Let’s face it; we loved Santa Claus when we were kids. He travels the world overnight, stuffs his fat behind down chimneys, and gives us free stuff. How could you not love that? You were guaranteed to get presents…as long as you were good. Here in the states, all we had to fear was a lump of coal. Children in other countries didn’t get off so easily.
We also have the stories about some madman in a Santa suit, or the occasional pervert that works in the mall. When you start thinking of Kris Kringle that way, it zaps your Christmas spirit, doesn’t it? Nobody wants to think that there’s a mean, deranged version of the jolly man we have known our whole lives.
Too bad because those versions do exist, and some of them are downright terrifying. For your sanity and mine, we’re just going to look at the (semi) fictional crazy Saint Nicks. From child eating monsters to mental patients, let’s look at 8 reasons to light your fireplace on Christmas Eve.
8. Billy – Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
Unlike the rest of the entries on this list, I can’t help but feel sorry for this guy. He saw his parents get slaughtered like pigs by a robber in a Santa suit, then ends up in an orphanage where Mother Superior thinks beatings and humiliation are the best forms of punishment. There was no way his psyche would ever be normal. However, I can’t help but feel like the orphanage is partially to blame for his killing spree. Think about it: you have someone who has psychotic fits every Christmas. Why would you put him in a retail setting? Better yet, why not wait until after the holidays to give him a job.
I’m guessing that would have made sense, and we also wouldn’t have a movie. Anyway, after disposing of his manager and co-workers, he cases the town for anyone being “naughty”. I forgot to add that Mother Superior also taught Billy that sex is a horrendous act that must be punished immediately. Like clockwork, there happens to be a young couple trying to do the unspeakable act, and I think they die what are arguably the worst deaths in the movie.
Long story short, this takes the whole naughty vs. nice concept, and mixes in crazy pills and steroids. If we apply this to the real world, that means no drinking, sex, swearing, or anything that could be considered fun. Doesn’t that mean a good chunk of the population will automatically end up on the naughty list? If you do end up on that list, Billy will pay you a visit…with his trusty ax. Merry Christmas!
7. Louis Winthorpe III – Trading Places (1983)
Louis Winthorpe III either has really bad luck, or he should have looked for better business associates. If you’ve never seen this, it’s about two men from very different worlds that trade lives. However, it’s because of a bet between brothers that apparently have too much money and time on their hands. Spoiled Louis loses everything overnight: fiancee, money, job, and his huge mansion to conman Billy Ray Valentine. Louis doesn’t handle the change too well.
It all culminates in him dressing up as Saint Nick, and then trying to plant drugs in Valentine’s office during the company Christmas party. He gets caught doing so, and proceeds to run out of the place like a madman. What does he do after failing miserably? Steal raw salmon and get drunk, of course. Unfortunately we’re subjected to watching him eat the salmon, as well as parts of his beard.
I know it wasn’t his fault for his misfortunes, but it is really hard to root for him when he acts like a man-child. Do you want a Santa that plants drugs, eats raw fish and artificial beard, gets drunk, and smells like dog pee? I don’t think there’s anything holly or jolly about that.
6. Escaped Mental Patient Santa – Tales from the Crypt (1972)
Did you know the Tales from the Crypt episode “And All Through the House” was actually a remake of a story in the 1972 movie? If you haven’t seen either one, a little back story is required. We start with a woman who murders her husband for insurance money. While trying to get rid of his body, a radio broadcast warns of a homicidal maniac who escaped the local mental institution.
Moments later a man matching the description on the radio tries to break into her house. However she can’t call the police because she’ll have to explain what happened to her husband. She then has the “brilliant” idea of making it look like he was attacked by the intruder. It might have worked, except her daughter lets “Santa” in the house, and he proceeds to murder her mother.
I always viewed this as a holiday PSA for stranger danger. Just because someone is dressed like Santa, does not mean you should let him into the house. On the other hand, your child could be led to believe Santa is a crazy man that murders everything in sight on Christmas Eve. If that happens, the only present you’ll be giving them is therapy sessions.
5. Harry Stadling – Christmas Evil (1980)
Parents: for the love of God, make sure your kids are actually asleep before you start humping on Christmas Eve. Or at least take off the damn Santa costume before you start going at it. I don’t know why horror movie parents can’t have sex in their own room and lock the door, but I’ll save that for another time. Here we have yet another person that doesn’t handle reality the best way possible. Little Harry sees his dad groping his mom in front of the fireplace, and instantly becomes unhinged when he realizes Santa isn’t real.
He grows up and becomes a toy maker by trade, but at home he believes he is Santa Claus. No, seriously; his apartment looks like Target vomited its entire Christmas section all over it, he sleeps in costume, and even goes as far as spying on his “little darlings” to see who has been good or bad. Good behavior and bad acts are logged in two gigantic books under the names of all the neighborhood children. That alone scares me enough, but we’re not done yet.
