Year Released: 1996
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 60 minutes
Click to Expand Credits:
“Satan Claus” is the second movie on a DVD that also features “Psycho
Santa,” a film with an equally silly name. “Psycho Santa” is a passable slasher movie, though, while “Satan Claus” is nothing but a bloody mess.
Filmed on a thirty-cent budget, this non-stop idiotmobile is about an insane Santa who is killing people in New York City so that he can use their body parts to decorate his tree. Or at least that’s what viewers start out believing. There’s a twist coming, however, that you don’t see (despite the numerous warnings from the voodoo priestess played by Lauretta Ali) because it makes almost zero sense. Nothing that came before it made much sense either, so this should come as no surprise.
There are many complaints that can be thrown at this film … and all of them are valid. Its main faults, though, are the writing, acting and sets. Simonetta Mostarda, the man who wrote this hour-long head-scratcher, has watched all the wrong cop movies in doing his research for the film. He has no ear for police dialogue and understands nothing about police procedures. He also throws in a scene with redneck vigilantes who are stopped from killing an innocent man by a speech our “hero” (Robert Hector) gives them on the subjects of freedom and leaving some kind of legacy for their children. I’ve spent a lot of time in New York City, and I’ve never ran into a redneck who actually lives there. The scene was odd, and it proved that Mostarda is nothing but a hack.
When it comes to the actors, you can argue that they can only be as good as the script, but that’s not true. If you put this cast in
“Memento,” it would’ve sunk the movie. These folks either overact, like in the case of Captain George Ardison (Barie Snider), who is probably the worst police captain ever written for the screen, or they don’t act at all and only repeat their lines … and usually incorrectly or off cue. Way to go team.
And what about the sets?
Minimalist at best. Captain Ardison’s office, which he shares with a detective, actually looks like a room in someone’s apartment. The
killer’s lair is equally dismal, though it appears that most of the budget was spent on the tree, and that’s before body parts were laid on its branches.
It’s so obvious that nobody really tried to make a great movie here. The idea probably sounded good on paper, but nobody bothered to hammer out its faults. The result is a film that is moronic at best. It’s a total waste of time for everyone involved with it, and now I’ve wasted my time watching it. Guaranteed I won’t make that mistake again, and now, hopefully, neither will you.
Posted on December 21, 2005 in Reviews by Doug Brunell
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