‘VIOLENT NIGHT’: A Killer Santa You Can Really Root For!
As far as modern holiday horror goes there’s a clear over abundance of yuletide garbage out there being mass produced as of the last 10 years. I don’t know what triggered it but it seems every year the floodgates open with a slew of sub par cinematic Christmas sludge. Well this year we’ve got a killer Santa Claus movie, but this time with a Kris Kringle that you can really get behind with some holiday cheer!
From director Tommy Wirkola, who helmed the highly entertaining “Dead Snow” franchise and also the equally enjoyable ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters’. ‘Violent Night’ is easily just as fun as his previous films, part Die Hard, part Home Alone with a little bit of Santa’s Slay thrown into the mix for good measure. We get the real deal Santa Claus who’s feeling a bit down on his luck getting thrown into a truly “violent night”. He’s forced to use his unique supernatural yuletide abilities to defend a wealthy family trapped in their mansion from a gang of vicious criminals led by John Leguizamo!
Santa though has gotta sober up quickly, as he spent most of the evening drinking at a dive bar rather than delivering presents to kids on his “nice” list this Christmas eve. However all the action doesn’t necessarily fall just on Santa’s shoulders, we also have a little girl named Trudy played by Leah Brady who’s hell bent on helping Santa and her family annihilate the greedy criminals as well from inside the mansion.
That’s where the “Home Alone” aspect of this film really takes shape and boy does it deliver some bloody boobie traps! Brady is totally charming in the role and really helps make this little adventure memorable. Like much the director’s previous work this one is equal part comedy as well as action while managing to not let anything slip into a total farce. Yes, there’s plenty of legitimate thrills to be had here and really fun colorful characters that really help drive this film. John Leguizamo shines as the big baddie and it’s been soooo long since I’ve seen him, his presence was truly a welcome addition to the mayhem. David Harbour though steals the show as Santa Claus, I’ve always felt he has a special onscreen charisma and it really continues to shine here in the role. There’s also some pretty neat little twists and turns in the plot, some concerning Santa himself that makes for a uniquely intriguing back story to jolly ol’ elf.
What was most surprising was the inclusion of Beverly D’Angelo (of Christmas Vacation fame), who for the 1st quarter of the movie I was left scratching my head trying to figure out where I’d recognized her from? It’s been so long since I’ve seen her in anything and she does look quite different these days. It’s quite nice to see some of these actors in a major motion picture this holiday season!
The action sequences are also really well choreographed and filled with some pretty over the top gore, Violent Night definitely doesn’t skimp on the red stuff! There’s a lot to love here and the movie also showcases a fair amount of heartfelt family holiday drama, it’s not simply just another hack and slash.
I highly recommend seeing this on the big screen and I definithey will be returning to it next year if not maybe one more time in the theater this year! Violent Night is THE wild holiday flick of 2022, Don’t snooze on this one!
Marvel Comics Holiday: In Between the Pages of the 80s!
I have so many great memories of being a kid back in the eighties. Many of those memories involve my comic books that I took with me everywhere. I’m not going to lie, I was a Marvel Comics kid & easily my favorite superhero was The Incredible Hulk.
The other night I was paging through one of my old beat up comic books and ran across a cool holiday advertisement in between the pages. This brought back a whole bunch of memories of some of these Christmas themed advertisements from yesteryear that I used to see all the time in my favorite comic books.
Here’s a few of them that will bring a little bit of Christmas cheer likely if you’re around my age, oh the sweet memories of being advertised to….
Holiday Comic Cover of the Week: The THING vs Evil Xmas Toys!
We keep getting closer and closer to Christmas this year So of course we have to check out some groovy holiday comic book covers of years gone by! Today we take a look at ‘Marvel Two In One’ number 74 from 1981. It’s a special Christmas issue that of course features The Thing battling the Puppet Master’s evil toys during the during the holidays! This is a sweet cover as well drawn by Frank Springer and it really harkens back to the Golden Age of comics when they were just a damn good time to read!
