Quickie 01 – Red Christmas (2016)

or “Cletus the Red-Nosed Mutant”

Who’s ready for some holiday cheer? I said, WHO THE FUCK IS READY FOR SOME HOLIDAY CHEER?!


(Actually footage of my brain after being forced to sit through the 37th iteration of “Jingle Bell Rock” while waiting in line at the liquor store.)

I hate this time of year. Well, my mental disorders do. I’m good with the thematic commercialism and all that holly jolly trash, but I liked it better when “50 Shades of Gray” was just softcore for soccer moms, not the fucking five day forecast. There’s a reason the short form of Seasonal Affective Disorder is SAD. Blart.

“Cheers for letting Satan into the house, Di.”

Anyway, our tale begins in the household of a wacky Aussie family that has reunited to celebrate the Christmas season. Their surname is never given, and though that’s not really important, it always bothers me when a movie can’t bother to give their characters something more than first names. Pet peeves left in the Sematary, the (insert name here)s are a sitcom waiting to happen. There’s widowed American matriarch (Dee Wallace, GILF of my dreams!), her stoner bro Uncle Joe, Shakespeare obsessed son Jerry, adopted teenage art school drop-out-to-be Hope, pregnant no-shits-given sister Ginny and her husband Scott (the pair of which is uncomfortably liberal about sex around family), uptight “can’t conceive” bible thumper Suzy and her awkward “reminds me of Lionel from Dead Alive” knob end husband Peter. Ozploitation Roseanne The Conners’, here we come!

When a cloaked vagrant named Cletus darkens their doorstep, bandaged up like Darkman, stinking of piss, and mumbling like John Merrick on ‘ludes, Diane invites him inside in the spirit of some seasonally appropriate pity. While everyone else gives mom slack for letting the transient mummy in, she soon regrets her charity when the putrid-yet-peaceful punchline to the joke that is God’s “love” tells them why he’s there. What results is a night of over-the-top carnage and blood-soaked cheer befitting a pre-Tolkien Peter Jackson or pre-Spider-Man Sam Raimi feature! And I can’t recommend it enough if the thought of either or both of those jingles your bells.

Though the balance between comedic carnage and thriller tensions can feel as uneven as a session of teeter-totter between zombie Andre the Giant and zombie Vern Troyer, writer-director Craig Anderson and his cast (special mention to Gerard Odwyer for making Jerry my favorite member of the bunch) bring joy to the world with their better-than-average production. Warning for the photosensitive among us though, as Anderson’s penchant for playing with colored lighting could give Dario Argento an aneurysm. The mandatory horror movie plot twist is present, but can be sussed by 95% of viewers within the first few scenes and is made clearer for the foggier-minded by the halfway point, so at least there’s no fear of it being a huge letdown mere moments prior to the finale!

Minute niggling aside, let Red Christmas be the North Star by which my fellow gore whores and horror freaks find their way to yuletide torment on this and every Winter Solstice!

Oh, and should you choose to seek out this slasher sin-a-palooza sleeper on your own time, note the following: (1) it’s available to stream on NetFlix as of this review and (2) I’m gonna tack a big fat trigger warning on it. Red Christmas covers topics of a sensitive nature that I won’t even hint at here because it could spoil the whole damn thing. If you suffer from such conditions, I suggest having a friend or loved one watch the first 15 or so minutes to make sure it’s all clear for your individual standards.

(When it comes to Quickies that I intend to do full feature reviews for later down the [sewage] pipe, Red Christmas is a guaranteed contender. Probably not until the spoiler embargo burns out though, because I have some thoughts I’m itching to share on the controversial topics addressed during these 80+ minutes.)

Moral of the Story:Food allergies give your body the durability of a circus peanut. Also, if you value your ability to urinate without the use of a catheter, never piss on someone…unless that’s what they’re into. No judgies.

Final Judgment:

Four Family Counselors (in Santa Hats) out-of-Five

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All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

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