Christmas Horror – Christmas entertainment for the horror fan
This Year’s Recommendations:
Tales From The Crypt (1972) ‘…And All Through the House’
As far as I can tell, this was the first time a killer donned a Santa outfit to commit murders in film. In the first of five short stories, adapted from the EC Comics to make this anthology, Joanne (Joan Collins) kills her husband on Christmas Eve. When she herself is stalked by a deranged killer who escaped from a nearby mental institution, she can’t call the police. It’s a race against time to clean up the mess she has made while trying to avoid becoming a mess herself. This was remade in the Tales From The Crypt series (HBO) but I still like this film version better.
Black Christmas (1974)
Make sure you get the 1974 version directed by Bob Clark, (yes, the same guy that directed ‘A Christmas Story’). When half the campus students go home for the holidays, the remaining students are picked off, one by one, in this disturbing horror-thriller. Creepy phone calls, one eye peeking at the girls from doorways, nasty whispers in the dark, and a lot of killing; perfect for the holiday! Avoid the remake like last year’s fruit-cake – it will not only bore you to tears, but it will ruin all the good scenes that are done so well in the original.
The Gingerdead Man (2005)
Gary Busey is a killer who comes back as a gingerbread man to exact his revenge against his accusers. He cusses and swears and slashes his way through the cast of terrible actors in this film like a redneck, Pillsbury Dough Boy, gone wild. A bunch of obvious one-liners from Busey’s gingerdead man pepper this flick with comedic joy. You’ll either laugh or be angered at this worse-than-bad, cheesy flick! Did I mention Gary Busey plays the Gingerbread man? Nuff said!
Don’t Open Till Christmas (1984)
If you need something to counter the never ending month of merriment, this will do the trick. Instead of a guy dressed as Santa going around and killing people, this guy goes around killing anyone who is dressed up like Santa. He stalks seedy neighborhoods through London, slashing Santas, and making a bloody mess of the holiday. And, yes, this is the infamous “Santa castrated at the urinal” movie! Not a great flick, but amusing for the number of ways the red-suits are knocked off.
Read or watch:
The Yattering and Jack – Tales From the Dark Side (season 4, episode 7)
Although TFTDS does a decent job with this Clive Barker tale, the Yattering is portrayed by a ‘little people’ with horns – not the imagery I had in mind when I had originally read the story in ‘Books of Blood’. I would recommend the original story or the graphic novel over this episode, but either way, this is a definitive Christmas horror story.