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#10 DON'T OPEN TILL CHRISTMAS
Shortly after the film opens, a homicidal maniac with a severe aversion to Saint Nick impales a man dressed as Santa Claus at a Christmas party. Amidst all of the festivities, noisemakers, eggnog and holiday cheer, the man dressed as Santa is impaled through the back of his head with the object protruding all the way through and out his mouth. All of this transpires while Santa Claus is on stage giving a speech to the festively outfitted party goers.
#9 BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974)
In Black Christmas, Barb is stabbed repeatedly with a figurine while carolers are singing at the front door, obscuring the sound of Barb’s screams. This death scene is graphic and shocking all on its own, but that it is taking place while a group of young carolers sing at the front door brings it to a different level. The juxtaposition of Barb's death and the carolers on the doorstep is very bold for the time the film was made. The simultaneous display of innocence and brutality is uncomfortable to see. Barb takes her last breath as the carolers finish their song. Black Christmas (1974) is my personal favorite holiday horror film. It is still a shocking film to this day. It laid the groundwork for the slasher boom of the late seventies and early '80s and continues to influence horror filmmakers
#8 SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT
While on his holiday murder spree, Billy gives a young girl a bloody knife as a Christmas present. Seeing Billy give the young girl a blood soaked knife as a gift is shocking. But what makes the exchange even more appalling is that in Billy's twisted sense of reality, he is doing something good. He is punishing the naughty and rewarding the nice. Although Silent Night, Deadly Night had a lot of unintentionally campy moments, this scene was pretty brutal. It even won a mention from Siskel and Ebert when they were dumping on the film during its theatrical run.
#7 SILENT NIGHT
Early on in the film, Santa electrocutes a teenage girl, until she is foaming at the mouth, and then skewers her. This normally wouldn’t raise a big stir, but the character being electrocuted is portrayed to be no older than 14. Typically, horror films steer away from killing youngsters or do so off-camera. This, however, was a "balls out" brutal death scene. Making it even more shocking, the young victim had just knocked the heart pills out of her mother's hand and yelled ”F**k church" at the suggestion of spending Christmas Eve at church.
#6 DON'T OPEN TILL CHRISTMAS
A department store Santa Claus turns up at a peep show in a dodgy part of town. While Santa is talking dirty to the woman behind the glass, the Santa Claus killer comes up behind the man and stabs him in the neck, shooting blood all over the peep show window. This scene was controversial for the violence against St. Nick, but also because the image of Santa Claus is one that many people hold sacred. To see a horned-up Kris Cringle trying to find some cheap thrills for the holidays is a sad site, to the more delicate viewer.