Harry’s breakdown consists of him angrily humming Santa Claus Is Coming to Town while dismembering a doll. The rest of his Christmas is replacing his company’s toys with ones he crudely made in his basement, and murdering a coworker who ridiculed him. I think we can learn something from this one, too. Be nice to your coworkers, or they might murder you in your sleep on Christmas. I never said it was a pleasant lesson.
4. Klaus -Santa’s Slay (2005)
What if Santa wasn’t always the lovable, gift-giving fat guy we know? Santa’s Slay poses such a question, and then gives an interesting answer. The Santa here is actually the Antichrist. He makes a bet with an angel over a curling match, loses, and is forced to deliver presents and all things good for 1,000 years. What happens when those 1,000 years are up? He goes back to his old ways, which is basically a lot of murder and mayhem.
Complete with his hell-deer, he terrorizes the town with Christmas themed deaths. We have everything from strippers being burned to a crisp, to a Jewish deli owner being impaled by his own menorah. I understand completely if someone is offended by that last one.
This is actually one of the few entries where Santa goes down a chimney. He pays a visit to the highly unlikable Mason family, and greets everyone by kicking their small dog into the ceiling fan. He drowns the mother in eggnog, bashes in the skull of one daughter, stabs two others, and finally chokes the father to death by shoving a turkey leg down his throat. I know people make jokes about the holidays killing you, but this is a bit much.
3. Willie T. Stokes – Bad Santa (2003)
While the rest of the entries are killing machines, Willie here is different. Instead of murder, he just chooses to have sex with anything that moves, rob anyone blind, and drinks until he forgets his own name. I said different, not better. His criminal routine is to take a job at a mall as Santa, learn the layout of the offices, and empty out the safe. However, subtlety is not in Willie’s nature.
He swears more than the average rapper in front of children, pees himself in between pictures, and sneaks heavyset women into fitting rooms to sodomize them. After befriending the loneliest little boy on the planet, he steals a car from the garage, and later brings back his girlfriend for drunken sex. To his credit, he does eventually gain a conscience. He even steals a stuffed, pink elephant the little boy as always wanted. It really was a sweet gesture.
The only problem is Willie tried to steal it while escaping the cops, gets shot, and bleeds all over the toy. He gets sent to prison, but the kid gets his toy and waits patiently for Willie to be released. Well, at least Willie had a change of heart. That being said, I still don’t trust a Santa that likes butt sex with overweight women.
2. Joulupukki – Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale (2010)
To shake things up a bit, we have a Finnish Santa Claus. His name roughly translated means “Christmas goat”. That doesn’t sound so bad, right? It’s not, until you do a quick Google search. Jouluppuki isn’t a regular sized goat. It’s about the same size as King Kong, complete with horns, kidnaps naughty children to eat, and fills the empty beds with dolls.
Thankfully this movie spares us from seeing him in action. We get to deal with his naked, old men helpers who scoop up the children, as well as any sort of drying tool to thaw him out. The helpers also quickly get rid of anyone that hinders their mission. It could be a pickax to the head, or they’ll just flat out eat you. Couple that with extended shots of old man penis and it becomes an awkward viewing experience.
One thing I couldn’t help but notice is we’re led to believe only the naughty children are taken. During the big reveal, we see that every child in the village has been tied up in a sack. I know children aren’t little angels, but we’re talking 15-20 kids from a very small village. Joulupukki either defines naughty in broad terms, or he figured wiping out the child populace of one town couldn’t hurt.
1. Sinterklaas – Saint Nick (2010)
Every year on December 5, Niklas and his gang went to a town, and made everyone pony up items such as money, food, virgins and liquor. On that very day in 1492, one town got tired of him and his lackeys, and Niklas was murdered. Whenever there is a full moon on that night, Niklas returns with the Zwarte Pieten to avenge his death by murdering again.
Here’s what makes this guy so terrifying: it doesn’t matter if you’re good or bad. If you cross paths with him, you’re dead. And the Zwarte Pieten aren’t merciful when they kill you. You will be ripped apart, stabbed, impaled, and any other painful way there is to die. If the gang doesn’t get you, Niklas will finish the job himself.
Armed with his staff and demonic white horse, you will either be trampled or decapitated. His annual reign of terror will only end after he has killed hundreds of people, or you get enough dynamite to light up his ship like the 4th of July. The only positive to all this is St. Niklas is found in Dutch speaking countries. If you currently live in a Dutch speaking country, invest in a flamethrower, and hope for the best. For the rest of us, let’s hope the worst we get is coal this year.