Santa’s Slay Movie Review
Written by Robert Gold
DVD released by Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Written and Directed by David Steiman
2005, 78 minutes, Rated R
DVD released on December 20th, 2005
Bill Goldberg as Santa
Douglas Smith as Nicolas Yuleson
Emilie de Ravin as Mac
Robert Culp as Grandpa
Santa Claus is coming to town…and he is pissed. Once upon a time an angel challenged a demon named Santa to a game of curling. The wager resulted in Santa being forced to shed his evil ways for a thousand years and bring happiness to the world. Now Santa has completed his community service and is looking to kill everyone both naughty and nice in a film where every holiday symbol is utilized, and if it can be used as a weapon, then all the better.
The small community called Hell Township is in for a long night as Santa (Bill Goldberg) arrives via flying buffalo (pronounced Hell-deer) to spread some holiday fear. The locals include Nicolas Yuleson (Douglas Smith) who works at a deli with his love interest/best friend Mac (Emilie de Ravin). He lives with his grandfather (Robert Culp) who refuses to celebrate the holiday and has made Nicolas’ life miserable with his kooky behavior for years. All this changes when Grandpa reveals the origins of his humbug.
Telling the legend of Santa (with homage to Rankin & Bass) does not immediately convert Nicolas, but soon the killing spree begins and the bodies are piling up. Santa’s list includes a strip club called “Gold Diggers” where he wipes out all the patrons and employees in a spectacular fight sequence that ends with the place set aflame.
Next, the deli comes under attack and Santa recognizes Gramps from an employee wall photo that features Nicolas. The evil Father Christmas has a history with the old man and it isn’t too hard to figure out their relationship (hint: Grandpa is an angel in disguise.) Nicolas and Mac are soon racing to save themselves… and Christmas.
Director David Steiman has served as Brett Ratner’s assistant for many years and seized the opportunity of a long flight to Japan to pitch the idea of Santa’s Slay. By the time the plane landed, Ratner was convinced and signed on as producer for the film.
Former wrestler turned actor Bill Goldberg (Half Past Dead 2) chews the scenery to pieces as a non-stop wrecking machine. Most of his lines are barked out like an angry dog, and the majority of these are filled with stinky one-liners and puns. His take on the demonic Santa is more solid than expected and his talent for acting runs circles around fellow acting wrestler Hulk Hogan (Santa with Muscles) — yeah, I said it.
The central cast is filled out with familiar faces from the world of television. Douglas Smith (Big Love) and Emilie de Ravin (Lost) race from one absurd sequence to the next and elevate the material with a straight face. Robert Culp (The Greatest American Hero) plays Grandpa with a twinkle in his eye that suggests he is having a blast in this quirky flick.
Saul Rubinek (True Romance) appears as the deli owner who has a nasty run in with a menorah, and Dave Thomas (Strange Brew) is the hypocritical preacher who spends more time at strip clubs than in the church. Other cameos are sprinkled throughout the film, most heavily during the intro. Santa interrupts a house filled with celebrity cameos that sets the tone for the entire picture. James Caan(?!), Fran Drescher, Chris Kataan and Rebecca Gayheart serve as cannon-fodder before the opening credits.
There is NO way that Santa’s Slay will ever be mistaken for a great movie, but it has moments of great fun. Audiences are encouraged to watch the opening sequence and from that should be able to decide whether or not to invest an additional hour of their lives.
Video, Audio and Special Features:
Video, audio and special features will not be graded.
Day 11 of Robert Gold's "12 Days of Christmas".
Day 2: To All a Good Night
Day 4: Jaws: The Revenge
Day 5: Christmas Evil
Day 7: Santa Claws
Day 9: Elves
Day 10: Dead End
Day 11: Santa's Slay
Day 12: Black Christmas (1974)
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