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Rated R
Copyright 1984 Slayride Productions
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 24 December 2000

The Characters:  

  • Billy - Young man with some serious mental damage caused by watching Santa kill his parents, although a Catholic upbringing did not help. Finally put down like a rabid dog.
  • Sister Margaret - Kind and loving nun, she took special interest in Billy and wanted him to get professional help.
  • Captain Richards - Law enforcement officer with the difficult task of shooting a modified Kris Kringle target. He does well.
  • Mr. Sims - Toy store owner, rather dead after Billy embeds a claw hammer into his skull (claw side first). Spared him from bankruptcy though, he still had stock from Halloween and Easter on the shelves.
  • Pamela - Worked at the toy store with Billy, but spurned his romantic interest for an abusive jerk. She must not mind being raped or something. Hardly matters, the young man opens her from navel to breastbone with a box cutter.
  • Andy - Jerk who works in the stockroom and knows how to get the ladies naked, by ripping off their clothes. Strangled with a string of Christmas lights.
  • Mrs. Randall - Older woman employed by the store, used for archery practice.
  • Denise - Linnea Quigley! Young girl with a fabulous penchant for running around in cutoff jeans and nothing else. I don't know why and don't care, it's a pity she ends up skewered on a hunting trophy.
  • Denise's Boyfriend - Talk about selective hearing! He heard the little girl quietly walking down the stairs (Denise and he were studying biology), but didn't notice the racket when Billy crashed through the front door and skewered Denise. Killed by being tossed out a window.
  • Mother Superior - She missed the Inquisition by several hundred years, but is making up for lost time by punishing misbehaved orphans. Nothing like sadistic nuns keeping the faith.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Countless children have been kept in check during the Christmas season, however briefly, by threats of Santa's wrath. Be good or the jolly elf will decide not to give you presents, behave or your stocking will be full of coal, and whatever other bitter rewards might be wrought by naughty children. Never in a million years did mom or dad admonish me in a way which involved Santa and capital punishment.


Only a slightly effective method of scolding one's erring progeny when you get down to it, but a towering figure dressed in blood red puts a great deal more menace into the word. Poor Billy has a miserable Christmas Eve, only a few unfortunate souls could claim a worse day. (What did you idiots do to piss God off?) First his aging grandfather has a fleeting moment of clarity and terrifies the youngster with threats of retribution from a wrathful Saint Nick, then a violent man murders his parents. Cutting mommy's throat in front of her children is bad, but oh so much worse when the killer is wearing a Santa Claus suit.

Billy is sent to an orphanage and does not find the nurturing environment he needs to become a normal human being. The place looks to be a Roman Catholic bastion in the otherwise Mormon state of Utah. It generated a silly daydream about some Mormon knights arguing with a saucy Catholic on the ramparts, "What are you doing in Utah?" says one and the other answers, "Mind your own business!" Anyway, Mother Superior forces the germinating psycho to draw Christmas pictures and sit on Santa's lap. Neither exercise turns out very well, he floors Santa with a right cross and crayon artworks of decapitated reindeer tend to scare the other children. Every time he falters the imposing figure of Mother Superior deals out lashes with a belt. Insanity runs in the family, he watches mom and dad get slaughtered, and nuns physically abuse him - this kid is screwed.

Flash forward ten years, Billy has grown up to be a muscular young man working at a toy store and seems fine. Don't miss the song playing over the happy scenes of him becoming a successful stock clerk, a definite winner. "On the Warm Side of the Door" is the title and main words, who came up with those lyrics? Billy doesn't stay on the warm side of the door very long, instead he flees into the cold dark night (probably running from that damn song). You see, Christmas rolls around and with it the jolly smiling face of horror.

Mr. Sims makes a fatal mistake, when the store's Santa Claus is injured he has Billy fill the position. I'm still trying to figure out the logic behind that decision since he's the skinniest guy who works there. The doors finally close on Christmas Eve and the employees break out the alcohol to have a little party. You mean to tell me these people have nothing better to do? How about going home to your family or over to a friend's house? Losers.

No small amount of alcohol is imbibed during the party, but things are okay until Pamela spurns Billy and goes into the back with Andy for some heavy petting. That puts our incubating killer over the edge and he hatches with a vengeance.


When bellowed by a huge version of Santa Claus, who is carrying a fire ax, it is a very scary thing. Billy slaughters everyone in the store, then goes looking for other bad little girls and boys to put a hurt locker on. He does a pretty good job, racking up three more kills during the night and another the next morning. Richards shoots him full of holes before Mother Superior gets what she had coming to her, it made me realize how unfair life is at times.

One of the endearing aspects of this movie is that viewers don't hate Billy, you understand why and how he became such a monster. Some interesting parallels here between this movie and "Old Yeller" when you think about it. I'm not exactly rooting for him (well sometimes) and know that he is going to be shot eventually, but how many random people are going to die before the end?

