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January 30, 2013

Movie Review: Bloody Christmas (2012)

Directed by Michael Shershenovich
Starring Steve Montague, Robert Youngren and Robert Arensen
Run Time: 91 minutes
Rated: Unrated

In a small town, police are on the hunt for a child murderer. Meanwhile, has-been 80‘s action star Rich Tague plays Santa Claus on a local public access TV show and secretly fantasizes about killing anyone and everyone who pisses him off. After losing his job and his motor-home in the same day, Rich (Santa Claus), decides its time to drown his sorrows in a bottle of bourbon which he buys with a bag full of pennies and contemplates his bleak future and the fact that the true spirit of Christmas has been lost to commercialism.

Elsewhere in the town, the local creepy priest is also growing angry over the fact that people are ignoring the true meaning of Christmas. It isn't long before the preacher reaches the breaking point and begins a homicidal rampage. Which leads all three parties (the police, Santa, and the psychopathic priest) to a deadly confrontation. Will Santa stop the killings? Will the police arrive in time to stop the psychopath? Or will the killer continue with his slaughter of the townsfolk?

This low-budget indie slasher flick started out with a pretty decent story-line, and in fact even had a few shining moments sprinkled throughout. The main problem though was that it just sort of rambles around from start to finish, a mish-mash of pointless dialog scenes which don't really add to the story but seem to be there more or less to fill up space for a feature that really isn't worthy of being much more then a short featurette. In other words, had it been edited to about a third of its run time it would have been a fun little piece of filmwork. As a 90 minute feature though, it just wasn't capable of holding my attention at all. Frustratingly, with all that unnecessary dialog they weren't even capable of developing the character’s of the killer or the detective hunting him down to the point where they seemed relevant.With that being said though, this film is not a total loss. Not even close, in fact I really do think that director Michael Sherenovich has great potential in his craft. And this is evident in the fun kill scenes featuring various Christmas-themed weapons which are punctuated between the overload of those boring dialogs.

The practical effects were abysmal, but hilarious, at one point we see the killer dispatching of a young girl with a candy-cane to the forehead which looks like its held in place by a big wad of Silly-Putty. Another shining moment was when the killer priest breaks in on a girl taking a shower and proceeds to beat her to death with the soft end of a straw broom. Ridiculous ...but an effective and entertaining moment for sure. And there is even a scene where we have a nameless woman trying to seduce a 10 year old boy in a church that is deliciously uncomfortable and shows what the director is capable of achieving. The score was decent enough as well, although the constant shaky camera work and filthy camera lens did lose its charm and become annoying after a while.

For a micro-budget indie you could sure do a hell of a lot worse I guess. Overall I cant in good conscience give it more then an average rating at best though. If your a hard-core fan of indie slashers and are prepared to work hard for a payoff of a few good scenes I’d say go ahead and check it out. But this probably isn't something the casual fan will be able to make it to the end of.

I score it 5.5 out of 10

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