I know this post about horror and scifi Christmas movies is either super late or super early, depending on how you view time, but it was a fun piece to write and now that the Darkleian is kaput, I wanted to share. Enjoy!
It’s Christmas week for many of our Darkleian readers, which means it’s time to turn up (or tune out, in some cases) the holiday music, decorate the tree, and relax on the couch with some spirited entertainment. When thinking of Christmas movies, one usually imagines children (or elves) getting into shenanigans, while learning Yuletide lessons of caring… and not shooting your eye out. However, we here at The Darkleian prefer our holiday movies like we like our eggnog, with a little kick. In other words, we like our films featuring an angry Santa out for revenge, dark magic Douglas Firs that talk, or a Martian invasion of the North Pole.
Many Christmas horror and sci-fi films, such as the ones on this great listal.com compilation, probably aren’t available for renting at your local video store (if you still have one!) and many aren’t streaming (legally) on the Internet, so we’ve compiled a list of some tinsel-time thrillers you can watch right now to get your yuletide yells-of-terror on.
1. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) is one of the classic genre holiday films. Basically, Martians are angry that their kids like Christmas, so like all parents who hate what their kids do, they attempt to destroy it. However, as this film proves, there’s no stopping Santa and Christmas cheer. It’s like a fast-moving virus and it will get you, even on Mars.
2. MVD Entertainment Group is showing off their holiday spirit by posting films on their YouTube page from their multi-feature releases, Silent Night, Gory Night: Christmas Season Massacre, Satan Claus, and Psycho Santas (2008) and Evil Christmas: Psycho Santa/Satan Claus (2009). The Silent Night, Gory Night offering, Christmas Season Massacre, follows a formerly tormented kid who has dedicated his life to murdering his childhood bullies. And dresses like a pirate. The film features a (very) low production value, a somewhat meandering plot, and, of course, lots of fake blood.
Yay fake blood!!!
It unfortunately also features a rapey sex scene. (Side note: Why do so many genre filmmakers have to ruin perfectly enjoyable slasher films for feminist peeps like me by including rapey scenes?! I’m not talking about the ubiquitous shower or sex scenes, but ones that include sexual violence against women (and sometimes men) for the sake of… I dunno what?) Anyhow, in addition to pricking my personal pet peeve, Christmas Season Massacre is actually only tangentially Christmas-y. This is somewhat disappointing since we can’t see the other two films on the disc that might be better yuletide offerings for the horror-minded. On the other hand, the Evil Christmas DVD feature, Psycho Santa, is loads better in terms of plot, acting, production value and gets bonus points for featuring a MURDEROUS SANTA! Nothing says Christmas like a blood-lusting Santa, ammirite? While I wish MVD would have posted all of the features, but I guess two free slashers in my stocking is better than none.
3. Last, but definitely not least, the Rifftrax gang (from the minds behind Mystery Science Theater 3000) are currently “riffing” the holiday horror film, Magic Christmas Tree (1964). Head over to Hulu to watch as a young boy and his magic, sarcastic tree enjoy the holidays, all while chortling along to the always snarktastic observations of Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett. Bonus present: if you enjoyed the Rifftrax feature, you’ll probably also enjoy Nelson & et al’s earlier Mystery Science Theater 3000 viewing of the Mexican-produced film, “Santa Claus,” in which Santa saves us from Satan. With badly-dubbed English!
So go ahead, fellow genre lovers: light up your festive tree, open your presents, and enjoy a little holiday horror! ‘Tis the season… for not making Santa stabby!
For our non-Christmas celebrating friends out there, we don’t want you to feel left out, though sadly, there isn’t much to share. A horror film about Hanukkah is apparently in the works, though no release date as of yet. To learn more about Hanukkah: The Movie, visit the official Facebook page. Also, the website Josh Is Lost has some great posts about the fictional films, Dreidel of Dread and The Kwanzaa Killer. If only someone would really make these!