“PUNISH!” and “GARBAGE DAY!” are probably all expressions that fans of the “Silent Night, Deadly Night” films are used to hearing, as they are some of the key moments of gory absurdity in this increasingly convoluted and ridiculous series of slasher films. For those who don’t regularly attend midnight screenings at their local repertory theatre, the series started with the release of the controversial first film in 1984, which chronicled a disturbed individual who once saw his parents massacred by a man in a Santa suit on Christmas and is set off on a mad killing spree many years later as he unleashes bloodshed and many repressed memories of that evil bearded man. It has spawned four equally ridiculous sequels that featured survivors or various other individuals following in his footsteps. Well, like most horror properties with even a miniscule cult following, “Silent Night, Deadly Night,” is coming back with a fresh new coat of blood red paint.
Appropriately titled The Genre Company and Inferno’s Ember Productions are reviving the yuletide slaughter picture with a loose remake set to star none other than Malcom McDowell, with “The Aggression Scale” helmer Steven C. Miller in the director’s chair, guiding this one from a script by the film’s executive producer Jayson Rothwell. Anchor Bay, well known for their genre output, has already acquired North American distribution rights to this one (they also snagged “The Aggression Scale,” are putting it out next month on DVD) as principal photography is set to start just next month. Miller’s film gained some buzz at SXSW, with our writer saying it’s “like ‘Home Alone‘ with more death (but not as fun as that sounds),” and it giving it a lukewarm review. Perhaps Miller is looking to indulge in those violent tendencies, although the logline makes it seem as if it will follow McDowell’s character, Sheriff Cooper, a small Midwestern town cop looking for his big break as he hunts the murderous Santa on Christmas Eve.
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Nobody was really hankering for a “Silent Night, Deadly Night” remake, which it should be mentioned is now just called “Silent Night,” but that’s never stopped these sort of films from being pushed out there before. For gorehounds, it sounds as if you’ll certainly get your fill with Miller at the helm, and McDowell is certainly no stranger to bloodier fare. Though we’d guess this will be a more serious take on the material, leaving out those memorable cries of “PUNISH!” and “GARBAGE DAY!” along with hallmarks of the films like the completely out-of-place montage sequence in the first film, all of which helped its cult appeal grow through the ages.
With shooting starting so soon, it looks as if horror fans can expect to have this wrapped up all nice and bloody underneath their Christmas trees come December. [Variety]