Holiday horror has officially moved from the month of October to the chillier air of the Christmas season. Genre fans making their 31 Days of Horror list during Halloween can just as easily come up with 25 scary movies to watch every day in December. This year, Joe Begos ("The Mind's Eye," "Bliss") and company added "Christmas Bloody Christmas" to the growing pile of Yuletide horror found underneath the VHS tree. Call it "Xmas-ploitation" if you must. In what's essentially a non-stop chase featuring a killer robot Santa (Abraham Benrubi), Begos could have easily delivered a run-of-the-mill slasher without any real visual flair. Instead, "Christmas Bloody Christmas" is a wonder to look at, mostly thanks to cinematographer Brian Sowell's ability to bathe the small town streets in a luminous and ominous trail of lights. In /Film's review, Chris Evangelista said the film has "a style so sharp that it borders on breathtaking," and he's not wrong.

"Christmas Bloody Christmas" is also the complete antithesis of a melodramatic Hallmark movie, made for the outcasts and loners that might not have anything better to do on Christmas night than watch messed up movies, listen to metal records, and occasionally glance at NORAD's Santa tracker map. It's a movie for the ones that attend Friendsgiving and orphan parties instead of boring white elephant office get-togethers. "I think that it's kind of like an anti-Christmas Christmas movie," Begos told Digital Trends. "I don't have a family of my own. I don't have kids, I'm not married or anything like that," he explained. "So my Christmas tradition, once I grew up and was away from my actual blood family, is just going to a party because everything else is shut down."

Give It Up For The Dirtbags

Everything really is shut down on Christmas, making it the perfect atmosphere for an eerie, desolate horror movie. The abandoned streets and shuttered businesses in "Christmas Bloody Christmas" serve as a constant reminder that no one is coming to save you tonight. Strangely, the bars are always open, so Tori (Riley Dandy), a local record store owner, and her flirty coworker Robbie (Sam Delich) go and get trashed together with the neighborhood bartender. At a nearby toy store, an animatronic Santa Claus malfunctions and reverts back to its military defense A.I. causing it to go on a rampaging massacre. Dandy's performance as Tori is a clear standout, and her ability to survive the not-so-merry onslaught is even more impressive considering that she's completely wasted.

The first reel of "Christmas Bloody Christmas" is really a hangout movie and Begos was determined to take a "for us, by us" approach to the filmmaking, telling Digital Trends:

"I wanted to make a movie that's from a point of view of dirtbag metalheads who don't have any family because I've been in that position for a decade. I bring my own kind of sense into [the genre]. And also, we haven't had a killer robot Santa movie in decades unless you count the 'Silent Night, Deadly Night' sequel."

Along with his longtime collaborator and editor, Josh Ethier, Begos has been making genre films for the past decade or more. His entire filmography has that same "dirtbag metalhead" mentality, and I think he's pretty proud of the fact that the characters in his movies aren't afraid to give you the finger every once in a while.

'Christmas Bloody Christmas' Started As A Remake Of 'Silent Night, Deadly Night'

The "Silent Night, Deadly Night" sequel that Begos is probably referencing is 1991's "Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker." I would never actually go on record saying that the fifth entry in a killer Santa franchise is criminally underrated, but along with "Christmas Bloody Christmas," it might be worth adding to that Christmas horror list. Featuring a bad-tempered Mickey Rooney as a killer toy maker named Joe Petto (get it?), "Silent Night, Deadly Night 5" is a bizarre riff on "Pinocchio" where Rooney secretly builds a robot version of his son, Pino, that inevitably short circuits after the big reveal.

Originally, Begos pitched a remake of "Silent Night, Deadly Night" that eventually led to the idea of a killer robot Santa. Begos had always wanted to make his version of James Cameron's "The Terminator," but the powers that be felt that idea strayed too far from the original story about a troubled teen who goes on a murder spree dressed up like a store Santa. "'Terminator' is my all-time favorite movie, so I've just had this itch in the back of my brain to do a killer robot movie at some point," Begos told Yahoo!.

There is a remake of "Silent Night, Deadly Night" on the way that will probably stick a little closer to the source material. It's unclear if there are any plans to incorporate the plot of "Silent Night, Deadly Night 5" at this stage in the game. According to Begos, there was some fear that the fanbase of the original "Silent Night, Deadly Night" was going to be upset if his idea got the green light. "I'm the f****** fanbase, so I didn't really buy that."

"Christmas Bloody Christmas" is available now on Shudder.

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The post Joe Begos Wrote Christmas Bloody Christmas For All The 'Dirtbag Metalheads' appeared first on /Film.