A Corey Feldman Christmas: Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys!
Are you in the market to find something different to watch THIS Christmas season? Well if you’re like me you’re likely a bit cautious on all of these new holiday horror movies they churn out every year. None of them seem to be all that entertaining! Well don’t fret because I’m here to do the dirty work for you and hunt down the weirdest recommendations this holiday season anywhere on the Internet.
Today’s pick is an unlikely 2004 Christmas horror flick featuring Corey Feldman & a bunch of nasty pissed off puppets! ‘Puppet Master vs. Demonic Toys’ the Full Moon features horror crossover is in my opinion is a pretty damn good moronic time!
Corey Feldman stars as the descendant of the legendary toymaker who brought the deadly “Toulon” puppets alive from the iconic ‘Puppet Master’ franchise. He and his daughter together perfect the legendary serum using their blood to bring them back to the world of the living on Christmas eve. However, unbeknownst to him, Vanessa Angel who stars as the sexy but villainous corporate bombshell is also hell bent on getting her grimy hands on the serum for her own evil intentions. To make matters worse she’s also in control of the ‘Demonic Toys’ and has a wicked deal with a demon to unleash evil living toys to the population on Christmas Day.
Yeah, so there you have it, not necessarily the most intelligent plot to a movie but I think it makes for a pretty good albeit stupid little holiday movie that’s largely flown under the radar over the years. Corey Feldman is ridiculous, as he plays the toy makin’ father of a teenage girl and sports the most ridiculously stupid spray on grey hair I’ve ever seen in a damn movie. He also teams up with a sexy cop who helps the two of them along with the “Puppet Master” puppets to infiltrate the corporate headquarters were the Demonic Toys roam. In this one the Puppet Master dolls are clearly the good guys with Feldman as their “fearless” leader.
This one also holds some street cred in the genre because it’s not just merely set at Christmas time but features the holiday front and center throughout the entire movie. It’s just a bunch of idiotic holiday fun but to be honest calling this movie ‘Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys’ you might expect some insane bloody doll battles throughout the movie to occur, sadly that never really happens until the film’s final 5 minutes where we get a bit of a lackluster “show down”. So don’t go into this expecting a big bloody puppet battle.
That all being said I find it to be oddly charming and a worthy addition to the holiday horror cinematic experience, especially for people who like stupid shit. The inclusion of Corey Feldman into this production makes the whole experience a lot more fun and Vanessa Angel as well is a treat to see in this type of low grade trash.
The special effects aren’t anything to write home about either and frankly were done better in the earlier movies but still this installment has a degree of Xmas charisma that’s perfect for the holiday season.
I definitely recommend tracking this one down and giving it a shot if you’re looking for something new and are a fan of cheezy bad holiday horror!
Ditch ‘Die Hard’ This Xmas & Check out Hong Kong’s 80s Ass Kicker THE ICEMAN COMETH Instead!
Christmas is creeping up quickly and it’s time to get list of cool shit ready to view for the holidays! So I’m here to throw a few largely unseen gems at you to mix things up this year that have the Xmas vibes oozing from them. Let’s waste no time, because ‘The Iceman Cometh’ from 1989 is not only one of the coolest kick ass Hong Kong action flicks, it also takes place during Christmas! Ho ho ho!
Yeah, If you’re looking for an Holiday action flick this year and are burnt out on ‘Die Hard’, then look no further than the ‘Iceman Cometh’. Leading dude Yuen Biao has just as much charisma and 10 times the damn moves of Bruce Willis anyday. Add the beautifully charming Maggie Cheung and the devilishly evil villain Yuen Wah and you’ve got yourself a bonafide blast of action, Christmas spirit, romance and supernatural shenanigans.
Long story short, we’ve got two highly skilled, super powered swordsmen hell bent on destroying each other, facing off in ancient China. In the midst of battle they become frozen in ice when falling off the edge of a snowy mountain- only to thaw out in 1980s Hong-Kong 300 years later! There they try and fit in while preparing for one final confrontation that could take them back to their own time.
