Psycho Santa / Satan Claus Double Feature Review
Written and Directed by Peter Keir
2003, 72 minutes, Not Rated
Krystal Stevenson as Alice
Jeff Samford as Ron
Eric Spudic as Josh
Jason Barnes as Santa
Directed by Massimiliano Cerchi-Hellinger
Written by Simonetta Mostards
1996, 61 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on December 30th, 2003
Robert Hector as Steve
Jodie Rafty as Sandra
Barie Snider as Ardison
Psycho Santa introduces Ron and Jess, a young couple driving to a holiday party that Ron (Jeff Stanford) does not wish to attend. He passes the time sharing tales of the titular villain who went on a killing spree in the same area they are currently driving through. The stories are presented in anthology format, running about twenty minutes each.
First up is a tale of two possible lesbians who await the arrival of a mutual friend at an isolated cabin on Christmas Eve. One agrees to collect firewood while the other manages to take a very un-sexy shower. There is a mild round of shenanigans interrupted by the revelation that the presents under the Christmas tree are actually parts of their missing friend wrapped in festive boxes.
The second yarn delivers two of the slowest burglars ever to have broken into someone’s house. The owner is a blind woman preparing to take a bath and the crooks strangle her so that she cannot identify them. A series of strange noises comes from behind a padlocked door that when opened, releases a maniac named Chris who kills the burglars and leads us to the final story.
Having escaped the house of the blind woman, Chris begins his murderous rampage, starting with a man in a Santa suit. From here the action shifts to a brother and sister looking for a Christmas tree. They end up lost in the woods where they run into Chris. This psychotic Santa is granted the standard powers of low-budget slashers, namely the ability to sneak up behind people on crunchy leaves without making a sound and also to appear ahead of his victims no matter how fast they may run.
Sub Rosa Entertainment’s DVD is not content to assault the viewer with just one killer Santa movie, as there is a second lump of coal found here, an even crappier film.
Satan Claus is the moniker the media has given a serial killer preying on New Yorkers during the holiday season. The story begins with “Satan Claus” making up lyrics to Jingle Bells while driving around the city in a van at night. He decapitates a woman and stuffs her head into his bag before resuming his jaunty tune.
Steve (Robert Hector) is an aspiring actor who lives with his voodoo priestess mother (Lauretta Ali). He is volunteering as a Santa to raise money for the local orphans. While he is working the table, the beautiful Sandra (Jodie Rafty) stops by with her boyfriend Jeff, and donates to the cause before disappearing into the park. Sandra is soon calling for help as “Satan Claus” has murdered Jeff and taken his foot. Steve comforts her and takes her to the police station.
The cops are woefully under-staffed, as the entire shift consists of three people in a dark room. Captain Ardison (Barie Snider) is receiving taunting phone calls after each murder. The caller informs him that the first victim was the Captain’s wife and her head now decorates the top of Claus’ tree. Ardison does not seem too upset by the news, but is eager to get this maniac off the streets.
The other main cop on duty is Lisa, who is likely a detective but never really identified. She somehow knows Steve and his mother and seeks their assistance. There is an element of the occult involved and the plot spirals into a series of murder montages and occult investigations before coming to a far-fetched resolution that is highly improbable, but allows for a speedy wrap up to the tedium.
Neither of these films will encourage repeat viewing, but of the two, Psycho Santa is the more competent. While the acting is poor and the technical limitations staggering, the anthology presentation encourages brevity within each tale. The overall pacing of the film suffers from what could easily have been rectified with the inclusion of another story, but the filmmakers instead chose to stretch the running time with extended un-sexy showers and bumbling burglars.
Satan Claus is an exercise in frustration which results in a product made without proper lights or sound equipment and a total running time that does not qualify as feature-length. The idea was interesting, but the execution completely amateur.
While the kids that are good all year round are treated to quality horror films featuring genuine scares and glorious moments of sex and violence, this double feature is the sort of gift that naughty children receive for Christmas.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded.
Day six of ZigZag's "12 Days of Christmas".
Day 2: To All a Good Night
Day 3: Silent Night, Deadly Night 2
Day 4: Jaws: The Revenge
Day 5: Christmas Evil
Day 6: Psycho Santa / Satan Clause Double Feature
Day 7: Santa Claws
Day 9: Elves
Day 10: Dead End
Day 11: Santa's Slay
Day 12: Black Christmas (1974)
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