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Santa's Slay (2005)

If ever you wanted to see a Christmas themed horror where Santa is the antichrist who goes on a killing spree in town full of people, then look no further. This is as ridiculous as it sounds, with a hulking Santa Claus taking out people in the most absurd ways using every day Christmas items such as candy canes, present bombs, hot coal, the obvious Christmas lights and even a stampeding reindeer at one point. Setting the tone straight away, this opens with one of the most ludicrous sequence that has Santa bursting through a chimney like the Kool-Aid man during a family Christmas dinner. He then goes on to slaughter the entire family even going as far as using the star from the top of the tree as a ninja star and drowning one character in a bowl of eggnog. Then finally, stuffing a turkey leg into the mouth of legendary James Caan from Misery and slamming his head onto the table forcing it out of the back of his head. This is just a small preview of the level of absurdity that is to follow. There really isn't much to this in terms of plot or story progression, it feel more like all these action set pieces were filmed individually and put together in post-production. That’s not to say there isn't a sense of direction, it’s just very weak and uninteresting to say the least. I think this film knows what it is and isn't afraid to be as ridiculous and as low brow as possible with its comedy. I can certainly see the appeal and had I seen this as a young teen with friends I think I would still be quoting stupid one liners from it today. The acting is pretty mediocre across the board, it's clear most of the budget from the casting department went towards getting some recognisable faces for the cold open. However, for all its casting sins the one thing it did get right was casting Robert Culp as grandpa, he is always a joy to watch. As for Bill Goldberg as Santa, he basically just plays a wrestler in a Santa costume with some over the top one liners. As entertaining as that is to watch, there isn’t really much scope to his performance and could easily be filled by anyone of a similar stature. The effects work in this are as to be expected from the B-movie expectations that this film holds, this includes some very questionable CGI work and a rather poorly done stop motion animation exposition sequence. The practical work on some of the kill sequences are certainly the strongest but even they arnt great. This does however do a very good job of setting that Christmas tone, taking place in an extremely snowy setting and featuring some very well know Christmas music definitely helps in that department. At first I did find the concept and level of comedy here to be quite entertaining. That being said, it soon becomes tiresome and tedious and for a film with such a short run time this is not something I was expecting to be saying. Clocking in at only 75 minutes, at the 45 minute mark I was ready for this to be wrapped up and done with. I think this would be much better suited to a segment of Christmas themed horror anthology. It's certainly one worth ticking off the list just to say you have seen it, but go in with low expectations to avoid disappointment.



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