By: Justin Hopkins
It is that time a year. Getting that much more colder out. Shopping is at a fever pitch. Christmas lights and holiday stress abound and nearly every movie is packed to the rim with feel good cheer, and not that there’s anything wrong with that, but from time to time. Want to kick back and watch those same holiday traditions be turned into murder weapons in some good gratuitous forms and luckily for us. December is teeming with some excellent shlocky B Movies for us to jump right into. Going through the list, 2005 Santa’s Slay jumped out like a beacon of hope. Going in hoping for a fun ride and got a blast in return. Let’s break down this holiday gem and discuss shall we.
Movie opens up with perhaps the worst family of all time. Wasting no time in declaring we will soon be killed and you will love it. Rich guy married to a young woman, who is having an affair with the Daughter’s Husband and everyone is spoiled rotten and racist to boot, with a yappy little dog who has it’s on bed. Enter Santa who starts his rampage by booting the dog into the ceiling fan and taking each family member out in brutal fashion. From using a star off the tree as a ninja star, to drowning another in a bowl of eggnog after catching her on fire, and my favorite, the husband jumps up, yells ” You want some” and after a series of bizarre hand motions and gets booted into a china hutch. It is all very silly but sets the stage perfectly for things to come. That it’s not taking itself seriously and Santa is a wrecking ball. From there, we go a a Deli in Hells Township. Where we meet our main characters Nicolas and Mary. Nicholas is being berated for his saracam by a rather mean old woman, who throws out insult after insult, and soon after she leaves, is run off the road by Santa’s Sleigh, being pulled by the angriest looking… Buffalo. They call it a reindeer, but looks like a buffalo to me. Anyways, back at the store, the Deli Owner gives them gifts, including a clock that plays toward the end. We go and meet the Grandfather that most people in town call crazy and being that he built a stocked bunker in the basement, and all seems to surround the fact that it is Christmas. He starts to explain, but is interrupted by a visit from Mary. An evening that goes bad when she gets into an argument with Nicolas. After she leaves, he picks back up the book and reads that Santa is the son of Satan, and after he lost a bet with an angel, had to turn the day of slaves, into the day of giving for one thousand years. A bet that had officially run its course this year and while this was going on. Santa was tearing his way through a strip club. A lot more gruesome kills mixed with some jokes. Some stuck, but some didn’t. Still fun though. Then, the next day, Christmas day we see two smart mouthed kids get their heads blown off by gifts brought by Santa. Then, his rampage takes a turn from sporadic to focused, on Nicolas and his Grandfather. As more is learned about what happened a thousand years ago and won’t spoil anymore, cause if you haven’t seen it, you really should.
This movie really embraced what it was, and that was a fun movie. It is not a ” Good ” movie by any definition, but it didn’t have to be. From the over the top kills to the stupid jokes that were very much, hit or miss. The strip club scene is a pretty good example of that. Was just a fun movie from start to finish. To the point where it is almost hard to put into words. The chemistry between the actors was evident from how well everyone seemed to work off the other. Cgi was comically bad, the head pops on the kids were a bit dumb, but we also got ones that looked great like the tree star kill and the deli clerk getting speared through the glass bar and then hung to the wall, by a Hanukkah Candle to the neck. Everything they did just seemed to work.
Casting Bill Goldberg as your main villain was a big risk. Wrestlers have made some good actors, but not very many, but he filled this role perfectly, by playing directly to his strengths. He owned every scene that he was in. Used his massive frame to intimidate and destroy everything in his path, with goofy one-liners. Some were more cringe worthy than others but since he either did something awesome or about to do something awesome. I am kind of inclined to give him a pass on it. Big props to whoever worked on his suit. I don’t know much about Nordic religion and Yule, but his Suit definitely seemed to come from their traditions and looked beautiful and worked perfectly for the Santa they were going for.
Then you had Robert Culp who did a good job as Grandpa. Then you had Douglas Smith as Nicolas, and was nearly a negative for me. His character was just so inept and everything he said was so dumb… then Santa smacked him in the face with A Christmas Carol, and it dawned on me; he is supposed to be the dumb character, and it was Mary, played by Emilie de Ravin was the one keeping him going, and she was a terrific character by herself, but they worked so much better. She was a more mature rounded character to his more naive teenager, and they kind of felt like two real teens in this sort of situation. Like when they were discussing going on the offense, but were so loud they never got out of the school, and when they were hiding in the shelves, but in front of a mirror. Which in itself, made them more adoring. They were just two kids in a dangerous situation who don’t know what they are doing.
I also really enjoyed what they did with the credits. Adding the naughty or nice list to everyone’s name. Not just actor wise, but stunt coordinators and animal handler. Helped bring attention to unsung people behind the camera and made you pay attention to who was naught and who was nice just to see where everyone ended up.
Negative wise, besides the bad jokes and spotty CGI that I already discussed. Was the end. They didn’t really seem to know how to end this. I am glad they didn’t kill him or lose another bet, but maybe should have just ended on the kids, after it was revealed that he set the pastor up to die in his place. Showing him in the airport, getting a Plane Ticket to the North Pole was a bit overkill. One bad joke to many. This does have a post credit scene that is a hundred percent fan service, with him looking at his list and saying, Who’s Next. As a wrestling fan, definitely enjoyed it but again. Really not needed though.
This was just a fun movie all the way around and in my opinion, the perfect way to start this month. A ton of Christmas themed deaths, with a terrifying Santa in an awesome suit. If you haven’t checked it out, would highly suggest it.
Thank you for reading.