‘Christmas Bloody Christmas’ Review – The Magic Of Christmas Is Santa’s Ho-Ho-Homicide
Christmas Bloody Christmas claims that robot technology that the US defense department spent $1 trillion on was utilized to make a state of the art animatronic Santa Claus model to replace the every day, lackluster mall Santa. The RoboSanta+ has a 90,000 word vocabulary, a full range of motion, and military grade construction. Unfortunately, the RoboSanta+ was internationally recalled due to malfunctioning reasons.
In a small urban town on Christmas Eve, record store owner Tori (Riley Dandy) just wants to get laid and drunk before the night is over with. Her co-worker Robbie (Sam Delich) wants nothing more than to sleep with Tori while their toy store owning friends Lahna (Dora Madison, VFW) and Jay (Jonah Ray, Mystery Science Theater 3000) want to celebrate Lahna’s birthday by screwing in their store after hours. A night of drunken shenanigans and festive, bright light illuminated coitus is about to be interrupted by the one remaining RoboSanta+ standing in the middle of Lahna’s toy store.
Written and directed by Joe Begos (VFW, Bliss), Christmas Bloody Christmas is at its best when Santa is serving up some grisly ho-ho-homicide. The film is otherwise extremely horny without ever really showing any graphic nudity besides Jonah Ray’s butt cheeks.
The first half of the film is devoted to Tori and Robbie either ribbing on each other over what the best Christmas music and movies are or arguing over whether or not they’re actually going to have sex on Christmas Eve.
Dialogue in the first half hour of the film contains five long minutes of referring to bean flicking, the ups and downs of hooking up on Tinder, and children’s toys dripping in genital fluids.
Tori whines about being able to find a guy that’s good at cunnilingus and a serious lack of good lays in town. Tori makes it seem like she has no interest in Robbie for the first 30-40 minutes of the film only to let him go down on her after they’ve spent the majority of the night drinking.
The unfortunate side of this is that every character in Christmas Bloody Christmas is annoying to an unbearable extent. They moan and complain about every thing. It sounds like everyone has some serious experience in the bedroom only to reveal that every person they’ve been with has licked Rudolph droppings when it comes to being satisfying in the sack. The benefit to not liking anyone is that it has you rooting for them to be killed off.
The cops in the film, Sheriff Monroe (Jeff Daniel Phillips, Westworld) and Officer Smith (Jeremy Gardner, After Midnight) especially, live up to their A-hole reputation with them refusing to believe that a robot is wreaking gruesome havoc on their town on Christmas Eve; even when the bodies start piling up and the few survivors come screaming to them covered in blood.
Jeff Begos tends to have this gritty and dirty aesthetic to his films that is heightened by radical fluorescent lighting. Along with cinematographer Brian Sowell, Begos provides a flashy yet horrific Christmas wonderland drowned in snow and red and green Christmas lights. More intimate moments, like at Tori’s record store and when we visit her home later on, the film switches to an almost cotton candy palette filled with bright blues and deep purples.
Santa is freaking amazing and every sequence with him is great. The first big kill in Christmas Bloody Christmas is a fire axe to a poor guy’s back. While bleeding from the mouth, he crawls on his hands and knees upstairs as rock music, wailing guitars, and Tori getting pleasured by Robbie drowns out his screams. The scene culminates with the man getting viciously curb stomped at the top of the stairs as mushy cerebral gore splashes out from under Santa’s black boot.
The go-to kill in the film is a gnarly head split in two by Santa’s axe, but it never gets old. Christmas Bloody Christmas feels like a low budget film where every cent went into the visuals and mostly practical gore of the film.
Josh Russell and his special effects company Russell FX handled the makeup effects in the film. Russell got his start as a makeup effects artist on the likes of Rob Zombie’s Halloween II, The Accident segment of the film Southbound, The Ritual, and VFW and was the special makeup effects supervisor of Hulu’s Hellraiser remake.
The industrial grade aspect of RoboSanta+ is put to the test as he takes more damage than the Terminator, but he always comes back and is practically unstoppable. As Christmas Bloody Christmas progresses, Santa takes more and more damage. His inner mechanics and internal wiring are revealed the more he’s shot at and beat up and he only seems to get deadlier.
Christmas Bloody Christmas should not be missed if you’re looking for a new Christmas horror film that is essentially a yuletide slasher film where you root for a killer Santa cyborg as a bunch of horny 30-somethings are killed off to squeamish delight. Not only is this the best Jeff Begos film to date, but the gore delivers gushy greatness for anyone in the mood for a stylish holiday hack-and-slash.