The abandoned home of Wilfred Butler, a wealthy but troubled man who committed suicide, has been willed to his grandson, Jeffrey. But an Axe wielding maniac has set up residence in the house - and he doesn't take kindly to strangers.
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Wilford Butler returns home on Christmas Eve and his house had been turned into a mental institution for the criminally insane. But the day of his return, he is set on fire and dies. The towns people believe his death was an accident, and the institution-house is later closed down. Wilford leaves the house to his grandson Jeffrey. A few years later, Jeffrey finally decides to sell this grandfather's house, but the towns people including the Mayor have mixed feelings on keeping people away from the house, especially when a serial killer escapes from another institution and finds refuge there. The killer makes frightening phone calls and kills anyone coming near the house. But what does the killer have in common with what happened to Wilford Butler years before? Written by
After leaving the drive-in circuit in the early 70's the film fell into public domain. It remained obscure until the mid 80's when it appeared on Elvira's Movie Macabre where it began developing a cult following that grew with its eventual release on home video. See more »
Main character Jeffrey Butler is riding with John Carradine, who plays Towman. Butler and Carradine have decided to go out to the Butler house to see what is going on. Instead, Towman pulls into the drive of another house, and Jeffrey Butler says, "Towman this isn't my house, it's Tess'. Tess is another of the townspeople, and it is her house, but Jeffrey would not have known that because he has never been to the town before. See more »
Wilfred Butler was a hated man that turned his lonesome mansion into an asylum. After his untimely demise the local townspeople hoped that all of his past sins would fade away and allow them to continue there normal existence with the vacant mansion the only memory of an explosive secret. Enter Jeffrey Butler, the grandson of Wilbur, who has recently put the house up for sale after having been given sole possession of the cursed castle through his grandfather's will. Through Jeffrey's lawyer the Butler estate can be sold to the town for $50,000 cash and subsequently torn down to the delight of the mayor, sheriff, switchboard operator Tess, and the vocally challenged Mr. Towman who only replies via a bell. When an escaped mental patient coincides with an increase in missing people at the Butler estate Jeffrey Butler himself travels to the strange little town to find out why his lawyer has not contacted him. He forms an odd partnership with the mayor's daughter Diane and together they both discover the truth behind the Butler legacy and the townspeople's origin.
After about ten months I finally hit the halfway point in my Chilling Classics collection. But enough with the procrastinating, on with the review! Filmed in 1972 when slashers were new to the general movie audience Silent Night Bloody Night does a really good job of establishing a gloomy atmosphere and depressing overtones amid the usually joyous Christmas theme. It even manages to turn the Silent Night song into a dark and dreadful score. I would be remiss if I didn't mention how lovely Mary Woronov looks with her long hair and come hither eyes. There is something to be said about the simplicity of the early 70's look that resonates with me today. I don't understand why you would pay John Carradine to be in this movie and not give him any speaking lines. Did he come at a discount? James Patterson's tortured performance as Jeffrey is made even more poignant as he was battling cancer during filming which claimed his life shortly before Silent Night Bloody Night was released in 1974. My only complaint, and it's a major one, is the absolutely horrendous transfer to DVD from Mill Creek. It looks as if the film was thrown into a mud puddle, put into a microwave, then set on fire. Scenes filmed at night are virtually unwatchable and one rather important flashback segment is marred by the fact that all the faces are encompassed in a black halo like an army of people in the witness protection program. Still, this is a very good example of early 70's horror that made up for lack of budget with superior mood and atmosphere. Stuff this flick into any B-movie fan's stocking.
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