Saturday, December 11, 2021

T'was a Naked Scream Queen Christmas: Santa Claws (1996)

Santa Claws (1996)
Rating: **
Starring: Debbie Rochon, Grant Kramer and John Mowod

While many of us remember John A. Russo as the writer behind Night of The Living Dead (1968)'s screenplay, those skittering about the lower, lower depths of the horror trash bin would also remember him for directing one of the many horror stinkers to exist, Santa Claws (1996).

As a child, Wayne never got over his father's death and hates just about anybody who would try to take his place. So when he finds his mother and uncle canoodling one Christmas night, the boy lost it, picked up his uncle's handgun and emptied it on the two adults.

Flashforward to the present, scream queen Raven Quinn is in the midst of a troubled marriage when she agreed to star in a shlocky softcore horror feature, "Scream Queen Christmas". Her in-laws disapprove of this and her husband is out elsewhere on a photoshoot (and an affair) so no full support on his part, which leads us to the now-adult Wayne who just happens to be her neighbor; secretly, Wayne is Quinn's biggest fan and whenever he's not worshipping her through a creepy shrine decked with her memorabilia (including a life-size bust that he smooches), he's doing his best to feign normalcy and tries anything he can to win her over.

And by anything, I mean apart from being a supportive friend, he's also out killing anybody he deems unworthy of Quinn's attention and love. Like, duh.

Frankly, Santa Claws (1996) doesn't work as a genuine horror effort; it's painfully obvious in its low-budget straight-to-VHS production, treading through a soggy, paper-thin story littered with atrociously bad acting, zero scares and a dry kill count. The pace is bogged down by too many skin scenes featuring characters that aren't particularly likable (or mattered at all considering the writing quality here), so I'm sure as shit thrills won't be a thing in this shlock as well. Still, the badness of it all at least reaches a form of high point as an unintentional comedy and I do find myself laughing at this mess from start to finish; the awkward shots, the inept line delivery, the clumsy murder sequences, there's a sense of corny weirdness to them that I just can't help but grin and chuckle. 

And, yes, if you have to count it, I guess the movie's multitude of eye candy stripteases can be a treat for some people. But if we're just in it to see some tits and ass, then one should know that the outtakes from this movie, along with additional topless footages were actually compiled into a real video titled Scream Queen’s Naked Christmas (1996). From what I heard, it's just as terrible as Santa Claws (1996) but, hey, Boobs Ahoy!

Obviously the worst choice you would make if you're looking for a good, good Christmas-themed slasher, but if you're open for a weirdly goofy and cheap holiday horror trasherpiece, then drink that bourbon and watch away!

1 male and 1 female shot to death
1 female hacked to death with a garden claw
1 male hacked to death with a garden claw
1 female strangled to death
1 female hacked on the gut with a garden claw, strangled
1 male strangled to death with a choke-hold
1 male hacked on the throat with a garden claw
Total: 8

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