Christmas Bloody Christmas makes two promises in its title: it’s going to be about Christmas, and it’s going to be bloody. It succeeds on both fronts to create a fun, fast-paced Christmas horror that is all style, very little substance – but when it works this well, it’s totally fine.
Christmas Bloody Christmas open with a few fun, fake Christmas-themed commercials, including one for Robo Santa Plus, promised to be a replacement for drunk, grabby mall Santas. Proudly made by a defense contractor, and in stores now! The main characters Tori (Riley Dandy), an indie record shop owner, and her employee Robbie (Sam Delich), are drunk on Christmas and the pair drops off some whiskey at the local toy store, where they find their friends Lahna (Dora Madison) and Jay (Jonah Ray) having an after-hours fuck-fest. After a quick stop at the toy store, Tori and Robbie head to the bar, drink the place closed, and drive back to Tori’s house, where they continue drinking and add some sex to their Christmas activities.
To no one’s surprise (well, to none of the audience’s surprise), Robo Santa (Abraham Benrubi) comes to life in the toy store, finds a fire axe, and takes it to Lahna and Jay. He then stomps out of the store, somehow picks up on Tori’s scent, and follows her home, stopping first to slaughter the family in the obnoxiously decorated house next door. From there, it’s a bloodbath.
There’s not much else to Christmas Bloody Christmas, but it does live up to its name. The characters aren’t deep, there’s basically no plot, and we maybe could’ve used a bit more backstory or information on the Robo Santa Plus. Why would a defense contractor create something like that for commercial use? A vague news report mentions that they were “failing” at large; did something cause it to become defective? Were Robo Santas going on killing rampages around the country? That seems like an entirely missed plot opportunity, but that isn’t the point of the story.
Riley Dandy does well as the Final Girl. She might curse a little bit too much, to the point of seeming unrealistic, but she is a worthy adversary to Robo Santa. Abraham Benrubi is virtually unrecognizable and underused as Robo Santa, as he doesn’t utter a word and just stomps around killing.
Christmas Bloody Christmas is the perfect viewing for a Christmas party. There is no plot to follow, just people being slaughtered by a huge killer Santa Claus. Director Joe Begos keeps the dialogue fast-paced, with plenty of cursing, and lots of fun insider references to horror movies that will keep diehards entertained—like a debate between which is better, Pet Semetary 1 or 2, and a reference to the Christmas album from the Tales From the Crypt’s Cryptkeeper. Everything in Christmas Bloody Christmas is soaked in neon lights for that festive holiday look, so it’s perfect for rowdy, drunk Christmas party viewing. In fact, watching Christmas Bloody Christmas alone and sober probably does this movie a disservice.
Christmas Bloody Christmas will have a limited theatrical run, and will stream on Shudder beginning December 9.