What if The Terminator was recreated as a black-light portray, and as an alternative of a killer robotic from the long run, the scrappy heroine needed to battle a killer robot Santa Claus? No must surprise: that’s principally Christmas Bloody Christmas, a holiday slasher propelled by fashion, many F-bombs, and nifty sensible results.
The newest from writer-director Joe Begos (VFW, Bliss, Almost Human), Christmas Bloody Christmas takes place on Christmas Eve in a small city—a sleepy place with a quaint most important avenue that resembles a neon-lit snowglobe due to some deeply dedicated manufacturing design. Local companies embrace a dive bar, a report retailer owned by whiskey-drinking hellraiser Tori Tooms (Riley Dandy), and a toy retailer known as T.W. Bonkers that simply so occurs to have a “RoboSanta Plus” on show. We solely study scraps of details about the animatronic surprise due to TV footage and offhand conversations, however all you really want to know is: it was made by the Department of Defense and was repurposed from soldier responsibility to exchange unpredictably human mall Santas, and it’s been scheduled for imminent removing from T.W. Bonkers—one thing a few recall on account of sure models reverting to their army settings. This is nothing that Tori and the opposite characters pay any consideration to in any respect, till the Santa of their midst spontaneously shifts into homicide mode.
As horror followers properly know, scary Santas are a well-recognized trope that extends even beyond movies and TV; the “robot turned killbot” routine can be a well-worn one. But as robotic Santas go, Christmas Bloody Christmas’ not-so-jolly St. Nick is unsettling, even when he’s neither as intelligent nor as scary because the style’s prime terror (that honor goes to, after all, Futurama’s Robot Santa Claus). Veteran actor Abraham Benrubi fits up as Santa for many of the film, at the very least till his fleshy outer layer begins disintegrating after a number of battles, however there’s not a ton for him to do apart from prowl round within the method of, say, a shark or Jason Voorhees, and annihilate anybody who crosses his path.
Mostly, Christmas Bloody Christmas retains tempo with Tori as her Christmas Eve spirals from drunken good time to combating for her life, and she or he’s such a drive of nature that until you discover her grating, you may’t assist however have a very good time following her. She’s a foul-mouthed, Lemmy-worshiping whirlwind, filled with top-volume opinions on motion pictures and music—however offbeat ones that talk to her contrarian persona, together with her takes on horror franchises: Pet Sematary 2 is superior to the unique; Blair Witch sequel Book of Shadows is a masterpiece; Alien: Covenant was good, really. As closing ladies go, Tori is a much more distinctive creation than the festive maniac she has to face off with.
At just below 90 minutes, Christmas Bloody Christmas screams alongside, delivering mutilated physique elements, a number of car crashes and explosions, and a menacing Santa exoskeleton, all of which show you don’t want a giant finances or slick CG to make your set items have influence. Sometimes, old-school is finest, even when the darkish lighting (heavy on the neon accents, as talked about, and Christmas lights for apparent causes) means the viewers can’t see every little thing solely clearly.
But the film’s three acts do really feel a bit of inconsistently divided. There’s the build-up, which is plenty of enjoyable; the “Santa starts picking everyone off and it’s gory chaos” half; after which Tori’s determined final stand, which matches on for therefore lengthy it’s virtually comical. It’s a fierce brawl that features RoboSanta Plus revealing a particular function he’s stored tucked away for his most tenacious opponent, and the resourceful Tori is rarely not entertaining. But you may’t assist however want there’d been room for a bit extra story in that center part—particularly contemplating the film’s vivid setting, and its introduction of a small however promising ensemble of characters who meet the flawed finish of Santa’s axe far too shortly.
Christmas Bloody Christmas arrives in theaters and on Shudder at present.
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