I knew nothing more about Santa’s Slay than its cover picture before I watched it the first time. I figured that wrestling legend Bill Goldberg as Santa Claus in a horror film had to be worth at least one watch. When the opening scene hit, I thought that I had accidentally rented the wrong movie with the star power involved. It turns out that the following hour and a half was just as unbelievable.
If you are younger than thirty, you probably wouldn’t realize that almost every person in the opening scene of this movie was a well-known personality at the time, such as Fran Drescher, Chris Kattan, James Caan, and Rebecca Gayheart. Everything about the first five minutes of Santa’s Slay sets the tone for the rest of the film. As the stereotypical American family sits down to Christmas dinner, everything quickly goes to hell thanks to their tumultuous relationships. None of that matters though, when Bill Goldberg bursts through the obvious foam chimney to rain hell on the unsuspecting feuding family. Santa makes quick work of the group in some absurd ways before the scene cuts to the real setting of the movie.
It turns out that Santa is a demon who lost a bet with an angel and had to spend a thousand years being nice and delivering presents to good little girls and boys. Now, the thousand years is up, and Santa is looking to get back to his devilish ways. The only thing on his mind is revenge when he rides his sleigh into an unsuspecting town in which Santa has unfinished business. An epic battle with many casualties ensues as a young boy, his love interest, and his grandfather are tasked with stopping Santa’s reign of terror and setting everything right again for good.
Apart from Santa, the main cast of Santa’s Slay is made up of people that you have seen before, but maybe don’t know where. For a movie that could have gotten away with lower-quality acting, I think they did a decent job. The sets are all pretty cheesy, and most of the effects are entirely unbelievable, but that just lends itself to the charm of the film.
Though there is plenty of blood, there is an equal amount of comedic relief. Goldberg seems like he is about to laugh through every line, yet somehow makes a believable villain. Santa’s Slay was obviously written with some comedic elements, but I’m not sure if they originally set out to make it the fantastic horror comedy that it became. I think what makes this movie stand out is that it when you peel back the layers of blood and gags, it has a touch of heart that inexplicably hits you in the feels. Though I don’t think there will ever be a sequel to Santa’s Slay, they leave the possibility open in a final scene that will leave a smile on your face.
I was ready to write this movie off as one of those dumb movies that you have to watch once just to say that you’ve seen it. I don’t know if I should admit this or not, but it has turned into one of my favorite Christmas movies to watch every year. That doesn’t mean that Santa’s Slay isn’t superbly stupid because it is, but there is something so guiltless about its presentation. This may be a dumb movie with a questionable production quality and shaky story, but all of that uniquely adds to its charm to make it one of the better Christmas horror movies out there.