Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Life on the Naughty List

Pleasant Christmas Eve, with candles, Old English carols on the stereo, a bottle of red wine, and, eventually, a viewing of 1980's Christmas Evil, the tragic tale of a mild-mannered toymaker who loves Santa too much, and is eventually driven mad by memories of seeing Santa fondle his mom's leg, and the shoddy workmanship at the toy factory where he works. 

The early portion moves pretty slowly, like it's a serious character drama about psychological disintegration. But this isn't The Machinist we're dealing with. When Harry finally snaps, he alternates between giving gifts to needy children (for which he is profusely thanked, and treated like a Christmas miracle) and axing undeserving toy executives. Eventually true cinematic lunacy sets in: there's a police line-up of Santas right out of Reno 911, and a scene in which the inhabitants of a working-class tenement go after him in a torch-lit mob, like it's suddenly turned into a Frankenstein movie. 

Highly recommended. After all, sick minds need stocking stuffers too!

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