Tuesday, December 27, 2011

REVIEW: Santa's Slay (2005)

This movie was probably originally some kind of jokey Super Bowl commercial or something, you know, with Bill Goldberg as Santa Clause advertising some asinine product that people will only remember at all because of the commercial itself. “Hey, Susie, check out this special brand of Pepsi that tastes no different from the regular brand at all!” “Wasn’t that the one from that Bill Goldberg commercial where he played Santa Claus?” “Yeah!”

Yeah, then they made a movie out of that. Santa’s Slay, everybody!

Director: David Steiman
Starring: Bill Goldberg, Douglas Smith

We start off with a random family of assholes sitting around at a Christmas table and saying random mean things to one another. Oh how precious. But luckily Bill Goldberg in a Santa suit comes bursting through the chimney like the Kool Aid guy and breaks up the party!

…no, really, look; I’m not kidding!

On the top 10 list of things you never thought you'd see today.

Yes, former professional wrestler Bill Goldberg is our serial killer for the evening, decked out in his best Santa Claus get-up…it’s a premise that sounds more fitting of your little brother’s fanfictions he wrote while sick in bed, but somehow it warranted a full length movie I guess. The world is a confusing place.

Then we get our main characters, some selfish, immature little bastard and the hot chick he works with, who dates him probably because he’s the only guy her age in the whole damn town. The town, by the way, is called Hell Township – what cutting wit. You’ll notice that’s one of the main themes of the movie; corny, ridiculous humor of the kind that only people who would have wanted to see Bill Goldberg in a slasher movie would find funny. So I guess in that respect it works.

And for some reason there’s this odd fascination with cursing, and almost every joke in the movie involves some kind of curse word usage…is that really all they have? Like this scene in the beginning where this old lady comes into the store the kids are working at and just starts swearing at them for basically no reason. It’s like, uh, okay? Now do you have anything funny? As the movie goes on, I began to see the answer was no.

So Nicholas and Mac, who are the two main characters, basically just ride around while she listens to him bitch about how horrible Christmas is because he never got an Optimus Prime action figure as a kid…oh, shut up you little worm; get some real problems.

"Oh, I'm so tortured; I didn't get anything I wanted for Christmas and now I'm a protagonist in Santa's Slay!"...you know, on second thought maybe he does have some legitimate problems to complain about...

But little does Nicholas know that he’s about to get a true Christmas awakening as Goldberg Claus (yes, that's what I'm calling him for the remainder of the review) wreaks havoc on the town!

These are really some of the only entertaining scenes in this thing – I’ll give the movie that. But there are also really, really BORING scenes where Nicholas’s grandfather tries to tell us the plot in the most droning, rambling way EVER…I’m drifting off to sleep…zzzzz….




Huh? Whuh? Oh, excuse me; I must have dozed off and missed some of the movie! Dammit, man, this has never happened…this is so embarrassing; how will I ever be taken seriously as a reviewer now?! I guess I could go back and rewind the movie…

A police chief dressed as Santa Claus at work and a stereotypical Jewish guy impaled on a menorah? Nah, I didn’t miss anything substantial. Moving on.

So to recap, I guess the plot of this ridiculous thing is that Santa lost a game of curling to an angel and was forced to be nice and deliver presents for 1000 years, and now that contract is up and he can go back to killing again! Did anyone even read this out loud? Try it next time, guys. Might help you create something that’s funny and doesn’t make you sound like a complete ass when you talk about it.

One of the movie’s best moments is this: another rotten, idiotic family of people who let their kids swear profusely (“Can we open our motherfucking presents?!”…ugh, and yes that’s the actual line the little boy says…) apparently becomes the victim of Goldberg Claus’s sporadic bombing as he put explosives in their presents…

Why did he do this, and how? Unimportant, compared to the final result: hilarity!

So then Nicholas’s grandpa gets killed when Santa’s sleigh (or slay? HA-HA-HA!) runs him over randomly as he’s standing outside. This prompts Goldberg Claus to utter the insightful masterwork of dialogue writing with “Grandpa got run over by a reindeer!” followed by laughing. They say laughing at your own jokes is a sign that you aren’t funny, and yeah, I’d say this is about what they had in mind.

From here the movie descends into a ridiculous cat-and-mouse chase that resembles something out of a drugged out Mario Kart game:

Coming soon to a crappy low-rent video store near you, DIE HARD 5: CRAPPY PRO-WRESTLERS IN SANTA OUTFITS VERSUS SPOILED KIDS! Man, they really let the series go, didn't they?

And he shoots fireballs! Gee, that’s like…something a really bad, washed up pro-wrestler might do when he re-enters the ring for a contrived comeback…well, gee; I’m starting to see a big reason why this movie was made!

Pro wrestling stunts are only getting more and more specific, aren't they? Dressing up in a Santa outfit and shooting fireballs from his mouth is probably only going to appeal to a very, very, very small niche of the population.

So then they have the BIG EPIC SHOWDOWN on the ice hockey rink. We also get a great view of Mac’s mouth as Goldberg Claus is about to run them over with the floor sweeper:

Zoom the camera in closer! Seeing more close up shots of her teeth will really make the movie good!

Nicholas’s grandfather comes back and reveals that he was the angel all along who banished Santa in the first place, challenging him to yet another game of curling, because lord knows THAT’S the best way to decide epic battles for the fate of humanity…for some reason, Nicholas’s grandfather doesn’t just make the stakes so that Goldberg Claus gets killed forever if he loses, but instead just that he goes back to being good again.

Grampy Gramps loses and it looks like all hope is lost…before Nicholas knocks him out cold with a Nutcracker figurine that can shoot magic fireballs; I’m dead serious. Ugh.

So the film ends with Mac getting her brother and some old Indian guy with a voice-box machine who still smokes – okay, that’s funny too; that’s at least two good jokes – to help them shoot down Goldberg Claus’s sleigh as he escapes. They find out it’s just the corrupt priest who Goldberg Claus kidnapped earlier, and assume he was the killer all along, letting Goldberg Claus get away. Nicholas decides not to say anything because he’s an idiot, and wants everyone to lower their defenses for the next killing spree Goldberg goes on! What a great main character, man.

So that’s Santa’s Slay and man is it stupid. I will say it’s not totally horrendous. It’s mostly just dumb – it’s meant to be a joke, and so you can’t really deck it for not being too serious, but then again, the jokes there are, are just not very good as it is. Santa’s Slay is like one of those corny jokes that isn’t funny on its own but becomes funny by virtue of just how corny and lame it is. I don’t hate this movie and I’d even prefer to watch it over some of the other crap I’ve reviewed on here. That isn't really saying much, though…oh well. Merry Belated Christmas.