One of my most-anticipated movies of the year, I first heard of this one like a year ago when it started filming. Back then I think there was talk of a theatrical release, even. Nevertheless, the promise of professional wrestler Bill Goldberg playing an evil Santa who goes around on a killing spree has got it all: muscles, Santa suits [always erotic], and murder. Obviously you can see why this shot to the top of my list. So imagine my delight at seeing it available for rental on fateful rainy night when I really wanted a movie, yet was between Netflix DVDs. And it turned out to be the absolute perfect choice.
This thing was produced by Hollywood frat boy Brett Ratner, which may account for the amount of cameos in the first scene. James Caan, Fran Drescher, and Chris Kattan are all enjoying a dysfunctional family dinner, when all of a sudden Santa comes down the chimney and kills off the family in gory and evilly funny ways. The dialogue and shots are hilarious if you can get into that completely juvenile, Beavis and Butthead-style state of mind. I was especially laughing at one of the victims shouting “No! Santa, no!” for the sheer ludicrousness of her casually referring to this guy as Santa.
In this first scene the naughty sexual content of the film announces itself; first, because audiences familiar with Goldberg’s matches with fellow wrestlers now get to see his aggression directed toward women, which automatically creates a greater sexual vibe, and second, as we have murders such as the one where he kills James Caan by FORCING a giant, fleshy turkey drumstick into his mouth. Uhhh-huh.
Soon we’re introduced to our dippy teen hero and his dippy teen girlfriend [played by Emile de Ravin who I remember a playing the Chris role in the idiotic TV remake of Carrie, but most people will know from the TV show Lost and the recent remake of The Hills Have Eyes]. They go over to the boy’s loopy grandfather’s house, where we receive an assload of exposition about how Santa… well, I can’t even go into it, but the idea is that Santa is a demon or some shit that was forced to be good and now is finally able to follow his true nature and be evil.
While I do like any character that is gleefully evil and mean, and Goldberg is so good at making those humorously sadistic facial expressions, soon the nasty part of this film’s whitebread frat boy mentality kicks in. First, when Goldberg makes grimaces at and Windexes a pole that a stripper slid down [the old 'women’s genitals are dirty' routine], but mostly—and shockingly egregiously—when he attacks the Jewish owner of a local deli. The owner flashes a Star of David at him, which causes him to grimace, then Goldberg IMPALES HIM THROUGH THE NECK WITH A MENORAH, pinning him to the wall. He then exits the deli, where he bumps into a group of Hasids [later referred to dismissivey as Amish] and hisses at them. I was really kind of shocked that this kind of bald anti-Semitism is right there in everybody’s face in a movie produced right here in 2005. I’m sure the producers would use the excuse that since Santa is completely Christian that they are within their rights to include such scenes, but really, there’s no need to go so far out of your way to encourage your audience to ENJOY watching a Jew “get what they deserve.” Really, regardless of how idiotic this thing is, it does pretty much qualify as hate speech. OH, and by the way, let me not fail to mention that a the only black person in the movie is presented as only to happy to semi-dishonestly keep out hero’s TWO DOLLARS, and he grins as though he just scored a big payday.
But if you can not get riled up by that, the rest of it is all good fun. There are amusingly juvenile things like people being named “Dixie Rect” and “Tess Dickler” [say them aloud], and our heroes taking time out, after Santa has informed the morons that there is no midnight [or any other standard time] at the North Pole, to say things like “Wow, he’s scary AND educational.”
At the one-hour mark there is a full-blown climax to the movie, and you’re simultaneously like “is this thing only an hour?” and “thank GOD this thing is only an hour,” but then it threatens to just continue. Luckily, it only had a few minutes to go after that, and when it ended at around 75 minutes I did not feel gypped in any way, and in fact the film earned a lot of extra points from me for not padding its time out to 90 minutes just to… run for 90 minutes. If only more movies showed such admirable restraint.
Now, obviously the ONLY reason to watch this movie is to see Bill Goldberg dressed as Santa [if you’re watching for some other reason, I feel sad that you apparently have so few entertainment options. Or just such poor taste]. It is with a heavy heart that I report that Goldberg does NOT take his shirt off [much less appear in a little red fur-lined G-string, but Christmas IS a time of hope]. This is obviously regrettable, and I fear may lose this movie half its audience, but he’s still hot as a mean Santa, and it’s good, for pervs like me at least, to see this huge guy with a big white beard stomping around. And the movie does end with a moment of rare grace as Goldberg appears dressed as a big, hot biker in a leather vest and big goatee. Sigh… why can’t I date a professional wrestler?
Only if the idea of a professional wrestler in a Santa suit gives you a boner. If not, I would stay away.