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.
By: Justin Hopkins
** SPOILER WARNING **
I think we have done it. Years of watching B Movies and months of reviewing them. Some that could rival any A list movie and some so bad they circled back to entertainment all of again. After all of that, think we may have just hit the bottom of the barrel. I don’t like talking badly on movies. Making a movie is a hard and difficult process and I am more then willing to go out of my way and meet them on whatever convoluted storyline they want to run. Hybrid animals? Sold. Remake a classic? I am there. Sequel to a movie franchise that ran out of steam a decade ago? Why not. So when I say this is bad. Can rest assured it has some merit. There is some good, don’t get me wrong, but far warning ahead of time. There is going to be a lot of negativity coming.
The movie opens up with a Rebecca getting attacked and left bleeding on the ground. Later two people, government agents, come up to her body bag and she is alive. Cut to a montage of them doing some experiment on her. Then we get two of of the most irritating agents. Present her two drinks, water and blood. We get flashes of her covered in blood and the woman agent yelling, what drink do you want over and over, and I started regretting my choice of film to review. Pushing forward to yet another montage of Rebecca training. Along with her learning that it is to risky to see her family, and that she can be killed with decapitation, stabbing the heart, and sunlight. Rule that was broken during her first mission when she takes out a vampire, with a stab to the stomach. She gets shot in the head, but rescued by her ally in the morgue, who pays her with intel on when she can see her family. They would be visiting her grave, and despite the sun out, she finds safety under a tree to view them ( Seriously, it doesn’t. Sun is coming through the branches. No reason this should work. Just keep the bike helmet on) While she is away. Her base is attacked and all of her colleagues are killed. A massive fight ensues, before she is knocked out, by a tranq dart. When she wakes up, finds that she was captured by another one of the Government Programs. Lead by Witch Madeline and.. Edward.. I think was his name. It was hard to hear. His audio was cranked up and was a genuine boring character. They inform Rebecca that a vampire used a page from the book called Witches Hammer to make himself immortal and they need the book to undo it. The book was written by a women whose baby was taken from her. She took vengeance. Killing the man who did so, and then the babies of everyone in the village. She sat down and just started writing the book till they killed her. They journey out, being chased by various vampires including; a dwarf named Oscar. His plus sized lover Charlotte. One with a pornstache whose name I did not catch. Cause I just wanted it to end and I will leave it there for the time being.
The only member of the cast that I didn’t mind, was Claudia Coulter. She was the only one who didn’t really just annoy me. She didn’t overdo anything and the action, while slow and a bit clunky was still nice. There was one thing she kept doing that did make me laugh, but not in the way they were expecting. On occasion, she would just randomly flash her teeth and hiss. For no apparent reason, and made me laugh, because if you look at the pic and see Fionna. The Sim from all of my thumbnails, does the exact same thing. So congrats on making me think about the Sims. In the same vein, I enjoyed the flashback to the Witch who wrote the book. When she was holding her baby, sounded like she was singing the Bayu Bayushki, and that is the Lullaby Hummed by The Huntress in Dead By Daylight. My favorite killer, and that is 2 positives that are based because they remind me of better things. That is not good.
Nothing about this landed. The jokes were so bad and just dumb. We get it, Oscar is small and Charlotte is big, ain’t it funny. The one good fight scene, with Rebecca going against the ninja, was ruined through multiple cuts to either see Oscar and Edward in some stupid Tom and Jerry esque game. Of tiny Oscar running in around the room and Edward being scared. With Charlotte commenting on the fight, while drinking from this guy with two straws in his neck. None of which was funny. Both of which stole drastically from the only worthwhile moment of the movie.
This movie was a drastic let down. The effects were bad. Far, far to many cuts and close-ups and slow motion for no other reason then to have slow motion. Don’t even go for slow motion when it can be used. Then fast zoom in on faces and all of it was cringeworthy to awful. Movie came out in 2006 and has aged so poorly and worse then movies twice it’s age, and I know what you are thinking. Cut it some slack, its a low budget, but no. I am not judging this based off big A list movies, with a budget. That’s the point of B Movie Sunday. To review them based off movies in their caliber and this one fails almost across the board.
Before we finish up, let’s gloss over the end, because that Surprise twist, actually did catch me by surprise. I didn’t see the Madeline turn coming, and having Hugo be nothing more than a spoiled brat was good. It was a smart idea to shake things up. Well done.
If you found enjoyment in this film, I am happy for you. I don’t get much enjoyment on trashing movies. People worked hard to make this movie, but got to call it like I see it, and Witches Hammer was a colossal waste of time. Don’t watch this movie. Skip it. Put on literally anything else. Hard pass for Witches Hammer.
Thank you for Reading.