With all the Christmas horror out there, 70-minute Spanish flick X-mas Tale from 2005 gets sorely overlooked, possibly because it’s thrown into one of those budget 6-on-1 DVDs.
X-mas Tale is like The Monster Squad with a killer Santa. It’s so incredibly Spielberg in its focus on kids that it actually takes place in 1985! One of the boys is obsessed with The Karate Kid. Another makes reference to the rat-eating scene in V – The Mini Series. They play the memory game Simon. The single girl in their group gets nicknamed Princess Leia. One kid cleans his dad’s car while repeatedly saying, “Wax on, wax off.” And a few of the boys are obsessed with a zombie movie they recorded on VHS but can only watch part of, because one kid’s mother tapes over it. Ah…those were the days.
This Christmas, the innocence of youth is tarnished after the kids discover a deep hole in the woods. Down at the bottom is a woman dressed as Santa. The kids plan to get her out, but then they learn that she is a dangerous criminal. Seeing an opportunity to make a lot of money, they decide to leave the Santa woman down there and starve her until she answers one simple question.
As the woman grows more, hungry, desperate, and vengeful down in the hole, conflict arises between the children, for they begin to have a moral conflict about what they are doing. Meanwhile, two of the boys decide to do a ritual they saw in the zombie movie, which is supposed to bring the dead back to life….
It’s killer Santa flick time! The Santa woman manages to escape the hole…and she’s out for revenge. As she hunts the kids down with an axe, look out for a scene that is so obviously a nod to The Shining, with a long-haired boy wearing a winter jacket running through a distinctly lit tunnel, the crazy, hobbling bitch with an axe perusing him with murder in her eyes.
A bunch of children being massacred by a deranged Santa monster they created—now that’s a Christmas movie. For a full list of killer Christmas films, check out my holiday horror page.