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Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

After his parents are murdered, a tormented teenager goes on a murderous rampage dressed as Santa, due to his stay at an orphanage where he was abused by the Mother Superior.

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(based on a story by),
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Gilmer McCormick ...
...
...
...
Nancy Borgenicht ...
Mrs. Randall
H.E.D. Redford ...
Captain Richards
Danny Wagner ...
...
...
...
...
...
Geoff Hansen ...
Father (Jim) (as Jeff Hansen)
...
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Storyline

After seeing his parents murdered in front of him a young bit spends most of his life in an orphanage where he is abused by the mother superior when he turns into a teenager he gets a job as a department store santa and when he sees two people having sex in the store he gets flashbacks when his parents and when he can't take it anymore he turns into a santa serial killer. Written by devint-16816

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Shocking... disturbing... The movie they tried to ban. See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 November 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Slayride  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,065,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,432,800, 11 November 1984, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,491,460, 18 November 1984
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam Raimi, Albert Magnoli, and Ken Kwapis were considered to direct the film. See more »

Goofs

While Billy and family are traveling in the opening scenes of the film, the radio reports the weather twice as being in the low 20s. Despite this very cold weather, no one in the family is wearing winter coats or gear. See more »

Quotes

Andy: So, what the fuck are you doing now?
Billy Chapman: You know, you shouldn't talk like that.
Andy: Oh? Well pardon me, Ann Landers!
See more »

Connections

References The Shining (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

Merry Christmas Baby
Written by Morgan Ames, Carmen Twillie and Deedee Dennard
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An '80s "splatterfest" that made Santa Claus a controversial cause
1 December 2016 | by See all my reviews

A kid who sees his parents get butchered by a maniac in a Santa suit grows up to be a killer Claus himself in another '80s gorefest with a sense of humor and Linnea Quigley.

After HALLOWEEN, Friday THE 13th, MOTHER'S DAY, and MY BLOODY VALENTINE, it was only a matter of time til Christmas rolled around and when it finally did in November 1984, the film even out-grossed A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, which opened the same week. I actually remember the tidal wave of backlash which soon followed, making SNDN one of the more controversial films of the decade, along with William Friedkin's CRUISING.

Outraged by TV & print ads showing Santa with a bloody ax, "the PTA fought to have this film removed from theaters" and "large crowds (mostly angry families) formed at theaters and malls around the nation to protest the film". Siskel & Ebert read off the filmmakers' names on their TV show, saying "shame, shame" and the film was soon withdrawn from theaters for awhile. (The free-wheeling '70s were a lot more chill - when I saw BLACK Christmas at the drive-in back in December 1974, there wasn't an uproar in the press or anywhere else.)

SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT was eventually re-released with cuts and without the offensive ads that scared so many kids and the DVD I have is "the most complete version" spliced together from two different film elements -one crisp and the other dark- so it was interesting to see just what had been cut (mostly lingering or explicit shots of the more gory murders). No better or worse than most '80s slasher films, the low budget didn't hamper the decent kills and Linnea Quigley as a randy babysitter helped make this something of a cult film over the years.


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