Christmas Evil

Director: Lewis Jackson
Year Released: 1980
Rating: 2.0

On Christmas Eve in 1947, lil' Harry Stadling (Gus Salud) sees his mother getting felt up by Santa Claus, is traumatized and goes to the attic to cut himself with broken glass; as an adult (Brandon Maggart), he's obsessed with the December holiday, works at the Jolly Dreams toy factory, maintains extensive notes on the activities of the neighborhood children (and whether they're "naughty" or "nice") ... and then the psychosis gets the best of him, and he becomes convinced he is St. Nick.  I'll give it a bit of credit for at least attempting to engage in proper character analysis - "building a case" for the reasons behind his deranged behavior and all that - but it's also mostly formless and lethargic: it takes until the third act for it to be a little engaging ... and is "inspired" by a certain Mary Shelley novel (except in this situation he's chased through New Jersey with torches).  It's gained a cult audience over the years for its anti-materialist "message" (John Waters is a huge fan) and absurd ending, but I think the real miracle here is that lead actor Maggart's daughter is singer/songwriter Fiona Apple ... who has openly confessed to being a "bad, bad girl" (and deserves coal in her stocking).