Christmas Evil

You Better Watch Out

1980

Lewis Jackson
Director

Mad Santa slasher as toy factory worker goes berserk. Inept in most departments with occasional flashes of humour and an oh-they-didn't-did-they? ending that defies all. Apparently collectible.

-The Sloth

Kid sees Santa (his Dad in costume) fondling his Mom and is a bit traumatized. Three decades later, he's a Santa-obsessed weirdo working in a toy factory and keeping tabs on who has been naughty or nice among the neighborhood kids. As Christmas approaches, he slowly unravels.

Often on 'worst Christmas movie' lists, this really isn't that bad. The acting is decent, especially Maggart, who makes a sympathetic schlub. Falls apart in the final reel, with actual torch-bearing mobs and Jeffrey DeMunn badly over-acting, but the ending is so WTF that it comes across as audacious, especially if you think about the implications. Not quite Larry Cohen territory, but close. Certainly it's more entertaining than true horrors like A Madea Christmas or Fred Claus. Phillip Casnoff's well-permed reporter must be a parody of Geraldo Rivera, especially with his coverage of 'Willowy Springs State Hospital" (Rivera first came to national prominence with his reporting of abuse at Wilowbrook State School on Staten Island).

Note: This was released as You Better Watch Out, but has become better known under its video title, so it remains Christmas Evil here, even if the DVD restores the original titles.

-Dave W.


You Better Watch Out
1st November 1980
Cinema



100 mins
1.85:1

Christmas Evil
12th December 2000
DVD



95 mins





"
Brandon Maggart
Harry Stadling
Brandon Maggart
Harry Stadling
Jeffrey DeMunn
Philip Stadling
Dianne Hull
Jackie Stadling
Andy Fenwick
Dennis Stadling
Brian Neville
Marc Stadling
Joe Jamrog
Frank Stoller
Wally Moran
Philip Stadling Jr.
Gus Salud
Harry Stadling Jr.
Ellen McElduff
Harry's Mother
Brian Hartigan
Harry's Father
Peter Neuman
Moss Garcia
Lance Holcomb
Scotty Goodrich
Elizabeth Ridge
Susie Lovett
(spelled Susy in Harry's ledger)
Chris Browning
Richie Sharp
Tyrone Holmes
Frankie
Patricia Richardson
Moss' Mother
Scott McKay
Mr. Fletcher
Peter Friedman
George Grosch
Owen Hollander
Ben
Horace Bailey
Jake
John Brockman
Dr. Probst
(scenes cut?)
Burt Kleiner
Sol Wiserman
David Hughes
Worker
David Hart
Tipsy Worker
(as Lloyd David Hart)
Francine Dumont
Mrs. Fletcher
Pamela Enz
Mrs. Grosch
William Robertson
Guard
Sheila Anderson
Nurse
Robert Ari
Doctor
Philip Casnoff
Ricardo Bauma
Michael Klingher
Peter
(as Michael Klinger)
Mark Chamberlin
Charles
Colleen Zenk
Binky
Lisa Sloan
Khaki
Jim Desmond
Man#1
Mark Margolis
Man#2
Jennifer Novtney
Little Girl
Audrey Matson
Woman
Danny Federici
Accordian [sic] Player
Arthur Bressler
Saxophone Player
Jack Scarangella
Drummer
Raymond J. Barry
Detective Gleason
(as Ray Barry)
Sam Gray
Inspector Grelia
Robert Lesser
Detective Gottleib
(as Bobby Lesser)
Will MacMillan
Young Man
(as Will McMillan)
Bill Raymond
Priest
Joan Jonas
Older Woman
(I think)
Nancy Clark
Female Witness
T. Wellington Perkins
Black Santa
Jim Gagen
Santa #1
Leib Lensky
Santa #2
James Gallagher
Santa #3
Hy Mencher
Older Man
Michael Gordon
Policeman
Stephen Mendillo
Tom
Rutanya Alda
Theresa
(as Ratanya Alda)
Kerry Broderick
Angelina
John Towey
Joe
Annette Kurek
Mary
Matthew Levine
Matthew
Marian Vitale
Mrs. Stoller
Carrie Steele
Daughter
Robert Samilari
Son
Debbie Harry
Herself
(on cover of Moss' February 1980 Penthouse)
Lewis Jackson
Bartender at Christmas Office Party
(Director's Cameo - uncredited)
Annie Gagen
Dancer at Party
(uncredited)
Don Stitt
Dancer at Party
(uncredited)
William Burress
The Toy Maker
(stock footage from Babes in Toyland (1934))
Ferdinand Munier
Santa Claus
(stock footage from Babes in Toyland (1934))
Oliver Hardy
Ollie Dee
(stock footage from Babes in Toyland (1934))
Stan Laurel
Stannie Dum
(stock footage from Babes in Toyland (1934))
Henry Brandon
Silas Barnaby
(stock footage from Babes in Toyland (1934))
Jery Hewitt
Stunt Coordinator

Dave Wright: Screencaps & Notes