I find this one particularly intriguing since most of the Hong-Kong movies I’ve seen never take place during the holidays and feature Christmas as a prominent set piece. The Iceman Cometh however has this going forward and then some! Yuen Biao has quickly become one of my all time favorite action stars and here all of his ass-kickin’, back flipping martial arts are on full jaw dropping display. Bone breaking stunts and a bad guy who’s so damn evil you’ll be cheering for someone to beat his ass to smithereens! Yuen Wah really shines as the ultimate villainous murderer.
Things only get worse too once he discovers how much evil he can Is accomplished in the 1980s with a wide array of firepower! Easily one of my favorite Hong-Kong productions it simply should not be missed. It’s got a ton of heart, a great story, incredibly likable colorful characters, wild action sequences, sharp comedy and even some sweet romance. It most definitely needs a wider US audience and an official blu ray release here in the states.
The fight sequences are truly stunning and even better there’s plenty of that hand drawn eighties lightning / electricity FX here that I love so much to go around to fully please any fan of the era. Count me so IN! It’s also a spectacle to see how amazing the city of Hong Kong looks in the 1980s, with neon a plenty & loads of cool fashion sported by Maggie Cheung and both of the Yuens. Everyone looks so cool and you can tell a lot of care went into making this one an unforgettable cinematic spectacle.
Make sure to watch for the rooftop scene with the 747 flying past, incredible detail in so many scenes. This is the classic fish out of water scenario done right and it still amazes me that Yuen Biao did not become just as big as Jackie Chan or Chow Yun Fat In the United States. So if you’re looking for something different this year to watch this Christmas don’t sleep on The Iceman Cometh! It’s got all the right moves for the holiday and then some! I recently bought a copy of this on blue ray but it can only be shipped from Hong Kong. Do a little poking around and I’m sure you must be able to stream it somewhere…
U-Dork Returns to the MOVIE MELT Podcast to talk 1987’s BLOODY NEW YEAR!
So I’d say one of the weirdest damn holiday horror flicks of all time has just got to be 1987’s ‘BLOODY NEW YEAR’! Have you seen it?
Well whether you have or not take a moment to check out the Movie Melt podcast as we talk about some sweet under appreciated odd ball movies and get straight into the new year with this classic slice of weird-o 80’s British horror film.
It’s easily one of the most surreal and ambitious micro budget movies I’ve seen a long time and it’s perfect for the holiday seasons, if you’ve seen it you likely know how bizarre this wild little flick truly is! Check out MOVIE MELT and this episode for Bloody New Year!
ELVIRA Mistress of the Dark’s “Rankin Bass” Style Scary X-MAS Short!!
Elvira, ‘Mistress of the Dark’ made a BIG return this last Halloween to try and save the holiday from the pandemic. BUT let’s not forget about a decade ago Elvira returned to Christmas for a little spooky holiday cheer!
We all love the classic Rankin Bass animated movies like Rudolph, Nestor the Long Eared Donkey & The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus, well let’s revisit the Elvira holiday short ‘Elvira’s Movie Macabre: Scary X-MAS’ Done in that same classic style from her official Youtube page. Here she heads out in search of a Christmas trees and along the way encounters some horrific holiday creatures: Merry Christmas Eve! See you tomorrow!!
U-Dork on the MOVIE MELT Podcast: Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker!
So I was just on one of my favorite podcasts out there on the interwebs: MOVIE MELT! If you’ve never checked it out and dig stuff like Red Letter Media or lots of the cinematic oddities I cover right here then you’re bound to really get some kicks outta this podcast. They really go the extra distance there covering weird flicks often even the likes of RLM’s “Best of the Worst” wouldn’t dare touch & their unique format blends in some brilliant comedy as well.
Anyway I was lucky to be able to chat in length about one of my favorite Holiday Horror flicks: Silent Night Deadly Night Part 5-The Toymaker!! We also cover more weird Christmas stuff that might tickle your fancy for holiday viewing this year, check out MOVIE MELT HERE!!!
