Hoff’s Horrorfest Presents: SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT!
Hoff’s Horrorfest is a monthly show at Brit Pack (2nd floor, 34 Pell St., Manhattan) featuring stand-up comedy followed by a horror movie screening. This month’s installment will be at 10pm, Monday, December 28th. $5 suggested donation, BYOB. There will be snacks!
This month’s movie: Silent Night, Bloody Night (1972)
First of all, this is NOT the killer Santa movie. You’re thinking of Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984). This also isn’t Silent Night, Evil Night, the alternate title of Black Christmas (1974), which I showed last year.
No, this is the 1972 proto-slasher and longtime late night TV staple Silent Night, BLOODY Night, a whole other toy soldier in the ranks of Christmas-themed slasher movies, most of which I don’t find all that appealing. Too often they don’t seem to try to be scary so much as nasty, reveling in their supposed subversiveness by filling their holiday milieus with lecherous Santas, spoiled brats and brutal gore. And that’s a shame, because the chilly gloom of winter actually provides an ideally eerie atmosphere for fright. Just ask the English, for whom ghost stories are a classic Yuletide tradition, including but far from limited to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Most Christmas horror movies don’t take advantage of the holiday’s potential for genuine creepiness; this is one of the precious few (including this year’s Krampus, I’d say) that do.
Which is not to say that Silent Night, Bloody Night isn’t nasty. No one’s mistaking this story of a series of Christmas Eve murders in a small town with a dark past as heartwarming family fare, but its macabre subject matter is couched in the well-sketched context of a desolate, snowy New England winter. It won’t fill you with good cheer, but it will make you want to curl up by a fire with some hot chocolate. It’s also notable because of the people who worked on it, including Troma’s Lloyd Kaufman and various Andy Warhol associates, as well as its potential influence on later holiday slashers like Black Christmas and Halloween.
So come on by on the 28th for a cozy evening of Christmas fear, along with a few jokes because hey, that’s my thing. I’ll bring some egg nog! See you there!