12/12/08

Feature Presentation: Santa's Slay (2005)

Welcome to the second week of December and the second Feature Presentation to focus on Killer Santas and other X-mas Evils. Last week in Silent Night Deadly Night, we saw a kid who was traumatised and became a killer St. Nick. Well, it's a good thing that he didn't run into tonight's Kris Kringle or else who knows how batshit he might have been. So hold onto your hats and your head as we take a ride in...

Santa's Slay (2005) starring Bill Goldberg, Robert Culp, Douglas Smith, Emilie de Ravin. Directed by David Steinman. 



Santa (Goldberg) it seems is not the jolly old fat man with a sack that we all believe he is. In fact, he's the spawn of Satan and his virgin bride, and needless to say Satan's kid is a complete asshole. He goes around pillaging and murdering and pretty much whatever he likes that is until he loses a bet. An angel dispatched from above makes a wager with Santa over a curling match, yes, curling, and when the angel comes out the winner, Santa must spend the next 1000 years spreading love and joy to children everywhere. 

Well, those 1000 years are up as the good (and bad) citizens of the Hell Township are about to find out. One of those residents, Nicholas Yuleson (Smith) is a teenage kid who works at a deli and has a Christmas size chip on his shoulder. It seems that he never got what he wanted for Christmas because he lives with his crazy inventor granddad (Culp). While his girlfriend Mac (de Ravin) tries to get him in the spirit of the season. Santa is out spreading his own "Christmas Fear".

The Satanic Santa flies around in his Hell-deer powered sleigh, and goes about killing everyone from cameo laced families to half naked strippers to deli shop owners with equal glee. It seems anyone who had ever bothered Santa in any kind of way is fair game. It seems he's replaced Naughty or Nice List with Breathing or No Longer Breathing. 

Soon Nicholas finds out that maybe his crazy Grandpa is not as nutzo as he previously thought. The old man pulls out The Book of Claus which details the true story of the holiday icon. With Mac in tow, it's up to Nicholas to find a way to stop Santa or survive Christmas Day in Hell!

Film Facts

--Bill Goldberg married Wanda Ferraton who he met on this film when she was working as a stunt double.

--The movie was produced by Brett "Rush Hour" Ratner. David Steinman's other profession credits include being "assistant to Mr. Ratner." on several films.

--Fran Dresher, James Caan, and Chis Kattan who appear in the opening scene with Bill Goldberg are all Jewish. The family includes three daughters as well including the non-Jewish Rebecca Gayheart.

The Bug Speaks

Some of you might have read about this movie yesterday over the The Bonebreaker's site. I had already watched the film and was geared up for this review when I saw the ol 'Breaker had just covered it, but after reading his review (which was excellent) I decided to proceed seeing as my opinion is quite different about this flick. So after you finish reading my nonsense, check out what BB has to say about it over on his site for another view.

Now to get on with the film. Let me just say that I love films that are stupid for stupid's sake, I love horror comedy, and I love the hell out of Christmas movies, but this flick just doesn't put the figgy in my pudding if you know what I mean and I think you do. Sure it's made well enough. It's obviously had quite a bit of money thrown at it, but where did it stick?

There's Bill Goldberg, the professional wrestler turned sometimes actor. He's good enough at the psychical part of the role, and the unlucky SOB's that he dispatches make for some fun killing. Yet when Santa is just knocking around town spewing Holiday puns, he seems like the biggest buffoon. I expected a little something more menacing and dark out of Satan's kid than that. I will have to give it up to the casting director for casting the Semitic Smasher as the Christmas poster-boy, but it's a one note gag saddled onto an already flat character.

The other lead actors are hit and miss. Smith and de Ravin don't really have much to do except advance the plot exposition when they are on screen. And Robert Culp, while very engaging as Grandpa, surely deserves better than to be in this film. Cameo's from "Tiny" Lister and Dave Thomas do bolster the film as it goes along as both do excellent jobs in thankless roles. Also good to see is Saul Rubinek as deli owner Mr. Green who gets impaled by his own menorah. 

There are some interesting parts to the film that I did enjoy. The whole Santa origin is told in Rankin-Bass style, and it was probably my favorite part to the whole film. Although the lead in scene where Santa gets to kill James Caan et al. is rather amusing. The problem being that once you see that scene, you have in essence seen the best the film has to offer you. It doesn't get any better than that, but in it's defense it rarely gets worse. 

I suppose that perhaps this was not the film I was expecting as I knew nothing about it except that Goldberg was in it. So my judgement might be colored from that. It's not a completely deplorable film, and some of the jokes land quite well. I'm going to give it a slightly below average rating and I hope I don't get coal in my stocking for it. 

Bug Rating

6 comments:

  1. Great review. I don't know if I've ever mentioned it, but I love the way you format your reviews and all the different sections you include, and this one was no different.

    Also, I was planning to check out a few of the Xmas horror flicks that I haven't seen. But after reading this, I think I'll cross Santa's Slay off my list. That leaves Black Christmas (I know, I know, I need to see it) and Christmas Evil.

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  2. Thanks Lisa. I appreciate your comment as always.

    I still have a couple of more X-mas goodies up my sleeve including Christmas Evil, Santa Claws, and Black Christmas. I haven't seen BC yet myself. It's one that I've been meaning to see for a long time, but always forget.

    The two best things about running a site like this is getting to watch those movies you always meant to see and getting to connect with people like you and all the other great readers around here.

    So thanks again for your comment and see you round soon again Lisa.

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  3. LB,

    You are the man! Thanks for the shout out, and I am glad that you enjoyed my review! :-)

    As always, I enjoyed yours as well, even though our opinions differed, but hey - that's what all of this is about!

    As for Black Christmas - I may get coal in my stocking for saying it, but I have never been a fan of that one (and I hated the re-make of it!) so I will be interested in your thoughts of that one.

    Christmas Evil is a different kind of flick - looking forward to your thoughts on that one as well (I enjoyed it, for what it was)

    What I am really waiting for is your review on Santa Claws - I have that one in my Netflix Queue, but I dropped it down to watch next year [I figure nothing will compare after the coolness that is Santa's Slay!] HA!

    Did you perhaps add Gingerdead Man into your Queue? [I just couldn't bring myself to add it to mine, though I am interested in a review]

    Thanks again LB!

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  4. Thanks 'Breaker. I hope you will enjoy my upcoming reviews I know I always like to keep up with what you've got going on.

    As far as Santa Claws. Well, it stars a Miss Debbie Rochon who The ol' LB has quite the little move crush on. I think you can probably expect that to be next weeks B.L.O.G post.

    As far as Gingerbread Man, I've never seen it, but I've been curious about the film ever since I saw the titular character in a cameo in another flick. I can't ever recall which movie it was though, maybe Skinned Deep (Maybe Fran remembers I know I watched it with her). So maybe that's one I'll have to watch somewhere down the road.

    Christmas Evil had me sold with the quote on it from John Waters saying it was "My favorite Christmas Movie ever." while I know better than to take blurbs at face value, I don't see many from John. Being a fan of some of Waters more.. shall we say interesting work, I kind of know what might appeal to him so I look forward to that one.

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  5. I cannot remember the movie either, but i'm pretty sure it was a Troma release.

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  6. I disagree on this one. Santa's Slay is a masterpiece! Love this movie, but I will agree that the opening is pretty much the best part of the entire movie.

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