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Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

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Movie Info & Cast

Synopsis

Offended parents and others protested this slasher film when it was released in 1984 because it portrays Billy (Robert Brian Wilson) as a toy-store Santa Claus who goes on a rampage and axes people to death while still in his Santa garb. Four sequels prove the adage that there is no such thing as bad publicity. When Billy was just a boy he saw someone dressed as Santa murder his parents at Christmastime. Billy's stint in an orphanage did nothing to unwarp his mind (he is tied to his bed for misbehavior), and when he starts playing Santa in the store -- much against his wishes since he is deathly afraid of both Christmas and Santa Claus, he first only frightens the children who come to see him. Then his mind snaps, and he repeats the scene he saw as a child, on one person after another, in full gory color.~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide

Cast

  • Lilyan Chauvin
  • Gilmer McCormick
  • Toni Nero
  • Robert Brian Wilson
  • Britt Leach
  • Nancy Borgenicht
  • H.E.D. Redford
  • Danny Wagner
  • Linnea Quigley
  • Leo Geter

Did You Know?

Trivia

  • This film was known as "Slayride" throughout its production. Tri-Star decided to change the title to "Silent Night, Deadly Night" at the last minute.
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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.
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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!
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Metacritic

50

Silent Night, Deadly Night brought the idea to new levels of cold sleaziness.

Metacritic review by Eric Henderson
Eric Henderson
Slant Magazine
20

It's fairly safe to predict that Silent Night, Deadly Night will start making Worst Movies of All Time lists almost immediately. It has all the prerequisites. A roaringly bad idea. Derivative scriptwriting. Tastelessness. Naked opportunism. A cast full of actors who mug, gesticulate and savor every rotten line. A general we're only in this for the money attitude, visible in every sloppy frame. And, to top it off, that most crucial quality: enough conscious or unconscious humor to keep you watching, and insulting, it. [11 March 1986, p.C5]

Metacritic review by Michael Wilmington
Michael Wilmington
Los Angeles Times
40

Silent Night, Deadly Night takes off from the notion that Santa Claus is an ax murderer, but it never quite lives up to the delicious perversity of its premise. An idea this shocking has to be earned; instead, director Charles Sellier Jr. (The Boogens) gives us another casually constructed splatter flick that has more to do with morbid arithmetic (the body count continues!) than movies.

Metacritic review by Paul Attanasio
Paul Attanasio
Washington Post