A re-edited version of Night of the Living Dead (1968) by a few members of its creative team, excluding director George Romero. It cuts 15 minutes from the original and replaces it with 15 minutes of newly-shot footage.
A young man finds his divorced mother having sex with a man in a Santa Clause hat and shoots them both dead. Years later, now thinking he is Santa Clause, the man develops an obsession with an erotic horror film star named Raven and begins stalking her. Written by
During the Christmas holidays, a B-movie scream queen/pinup model is stalked by an obsessed, murderously psychotic fan...
Blah blah blah. You know the score, sight unseen: women get naked, people die. Apparently the raison d'être for SANTA CLAWS was to plug the fan magazine writer/director John Russo was publishing at the time, "Scream Queen" it gets a very prominent mention. In the film, the magazine staff is producing a low budget horror video called "Scream Queen Christmas" try saying that three times fast! starring B-movie celebrity Raven Quinn (Debbie Rochon). Her most ardent admirer, the disturbed young man (Grant Cramer) who lives next door, spraypaints a cheap Santa costume black and goes on a killing spree with a garden weasel. (Really. A frickin' garden weasel.) SANTA CLAWS touts its lineage to the original 1968 NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD as a selling point but you wouldn't know it from watching this cheap-looking, amateurish piece of crap. (Russo co-wrote NOTLD with George Romero and directed the minor cult fave MIDNIGHT; three members of the NOTLD cast have small roles in the flick.)
Rochon, whose films have never really proved worthy of her talent, is the only real reason to endure it. Not only is she beautiful, she acts circles around everyone else in the cast, who are just plain terrible. (Cramer's over-the-top rantings are good for a laugh or two, though.) Gore is practically nonexistent; only the frequent nudity, served up as Christmas-themed striptease acts for the video shoot, will appeal to exploitation junkies. Rochon doesn't whip out her love muffins until the final twenty minutes but she's almost worth the wait. For best effect, I recommend turning off the cheesy soundtrack and playing the naughty Yule classic "Santa Baby" while Debbie's doing her thing.
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