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Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

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1:32 | Trailer
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
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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 boy spends most of his life in an orphanage where he is abused by the mother superior. When he becomes a teenager, he gets a job as a toy store Santa. When seeing two people having sex in the store brings on flashbacks of his parents, his turmoil leads him to become 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

Gross USA:

$2,491,460

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,491,460
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

The title "Slay Ride" actually ended up as a subplot in another film, the Disney holiday movie Ernest Saves Christmas (1988). In the Ernest film, the prospective Santa that Ernest was looking for was appearing in a horror film entitled "Christmas Slay". 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

Denise: Cindy if, uh, you don't go back to bed... Santa won't come.
Tommy: [wanting to have sex with Denise] He's not the only one.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A later version released on video contains an extra 3 minutes featuring more gore than the theatrical version. See more »

Connections

References The Smurfs (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

It Must Be Christmas
Written by Ricky Phillips (as Rick Phillips)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Not terrible, but nothing great
21 October 2000 | by WritnGuy-2See all my reviews

I rented this completely by accident. I was planning to rent a lesser-known but supposedly great genre effort, "Silent Night, Bloody Night," but I guess the geniuses at Blockbuster confused the two when putting the tapes with the boxes, and I ended up with this.

Eventually, I figured out the plot, which wasn't terrible. In a very creepy prologue, young Billy is traveling home with parents and baby brother after visiting his grandfater in the nursing home, and they stop to help a man dressed in a Santa Clause outfit whose car has died. The Santa is actually an escaped killer who murders Billy's parents, while he narrowly escapes.

He grows up in an orphanage, terrified every Christmas of old St. Nick, and Mother Superior, who runs the orphanage. Eventually, he grows up at gets a job at a local toy store...right around Christmas time. That Christmas Eve, he snaps, and dressed as Santa, kills off everyone at the after-hours party at the store, then ventures out to find new victims. The only person that can stop him is Sister Margaret, from the orphanage, the only person who ever cared for Billy. But, of course, it's too late to save him...or anyone else....

The movie manages to be quite creepy at times. The murder of Billy's parents was a frightening scene, and some of the murders were pretty effective. The music was great, too. The pace, for the most part, works well, though it trips up when the story moves on to Christmas morning. The movie would have been more effective all taking place on one night. Of course, that would consist of Billy killing off one-dimensional, stock characters, and Sister Margaret and the local sheriff tracking his path...but with a few twists, it would have worked.

The acting is pretty good. Lilyan Chauvin and Toni Nero, first and third billed as Mother Superior and Billy's short-lived love interest Pamela, respectively, have little screen time, but give okay performances. Robert Brian Wilson as the 18 year-old Billy is mostly in costume and has few lines, but for what he's given, he does okay. Gilmer McCormick has the largest role (which still isn't much) and actually does quite well with what she's given; she is also the only truly sympathetic, likeable character in the movie. Oddly enough, Billy is somewhat likeable, too, but the more senseless his killings get, the less you really want to cheer for him.

Then again, this movie doesn't really seem to give a damn about it's characters which, I guess if that's what you want, is fine.

Overall, not a bad horror film, but there are better. For a truly effective and worthwhile Christmas-related genre effort, I'd check out "Black Christmas." (Then again, that's everyone's Christmas horror movie suggestion, so if you haven't gotten the point that it's a great movie, then you're on your own.) It's far scarier, with a stronger plot and better characters. But for just your average seasonal bloodbath, I suppose "Silent Night, Deadly Night" isn't a bad choice.


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