hat that also doubles a knit cap. That way it stretches over your head. No strap needed."


Okay, Phil, that'll be enough for now. Just tell everyone Merry Christmas and move on. Isn't Robin waiting for you at home?


DrPhil1

"Fuck. She is waiting for me at home. And she's probably wearing some fucking red and green lingerie. Motherfucker! What the hell am I going to do now? Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

Well, anyway, Merry fucking Christmas, people. Merry fucking Christmas."

Merry Christmas to you, too, Phil.



***


The Gratuitous B-Movie Column B-Movie Babe of the Week: Jamie King










***

More TV Quick Hits






- Sons of Anarchy season 6 finale thoughts: So what's going to happen next? Is Jax going to find out quickly that his mother Gemma murdered his wife Tara, or is Unser, because he just loves Gemma sooo much, going to help her cover the whole thing up? We know that Juice is on board with the cover up, since he shot and killed Roosevelt and then threw away the bloody iron and the long handled fork that Gemma used to stab Tara repeatedly in the back of the head. But what's going to happen if he decides to get mega high again? We've seen what happens to Juice when he decides to take more than he should (he starts blabbing about stuff that he shouldn't). I guess Juice's only real hope is to finally commit suicide and make it stick. Hanging didn't work. A drug overdose didn't work. Perhaps he needs to walk in highway traffic and get hit by a cement truck. That would work.

I do think, though, that CC Pounder's prosecutor character is going to charge Jax with both Tara's murder and Roosevelt's murder. Yeah, Jax was balling his eyes out when she found him in the house, but then she looked at Roosevelt's body and the gun on the floor. It wouldn't be hard for her to figure out a way to "fix" the evidence so it looks like Jax did it. I bet she wishes the great Lee Toric was still around. He would know how to make all of this "look" right. And how long do you think it will take for Pounder's character to be outed as some sort of evil deviant? She did tell Jax in the ice cream shop that she's made mistakes in her life. That has to come back to bite her at some point in season 7, right?

Back to Gemma for a moment. I really hope that we don't have to go through several episodes in season 7 where she's all depressed and whatnot because of what she did. She's had a kill wish for Tara ever since she found out that Tara wanted to move away from SAMCRO. And now that she's made her wish come true how can she be sad about what she did? And I really don't want to hear anyone say that they can identify with Gemma because they don't want to "lose" their grandkids, either. It's just nonsense. Are you really saying that you would murder the mother of your grandkids if she wanted to move away from you? Are you really saying that?


It'll be interesting to see how the show is going to end with season 7. Will Jax actually go to prison? Will the gang survive without its leader (or the gun business, not to mention all of the other gangs pissed off about what Jax did to give the gun business to Marx). Can Bobby handle the day-to-day of running the gang? And how long will it take for Gemma to finally get what she deserves? Will Nero destroy her (heck, will Nero survive to the end of the show? I don't see his new chumminess with the Mayans working out all that well for him)? Will Gemma end up in potter's field next to Clay? Isn't that sort of where she belongs?










- The death and resurrection of Brian on Family Guy: Well, that was quite the swerve, wasn't it? I knew that Brian would eventually be brought back to the show, but I figured we had at least ten episodes or so before that happened. Vinny was put into the show's opening, man. Why go to the expense of changing that if he's only going to be around for two episodes?

Brian's death scene was sad. It wasn't Optimus Prime dying in Transformers: The Movie sad but it was pretty dang somber. And when Brian's coffin was lowered into the grave, I really thought that was the end (again, for a little while). He wouldn't be back. Who the hell hit him? Was it Quagmire? Was it always meant to be some random event (random events kill people all of the time)?







I liked Vinny. He wasn't Brian, but he was funny, and I was hoping we'd get at least one episode about a dog mafia. Sure, it would have been chock full of Italian mafia clichés, but it probably would have been funny and ridiculous. So will we see Vinny again? Will Vinny show up, in the current timeline, and strike up a friendship with Brian and Stewie and the family? Vinny obviously won't recognize them and all that since the timeline where he became a member of the Griffin family was disbanded once Brian was resurrected, but he could show up somewhere at some point, right?

Of course, there's a chance that the current timeline and the disbanded one could somehow converge in some sort of Fringe like event. Maybe that's what the eventual Family Guy movie will be about.

So it's good to have Brian the dog back. And Vinny, please, don't be a stranger. Talking dogs are always funny.


***
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week




Douchebag







This week, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Douchebag of the Week goes to the ultra right wing media machine, for going completely insane over the recent Phil Robertson A&E suspension. It's not all that surprising that the machine went nuts since it's a good story for its ongoing "culture war" nonsense ("Christians are being persecuted by homosexuals and the liberal media is doing nothing about it!"), but how does the machine continue to get away with supporting racist homophobes like Robertson? Why is the machine allowed to act as though it's no big deal to be deliberately ignorant? Because lots of people think the Bible is a history book?

