Wherein a wisecracking high school janitor teaches kids to believe in their dreams
Silent Night, Deadly Night
Directed by: Charles Sellier
Release Date: November 9, 1984
Run Time: 85 minutes
Body Count: 13
In the Winter of 1984 a slasher directed by the man who created Grizzly Adams snuck into theaters. The poster depicted an axe-wielding Santa Claus going down a chimney and old white people were less than thrilled about it. It opened on the same day as A Nightmare on Elm Street and made more money at the box office, but the power of middle class white people was too strong to fight and it was unceremoniously yanked from theaters. So what is so special about this silly little Santa Claus murder movie? Why does this film have such a strong cult following, and why in God’s name are there four sequels? Let’s dive in. If the movie itself is even half as good as its name, we should be in business.
Body Count: 11 (if you include the snake)
In the late 1970's an exploitation filmmaker named Sean S. Cunningham placed a full page ad in the papers to drum up interest in a movie. He had no backing, no script, just a name: Friday the 13th ..."The most terrifying film ever made!" The name sounded cool and nobody sued him over it, and that was all the green-lighting he needed. He took the most memorable parts of Halloween and Psycho, sprinkled in some Kevin Bacon, and a franchise was born.