Comic Cover of the Week: Elvira’s Creepy Christmas Adventures!!!
Who knew everyone’s favorite Mistress of the Dark, Elvira was also down with the Christmas holiday cheer?! Yeah! Well back in 1987 DC comics indeed released her special holiday adventures, ‘Elvira’s Haunted Holidays’ part of her “House of Mystery” series. This however is not only a collection of spooky X-mas tales but they also feature the iconic bombshell as the main character of the creepy adventures! This classic cover, drawn by José Luis García-López kicks off the month here with some true Christmas spirit of this largely forgotten one shot comic book!
X-MAS Mayhem: 5 Holiday Themed Horror Flicks You Probably Missed!!
Well it’s the Christmas season yet AGAIN! One of my favorite times to watch movies and every year I always try and hunt down the odd or forgotten Holiday themed horror movies to throw into the mix. Who doesn’t love a good holiday horror movie on rotation during this time of year right?! Well this season I’ve got 5 horror films I’m givin’ my stamp of Universal Dork approval for holiday viewing. That doesn’t mean that the theme of the movie is related to Christmas or the Holidays directly, but more so the events at the very least occur during this festive time of the year!
So here they are for 2019, track these down and pair ’em with some candy canes and spiked egg nog to get the damn party a started!!
The Oracle (1985)
Here’s a great 80’s supernatural horror flick from Roberta Findlay that takes place during the holiday season. It showcases a cold, snowy and mega sleezy NYC during Christmas time. There’s Christmas lights everywhere, holiday parties going on and christmas trees. It’s a pretty sweet little low budget horror movie that’s also pretty fun stylistically (it looks like it’s 1975 instead of ’85) and fully ambitious fx wise. Ouija boards during christmas is NEVER a good idea! It’s a movie it seems most holiday horror fanatics have missed out on over the years, so if you dig grimy supernatural holiday cheer, track this one down!
Dangerous Game (1988)
This awesome Aussie movie is brought to you by the director of Judgement Night, Predator 2 & Nightmare on Elm St Part 5. It takes place around Christmas time and features a gang of teenagers who decide to spend the night inside of a mall after one of them pisses off a mentally unstable psycho cop! The mall is decked out in X-mas decorations and makes for the perfect place for a tense game of cat and mouse! This one’s a ton of fun, filled with awesome action, great characters and even a healthy heroic dose of Christmas scenery, a crowd pleaser for sure!
The Day of The Beast (1995)
A Christmas Tale aka Cuento de Navidad (2005)
This is a great little Spanish Christmas horror flick from the director of ‘REC’. If you’re watching it for the first time in 2019 it might seem like it’s trying to capitalize off ‘Stranger Things’. However this one came out well before the craze of the Netflix series. It takes place during the 80’s, features a cast of kids who cruise around on their bikes who discover a woman in a Santa Suit stuck in a hole in the ground. They soon figure out she’s wanted by the police and refuse to help her out, things get interesting when voodoo magic is added to the mix and the kids find their holiday turned into a walking nightmare!! Track this one down, it’s so much fun!
Tales from the Third Dimension (1984)
So this is a rare horror anthology from 1984 that’s trying to do a Twilight Zone / ‘Tales from the Crypt’ mash up type of thing as evident by the awesome second rate “Cryptkeeper” character we meet at the start of the movie! Now I’m not going to recommend that you watch the entire movie as the first two segments really aren’t much to write home about, but the third and final 40 minute segment is definitely worth checking out. A full on Christmas themed horror story featuring two kids who stay at grandma’s house that kind of reminds me of M. Night Shyamalan’s ‘The Visit’. But wait there’s more, as Santa himself shows up in the flesh to push the story to wild holiday extremes!! A uniquely bizarre, largely lost and forgotten Holiday horror movie….here’s the whole thing on youtube if you can’t find a physical copy!