5.3/10
3,550
85 user 189 critic

Christmas Evil (1980)

You Better Watch Out (original title)
A toy factory worker, mentally scarred as a child upon learning Santa Claus is not real, suffers a nervous breakdown after being belittled at work, and embarks on a Yuletide killing spree.

Director:

Lewis Jackson

Writer:

Lewis Jackson
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brandon Maggart ... Harry Stadling
Jeffrey DeMunn ... Philip Stadling
Dianne Hull ... Jackie Stadling
Andy Fenwick ... Dennis Stadling
Brian Neville Brian Neville ... Marc Stadling
Joe Jamrog Joe Jamrog ... Frank Stoller
Wally Moran Wally Moran ... Philip Stadling Jr.
Gus Salud ... Harry Stadling Jr.
Ellen McElduff Ellen McElduff ... Harry's Mother
Brian Hartigan ... Harry's Father
Peter Neuman Peter Neuman ... Moss Garcia
Lance Holcomb ... Scotty Goodrich
Elizabeth Ridge Elizabeth Ridge ... Susie Lovett
Chris Browning Chris Browning ... Richie Sharp
Tyrone Holmes Tyrone Holmes ... Frankie
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Storyline

Widely recognized as the best of the Christmas horror efforts, Christmas Evil is the story of a boy who loves Christmas. He is scarred as a boy when he learns that Santa is not real. Throughout the rest of his life, the toy-maker tries to make the Christmas spirit a reality. He becomes obsessed with the behavior of children and the quality of the toys he makes. When he is met with hypocrisy and cynicism, the resulting snap causes him to go on a yuletide killing spree to complete this dark comedic horror. Written by Jason Duvall <jasduv@edge.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You'd better take care...Santa is coming to town! See more »

Genres:

Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

November 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Christmas Evil See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (re-release)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though it was the success of Halloween (1978) that ultimately allowed this film to be made, it was actually written earlier. Accordingly, Lewis Jackson does not consider this film to be a Slasher film, but rather a film that has more in common with Frankenstein (1931). See more »

Goofs

When Harry's brother falls down the hill, it's obviously a fake sheet of snow as it all lifts off the ground. See more »

Quotes

Harry "Santa": But now I want you to remember to stay good boys & girls. Respect your mothers & fathers and do what they tell you. Obey your teachers and learn a whooooole lot! Now *if you do this*, I'll make sure you get good presents from me eeeevery year. Ha ha ha... but if you're bad boys & girls, your name goes in the 'Bad Boys & Girls' book, and I'll bring you something... horrible.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the end credits, the filmmakers are heard yelling "Merry Christmas". See more »

Alternate Versions

A deleted scene towards the film's begining showed Harry being promoted in his job. Brandon Maggart had a hangover from the day before while shooting the dancing scene and can be seen becoming dizzy and nauseous at the end of the scene. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Silent Night, Deadly Night (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Santa Claus, Santa Claus
Written by Charles Bobbitt (uncredited) and Nat Jones (uncredited)
Performed by James Brown
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the three best movies ever made...
8 March 2009 | by krugstilo-1See all my reviews

Christmas EVIL is one of my three favorite movies ever made. I rated it a 9 out of 10 only because my other two favorites are slightly better and received 10s. (If you're curious, my three favorite movies are BEYOND DREAM'S DOOR, DIALING FOR DINGBATS, and Christmas EVIL, in that order). I think director John Waters said it best when he recommended Christmas EVIL because of its (and I'm paraphrasing here): "... grubby look and mucky atmosphere, as if it were shot using the same crap film they used to shoot those 1970s drive-in concession-stand ads where the food came out looking wretched when its intention was to lure patrons to the snack bar!" Christmas EVIL reminds me of a murky, clumsily violent dream an alcoholic stepfather is having during the holidays while passed out in his recliner, translated to shoddy film stock - and that isn't an effect commonly or easily achieved by any movie. A masterpiece.


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