Silent Night, Deadly Night Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: Charles E. Sellier Jr.
Screenwriter: Michael Hickey
Cast: Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Robert Brian Wilson, Linnea Quigley
Distributor: Scream Factory
Rated R | 79 / 85 Minutes
Release Date: December 5, 2018
“You see Santa Claus tonight you better run boy, you better run for ya life!”
1984’s Silent Night, Deadly Night caused quite a stir when its marketing campaign suggested that Santa Claus was a knife-wielding psychopath. TV spots, which aired between episodes of shows like Three’s Company and Little House on the Prairie, led to enraged parents complaining that their children were terrified of Santa Claus. Community leaders and parent-teacher associations organized events at theaters and malls around the country to protest the slasher flick.
In response, TriStar Pictures, the film’s distributor, pulled all advertising for the movie a week after its release on November 15, 1984. Shortly after that, the film was withdrawn from theaters altogether. 33 years later, one of the most controversial films of the ’80s is back in a brand new high-definition Blu-ray release! Scream Factory’s two-disc collector’s edition comes with a new 4K transfer restored from the original film negative and hours of newly produced bonus material.
If you’ve never seen this holiday horror classic, Silent Night, Deadly Night is the is the heartwarming story of little Billy Chapman, a young boy traumatized by witnessing his parents’ brutal murder on Christmas Eve at the hands of a psycho dressed as jolly old Saint Nick who’s then sent to an orphanage under the care of Mother Superior (Lilyan Chauvin of Predator 2 and Catch Me If You Can) and her squad of sadistic nuns. Ten years later, a now adult Billy (Robert Brian Wilson) leaves the orphanage and obtains a job as a stock boy at a local toy store.
I want to take a brief timeout from the plot to talk about this toy store. Ira’s Toys is jam-packed with classic ’80s toys, including a Star Wars: Return of the Jedi Jabba the Hut action playset, a Krull board game, Dick Smith’s Monster Make-Up Kit, and Castle Grayskull from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. This store is like a Sears Wish Book come to life!
Anyway, back to the plot. Fast-forward to Christmas Eve; the guy who usually plays the store’s Santa Claus is injured and Billy’s boss, Mr. Sims (Britt Leach), makes the Santa-averse young man take his place. After donning the iconic red suit and white beard, Billy suffers a mental break and goes on a yuletide rampage to “punish the naughty!”
Featuring legendary scream queen Linnea Quigley (The Return of the Living Dead, Night of the Demons), Silent Night, Deadly Night is a cult classic – an unsavory slasher flick that horror fans discovered on the shelves of their local mom ‘n’ pop video store. As a kid, I would see the box art for this movie and become so scared I couldn’t even bring myself to turn the box over to look at the back. The idea of Santa Claus coming down the chimney with an ax was enough to make me never be naughty again. Well, almost.
As I grew older and the magic of Christmas dimmed, I worked up the nerve to see the much-talked-about movie and found it delightfully subversive. It’s understandable that parents would be outraged by a film in which Santa is a deranged killer – it was the era of Reagan and the Moral Majority after all – but it isn’t any more offensive than any other slasher flick from the ’80s. And just like Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers, Billy’s Santa Claus punishes the naughty – those who take recreational drugs and practice premarital sex. He should be the spokesperson for the Christian right, not its enemy!
If you’ve never seen this raunchy and ridiculous flick, you’ve got to pick up Scream Factory’s definitive release. The two-disc Blu-ray offers theatrical and unrated versions of the film taken from a new 4K scan of the original negative. Without question, this is the best Sellier’s sleazy, seasonal slasher has ever looked or sounded, with solid grain levels, fine textures, vibrant colors, and a DTS-HD Master Audio Mono soundtrack. And if you’re looking to make it a marathon, Silent Night, Deadly Night makes a great double feature when paired with Scream Factory’s Black Christmas (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray.
The Silent Night, Deadly Night Collector’s Edition Blu-ray is now available at Amazon for $17.99.
Here’s more information on the newly produced and previously released special features included!
Scream Factory’s Silent Night, Deadly Night (Collector’s Edition) comes with several newly produced special features. The main attraction is “Slay Bells Ring: The Story of Silent Night, Deadly Night,” a 45-minute making-of documentary that features interviews with writer Michael Hickey, co-executive producers Scott J. Schneid and Dennis Whitehead, editor/second unit director Michael Spence, composer Perry Botkin, and Robert Brian Wilson. There’s also “Oh Deer!,” an interview with Linnea Quigley; “Christmas in July” – a look at the locations of the film, then and now, and a brand new audio commentary with Wilson and Schneid.
There are also several previously released bonus materials, like a commentary with Hickey, Boykin, Schneid, and Spence, as well as an audio interview with Sellier. There’s also “Santa’s Stocking of Outrage,” a collection of letters from angry parents about the yuletide slasher, and your typical assortment of trailers, TV and radio spots, and photo galleries.
Clip 1: Grandpa’s Warning Of The Dangers Of Santa Claus