3 / 5 stars
This year’s Quirky Queue Christmas movie has been getting some buzz on cult blogs. And as your intrepid reviewer, I felt it my duty to give it a watch and let you know if it’s worth your time, either now or during the 2013 holiday season. Released straight to DVD back in 2005, Santa’s Slay has late-night cable movie written all over it. It contains all the staples of the genre: beat-downs, gun fights, explosions, odd humor, and a healthy dose of topless nudity. Still, Santa’s Slay is one of the more amusing of its kind and features a cast guaranteed to stun. (Click on the movie poster for a bigger version. If you dare.)
Bill Goldberg stars as Santa. Yep, a Jewish wrestler plays the number two symbol of Christmas next to Jesus. But in this movie, Santa is the one son of the devil. Born on Christmas, he has spent his life celebrating his birthday by offing everyone, whether they are naughty or nice. Long ago, he lost a game of curling (yes, curling) to an angel and has been forced to be a good Santa for 1000 years. Well, that punishment is now up, and Santa is back to his old murderous ways.
This year, Santa has set his sights on the small town of Hell (yes, it’s that type of movie). Teenager Nicolas (Douglas Smith) and his grandfather (Robert Culp) are the only ones aware of the true nature of the rosy-cheeked, white-bearded man and do their best to stop him. What follows is a story filled with enough tongue-in-cheek humor and hilariously cartoonish violence, both that make the film worth a look.
The cast includes Dave Thomas (Strange Brew, SCTV) as a corrupt pastor who takes collection plate money and spends it at a local strip club, and an uncredited James Caan and Fran Drescher as the parents of a dysfunctional family who are all put to death by Santa in the first five minutes of the film. As some added bows on the Christmas wrapping, Santa’s Slay contains a Rankin/Bass style stop-motion animation sequence flashback telling the true tale of the origin of Santa. And keeping with the modern all-inclusiveness of the holiday season, the film also contains one of
the more unique scenes from any Christmas cult film as a local Jewish deli owner (Saul Rubinek, Unforgiven) meets his doom by being impaled with a Channukah menorah. Never saw that before.
Throw in the fact that Santa’s sleigh is pulled by a ginormous ox with a red glowing nose and you’ve got a movie which definitely has some ideas never before put on film.
Even with its silliness, Santa’s Slay is uproariously enjoyable cult movie fun for those parents who are interested in watching something more adult and unique than the standard annual holiday television reruns. Watch it some time this year, and you may find it to be the perfect movie to watch next Christmas Eve, after the kids are put to bed and you’re busy wrapping the last of the gifts.