Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holiday Horrors - CHRISTMAS EVIL (1980)

Continuing the Doc's month-long celebration of Christmas-themed fright flicks, we next turn to...

CHRISTMAS EVIL (aka You Better Watch Out) (1980)

Dubbed by John Waters as "the greatest Christmas movie ever made," writer/director Lewis Jackson’s low budget holiday card to the masses features Brandon Maggart (singer Fiona Apple’s dad!) as a mentally unstable toy factory worker who loves Christmas so much, he keeps tags on the neighborhood children, logging them in his “Naughty and Nice” book.

As the Yuletide season draws nigh, the superficiality and callousness of his fellow man pushes him over the edge, leading him to don a suit of red and paint the town the same color. (A novel twist: unlike most holiday-themed horror flicks, it’s only the deserving baddies who get the axe here.)

Highly underrated satire is well-anchored by Maggart’s captivating lead performance, a bounty of offbeat touches (suburban villagers with torches, anyone?) and a supremely audacious final shot that will have you picking your jaw off the floor and smiling ear to ear.

Popular character actor Jeffrey DeMunn (The Green Mile, The Mist) appears in an early role as the overprotective brother and both the Synapse and Troma DVD releases feature a wealth of extras, including an informative and engaging commentary shared by Jackson and Maggart.

Special note: This Saturday, as part of their Holiday of Horrors film fest at the Portage Theater, the cool cats at Horror Society will be screening Christmas Evil with writer/director Lewis Jackson in person! Don't miss a rare opportunity to see this holiday classic on the big screen surrounded by like-minded folks who like a little terror with their tinsel...

Visit http://www.horrorsociety.com/festivals for more details

No comments: