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  • Writer's pictureRob Freese

ICFH 2022 Advent Calendar- Day 14

ICFH 2022 Advent Calendar- Day 14

The premise for some movies is just too good to be true. You read the synopsis out loud, hear the words and still cannot believe they made a movie about it. The mere concept of a film can create instant expectations in people, and if the film doesn't meet those expectations, the film might be deemed a dud. Like Christmas itself. Most go into the season with high hopes, only to see them come crashing down around the midway point. But then others, with little or no expectations, are delighted at the surprises the season has to offer.

Warning: Spoiler Alert! This is a brand new 2022 movie and I am going to do everything I can not to spoil anything about it, but I might slip, or say more than you want to know about it. (My intention is not to reveal any more than the trailer does, but tropes of this genre are there and it doesn't take much to figure out the general trajectory this flick takes just from the premise.) If you are dying to see it and don't want anything ruined, turn back now.

ICFH 2022 Advent Calendar December 14- Christmas Bloody Christmas (2022)

While the flick lives up to the title, I think a better title would have been "Robot Santa Runs Amuck!" Yup. That's the whole movie in four words.

On Christmas Eve a robotic Santa (developed by the military!) goes off line for some unknown reason and kicks into high "Kill" mode. It grabs a fire axe and gets busy spreading bloody good cheer. Record shop owner Tori Tooms (Riley Dandy) and employee Robbie Reynolds (Sam Delich) try to survive the scariest night of the year while people around them are slaughtered in grand fashion.

There's nothing new about the combat droid/security robot/pleasure bot run amuck scenario and that's mostly because it is already a solid premise. Something created by man to protect man that runs wild and kills man. In this case it kills men. Many men.

Why does the Santa bot slip a circuit and go bad? I don't know if the movie says. If it did say, everything was moving so fast I could not be bothered to notice. Did it matter when all the robots in Westworld went wild and started killing everyone? Heck no it didn't and it doesn't matter here.

From reviews I've read online, I see that some people are struggling with this flick. Why does everything need to be spelled out? Why can't shit just go down on Christmas Eve with a psycho Santa bot and we just enjoy it for what it is? Who cares why it goes nucking futs? Hello...created by the military. That's enough for me.

Flick comes in at a brisk 86 minutes. If time had been wasted on the whys, with maybe a scientific-type realizing the Santas were going mad, and trying to track it down and stop it, that could have easily added another twenty minutes to this flick. That's twenty minutes too long for such a slim premise.

The slim premise itself, robot vs woman, is sound enough. Let it play out. I would never come to a movie like this looking for deep meaning, big thoughts or realistic characters. I don't want that in a killer Santa robot movie. If this movie tried to be more than what it is, tried to have some meaning, people would instantly hate it. To try and make this into something more than it is would strip it of everything it gets right. Let it be what it is.

Is this movie a rip-off of The Terminator? Sure it is. Absolutely. It basically puts the T-800 in a Santa suit, and I love it. It combines all the best things about Halloween and The Class of 1999 and does it in a wash of obnoxious neon light.

Kudos to writer-director Joe Begos for not wasting a second of my time and getting to the meat of the matter. Kudos to star Riley Dandy, who could easily out-cuss any character from a Rob Zombie picture but still manages to never become so obnoxious I hated her. Kudos to Abraham Benrubi as the Santa bot for never breaking character and storming into the 15 endings with the drive to stop at nothing to pull Dandy's eyeballs out her mouth. Kudos to Steve Moore and his cool synth score that gives this flick a perfect heartbeat.

Yes, Virginia, they still make drive-in movies!

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