Silent Night, Bloody Night - 1974
Directed by Theodore Gershuny - MPAA Rating: Restricted
a film review by DAW

In the winter of 1950, days before Christmas, the illusive Mr. Wilfred Butler burns to death outside of his house.  After years of the city trying to buy the massive property, Butler's grandson Jeffrey finally decides to sell the place.  A lawyer comes down to seal the deal, but he notices that the mayor and other prominent towns people are acting very strange.  Even though the town’s people object, the lawyer and his wife want to stay in the old house instead of renting a motel.  Soon the lights are low and there is passion in the air.  Their romantic night is suddenly disrupted by an AX TO THE CROTCH!  

It is made very clear that there is something strange going on at the old Butler house.  When Jeffery shows up at the house of the mayor's daughter (Diane), it is soon made clear that either he is connected to the murders or their is a maniac on the lose.  When they find out that a mental patient has escaped from a local asylum, he might just be the answer they are looking for.  After some strange and eerie phone calls, Diane finds that appearances can be deceiving and that people's histories can come back to haunt them!

This is a great film which is often overlooked by the casual viewer.  It has an older feel to it but a solid story, good amount of gore, and a great twist at the end.  The atmosphere of the film is creepy, and the look of the film stock adds a wonderful little touch of grime, which improves the viewing experience.

The title is obviously a nod to the Christmas song "Silent Night" and the version of the song that is used in this film is very haunting.  Sometimes it is in the background, and other times the characters are humming or singing the tune.  This reviewer would put this in with other Christmas slashers, such as Black Christmas and Don't Open 'Till Christmas.  The main difference being that the Christmas holiday is very downplayed in this film.

  written by DAW for and