The Christmas Season Massacre
Directed by: Jeremy Wallace
Written by: Jeremy Wallace & Eric Stanze
Starring: Jason Christ, Chris Belt, D.J. Vivona & Michael Hill
I love it when a bad horror movie knows just how awful it is, and never strives to take itself seriously. Which is what Jeremy Wallace’s “shot-on-video” comedy/horror flick The Christmas Season Massacre never attempts to do. It’s merely a series of gory deaths, cheaply done, strung together with a story about a bullied child who grew up to become a serial killer who’s particularity fond of murdering during the Christmas season.
Little Tommy McGroo was an object of torment by other kids all through his school years. He came from a poor family, he apparently smelled bad and had an odd fascination with pirates. He earned the nickname “One Shoe” after some bullies stole one of his shoes. Because his parents were unable to afford a new pair, Tommy looked forward to Christmas, in hopes that Santa Claus would bring him a replacement pair. All he got was an eye patch (albeit, a Christmas inspired eye patch). As an adult, Tommy “One Shoe” McGroo (Michael Hall) goes on a killing spree each Christmas season, targeting the former classmates of his who put him through hell in his younger years.
There certainly is some fun to be had with The Christmas Season Massacre. The movie is overly gory, to the point that certain scenes get a little too excessive, and contains a gratuitous amount of nudity (mostly from people who have no business being naked in movies). And aside from the lengthy opening sequence, where Tommy’s backstory is explained, the film never expands on Tommy much. He’s just an insatiable killer, and the film relies on his enjoyment of coming up with gruesome ways to dispatch those who wronged him in the past to keep things flowing.
But, there in lies the problem with The Christmas Season Massacre. I can overlook the film’s low production values and poor acting (a movie like Five Across the Eyes suffers from both of these, but manages to achieve something both unsettling and memorable). Jeremy Wallace’s film, which he co-wrote with Eric Stanze, ends up being a tedious and monotonous experience. Sure, some of the murders are unusual (the one involving the couple having kinky sex by their Christmas tree (see above image) is one that I won’t soon forget), but the constant barrage of death scenes begins to wear on your nerves, and many of the later scenes just sort of blur together.
There is something to admire with Wallace’s efforts in this film, whose absurdity certainly earns some commendation. Bits and pieces of The Christmas Season Massacre will stick with you. But, to truly make a remarkable slasher film with a strong, comedic edge, you need more than an excessive amount of ridiculous death scenes. The slasher spoof Student Bodies proved that. I know that The Christmas Season Massacre wasn’t striving to be Student Bodies, but it could have taken some pointers.