B-Movie Corner: Christmas Evil
First Posted: 12/23/2014
Originally released in 1980 under the title “You Better Watch Out,” “Christmas Evil” has become a huge cult classic among horror fans in recent years.
The film follows Harry Stadling who, on Christmas Eve in 1947, catches his mother fooling around with his father, who is dressed up as Santa. Heartbroken, he rushes up to the attic and cuts his hand with a shard of glass from a shattered snow globe.
Fast-forward to 1980, an adult Harry now works at the Jolly Dreams Toy Factory in a position he did not want and is often ridiculed by his coworkers for his love of toys. At home, he has taken it upon himself to become the next true Santa; he sleeps in costume, and his apartment is covered with Christmas toys and decorations.
From the roof of his building, he uses binoculars to spy on neighborhood children to see if they have been ‘bad or good’ and after spying Harry runs back home and writes names in his “Bad Boys & Girls” book.
Harry soon starts to become aware of how he is viewed at work which causes him to have a nervous breakdown, which causes him to believe that he is now the real Santa Claus. Alone after-hours, Harry gets a brilliant idea. He steals company toys, wraps them and loads them into his van which he has painted as Santa’s sleigh and later drops them off at the hospital. He then leaves a bagful of dirt for all the bad children.
Next as Harry makes his way through the streets he murders three parishioners who happen to taunt him at the bottom steps of a nearby church. Now Harry realizes how to truly punish the “bad.”
Harry sets off to dispatch of all the “bad” people while still trying to deliver some Christmas joy to the good boys and girls in the area.
This is far from a violent film and is actually a fairly innocent film despite the seemingly taboo subject matter. Following the true Christmas love, Harry’s mental breakdown to becoming Santa Claus is done more in a manner of hero worship then as trying to follow standard slasher protocol.
There is very little gore in the film and the ending is one that will certainly leave an impression upon you during the holiday season.
Christmas Evil is a film that most certainly deserves as least one viewing for those who love holiday themed horror. It may not bare repeat viewing every year for some, but it will make your holiday just a bit more enjoyable!