24 December 2010

Silent Night, Deadly Night.

The same way you can call a delightful day with lots of relaxation and intimate pleasures a perfect day, despite perhaps the absence of extraordinary moments like lottery wins or moon landings, it's acceptable to call Silent Night, Deadly Night a perfect genre movie.  The film fully executes the splendors of its concept, and, as is often the case, the filmmakers' total conviction and commitment to the idea contributes to the film's charm; think also of Corbucci's Django and Ferrara's Ms. 45.

 This film's success is its delight in the wicked, its joyful subversiveness.  The children are sweet, Coca-Cola type doe-eyed children:  completely innocent, perfect for corruption.  The script revels in the absurdities and obscenities of its central character's descent into madness, and is tailored to the shape of their filthy ambition, his destiny as a murderous Santa.  It's reminiscent of a John Waters movie, the way it casually introduces the most insane plot elements and then uses those elements as the impetus for even stranger insanities.  The minor characters are made to pop out, be memorable.  Beyond killer Santas:  grandpa's ominous warning, mischievous sled thieves, pool-table love-makers, and a tyrannical head nun are each given humorous, indelible scenes.

"To protest the film, critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel read the credits out loud on their television show saying, 'shame, shame, shame' after each name."

What the fuck is that about, did Ebert and Siskel work for a greeting card company?  Ostensibly Christmas is a religious holiday - as I often, sometimes to my social embarrassment, forget - and certainly this Santa fellow shouldn't be sacrosanct; he just breaks into children's homes.  In fact children should be urged to see this movie, so that as they grow into adulthood they spend less money on Special Edition Christmas Oreo tins with a Limited Edition Hand Painted Santa.

1 comment:

  1. Ebert has a really strong humanist streak in him, and I think it's his most interesting aspect as a reviewer since it comes out in totally crazy ways. He'll write a review of I'm Still Here where he's personally concerned for Phoenix's well-being, but then he'll condemn Blue Velvet for it's treatment of Isabella Rossellini, or read credits and say "shame, shame shame..." That's borderline crazy person talk to do that on TV ... I love it. It's so weird. "What the fuck is that about, did Ebert and Siskel work for a greeting card company?" SO FUNNY