Christmas Evil / You Better Watch Out (1980) [Director's Cut]

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Christmas Evil / You Better Watch Out (1980) [Director's Cut]

Christmas Evil (1980) [Director's Cut]
DVD9 | VIDEO_TS | PAL 16:9 | 01:30:00 | 7,11 Gb
Audio: English AC3 2.0 @ 192 Kbps | Subs: English SDH
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Suspense

Director: Lewis Jackson
Stars: Brandon Maggart, Jeffrey DeMunn, Dianne Hull

Harry Stadling (Brandon Maggert) is obsessed with Christmas! In fact he wants to "be the authentic Santa Claus, with a real suit, sleigh and reindeer'. Ever since he learned the 'truth' about Santa, he's tried to make Christmas a reality. Growing up a toy maker, Harry is met with naysayers and critics who mock him for his yuletide beliefs. But he wants people to get the presents they deserve, even if that means giving the gift of murder! Cynics and uptight hypocrites beware! Lewis Jackson's classic black comedy horror film, CHRISTMAS EVIL (aka YOU BETTER WATCH OUT!) is, according to cult film director/auteur John Waters, 'the best seasonal film of all time. I wish I had kids. I'd make them watch it every year and, if they didn't like it, they'd be punished!' Time to hang those stockings from the fireplace and get ready. The sadistic holiday chestnut CHRISTMAS EVIL is here in an all-new Director's Cut edition.



Christmas Evil / You Better Watch Out (1980) [Director's Cut]

You Better Watch Out (aka Christmas Evil) is much more of a black comic character study than a slasher film. It centers on a man named Harry, who has a serious Santa fetish and works at the local toy factory . Harry dresses up like Santa and finds out who's naughty or nice . Very creepy and brilliantly darkly hilarious . This flick takes Santa back closer to the old mythology. He's totally down with the good folks. If you are a bad kid, he will bring you something horrible . If you mess with Santa, you get taken out.You Better Watch Out is the perfect cinematic experience if you have seen to many bad Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel. Great holiday horror film.
IMDB Reviewer
Christmas Evil / You Better Watch Out (1980) [Director's Cut]

In the Killer Santa subgenre, 1980's "Christmas Evil" (aka "You Better Watch Out," which is the title on the print) is the best of the bunch. It's not the goriest or the most aggressive of the collection, but it explores a psychological unraveling with unsettling precision, playing up the manic highs and lows of a man obsessed with the holiday with interest in creeping out the audience, not bludgeoning them with gratuitous violence. It's dense work from writer/director Lewis Jackson, who employs seasonal iconography and mental instability to generate a suspense effort that genuinely disturbs, keeping viewers in the dark as the picture surveys possible catastrophe from a decidedly non-jolly man in a bulging red suit.

Christmas Evil / You Better Watch Out (1980) [Director's Cut]

When he was an impressionable boy, Harry (Brandon Maggart) witnessed a strange moment with Santa Claus and his mother on Christmas Eve, scrambling his perception of the world. Now an adult, Harry makes a living at the Jolly Dreams Toy Company, working his way from the assembly line to the corporate side of the business, with his heart committed to quality products for all kids. His love of the holiday season runs deep, disturbing his concerned young brother, Philip (Jeffrey DeMunn), who notices that Harry is slowly pulling away from reality. Building a fantasy life as a Santa figure, Harry watches over the neighborhood kids, keeping record of their antics in a naughty and nice behavior book. He's also transforming himself into St. Nick, cocooning himself inside a beard and red outfit, driving into the night in his sleigh-painted van to distribute toys to good kids and gift revenge to those who've wronged him or perverted the meaning of Christmas.

Christmas Evil / You Better Watch Out (1980) [Director's Cut]

"Christmas Evil" scores with its intimacy. Instead of electing the slasher movie routine, Jackson dares to hold on Harry's nervous breakdown, which technically began when he was a child, using a glass shard from a broken snow globe to self-mutilate, commencing a lifelong war with the world's cynicism and propensity for cruelty. Harry's a complex character, constantly fighting urges and insanity as he creates a warm pocket of purpose to reside in, using Santa as way to achieve function in a dreary life. The season provides a focal point, and "Christmas Evil" follows the character as he embarks on a last stand of sorts, consumed with punishing the naughty and preserving the idea of Santa as a miracle man of charity and compassion, even breaking into the toy factory to supply him with gifts for all, including institutionalized kids used by his heartless corporate pals for promotional purposes.

Christmas Evil / You Better Watch Out (1980) [Director's Cut]

The goal of "Christmas Evil" is to create a seductive gray area in Harry's behavior, with viewers never quite sure if his intentions are pure. Sure, Harry cares about the kids, but he also monitors them with binoculars, journaling their daily actions as they embark on naughty and nice behavior, with one particular boy, the vilified Moss Garcia (Peter Neuman), marked for sustained punishment after Harry catches him reading a Penthouse magazine and disrespecting his mother (Patricia Richardson). Of course, Harry's not just offering a lump of coal, but a weird tribal-esque plan of stalking, pressing his mud-caked face on his target's house to mark his territory before delivering a bag of dirt as a gift. Normally, the concept of threatening children reads unavoidably unpleasant, but Jackson has control over tone, making it clear that Harry's intentions are firmly in the realm of Santaland justice. The nut doesn't want to kill kids, but god help 'em if they misbehave.

Christmas Evil / You Better Watch Out (1980) [Director's Cut]

It's all so wonderfully weird and corrosive. Jackson has a real vision for "Christmas Evil," aided by exceptional cinematography by Ricardo Aronovich, who brings artistic lighting to the realm of B-moviedom. Unfortunately, narrative clarity isn't always available for inspection, with subplots and motivations a bit vague at times, while the urgent dynamic between Harry and Philip acts primarily as dramatic bookends instead of being threaded throughout the entire picture. Most of "Christmas Evil" is devoted to Harry's private hell, with long passages of silent behavior and community creeping filling up the effort. It's good for tension, but the storytelling is undeniably mangled in places, though it never derails the work. It's disappointing to learn that Jackson never made another feature after this.

Christmas Evil / You Better Watch Out (1980) [Director's Cut]

Jackson's determination to articulate the melting of Harry's mind carries through to the climax, which introduces expressionistic techniques to isolate the unreality forming, reaching a deliciously audacious final sequence that intentionally welcomes shocking fantasy to fully indulge Harry's madness. "Christmas Evil" isn't interested in the collection of dead bodies (though it certainly adds a few to the pile) or cheap scares. It's a sustained depiction of mental health woes and the escalation of self-medication, making it one of the most interesting and daring genre offerings of the 1980s.
Christmas Evil / You Better Watch Out (1980) [Director's Cut]

Special Features:
- Audio commentary by Director Lewis Jackson
- Audio commentary by Director Lewis Jackson and John Waters
- Audition Tapes (25:51)
- Deleted Scenes (6:12)
- Storyboard Examples: Deleted Scene: Harry Meets Sister-In-Law (6 pages), Opening Pre-Credits Sequence (18 pages), Harry Wakes Up And Shaves (4 pages)
- Interviews with Brandon Maggart and Lewis Jackson (6:41 and 6:53)

All Credits goes to Original uploader.

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