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Christmas Evil (Special Edition) (1980)

Brandon Maggart , Jeffrey DeMunn , Lewis Jackson  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

List Price: $24.95
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Christmas Evil - Special Edition   $2.99 $9.99
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Christmas Evil (1983)   -- $7.99

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Christmas Evil (Special Edition) + Silent Night, Deadly Night: Parts 1 & 2 + Black Christmas (Special Edition)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Brandon Maggart, Jeffrey DeMunn, Dianne Hull, Andy Fenwick, Brian Neville
  • Directors: Lewis Jackson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Director's Cut, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Synapse Films
  • DVD Release Date: November 14, 2006
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000IJ7A60
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,017 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Christmas Evil (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary from Director Lewis Jackson
  • Bonus Audio Commentary by Director Lewis Jackson and Cult Director JOHN WATERS!
  • Director's Cut Version Featuring Never-Before-Seen Footage!
  • Storyboards
  • Original Comment Cards
  • Audition Tapes (26 min.)

Editorial Reviews

Harry Stadling (Brandon Maggert) is obsessed with Christmas! In fact he wants to "be the authentic Santa Claus, with a real suit, sleigh and reindeer'. Ever since he learned the 'truth' about Santa, he's tried to make Christmas a reality. Growing up a toy maker, Harry is met with naysayers and critics who mock him for his yuletide beliefs. but he wants people to get the presents they deserve, even if that means giving the gift of murder! Cynics and uptight hypocrites beware! Lewis Jackson's classic black comedy horror film, CHRISTMAS EVIL (aka YOU BETTER WATCH OUT!) is, according to cult film director/auteur John Waters, 'the best seasonal film of all time. I wish I had kids. I'd make them watch it every year and, if they didn't like it, they'd be punished!' Time to hang those stockings from the fireplace and get ready. the sadistic holiday chestnut CHRISTMAS EVIL is here in an all-new Director's Cut edition. Transferred from the director's own personal film elements, this version of CHRISTMAS EVIL is the original first cut of the film containing even more scenes and never-before-seen footage!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There's a new Santa in town May 3, 2003
Format:DVD
Christmas Evil holds a unique spot in the genre of Christmas slasher films. While a few individuals are murdered, there so little blood that I would not classify this as a slasher film at all. This is more of a psychological treatment that transcends horror of a primal nature. In its own special twisted way, Christmas Evil is really sort of touching, and I would argue that it actually does possess a measure of real Christmas spirit. Harry isn't a bad guy; his heart is in the right place - it's just a few of his toys of death that end up in wrong places such as someone else's neck. As a young child, Harry sees disturbing evidence before his very eyes that Santa Claus is not real, and this experience scars him for life. He does not let the Christmas spirit die in him, however; the spirit actually grows to the point that, as a forty-something year old man, he tries to become Santa Claus and spread joy to good little children. He spies on the neighborhood kids, writing down notes in his books of naught boys and girls. As a newly-promoted manager at a toy factory, he is dismayed to see inferior-quality toys rolling off the assembly line, his co-workers speak badly of the holidays, and a new hotshot executive puts forth a promotional campaign to send toys to a children's hospital without knowing or caring if there will be enough for the kids. Eventually, poor Harry snaps, dons a Santa suit, and goes out to spread Christmas spirit all around. Of course, a few adults have been very bad in his eyes, and a few of them end up dead.
Brandon Maggart is really quite good in the role of Harry.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Christmas Classic! July 17, 2001
Format:DVD
Greetings from Tromaville!
Aside from being John Waters's favorite Christmas movie, this film is known as the best of the Holiday Horror genre. Originally titled "You better watch out.....", and also known as "Terror in Toyland", the film was re-released with the title "Christmas Evil" to cash in on the success of "Silent Night, Deadly Night".
But "Christmas Evil" is a much different film. Contrary to the cover art, "Christmas Evil" is a psychological horror film that digs deep into the mind of a person who loves Santa, and hates the greedy.
He always brings presents to the "nice", such as numerous toys for the children's hospital. What makes it a horror film is that he treats those who have been "Naughty" with death.
There are two things commonly misinterpreted about the film. First of all, it is not anti-Christmas. If anything, it's against the commercialization of Christmas.
Second, it's not completely a psychological horror film. It's mostly a dark-comedy in the vein of "Jack Frost" (not the conglomerate crappy Keaton one, but the horror/comedy distributed by A-Pix Entertainment.) that will leave you mesmorised.
It also contains running commontary with the director, and the star, Brandon Maggart, who is the father of pop princess Fiona Apple, as well as a special holiday introduction with Troma President Lloyd Kaufman.
In conclusion, see "Christmas Evil". It will do for Christmas what Charles Kaufman's "Mother's Day" did for Mother's Day
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC HOLIDAY THRILLER IS VERY EFFECTIVE November 22, 2001
Format:DVD
CHRISTMAS EVIL is one of those little classics that has gained a cult following and has managed to keep a low profile through the years. Sometimes confused with other movies like BLACK CHRISTMAS or SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT (and for the record all 3 movies are very different) CHRISTMAS EVIL is not so much a horror movie as it is a dark comedy about a man's journey into insanity. I don't want you to get the wrong impression since CHRSITMAS EVIL isn't a comedy, but it is light hearted in the way it shows and depicts the main character believing he is Santa Clause. Which brings us to the story. A man, who was traumatized as a boy by seeing his mother getting laid by old st. Nick, grows up into believing he is the real, better Santa Clause and can bring good to the world. Its almost hard to describe exactly what makes this movie so good or what makes this movie so scary. You really have to see it to believe it. It takes you on a journey into the mind of a mentally disturbed individual while showing us violence and comedy all in the happy holiday setting. And as for the ending which many people say is confusing.....it's not confusing if you think it over and have a little faith.
CHRISTMAS EVIL is a christmas classic indeed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars CHRISTMAS EVIL: Naughty or Nice? February 25, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Originally titled YOU BETTER WATCH OUT (and a.k.a. TERROR IN TOYLAND), 1980's CHRISTMAS EVIL amounts to little more than a crass attempt to hitch onto the holiday-horror gravy train initiated by John Carpenter's universally better HALLOWEEN in 1978. It's only notable for the fact that it was the first of the HALLOWEEN rip-offs to feature a Killer Kris Kringle (fortunately, it wasn't the last!).

