Posts Tagged ‘elves’

Metro: Slashing through the snow: 7 holiday horror movies

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By Richard Crouse – Metro Canada

Without Black Christmas, a groundbreaking 1974 Canadian horror film there might never have been a Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger or Michael Myers. These characters owe much to one film made in Toronto, a movie Film Threat magazine calls “the first modern slasher movie.”

The film enters its fourth decade this year, a milestone celebrated with the release of Black Christmas, the Season’s Grievings Edition in late November. The story of a sorority house terrorized by a murderous stranger has been given the deluxe Blu-ray treatment, packed with a Santa’s sleigh of new features. It is one of the great Christmas horror movies, but it isn’t the only one.

Here’s a look at holiday films without an ounce of tinsel treacle.

Silent Night, Deadly Night

Originally called Slayride, this movie about a teen who goes on a murderous rampage dressed as Santa after his parents are killed, changed its name for release. In its first weekend it out-grossed Nightmare on Elm Street, but then parents angry at Santa’s portrayal as an axe murderer picketed theatres, and the box office dried up.

Santa Claus

K. Gordon Murray was a film producer best known for snapping up the rights to foreign films, dubbing them into English for American audiences. His best-known pick-up was Santa Claus, a strange Yuletide flick about St. Nick and Merlin doing battle with Lucifer.

Originally produced in Spanish and featuring a Santa Claus who doesn’t live at the North Pole, but above it, in a magic castle in outer space, it isn’t exactly scary, but may be the weirdest movie on this list.


When most people think of Dan Haggerty visions of the gruff but kind-hearted mountain man from the 1970s TV show The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams come to mind. B-movie fans, however, remember him as Mike McGavin, a down-on-his-luck department store Santa who does battle with a bloodthirsty Nazi elf in Elves. It suffers from cheesy dialogue — “I had a rough day at work… Santa got murdered” — and the fact that a movie called Elves features only one elf, but it’s so ho-ho-ho-horrible it’s fun to watch.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Imagine if our collective image of Santa Claus had been shaped by Allegory of Gluttony and Lust painter Hieronymus Bosch instead of some nameless commercial artist at Coca-Cola and you’ll get an idea of the dark edge of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The jolly fat man in the red suit is gone, hijacked by a skeleton in a pinstriped suit. The story of the mayor of Halloweentown who kidnaps and impersonates ‘Sandy Claws’ to bring his own brand of good will to the world is a Disney release but it is one of the rare ones that isn’t meant for the entire family.

Silent Night, Zombie Night

Walking Dead fans might get a charge out of Silent Night, Zombie Night, a Christmas viral outbreak movie so realistic a concerned citizen called the police during filming, citing gang violence. The LAPD showed up by foot, car and air only to find movie zombies battling with prop weapons.

Christmas Evil

Christmas Evil is the best of the Santa as serial killer movies and before you ask, there are quite a few of them. In this one a boy is traumatized after walking in on his parents in flagrante with dad dressed as Santa. He develops daddy issues and a Santa fixation and one Christmas Eve brings murder home for the holidays.

From epic fantasy to B-movie horrors, elves are hot in Hollywood.

elfBy Richard Crouse Metro – Canada

When we think of elves at this time of year visions of Santa’s helpers fill our heads.

The cute, industrious and diminutive creatures from the North Pole can be seen everywhere in December in Christmas TV specials, greeting cards and movies like Arthur Christmas and Santa Claus: The Movie.

One of the most famous movie elves is Buddy, played by Will Ferrell in the neo-classic Elf.

“You’re not an elf,” says Leon the Snowman. “You’re six-foot-three and had a beard since you were fifteen.”

So technically he’s not really an elf, just a human raised by elves but he has more Christmas spirit than Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen put together.

This weekend, just weeks before December 25, Buddy is joined on the big screen by a very different kind of elf.

“She’s slightly reckless and totally ruthless and doesn’t hesitate to kill.” That’s how Evangeline Lilly describes the 600-year-old “she-elf” Tauriel from this weekend’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

The bow-and-arrow wielding character is new to the J.R.R. Tolkien movie franchise, created by director Peter Jackson and his co-writers Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens.

“She’s our redhead,” says Boyens. “We created her for that reason. To bring that energy into the film, that feminine energy. We believe it’s completely within the spirit of Tolkien.”

Buddy and Tauriel are just two of the many kinds of movie elves.

Elves, or (Gelfling as they’re called in the flick), are the main focus of the Jim Henson film The Dark Crystal.

Dobby the House Elf was voted the No. 1 favourite magical creature in the Harry Potter series by and Thor: The Dark World featured Dark Elves, an ancient race of dangerous beings whose spaceships are powered by black holes.

The cheeseball b-movie Elves features the tagline, “They’re Not Working for Santa Anymore.” Well, if not Santa, then who? Nazis, that’s who.

Finally Tom Cruise consorted with an elf named Honeythorn Gump in Legend, the Ridley Scott film The New York Times called “a slap-dash amalgam of Old Testament, King Arthur, The Lord of the Rings and any number of comic books.”

Swiss actor David Bennett played the feisty elfin sidekick who not only is the protector of the world’s last two unicorns but, along with elves Screwball, Brown Tom and Oona, helps Cruise’s character save the world from the nasty Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry).