Cinema/TV, Film Notes

FrightFest review – The Nights Before Christmas 

The Nights Before Christmas

Like Redwood Massacre Annihilation, this is a sequel to a British-made faux-American slasher film.  Originally announced as Twice Upon a Time at Christmas, this follows up Once Upon a Time at Christmas, which was schlock but ran to an over-the-top Dr Phibes-type premise as a mad Santa (a raspy Simon Phillips) and his Harley Quinn knockoff sidekick Mrs Claus (Sayla de Goede) committed a string of massacres based around the song, starting by decapitating a guy called Partridge and sticking his head in a pear tree.

This follow-up from director Paul Tanter – who co-wrote with Phillips (a busy actor-writer, also a ranting obnoxious maniac in the unlovely Butchers) and the aptly-named Christopher Jolley – doesn’t really have a hook, except that the killers are back in business, ticking names off their ‘naughty or nice’ list, going after the few survivors of the previous mass killings and feuding with the FBI and the exploitative company that ran the asylum where he got such poor treatment.  It runs a flabby hour and forty-five minutes, suffering from a villain who loves the sound of his own voice way more than any audience can be expected to – though it does spring a few extra plot complications in the home stretch.

The end credits feature a rap that might at a stretch be a homage to Maniac Cop 2.


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