Christmas with the Dead, based on a short story by author Joe R. Lansdale, is part comedy, part horror, part buddy movie, and part heart-warming Christmas movie!
Cutie Damian Maffei plays Calvin, whose wife and daughter turn into zombies when rainbow lightning flashes in the sky on Christmas. It turns out that anyone who looked directly at the lightning turned zombie.
Calvin learns to go on with life, just bypassing all the locals in his town; even though they are all zombies, he learns to live with them and avoid them. While out doing a fuel run, Calvin befriends an old daddy bear named GM, who is busy shooting zombies. GM is played by Brad Maule, who has actually been a regular on General Hospital, 7th Heaven, and The Young and The Restless.
The basic premise of the movie is that GM helps Calvin fulfill his promise to his family to make it a perfect Christmas…even if it is June and they’re undead. The great performances of Damian Maffei and Brad Maule make this a charming little holiday horror film. The dry humor and somewhat melancholy tone lead you to really like these two guys as their relationship develops.
The zombies appear sparingly at the beginning and are used for humor, not scares. The blood and gut munching is saved for the last half hour and it’s some major gore and zombie fun. But it hits after things have gotten rather weird, with Calvin and GM getting kidnapped and taken to a looney bin to meet a guy named “The Reverend.” The movie takes on religious crazies, literally! It’s a very surprising turn, but there are some funny parts, plenty of zombie action, two guys dancing together(!), and a crucial turning point for Calvin and GM!
Christmas with the Dead is unlike any other Christmas horror film I’ve seen. It’s definitely worth a watch and it might just become one of your favorite holiday horror movies.
Meanwhile, if you want to see Damian Maffei in a Halloween horror flick, check out Night of the Pumpkin. Damian doesn’t last long, but it’s a fun flick. It’s sort of in the campy spirit of Jack Frost, only with a pumpkin instead of a Snowman! Plus, the animated opening credits are awesome and the theme song that closes the movie rules!
And finally, here’s my video of loads of Christmas horror flicks you can check out: