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December 5, 2011

Movie Review: Santa's Slay (2005)

Ready for Day 2 of the David Hayes 12 Days of Christmas Crap Review-a-Palooza? I don’t think you are. I wasn’t ready for this movie. No one was ready for this movie.

On the second day of Christmas the Head Cheese gave to me… two swift punches in the gonads, which is like watching this movie.

Imagine you are in the Middle Ages and a cool cat named St. Nicholas is helping people with food and shelter, coming to them on the holiday to provide solace and gifts for the poor children. That’s pretty slick. Flash forward five hundred years, to 1950, and the idea of St. Nicholas, now called Santa Claus, is a major institution. He is the symbol of hope for millions of children and even the Coca Cola Company’s perversion of the jolly elf’s image as a corporate shill isn’t too bad. I mean, if Norman Rockwell did it, it’s American, right? A scant 50 or so years later, and Santa Claus is turned into a mumbling demon that drives an ox, played by ex-professional wrestler Goldberg. Welcome to Santa’s Slay, my friends.

Buy Santa's Slay on DVD!

Well, in this little slice of heaven, Goldberg is Santa Claus. You probably don’t remember Goldberg, since he was relevant for about three years, but he was the scary looking guy that used to play for the Atlanta Falcons. I know, that doesn’t narrow it down too much. How about this… he’s the one that didn’t abuse animals. No? All right… uuum… got it! Goldberg is the guy with that was a professional wrestler that couldn’t be beat until someone tazered him in the middle of the ring. Still nothing? Oh well, that’s probably best. You see Goldberg plays a demon that lost a bet with an angel. Losing the bet meant that Santaberg had to play nice and deliver toys to children on Christmas for 500 years. The term of the bet is up and Santaberg goes back to his evil ways only to be stopped by a descendant of the original angel… or some crap like that. There is a pretty big body count in Santa’s Slay, which is nice, but you have to suffer through the dialogue to get to it.

It really is disappointing to see some very talented people attached to this. Saul Rubinek as the token Jewish deli owner provides the intentional comic relief (as opposed to Santaberg, who provides the unintentional comic relief). Robert Culp has a role as does Dave Thomas (not the dead Wendy’s guy, the Strange Brew guy).  I did find a couple of good points to latch onto in Santa’s Slay, though. Any film that can kill both Fran Drescher and Chris Kattan within the first ten minutes is a keeper… it’s just the remaining 90 minutes that made me blow egg nog all over the place.

Santa’s Slay is the writing and directing debut of David Steiman and it appears he hasn’t worked since. Good. Unfortunately, Goldberg is still hanging around like that Christmas ornament you made out of noodles and brown paint in third grade. You desperately want your mother to burn it, but she just can’t part with the last good thing her “lil’ snuggums” created. Sorry, after Santa’s Slay, bitter ain’t the word for it.

1 comment:

  1. I went back to my archives from last year to see what I thought of this one, and I actually dug it. It took all the things I dislike about Christmas, and beat them to a bloody pulp. That was enough for me. I can see someone not being that into it, though.