Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Silent Night Bloody Night (1974)




Now, before people start wondering where the next installment of my Seduction Cinema piece is, I got ahold of Michael Raso and asked if they had some trailers for their earlier flicks that I could have. I'm waiting for a response before I continue. In the meantime, a review:
I first got this flick when I bought one of those 10 packs of horror movies. It sticks out in my mind because the box set said that it had Silent Night Deadly Night. You know, the one with the Santa Claus killer and Linnea Quigley? Anyway, it didn't it had this flick instead. I wrote and complained to the people who put out the box set and they sent me a new cover for my DVD case so that I would have the correct information. I thought that was pretty cool actually.
So, there was this flick. And, believe it or not, I have never seen it. Until two days ago. This is actually a very interesting flick. Now I will warn that there are SPOILERS ahead so be ready for that.
One other thing. There was a much better cover for the flick than the one I'm using here, but it was too small so, there you go.

Okay there is this small town with this huge mansion owned by the Butler family. It seems that old man Butler died by catching on fire and now the mansion is to be given to his grandson. Years pass and an attorney, John Carter (Played by Patrick O'Neal), has arrived in town to offer the mansion to the townspeople for the measly sum of fifty thousand dollars. If they can come up with it in 24 hours. He then takes his little girlfriend back to the mansion for a night of whooppee and they are murdered by a black gloved mystery man with an axe. This is probably the bloodiest scene in the film and well done for no actual special effects being used.
It isn't long before people are dropping like flies and the grandson, Jeffrey Butler comes to town and hooks up with the mayor's daughter, Diane (played by a very young Mary Woronov).

As things come to a head all is revealed in a lengthy flashback in sepia tone that is probably the most fascinating part of the film and probably one of the most interesting ideas I have ever come across.
Ready? Spoilers like I warned.
Wilfred Butler originally used his mansion as an asylum for his daughter. She had been raped and beaten and driven insane in the process. He invited all these psychiatrists to help cure his daughter and other criminally insane people that were housed on the grounds. After some time had passed, Wilfred Butler realized that these psychiatrists were useless and had no intentions of curing his daughter, let alone the many others housed in Butler House.
After a night of drunken revelry, Butler decided to rescue his daughter from their clutches and release all the inmates in the process.

The inmates slaughtered the doctors, killed Butler's daughter by mistake and fled the asylum.
The interesting thing is that all the inmates formed the town that surrounds the area near Butler House. The town is filled with the ancestors of the loonies that escaped all those years ago.
I did think it odd to have someone with such an identifiable voice like John Carradine in the picture and have him play a mute.
But, the best is saved for last.
Earlier in the flick, Patrick O'Neal is having dinner with his girlfriend in The Butler House. He reveals that The Butler House is built on a foundation of pure stone and is reinforced with the same stone, layers thick. He laughed when he thought about them selling the house and it getting torn down for tract housing. He said that when they drove a bulldozer up there to begin the demolition they would be in for a very nasty surprise.
Sure enough, the final shot is Mary Woronov walking down the path towards the house and behind her is a bulldozer.
Seems that The Butler House got the last laugh.

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