Christmas Evil

Christmas Evil

Director: Lewis Jackson

Cast: Brandon Maggart, Diane Hull, Scott McKay

     
 

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Synapse has rescued another twisted gem from video oblivion with this handsome edition of Christmas Evil. The video transfer improves upon the past Troma edition with an impressive anamorphic widescreen transfer taken from the vault elements: both detail and color levels are rich, really bringing out the film's carefully crafted "yuletide" look in style. It's

Overview

Synapse has rescued another twisted gem from video oblivion with this handsome edition of Christmas Evil. The video transfer improves upon the past Troma edition with an impressive anamorphic widescreen transfer taken from the vault elements: both detail and color levels are rich, really bringing out the film's carefully crafted "yuletide" look in style. It's also worth noting that this is a director's cut version that reinstates a few extra dramatic scenes into the running time. The audio portion of the disc retains the original mono soundtrack, which sounds good and has been mastered well. There's also a plethora of extras. First up is a pair of commentary tracks, a solo track by writer/director Lewis Jackson and another that pairs Jackson with fellow director and fan John Waters. The solo track is a serious one devoted mainly to behind-the-scenes stories and the genesis of the film while the track with Waters is more lighthearted, with Waters pulling some additional amusing stories from Jackson about the events surrounding the film's making and how it was distributed. Each track has some gaps and there's a certain amount of informational overlap between the two but each track is a worthwhile listen for fans. There's also nearly a half hour's worth of audition videos for the film, with an impressive group of actors like JoBeth Williams and Michael Beck. Elsewhere, the viewer is treated to a few deleted scenes, some storyboard samples and, best of all, a pretty hilarious selection of viewer comment cards from a test screening. All in all, this is an enjoyable and informative package that does Christmas Evil justice, making it a worthwhile holiday pick for the cult movie fan.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Though it is often lumped in with the "Santa slasher" movies that popped up in the 1980's, Christmas Evil deserves better than that label. In fact, it's much more a dark satire than it is a horror film. Director Lewis Jackson plays his material out in a deadpan style, never going for cheap laughs and taking the time to build up Harry's break with reality so the audience understands it. He also makes good use of an unusual editing scheme and jittery synthesizer music, combining them with unexpectedly pretty cinematography in a way that gives the proceedings an off-beat, surreal feel. Best of all, he has Brandon Maggart to drive his film with a magnificent performance as Harry. Maggart's work is broad enough in the right places to make Harry's insanity convincing but he manages to pull off a slow-burn descent into madness that also makes the character sympathetic in a sad way. It all adds up to a film that is nothing like the ad material would lead you to expect. It's probably too artsy and deliberately paced for the horror crowd but aficionados of the cultish and bizarre will appreciate its ambition and satirical bite. In short, Christmas Evil is not for all tastes but its well worth the time for those looking for a darker, different kind of yuletide film.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/14/2006
UPC:
0654930306093
Original Release:
1980
Rating:
R
Source:
Synapse Films
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Time:
1:35:00
Sales rank:
44,360

Special Features

New, widescreen (1.78:1) transfer from original vault materials; Audio commentary from director Lewis Jackson; Bonus audio commentary by director Lewis Jackson and director John Waters!; Original never-before-seen director's cut; Original storyboard sequences, comment cards and rare audition tapes!

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Brandon Maggart Harry Stadling
Diane Hull Jackie Stadling
Scott McKay Fletcher
Joe Jamrog Frank Stoller
Peter Friedman Grosch
Ray Barry Gleason
Sam Gray Grilla
Ellen McElduff Harry's Mother
Jeffrey DeMunn Actor
Andy Fenwick Actor
Brian Neville Actor

Technical Credits
Lewis Jackson Director,Screenwriter
Ricardo Aronovich Cinematographer
Pete Kameron Producer
Burt Kleiner Producer
Linda Leeds Editor
Michael Levine Associate Producer
Corky O'Hara Editor
Deirdre Williams Costumes/Costume Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Christmas Evil
1. Program Start [4:41]
2. Opening Credits [1:28]
3. Waking Up [8:52]
4. Hard Day's Work [4:31]
5. Christmas Parade [3:59]
6. Santa Is Born [9:19]
7. Office Party [5:21]
8. Bags of Toys [6:21]
9. The Hospital [4:43]
10. Church Massacre [5:20]
11. Life of the Party [4:54]
12. Trespassing [5:13]
13. Frank's Demise [4:09]
14. Christmas Day [4:47]
15. Police Line-Up [3:49]
16. Getting Stuck [8:15]
17. Brotherly Love [5:02]
18. End Credits [2:54]

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