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Rated R
Copyright 1980 Genesis Home Video
Reviewed by David Emery on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Harry Stadling - Psychotic serial killer Santa Claus, he gets away with it.
  • Phil Stadling - Harry's brother, he's always getting on Harry's case, receives a punch to the face and falls down a hill for no particular reason at the end.
  • Jackie Stadling - Phil's wife, doesn't do much except nose in on Phil's phone calls and take the kids into other rooms so their Dad can spaz.
  • Frank Schaffer - Screws over Harry by making him work a shift while he goes to the bar, gets his throat slit with a Christmas Tree Star.
  • Church Goers - Some poke fun at Harry, they get axed.
  • Bad little boys and girls - Harry stalks them but never kills any.
  • Harry and Phil's parents - Get busy under the Christmas tree in the opening of the film.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

Santa Claus is coming to town...actually, it's Harry Stadling, a toy factory worker that gets traumatized as a boy by watching his mom score with his Santa Claus outfit-clad father. As a result, he keeps a list of all of the good and bad girls and boys in his neighborhood. Harry's fragile mental condition is established as we find out that his co-workers treat him badly, his brother doesn't take him seriously and the fact that his only friends are the neighborhood children. Harry finally goes crazy and dresses up like Santa, stalking all of the bad boys and girls (and their parents) in town. He eventually evades an angry mob armed with torches and flies up into the sky in his "sleigh," which is actually an old van. This movie assaulted me with a huge amount of Christmas carols, rapid camera cuts, and Santa Claus suits, but all in all it isn't too bad.

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Santa sliding down a chimney sounds like air being sucked through a straw.
  • Santa outfits make snazzy pajamas.
  • Grown men should not play with dolls; it may provoke psychopathic tendancies.
  • Painting Santa's sleigh on the side of a van doesn't quite achieve the desired effect (but it does make jingling and whip cracking sounds with the proper motions).
  • Santa has a real problem with pornography.
  • Random sound effects and humming do not generate suspense.
  • Do not poke fun at a psychotic Santa.
  • Church services are a prime location for mass slaughter.
  • Santa wears a skirt and is a mighty fine dancer.
  • Santa's belly must be moved manually in order to shake like a bowl full of jelly.
  • When it comes to unlawful entry, windows are the better alternative to chimneys.
  • Christmas tree ornaments make handy weapons in a bind.
  • Cops from the Bronx should not sing Christmas carols.
  • Fake Santas were treated like Frankenstein in the early 80's: pursued by a mob with torches.
  • Children will always pick Santa over their parents.
  • Fake Santas know how to design flying vans.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 3 mins - Oh no...Santa is giving oral to Mrs. Claus...
  • 9 mins - That kid just made the naughty list, big time.
  • 21 mins - Here we go, he's gonna snap!....wait, no...
  • 28 mins - Man, those neighborhood kids are scary.
  • 30 mins - Here we go, he's gonna snap! Oh yeah...a face imprint of mud on the that kid won't be able to get to sleep at night.
  • 32 mins - Patricia Richardson (Tim's wife from Home Improvement) as an abusive mother!
  • 42 mins - I haven't seen acting this emotional since Terms of Endearment.
  • 44 mins - Okay, it's Christmas Eve, he's got a butcher knife, he's GOT to snap now.
  • 54 mins - All right! Finally! Dead bodies everywhere!
  • 62 mins - Up on the rooftop...haha! Stuck in the chimney!
  • 68 mins - Frank is flailing wildly, being smothered by a toy sack, and it doesn't wake his wife up.
  • 72 mins - Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is on TV!
  • 75 mins - A Santa Claus lineup at the police I've seen everything.
  • 81 mins - Oh yeah, that's a real moon.
  • 89 mins - I saw daddy strangling Santa Claus...and during the moral of the movie.
  • 91 mins - Stab him in the head! No, don't punch him! Jeez...
  • 92 mins - An airborne van flying up towards the uh, moon...

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