Monday, December 10, 2012

F This Movie! - Silent Night, Deadly Night Commentary

Here's your Christmas gift from F This Movie! We're sorry.



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18 comments:

  1. A far, far better killer Santa movie is 1980's "You Better Watch Out"; it's perhaps not a great movie, but there is a really interesting central performance by Brandon Maggart as a guy going slowly mad.

    Oddly, looking at what else Maggart has done I see he's the father of Fiona Apple.

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  2. Oddly, there's a rape hat line in a Tori Amos song:

    "I got my rape hat on
    honey but I always could accessorize"

    (If I remember right, the song "Talula" is about a woman considering an abortion after a rape; pleasant, eh?)

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  3. Thanks F! This Movie for my 3rd night of Chaunukkah present!

    I really liked the orphans making wallets joke. I was a bit bummed out that the cop didn't put on The Delfonics when he was driving with Gilmer girl in the cop cruiser.

    What a shitty movie, but hey Peace on Earth!

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  4. Question: is the version of the movie used for the commentary the 'R' or unrated cut of "Silent Night..."? The poster of the podcast says its 'R' and Netflix Instant (which Lewinsky, but I'm in the minority) usually gets MPAA rated versions of movies. But the length of the commentary matches the running time of the unrated cut, which I can get on DVD for a decent price. "Reindeer Games" also used the rated/theatrical cut (which it was a bitch for me to track down on DVD over the more widely-available unrated version) so I want to make sure I know what to shop for.

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    1. We speak over the unrated version.

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    2. Thanks. I was pretty sure last week that "The Long Kiss Goodnight" (technically a Christmas movie) would be one to get the commentary. Should have made the connection hearing the "Sleepaway Camp" commentary that "Silent Night..." needed to be F'ed to complete the exorcism of Erika B's childhood horror traumas. :-)

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  5. Wow, this commentary seemed unnecessarily harsh on orphans, like me :( Christmas is the hardest time to be an orphan; the feelings of being unloved and unwanted are stronger than ever. I mean, you just see all of these families together, sharing their love with each other - it's not a feeling an orphan ever really knows and if you truly understood the pain it would break your heart.

    Just kidding, I'm not some loser orphan, my parents LOVE me.

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  6. Damn....and I'd managed to avoid this movie all this time.

    Off to the library...

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  7. My new-to-me movie for today, 2/8/13 (Snowpocalypse!), is Charles E. Sellier Jr.'s deranged SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT (1984) on DVD. I'm deliberately not listening to the commentary track before writing this so it doesn't influence my first impression.

    Despite its truckload of flaws I was impressed by the simplicity and effectiveness with which "Silent Night, Deadly Night" goes about fleshing out its simple premise/story: little five-year old kid is traumatized by crazy grandpa and killer Santa, is emotionally abused at an orphanage (not to mention grows a shitty-looking mullet), snaps as an 18 year-old Val Kilmer lookalike and goes on a killing rampage on Christmas eve. All these shown without a trace of irony and self-awareness (and effective "villains" like the Mother Superior), which occasionally results in unintentional big laughs (the shooting of the 'fake' Santa had me howling from laughter). Unlike the split-personality of Rob Zombie's "Halloween" remake (which this reminded me of) it's refreshing to watch a slasher stack the deck against its protagonist (even without crazy grandpa poisoning his mind about Santa, poor Billy's fate was doomed from the moment the film starts) and then proceed to go about its slashing business with no attempt to be anything other than the then-latest holiday-themed horror cash-in. It flirts with being truly subversive (box cutter gift, taking an ax swing at a nun, etc.) but "Silent Night..." is pretty conventional by its brethren's measuring standards.

    This is among the last wave of the early 80's depraved horror 'nasties' (Fulci's "Zombie," "Maniac," "New York Ripper," "The Evil Dead," "Sleepaway Camp," etc.) which still carried over the vibe of 70's grindhouse cinema. Since it came in '84 (late in the cycle) "Silent Night..." stood out enough to grab the attention of well-meaning parents and film critics (whose pans of badly-made horror movies didn't stop many of them from becoming big hits) that made it a convenient whipping boy for their frustrations. By the mid-80's the horror genre got a slick makeover into high concept films like "Hellraiser," the resurrected-as-a-zombie Jason movies and the perpetually-upping-the-fantasy Freddy Krueger sequels. Movies like "Silent Night..." were reduced to chop-chop fodder for inferior direct-to-video sequels.

    I'm old enough now to see how creaky the leg on which the "Silent Night..." reputation rests actually is. As I was watching this overnight though I became an 80's kid again, the type that would hold VHS horror boxes in his hands at the rental store and be afraid to watch that movie based on the artwork and plot synopsis. With the complete version footage re-instated (and unnecessary given the 'R' footage always showed the aftermath of Billy's killings) this is the type of flick that would have given me nightmares and become a touchstone of my youth. As a now 40 year old I could object to the linear-to-a-fault storyline (no surprises) and cheaply-made gore effects. Instead I choose to embrace the 80's kid within me and proclaim "Silent Night..." a still-effective, somewhat disturbing (those mullets!) and fun-on-multiple levels horror flick from a bygone era.

    During its opening minutes I was questioning why Patrick had chosen such a nasty little movie to record a commentary track over. By the time we got to the bullies that steal other dudes' sleds so they can go down a 'virgin' hill on Christmas eve (read that line again) it had all become clear, and the shooting of the deaf Santa sealed it. Can't wait to listen to the commentary track now. :D

    My seven-word review of "Silent Night, Deadly Night": Billy has an ax to grind. Cheers!

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  8. Listented to this commentary finally, and boy does it sound like Patrick was on Jury Duty while recording it. Surprised Erika wasn't brought along to confront her demons (this and "Sleepaway Camp") and to provide additional incentive for Patrick to do the commentary. Lucky that JB was on fire (sorry Mike, but glad you were there) as usual making a dreary-but-lean-and-effective horror slasher fun to listen to. The toy store scenes are the most fun part of the commentary and everyone's excitement for the toys on display in the shelves is palpable. Now I only need to get through "Reindeer Games" and will be out of 'F This Movie' commentary tracks to listen to. Nooo! :'(

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    1. The "Sleepaway Camp" commentary is the gold standard by which I'm now judging all other podcasts (and even 'funny' commentary tracks on regular movies). It's what got me hooked on 'F This Movie,' and you only do two a year (October and Christmas); once I get through "Reindeer Games" there won't be more commentaries to look forward to for another seven months... sad panda!

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  9. There's a hundred and one things I could say about this movie and that commentary...but I'll sum it up with this.

    I'll get you for this, Patrick Bromley. :-p

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    1. We are changing lives, one movie at a time.

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    2. Think I should clarify...

      Enjoyed the commentary. It's another one I can listen to without the movie playing and enjoy it.

      But that movie! Avoided it all these years and only watched it because of this commentary. As I was suffering through the thing I kept wondering "Why can they find to goof on in this???? What do they see in this?" And then I listen to the commentary and I find out that you guys hate it too (and rightly so).

      However, you have helped a bit in a theory I've been investigating: that all of the shittiest movies (Manos: The Hands of Fate, Troll 2, Star Trek V) feature the characters at some point singing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat". Have to change that to "most" now.

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  10. This holiday season, horror fans should be sure to unwrap Steven C. Miller's Silent Night for an unexpected holiday treat, even if it's not all mistletoe and sweet candy canes.

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  11. Better title for this movie: Santa Mauls.

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