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  • Writer's pictureRob Freese

ICFH 2022 Advent Calendar- Day 17

ICFH 2022 Advent Calendar- Day 17

Just when you think you've seen every Christmas slasher movie, one of the specialty labels puts one out you've never heard of and then it goes on the list of seasonal viewing. Some films have a raw power that holds you in a trance and you cannot look away. And then others are just so dang bizarre you scratch your head and wonder what in Hell you're watching.

Warning: Spoiler Alert! This might be one you've heard about and are curious about if you're like me and have to watch every movie ever made that has been categorized as a slasher movie. Whether it is a true slasher or not is for another time. If you haven't seen it and want to, look away!

ICFH 2022 Advent Calendar December 17- Blood Beat (1983)

Weird Wisconsin is the locale for this supernatural Samurai Christmas slasher.

Siblings Dolly (Dana Day) and Ted (Fames Fitzgibbons) come home from college to spend Christmas with their mom Cathy (Helen Benton) and her easy going, deer hunting happy beau Gary (Terry Brown). Oh, mom is some kind of psychic witch who shies away from commitment and suffers from migraines when she doesn't want to deal with something important.

Ted brought his girlfriend Sarah (Claudia Peyton) with him and immediately there is obvious friction between her and mom. Although the women have never met, Cathy has some kind of strange reaction to Ted's gal pal. From the look on her face she either has a horrific vision of future terrors involving the girl or she is stricken with a vicious bout gas pains. The look says either one.

Sarah has an odd feeling about Ted's mom's house and almost seems to awaken a mystic force within the house. She's definitely a downer but everyone seems more than a bit uneasy. No one is happy. They are all bickering. Everyone is mad. This is probably the most realistic depiction of what the holiday season is really like that I've ever seen in a film.

Then the spirit of a Samurai warrior appears and begins stabbing the snot out of the good folks in America's Dairyland. During the attacks, it seems that Sarah may actually be making them happen. She flails around in bed sweating and breathing spastically.

"Weird" is the word most commonly used to described this flick. Until a better word is invented that will continue to be the most commonly used word to describe it, but I truly believe "schizophrenic" is also another good word you could use to describe it.

French writer-director Fabrice-Ange Zaphiratos brings an art house aesthetic to the proceedings that reminded me of Ulli Lommel's 1980 The Boogey Man.

For me it falls far short of what I expect from a holiday slasher movie, but I see why some consider it a slasher. (The words "Christmas Slasher" conjure up a much different image in my mind than this.) There is slashing, stabbing and a pretty good home invasion scene, mixed with some The Boogey Man light effects. This also reminds me of those bonkers Silent Night, Deadly Night sequels that Brian Yuzna made.

It's not a great flick but it is one that I give a watch every couple years now during the season.

Murky still of Samurai Santa stalking his prey...he's not really a Santa. I just like how that sounded.

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