7. Santa's Slay

It's your Horror Review Advent Calendar.
25 Christmas themed movies.
Ho, ho, ho.

Director: David Steiman (2005)
Starring: Bill Goldberg, Douglas Smith, Emilie De Ravin
Find it online: IMDB

Nothing says Christmas like Santa Claus setting heads on fire and blowing children to itty-bitty-pieces. In this case, Jolly Saint Nick is a wrestler (Bill Goldberg) and he starts off this movie by brutally murdering James Caan. He then proceeds to be very angry all the time and chase around the blonde Australian girl from off’ve Lost and The Hills Have Eyes. It's wilfully daft, but I'll take that shit over Tim Allen anyday. In fact, the Coca-Cola adverts could use a little more dismemberment too.

The rest of the movie isn’t so great, but it’s worth it for the delightfully ridiculous opening sequence alone (recapped so much better on the excellent I-Mockery) in which he sets fire to a girl’s head and murders James Caan with a turkey drumstick.

According to a cute little animated montage, our Santa Claus is actually a murderous demon who lost a bet to an angel, and was forced to spend the next millennium delivering toys to children instead of killing them. The story picks up just after the end of that millennium. As you might have gathered, Santa is back to his old killing ways.

Enter our protagonists, the horribly named Nicolas Yuleson and a girl called Mac (Emilie De Ravin – only slightly less annoying than usual). Because of some silly Deus Ex Machina or something, Santa wants to kill them dead. But obviously, none of this is important. The main bulk of the movie simply has Santa wandering around the kids’ small village town murdering everyone in sight, in increasingly stupid and hilarious ways. Later scenes see Santa flying round on his sled, driven by “hell deer” and targeting innocent vicars. No-one is safe from Santa’s wrath, not even strippers or Jewish shopkeepers.

Surprisingly enough, Santa proves himself quite well as a bona fide horror icon. He’s big and angry looking, and one suspects that he could possibly go toe-to-toe with Jason Voorhees and not entirely embarrass himself. Wrestler Bill Goldberg plays Santa, and does a really good job of it throughout. Wrestlers are always at their best when playing villains (Dwayne Johnson excluded – he’s the least menacing tough guy this side of Twilight) and Goldberg certainly makes the most of the character he’s been dealt; even if Futurama did get there first. Mythical holiday characters make great slasher icons. I’d love to see the Easter Bunny or Jesus get the same treatment.

Santa’s Slay is no classic – the teenage leads are too bland and occasionally irritating – and the whole thing is a little self-consciously silly (although how could a movie about a psycho Santa not be). Occasionally the tone and action feels too much as if it's trying to be Gremlins 2.0. The movies have a lot in common. There’s a lot of carnage onscreen, but no real gore nor anything particularly offensive.

Some viewers might balk at the light-hearted tone and negligible story, but Santa’s Slay is well worth a watch; particularly as an antidote to the usual toxic trash that the TV seems to throw us this time of year. Fuck you, Tim Allen. I’d rather see my Santa murdering strippers with their own pole.


  1. The movie might be a but mediocre, but Hands down to the absolutely incredible, absolutely hilarious opening scene - gee, what a 'slay'! :-D

  2. Agreed, one of the best opening sequences to a seasonal slasher evarrrrr.