The Bad Christmas Movie Challenge: Silent Night Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker

Deadly by name, deadly by nature.

I have a lot of nostalgic love for the first instalment in this low-rent horror franchise. I remember sneaking downstairs with my brothers late one night shortly before Christmas in 1990-something to watch a scary movie. This sort of behaviour had become something of a tradition to stay up late watching trashy horror films; this was pre-DVD days folks. A chance visit to a car boot sale the week before presented an opportunity to purchase a VHS copy of Silent Night Deadly Night, but there was a problem.

The evil git we bought the VHS from hadn’t been kind, he did not rewind. Our VHS player was old by this point, and rewinding a tape was a noisy task. Add to that the stress of watching a violent slasher movie well past our bedtime; this was the mother of all nervewracking rewinds. The movie gods smiled upon us, and we watched Silent Night Deadly Night in all its gory glory.

The original earned its cult classic status, a dark and brutal shocker riffing on Halloween to the point of stealing. Yet for all its unoriginality, Silent Night Deadly Night scared the crap out of me as a kid, Santa was now the enemy. Sadly, each passing sequel didn’t live up the original, and by the time Silent Night Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker plopped out into existence, there was barely anything left to connect it to the previous films. The fourth film dropped the killer Santa antagonist in favour of something more supernatural, but things get beyond weird in the Toy Maker.

The plot (such as it is) sees a toymaker (the legendary Mickey Rooney) with a dangerous Pinocchio complex create a series of killer toys to cause merry hell. Much like Halloween 3, Silent Night Deadly Night tried to segway into an anthology of sorts offering fresh creepy festive tales of terror with each sequel. Halloween learnt after one Michael Myers free sequel and brought their boogeyman back swiftly. Silent Night doubles down on the strangeness; it even contains a cameo from Clint Howard who may or may not be reprising his star role from part 3.

They finally brought Killer Santa back for the 2012 remake, and it isn’t half bad, well it’s not bad enough to make this challenge.

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