Hollywood Flashback: ‘Silent Evening’s’ Killer Santa Was Pulled From Theaters in 1984

Hollywood Flashback: 'Silent Night's' Killer Santa Was Pulled From Theaters in 1984

Vacation horror movie ‘Black Christmas,’ which hit theaters Friday, seems headed for a smoother launch than its style predecessor, which confronted backlash because it “took naughty to new ranges of not good.”

Black Christmas, the vacation horror movie out Dec. 13, seems headed for a smoother launch than its style predecessor Silent Evening, Lethal Evening obtained in 1984. Again then, one thing a couple of serial killer Santa Claus touched a nerve with the general public.

Lethal Evening wasn’t the primary killer-Santa movie — that credit score goes to 1972’s Tales From the Crypt starring Joan Collins,” says creator Jeffrey Miller, who’s writing a e book about Christmas horror movies. “But it surely took naughty to new ranges of not good.”

The Hollywood Reporter wrote that ABC affiliate KETV in Omaha was “besieged by complaints” over the movie’s primetime promoting. Protesters picketed theaters whereas singing Christmas carols. Movie critic Gene Siskel learn the names of the filmmakers on air and added, “Disgrace on you!”

THR was one of many few retailers that had something good to say about what it referred to as “a blood-splattered Christmas current from TriStar Footage.” Director Charles Sellier “rings the slay bells with workmanlike competence,” it wrote. (One irony is that seven years earlier, Sellier created NBC’s family-friendly The Life and Occasions of Grizzly Adams.)

However the public outcry was an excessive amount of for TriStar. The studio’s first launch was the Oscar-nominated The Pure, starring Robert Redford. The hoopla Lethal Evening attracted did not assist its repute for making stylish movies. After two weeks in theaters, TriStar pulled the plug on Evening‘s launch.

The $1 million manufacturing had been doing respectable, if not distinctive, enterprise. (One other slasher movie that opened the identical weekend was A Nightmare on Elm Avenue, which went on to change into a billion-dollar franchise.) On opening weekend, Silent Evening, Lethal Evening was in eighth place with a $1.four million gross; the second weekend it made $782,600.

Regardless of its controversial begin, Lethal Evening managed to generate 4 sequels and one remake, however none of them “slayed” the best way the primary one did. 

This story first appeared within the Dec. 13 problem of The Hollywood Reporter journal. To obtain the journal, click on right here to subscribe.


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