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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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