This weekend marks the release of 'Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale' -- a Finnish film about an archeological team that unearths the real Santa Claus deep inside a mountain. It turns out, your childhood image of jolly old St. Nick couldn't be further from the truth; the actual Santa is a hulking beast of a monster, here to kidnap children. The team tries to cage him like an animal, but once his loyal elves try to break him free, a whole lot of havoc erupts.
The film has been hyped up for months on the internet (read Jason Murphy's review of the film when it played at Fantastic Fest), but the evil Santa is practically a Christmas classic, fitting in nicely with Rudolph and Ralphie. We thought it was time to honor the evil Santa and his laundry list of crimes.
Just a brief warning: If you're squeamish, or like your Santa to be wholesome -- a lot of these videos are NSFW.
The Homicidal Maniac in 'Tales from the Crypt: The Movie' (1972)
You Better Watch Out: In the segment '... And All Through the House,' everyone thinks the bad guy is Joanne (Joan Collins), the greedy, money-grubbing wife of poor, unsuspecting Richard. She murders him on Christmas Eve and plans to cash in on his insurance plan, but her plan to dispose the body is interrupted by an escaped mental patient from the "Hospital for the Criminally Insane," dressed up like Santa Claus and roaming around outside. Since she can't call the cops without revealing her crime, she needs to fend off this homicidal home invader, all by her lonesome.
The Naughty List: Resisting Arrest. Breaking and Entering. Physical assault. Manslaughter. Child Abduction. Has the audacity to put his hands on Joan Collins at her absolute hottest. Oh, and he stole a Santa Claus costume from a shop in Burnley.
The Schoolgirl Stalker in 'To All a Good Night' (1980)
You Better Watch Out: The students of the Calvin Finishing School for Girls take advantage of the Christmas break and the superintendant leaving for vacation to sneak in a bunch of eager teenage boys. Amidst a weekend filled with illicit sex and multiple cans of beer, someone dressed as Santa Claus sneaks in and begins killing the barely-dressed couples. Does it have a connection to a tragic accident in the school's history? (Answer: Yes. Of course it does.)
The Naughty List: Assault with a deadly weapon. Attacking an officer of the law. Failure to report underage drinking. Operating a plane without a license. Multiple homicides. Star of one of the poorest-lit movies we have ever seen. Oddly released at the end of January.
Harry Stadling in 'Christmas Evil' (1980/1983)
You Better Watch Out:Traumatized as a youth by an inappropriate Santa, poor Harry grows up to be a sad schlub who is obsessed with Christmas. When he's not treated poorly by his co-workers at the toy factory, he's slowly losing his mind, deluding himself into thinking he's the real Santa. He sets out on his after-hours plan to reward all the good children with his home-made toys, and teach the bad children a lesson, by leaving them bags of dirt. Oh, also, he murders anyone who ever wronged him.
The Naughty List: Well, the homicides, naturally. Spying on children. Manufacturing of combat toys without a safety inspection. Tresspassing on company property. Vandalism. Beating out 'It's a Wonderful Life' for title of "greatest Christmas movie ever" (according to John Waters). Being known as 'You Better Watch Out' on its initial 1980 release, giving film snobs another thing to brag about to all those people seeing it for the first time in 1983, under its new title.
Billy Chapman in 'Silent Night, Deadly Night' (1984)
You Better Watch Out: Billy and his younger brother are orphaned after a criminal dressed in a Santa costume murders his parents, in front of his bare eyes. After years of abuse at the hands of the over-bearing Mother Superior, he's finally free to find a job at the age of 18. Sympathetic Sister Margaret helps get him hired, apparently thinking that working at a toy store in December is a good idea. After being forced to play store Santa, Billy has a full mental collapse and goes on a murderous rampage, taking up Santa's job of "punishing" all the bad people.
The Naughty List: Again, all the murders. Tampering with store merchandise. Attacking a nun -- which is just mean. Prompted a protest from the PTA upon its release. Earned the ire of Siskel, Ebert and Leonard Maltin. Spawned four more even-worse sequels, that have been relegated to one lowly internet meme.
Santa, the Son of Satan in 'Santa's Slay' (2005)
You Better Watch Out: Turns out Santa is actually the product of the devil's own immaculate conception. Christmas used to be the day that Santa went around killing everyone -- until an angel beat him in a curling match, then cursed him to a thousand years of gift giving. We'll never know why he didn't just curse him for infinity, because the curse is over and Santa resumes his destruction of our earthly realm on December 25.
The Naughty List: Wracks up an impressive 36 kills on his return. Plus, all that biblical slaughter over thousands of years. Portrayed by former pro wrestling champion Bill Goldberg, who is infamous for legitimately hurting Bret Hart and ending his career. Written and directed by Brett Ratner's former assistant. Tries really hard to be funny. Leaves you asking yourself "why is James Caan in this?" Features Chris Kattan and Fran Drescher getting frisky with each other.
Jack Frost in 'The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause' (2006)
You Better Watch Out: Tired of being upstaged by Santa Claus, Jack Frost (Martin Short) tricks Santa into erasing himself from existence. Then he goes back in time and re-writes history making himself to be the one true Santa Claus.
The Naughty List: Unfair labor conditions. Accepts bribes. Soulless over-commercialization of the holiday (even moreso). Reckless freezing of Alan Arkin and Ann-Margret. Inspires bizarre youtube tribute videos. Forces disturbing muscal numbers on bored audiences. Probably seriouly affected the time-space continuum. Kind of a weird Disney movie if you've ever sat down and actually watched it.
St. Nicholas in 'Sint' (2010)
You Better Watch Out: On December 5, when the moon is full, Sinterklass returns with his zombie pirate henchmen to kidnap and murder all the little Dutch children. St. Nicholas actually used to be a merciless tyrant, til he was burned alive by an angry mob. And now he's gone all Freddy Krueger-like on the Netherlands.
The Naughty List: Resisting arrest. Failure to wash properly. Ridiculous gore. Plenty of child murder ... actually we're just going to leave this one alone.
Santa Claus in 'Rare Exports:A Christmas Tale' (2010)
The Naughty List: Child abduction. Reindeer slaughter. Explosions. The freakiest depiction of an elf since Justin Long in 'Going the Distance.' Frustratingly only playing at one theater in New York City.