Monday, 21 December 2009


On a childhood visit to see his grandpa in hospital, Billy learns the horrible truth behind Santa Claus – he doesn’t just reward good children, he punishes the bad ones. On the drive home, a man in a Santa outfit stops the car and kills both his parents. The experience understandably traumatises him, and his attempts to find an outlet for these violent memories do not go unnoticed at his orphanage. Years later, Billy begins work at a toy shop, where he is given the duty of playing Santa, a role he unsurprisingly struggles with. As he encounters scenes which remind him of that fateful night, he begins to take the ‘naughty or nice’ tenet seriously, killing off the people he believes deserve to be punished.

Naturally, the film doesn’t exactly brim over with realism. Billy manages to make it through adolescence without anyone clearly addressing his need to visit a psychiatrist, even as he is forced to revisit his parents’ murder so many times. There is little to be taken seriously either, particularly as we witness Santa Claus attempting to rape a woman within the first ten minutes. But as cheap and laughable as the film appears, it definitely earns its “cult film” reputation. Perhaps it stems from a hidden desire to see how an evil Santa would behave, a wish thoroughly fulfilled by this flamboyant slasher flick. And it has to be said, there is something terribly sinister about a headless child sliding down a hill on a sled.

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