I love a sell-out! I mean it. You can even put me on the naughty list if I am lying (and I take being on that list seriously… well sort of.) As artists, we often tug and pull the sleigh of whether we create for sake of art or do it for the money (Ho’ money! Ho’ money, Ho’ money.) As a hard-core believer in having a chimney for Santa to slide down and having my belly full of out-of-date eggnog (with just a sprinkle of cinnamon), I travel to Antarctica to yell ‘SELL OUT!” which is exactly what Micky Rooney did when he starred in the fifth soon-to-be-rediscovered holiday horror classic in the Silent Night, Deadly Night franchise.
After you’ve stuffed your mouth full of popcorn (after placing it on the Christmas tree) it seems odd there are so many “bloody” Merry Christmas movies. As we evil elves know, where there is a season, there is a killer to lurk all through the house. For every It’s a Wonderful Life and Miricle on 34th Street, there is a Christmas Evil and Black Christmas (the original by Bob Clark, the guy who also gave us A Christmas Story). Yet none have ever been more naughty than nice like the Silent Night, Deadly Night series. In case you are wondering, yes, there are five in the series, plus some crappy rip-offs and remakes (those got the gift of coal) and it was the poster of the first one which sent many a parent to the north pole to scold Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick. The film is legendary for having the ads pulled from television, fearing children really couldn’t handle seeing the guy they usually sit on manically wielding a double-edged ax. It even had good ol’ Micky Roony (The voice of Kris Kringle from the animated Sant clause is Coming to Town) shaking his red nose (from the cold… yeah, right) publicly for what the producers were doing to the children. Of course, bad press is always good press and the series was a hit. Now, this isn’t the spiked cookie dough talking, but I would argue the fifth in the series is one of the best and bravest. Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker has a lot in common with Halloween III: Season of the Witch, in that it is “in name only” as a sequel, should have been called just The Toy Maker, and is way better then it should be for being part of this series (which doesn’t mean it should be cast out to the island of misfit VHS tapes by any means!)
The plot is the gift that keeps on giving all these years later. On a night not too far from Christmas, while his mother and dirtbag boyfriend are jingling their bells, young David gets a random present from someone who used to live at the house. David opens it just in time for the toy inside to kill his would-be-daddy. Turns out, the maker of the toy is the Pinnocio son of toy store owner Micky Rooney (who finally sold out just in time for tax season around the corner, even dressing up like a killer Santa Clause!). Weird things happen as the toys start a killing spree, including a great scene where Larry the Larva enters a guy’s mouth and pokes through his eyeballs! Instead of reindeer flying through the air, this movie gives you blade-slinging helicopters! David must save his family and, in what is probably the best ending in movie history since Meathead made it back to space in Meatballs part II, David must understand the true meaning of Christmas: the evil things that go bump in the night are just toys… just toys… just toys…
Unwrapping (more like ripping) at a solid 87 minutes, and directed by Quinton Tarantino’s script supervisor Martin Kitrosser, this is perfect to be played along with Rudolph, the Rednosed Reindeer as you listen to Bing Crosby in the background. You can find this yule log on most streaming services like The Roku Channel and Tubi, but be sure to ask the big red guy for the new three-disc Blu-ray (along with special features) of parts three, four, and five from Vestron Video. So make your wish list of your favorite death-sleighing movies to watch, dip your Aunt Cathy’s fruit cake into a batter of butter, and sell out to pure Micky Roony joy in what is sure to become a Holiday classic!