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Catatonic grandparents are only biding their time, waiting for a chance to traumatize the children when you aren't looking.
  • Santa prefers the stopping power of a .45 ACP.
  • Having loud premarital sex in a building full of nuns (that are armed with leather belts) is not advised.
  • A forty pound child can knock a grown man to the ground with one punch.
  • Women shouldn't trust men who want to give them a "present" in dark storerooms.
  • The sound of cardboard boxes falling over is louder than the screams of a woman being raped.
  • Toy stores stock longbows with sixty pound draws, something able to shoot an arrow entirely through a human body.
  • Children don't know the right way to hang up a phone.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 2 mins - Oh, how cute. Do I need to point out the fact that your baby will be mushed if you have a car accident?
  • 11 mins - Luckily he broke down near the only streetlight on this deserted country road.
  • 23 mins - I'm really, really glad that I never went to Catholic school.
  • 31 mins - Obviously he doesn't engage in this activity all that often.
  • 55 mins - Brrrrr! I appreciate this scene, but that has to be cold.
  • 61 mins - You run along and open up some boxes little girl...
  • 76 mins - Maybe the orphanage can get a group discount from a psychologist.


  • Billy: "Naughty!"
  • Billy: "Punish!"

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note silentnight1.wav Grandpa: "You see Santa Claus tonight, you better run boy. You better run for ya life!"
Green Music Note silentnight2.wav Mother Superior: "What they were doing was something very very naughty. They thought they could do it without being caught, but when we do something naughty we are always caught and then we are punished."
Green Music Note silentnight3.wav Billy: "Naughty!"
Green Music Note silentnight4.wav Cop: "Can you believe this? It's Christmas Eve and we got orders to bring in Santa Claus."
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipsilentnight1.mpg - 2.1m
I was looking for a scene with Billy yelling, "Punish" and chopping at some bad little boy or girl. My first choice would have been the part with Denise. Unfortunately, Linnea's unfettered breasts were bobbing through the entire scene, so here is the cop instead. You've all been naughty this year anyway...


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Comments:Write CommentPages: [1] 2 3 4
Silent Night, Deadly Night
Reply #1. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by tabatha
I first saw this with my parents, and have seen all of them sence. When I got married i rented all of them (not in one night, talking about overload) and I enjoyed them over again. then i noticed a new one out (5?) not sure which number and just had to get it.
all in all was a good movie, really enjoy these "bad"movies.
Silent Night, Deadly Night
Reply #2. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by john
I use to rent this movie all the time and chopping mall! I bought Silent Night Deadly Night 2 forgetting half the movie was a recap of Part 1 but it was only 5 bucks but what i didn't realize was they made 5 of these movies which has Mickey Rooney!!!Still my favorite B rated movie is Killer Klowns From Outer Space. If anyone knows when it's coming out please e-mail me!
Silent Night, Deadly Night
Reply #3. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:03 PM by Tim
This is one of the best horror films I have ever seen.  Unlinke so many slasher films, this movie builds up the character so yuo can see why he went crazy.  I also like how the movie takes a turn, and becomes an afternoon special.  After all Billy went through with his Mom being ravaged and the killed, seeing a nun give it up, and being beaten at an orphange, he manages to become a model employee.
  I also have another point to make.  i think Billy is on of the strongest men ever!  Think about it.  He is abkle to hang someone with a string of Christmas lights with his bare hands.  He is able to survive a tough fall over a banister.  HE even can lift a grown woman and shive her body so she is impaled on deerhorns.  Whoa, that guy is strong.
Silent Night, Deadly Night
Reply #4. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Chadzilla
I thought this was a fairly well made slasher movie, but I still found it rather listless and slow moving at times (an element of fun seemed to be missing).  So it's only two slimes from this Mighty Kaiju Critic in California.

Happy Holidays.  PUNISH!
Silent Night, Deadly Night
Reply #5. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Tom Fallon
Even as an avid B-movie fan, I found this hard to assess.
Sure, there were some pretty cool situations (like impaling a nude girl on the antlers of a reindeer!), but was there really that much over the top violence?  The cover to this christmas classic claims (and I quote):
'Shocking! Disturbing!  The film that outraged parents!Teachers!....the movie they tried to ban!

I've seen worse.  Still, it's always kinda cool to deface a well-known icon!

Silent Night, Deadly Night
Reply #6. Posted on August 01, 2001, 11:35:04 PM by Deena
I thought this movie was pretty friggin cool!  I mean a cute, young psycho dressed as santa killing people.  What more could you ask for?  
Silent Night, Deadly Night
Reply #7. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Ron Broadfoot
While SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT may not be a classic by any means, it's an enjoyable way to kill a few brain cells.  I remember reading a story about the protests over this movie back in 1984.  Lilyan Chauvin gives an eerie performance as the iron-handed Mother Superior, and the guy who plays Billy's grandpa at the beginning of the movie is certainly not the kind of person you would want to meet in a dark alley.  If they make another SILENT NIGHT movie, they should put Angus Scrimm (the guy who played the Tall Man in the Phantasm movies) in it.  I have not seen the sequel, because I've heard it's mostly composed of flashback footage from the first film.  I don't really care about the plot, because I'm 25 and I no longer believe in Santa Claus!
Silent Night, Deadly Night
Reply #8. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Chap
The first time I saw this was because we found out that our drama teacher was the police dispatcher.  (and good times and laughs were had by all) Now it's become a yearly classic...  can't miss with this one!
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