SANTA'S SLAY

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Santa's Slay Cover Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus... right down Santa Claus lane. Vixen and Blitzen, and all his reindeer... pullin' on the reins. And if they don't pull, then they're nobodies fool... especially if they want to stay alive. For the following 78 minute movie was made in 2005. It was Directed by: David Steiman; and Starred: Bill Goldberg, Robert Culp, Douglas Smith, with Emilie de Ravin.


Santa's Slay


THE STORY:
Grandpa (Robert Culp)? Do you remember telling me that story about how Santa Clause isn't really Santa Clause? And that in actuality, Santa (Bill Goldberg) is in fact the son of the devil, who was sent to earth to cause havoc throughout the land?

Well, guess what, old man? After being banished for over a thousand years he's back in action and worse than ever before!

So far this Yuletide bad-boy has managed to kill and slaughter two families -- ARRGHHH! -- make that three families, a bunch of strippers, as well as skewered my boss with a Menorah. Worse still, he almost took his anger out on me and my friend Mary (Emilie de Ravin) whilst we were coming over here to see you, today.

Yeah. I'm not pulling your leg, Gramps. Although I most probably will be when what next transpires gets rather festive when you suddenly exclaim, 'Nick (Douglas Smith)? Who's that big guy with a beard knocking at our door carrying a massive axe?'. As fortune favors the brave - a yuletide savior heads for the grave - a surprise twist covers your back - and at the end of the day, thank God, Santa Clause finally gets the sack.




THE REVIEW:
Before I start my review I'd like to mention that I do enjoy watching splatter house movies. In the past I've noticed how this sub-genre of production always works best when the gags are funny, the tone is grungy, plus most of the characters are more than one-dimensional facsimiles. Therefore, it with all due respect when I state that 'Santa's Slay' isn't one of these great gory productions.

Santa's Slay - A Killer Father Christmas
Yeah. I'm afraid so, movie mates. Essentially this festive thriller take's a fairly fine pretext -- one pertaining to a rampaging devil-spawned Santa -- and then perverts it in a very juvenile fashion. For instance, you have a ton of coy one-liners which aren't very funny to listen to ('Batman and Robin' anyone?). You also have a group of middle-of-the-road actor's who aren't able to give their respective roles any form of depth or gravitas. Plus to add insult to injury, even though some of the action scenes were pretty fun to watch -- particular those directly involved with the story-line -- in the same breath there were a lot of others that couldn't expand upon its generic formula. 

Once again, dear reader, I do mean this with all due respect. Because I truly understand that this film doesn't take itself too seriously. But how on Earth can I praise a paper-thin concept reliant on the same old gags? I mean, I honestly liked the sight of the heavy-metal version of Santa it had on offer. And I also liked the way this character went around town and killed whoever he fancied. Yet having said that, though, how many times can I enjoy exactly the same thing when it came across too repetitive and too staged by default? Especially when all of the subsidiary characters -- except for Robert Culp's character of course -- aren't able to make you care about if they live or die within its jovial narrative?  

Now a good illustration of this repetitive nuance can be found in that scene at the very start of the film. In it, we are presented with a family Christmas dinner where the family in question are getting ready to sit down and eat. When suddenly, though and behold, Santa comes crashing through the chimney wall and starts killing everyone, without any of these people trying to defend themselves in the process. And to make matters even more tried and tested, my friends, you can see a variation of this scene later on as well. Although this time the family aren't eating dinner! They're getting ready to unwrap their Christmas presents instead. Bless them.


Santa's Slay Starring Bill Goldberg


On the flip side of things though there was one aspect about this adventure I did like following, and that was how the character played by Robert Culp built upon the mythology behind this version of Santa. What's more, I relished when Santa himself -- as played by Bill Goldberg -- lent his presence to these proceedings, which was then reinforced with a very 'child friendly' piece of animation to convey this part of the plot.   

Santa's Slay - Burning Woman
But apart from that, dear reader... err... what can I say? Oh! I know. How about check out the following filmic-facts? Ha! (1) 'Media 8 Entertainment' first released this production in Canada on the exact same month Barbara Kopple released her crime-drama, 'Havoc'. It was on the 25th of October, 2005. (2) Loosely translated, this project was entitled 'Very Bad Santa' in France; 'Evil Sacred' in Poland; and 'Slaughter Christmas' in Portugal. (3) The majority of this movie was shot at 'Canwest Studios', Edmonton, as well as on location throughout the Canadian city of Alberta, Wetaskiwin. (4) One of the taglines used to promote this picture, was, 'Spreading holiday fear this Christmas'. (5) Now if you pay close attention you will notice that precisely 32 people get killed in this film. (6) 'The Book of Klaus' that explained Santa's origin is actually written in Icelandic, and some people do believe that parts of his history are taken from Norse mythology. (7) One of the two producers' who produced this thriller was 'Rush Hours' very own, Brett Ratner. (8) After this adventure sharpened its Clause, Bill Goldberg starred in an episode of 'Law & Order: Special Victims Unit'; Douglas Smith starred in the TV series, 'Crossing Jordan'; and Emilie de Ravin starred in the horror-reboot, 'The Hills Have Eyes'.


Santa's Slay Evil Santa Clause


Overall I'd say 'Santa's Slay' was a pretty middle of the road festive horror movie. Even though in theory the pretext was a great idea, in practice it was as much fun to watch as finding a piece of cole in your Christmas stocking. And I don't mean Cheryl Cole.

Nuff said.

THE RATING: C+