5.9/10
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199 user 223 critic

Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Little Billy witness his parents getting killed by Santa after being warned by his senile grandpa that Santa punishes those who are naughty. Now Billy is 18, and out of the orphanage, and he has just become Santa, himself.

Writers:

Paul Caimi (based on a story by), Michael Hickey

On Disc

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lilyan Chauvin ... Mother Superior
Gilmer McCormick Gilmer McCormick ... Sister Margaret
Toni Nero ... Pamela
Robert Brian Wilson ... Billy at 18
Britt Leach ... Mr. Sims
Nancy Borgenicht Nancy Borgenicht ... Mrs. Randall
H.E.D. Redford H.E.D. Redford ... Captain Richards
Danny Wagner Danny Wagner ... Billy at 8
Linnea Quigley ... Denise
Leo Geter ... Tommy
Randy Stumpf ... Andy
Will Hare ... Grandpa
Tara Buckman ... Mother (Ellie)
Geoff Hansen Geoff Hansen ... Father (Jim) (as Jeff Hansen)
Charles Dierkop ... Killer Santa
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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:

If "A Nightmare on Elm Street" gave you sleepless nights, or if "Halloween" made you jump in every shadow or if every "Friday the 13th" was more frightening than the others... THEN BEWARE! 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:

9 November 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Slayride See more »

Filming Locations:

Heber City, Utah, USA See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (uncut) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

This film was planned to be a limited release but open wider by Christmas, but the protest canned the idea, and was pulled after two weeks of release. See more »

Goofs

Following the murder of Ellie Chapman (Tara Buckman's character), she is shown one more time before the flash-forward to 1974, during which her heart can be seeing beating against her bare chest; even far more visible is the carotid pulse beating against the stage blood on her neck. See more »

Quotes

Mother Superior: They thought they could do it without being caught. But when we do something naughty, we are always caught. Then, we are punished. Punishment is absolute, punishment is good.
Billy Chapman: Yes, Mother Superior.
Mother Superior: You left your room, William.
Billy Chapman: Yes, Mother Superior.
Mother Superior: Very, very naughty!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Anchor Bay DVD and Blu-ray releases splices in the gore footage with the theatrical print making it the most complete version containing all of the gore and nudity. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Housewife Alien vs. Gay Zombie (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Christmas Fever
Written by Ira Barmak (as Ira Barmak)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A horror movie where the story is the best part. There's a first time for everything...
2 July 2015 | by lnvictaSee all my reviews

Silent Night, Deadly Night tells the story of a boy whose parents were killed in front of him as a child, and it was by a man dressed as Santa Claus. Not only that, the man shot the kid's dad in the head and tried to rape his mother before slitting her throat while the boy watched. He hid so he escaped, but the memory remained, even throughout Catholic school where the Mother Superior was strict and violent, saying punishment is good and all naughty children should be punished. Naturally, this messed with the kid's head, so one day when he's finally all grown up, Christmas time comes along at his job and someone has to dress up as Santa Claus. Well, who better than the kid whose parents were killed by Santa to play dress up! He then embraces being Santa Claus, a judgmental fat man who kills naughty people, and that's when the bodies start piling up.

It's a truly dark story. The movie would have been much better had they focused more on the psychological aspect as opposed to it just boiling down to "Santa is a killer. Now I'm Santa. Now I must kill!" It felt like the whole setup was wasted for an anticlimactic, soulless killing spree. Sure, there are some good kills, and there are plenty of boobs in typical '80s B-horror affair, but it failed to make an impact on anything more than a surface level. It's an enjoyable movie, it's simply a matter of greater potential not being realized.

Now this is a horror movie, not an unintentional comedy like its infamous sequel, and it's admittedly effective as one. It's refreshing when a horror movie has an actual narrative you can follow. Worth a watch if you're a horror buff or just want to watch Santa kill topless women for an hour and a half.


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