I'm also tired of this "political correctness run amuck/gay mafia running Hollywood/open season on Christians" bullshit. Since when did the "it's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!" crowd become the way, the truth, and the light? Aren't there oodles of "liberal" Christians who like gay people and don't compare them to horse fuckers? Of course there are, but then I guess they don't really believe in the Bible and Jesus and America. They only believe in perversity. Am I the only one who wants someone in the "liberal" media to ask one of these queer haters "Have you ever fucked your wife in the ass?" I'd like to hear them stammer a little before saying "Of course not!"

There is nothing cool, awesome, or okay with hating gay people or being a racist. It is not, or really shouldn't be encouraged as a way of life.






And then there's the A & E network, for acting like it didn't know that Phil Robertson was a raging homophobe. Didn't its network researchers look into this guy and his family before giving them a show? Of course A & E knew, but it put Duck Dynasty on anyway. And, yeah, A & E cuts out a lot of stuff and shapes each Duck Dynasty episode, like it and other networks do with all "reality" shows, so, again, why suddenly act shocked when the guy you hired tells GQ Magazine that he thinks gay sex is wrong?

You hired him, you're still airing his show, and you plan on making money into the future on this fag hating psychopath. Re-hire him, suck it up, and move on. Or you just dump the show. But cut the bullshit.







And finally there's now former Active Corp PR executive Justine Sacco, for tweeting the following before flying to South Africa: "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!" While Sacco has apologized for the tweet and since been let go by Active Corp, why did she think it was okay to tweet that she hoped, by going to Africa, she wouldn't get AIDS in the first place? I mean, she's not a shock comedian or a fictional character on a TV show (Peter Griffin would definitely post something like that), and since everyone is following everyone else on Twitter, why did she think it was okay to say what she said? Aren't public relation executives supposed to have, at least, slightly better sense than that?

Jesus Christ, what the hell is wrong with people?


***

NASCAR and Indycar thoughts

Not much going on in NASCAR at the moment. The world of Indycar has been sort of quiet, too. Recently retired 3-time Indy 500 champion Dario Franchitti has said that he would be interested in becoming an Indycar TV analyst, so one would have to assume that he would work for ABC since the NBC Sports Network TV roster is filled. Lots of people are allegedly very excited by the prospect, although I'm sure that if and when Franchitti does get into the TV booth he'll be the most hated man on TV (that seems to happen quite often when it comes to Indycar TV announcers regardless of the network). I wouldn't mind having Franchitti team up with fellow Indy 500 champion Eddie Cheever for race analysis. Franchitti and Cheever would be a much better team than Franchitti and Scott Goodyear. I am so tired of hearing Goodyear say the word "situation."





It was also announced last week that Takuma Sato will return to A.J. Foyt's Indycar team in 2014. I kind of figured that would happen as long as Sato wanted to remain in Indycar. Since there are no good empty seats at the moment why not return to the team you won your first race with? Makes sense to me. And no one seems to know what's going on with Simona de Silvestro. Is she going to find a viable ride by the start of the 2014 season? Is she going sports car racing? Are there any F1 teams thinking about her (if that is happening Simona better come up with some serious sponsorship money. F1 is not cheap).




The main event of the 2014 Chili Bowl midget nationals will be on live TV in 2014. MAVTV will carry the final night of the event live starting at 8:30 pm EST with a replay at 11:30. It just makes no sense not having this race on live TV. Everyone is going to be there. So mark your calendars, people; Saturday night, January 18th. The Chili Bowl. Fuck yeah.



***


Well, I think that'll be about it for this issue. B-movies rule, always remember that.

If there's anything you want to see reviewed here in this column, feel free to offer a comment below or send me an e-mail. I'm always on the lookout for new stuff to watch.

And don't forget to sign up with disqus if you want to comment on this article and any other 411 article. You know you want to, so just go do it.

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

Silent Night

Malcolm McDowell- Sheriff Cooper
Jamie King- Aubrey Bradimore
Donal Logue- Santa Jim
Rick Skene- Ronald Jones, Jr./Sr.
Ellen Wong- Brenda
Courtney-Jane White- Tiffany
Erik J. Berg- Dennis
Tom Anniko- Mayor Revie
Mike O'Brien- Stein Karsson
Curtis Moore- Reverend Madeley
John B. Lowe- Dad

Directed by Steven C. Miller
Screenplay by Jason Rothwell

Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment

Rated R for bloody violence, some sexuality/nudity, language and brief drug use
Runtime- 94 minutes

Buy it here


***





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