I also got a screener copy of PSYCHO SANTA thanks to the generosity of one of the people involved in this film. So, props for spreading the word about independent films that may otherwise not have a voice. People in the low-budget horror/exploitation industry are a tight-knit group of people who have good intentions and work very, very hard for very little payoff. They also take the time to answer e-mails and converse with fans... something their Hollywood counterparts never seem to have the time to do.
That said, this videotaped horror effort is unfortunately quite awful. I won't lie. It is VERY bad and I could go on for many reasons why I did not enjoy it very much, but it boiled down to two basic things...
1. The film is mercilessly padded out with scenes that never seem to end. It takes five minutes for someone to get from Point A to Point B, when it should take around 30 seconds max. I counted at least four scenes in this movie (there are probably more) that are stretched out for no apparent reason than to pad out the running time. Padded out movies are not only boring to sit through, but also make you lose complete interest in the film and what is going on in it. I noticed I had my trigger finger rested on the fast-forward button on my remote while watching this and I had to fight off the urge to use it many times.
2. There is VERY little dialog and very little actual content here; I don't think there's enough going on to merit a short film, let alone a feature length one. During one long and patience-shredding scene, a pair of burglars take several minutes to walk around outside and break into a house. If I recall correctly, the two did not say a single word to each other in that time. Even when they enter the house and drown a woman in her bathtub, they say nothing. So we don't know a thing about these two and thus could care less about them, what they are doing or what happens to them (in this case, getting killed off by the dead woman's monstrous son).
PSYCHO SANTA is a horror anthology with three tales and linking segments. The first story involves two women (a quite attractive and busty brunette and a redheaded goth chick who looks about 20 years older than her friend). They arrive at a fully-decorated-for-the-holidays cabin-in-the-woods to meet a friend, the less-attractive one takes a LONG shower to demonstrate she is pierced in more than one spot, the cute girl walks around outside for an eternity and then bops around in lingerie and a Santa hat for another 5 or so minutes. Then the two discover what happened to their friend. This segment has ONE good idea (the whereabouts of the missing friend) and a whole lot of tedium. Tale two (the worst of the bunch) involves the two burglars and the third story has a brother and sister (Eric Spudic and Krystal Stevenson) lost in the woods and encountering a facially-mutated psychotic Santa Claus. Little-known B-movie actress Kimberly Lynn Cole is in this segment for a few minutes. They don't even afford her one line of dialog. All she does is get stabbed and crawl across the floor for several minutes. The framing segment, by the way, has a young couple driving along a secluded road on way to a friend's Christmas party. They do talk in these scenes, but not about anything interesting.
I love horror movies and I love independent movies, when they are done right. To me, a B-movie done 'right' must provide a fast-pace, some campy and/or stilted dialog and plenty of nudity/sex and violence/gore. This one takes itself too seriously to come through as a comedy, is too poorly made to take seriously and does not provide enough exploitation elements to please Z-movie fans. I have nothing against films being shot on video or digital, even though the sound is often awful. It is all about how much people put into it. Stick with the underrated BLACK Christmas and the deserved cult classic Christmas EVIL when it comes to X-mas horror.
A few smoothly-directed and edited scene transitions and a couple of derivative, but OK touches, save this one from a "1" rating.
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