Character actor Brandon Maggart--who, by the way, was a member of the original cast of TV's SESAME STREET and is the father of pop singer Fiona Apple--portrays Harry Stadling, a sexually repressed middle-manager at the Jolly Dream Toy Factory who is haunted by a childhood incident in which he saw Ol' Saint Nick joyfully boffing mommy amidst the presents under the tree on Christmas Eve. One nasty Noël, the blatant commercialistic attitudes exuded by his family and coworkers burns at his psyche until his subconscious finally boils over, and Harry then blithely dons the red and white and hunts down both the naughty and the nice to mete out their just deserts. To the innocents and the kiddies, he delivers dreamy delights; to the cruel and calloused, he doles out death!

Now, a story with a serial-killer Santa is a delightfully twisted concept that offers lots of opportunity for dark humor and satirical subtext. Alas, CHRISTMAS EVIL simply falls flat. The ineptly handled schizophrenic shifting between chills and chuckles makes for confusing viewing, leaving one tempted to conclude that the screenwriter is just as loony as Harry Standling himself. And to top it all off, the film's feel-good surprise-ending is glaringly out of sync with the overall tone of the rest of the film.

To be fair, it must be said that CHRISTMAS EVIL does contain a few items of merit.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun ole school movie
Fun ole school movie...Amazon you're charging too much money for rentals...Also you charge 1.99 for a majority of your TV shows....whats up with that? Read more
Published 26 days ago by Maureen Lane
2.0 out of 5 stars Meh
The movie really sucks and I'm bummed that I wasn't able to just rent it but oh well. Amazon Instant Video is great!
Published 5 months ago by Kjersti Gilthvedt
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas evil DVD review
I've wanted this movie for a long time. I'm so glad that it works perfectly and the quality of the DVD is fine.
Published 8 months ago by Justin Peterson
4.0 out of 5 stars You'll never see the end coming!
Classic horror film from the 80s. Actually decent acting in some places, but well put together. Obviously not high budget, but you'll recognize some of the actors. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good movie!
Wow i was just expecting another slasher but this movie has something extra. You do have to look beyond the low budget but after that 5 stars
Published 10 months ago by M. Bell
2.0 out of 5 stars I dont get it
I don't get how to uses the side by side 3-D movie thingy. I would love it otherwise thanks anyway
Published 19 months ago by rocco vaglica
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas Classic
There ain't nothing nice to say about this, "uncut," B movie - that's its single best quality. Nothing but a good time. (Sorry about the "uncut," but I cannot be sure. Read more
Published on October 19, 2012 by Koyaanisqatsi
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, the Definitive Edition of this Classic Work!
The Special Edition of this stunning film will not disappoint those who appreciate cinema and strive to understand the process of producing a masterpiece. Read more
Published on June 3, 2012 by SanFran JT
1.0 out of 5 stars Save Your Money
This movie was not filmed in 3-D. This release is computer generated and manipulated. They are placing two slightly offset images in a stereo window and it does not have true... Read more
Published on March 22, 2012 by Bob Furmanek
5.0 out of 5 stars christimas evil/ terror in toyland
This move is a classic in my opinion. It is a movie in my horror library that I watch every year around christmas and sometimes through out the year. Read more
Published on December 25, 2011 by Amazon Customer
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