No stranger to horror remakes, having starred in both of Rob Zombie's Halloweens, Malcolm McDowell has now signed up for a new version of Silent Night, Deadly Night, the Christmas-themed slasher from 1984. Stephen C. Miller (The Aggression Scale) will direct.
The original Silent Night, Deadly Night, involves the troubled young Billy, who as a child sees his father murdered by a man dressed as Father Christmas. As an adolescent, Billy then has a tough time with some nuns, before going on his own Santa-inspired killing spree as an eighteen-year-old. He is, unlike his contemporary Jason Voorhees, quite clear about targeting people who are "naughty".
The film was ridiculously controversial for daring to abuse the kindly spirit of Christmas, and was pulled from theatres, but not before it had actually outgrossed a little movie called A Nightmare On Elm Street on its opening weekend. After the fuss died down, there were eventually four sequels. 1987's Part 2 saw Billy's brother Ricky taking up the Santa mantle. Better Watch Out was directed by Monte Hellman (Two Lane Black Top must have seemed a long time ago) in 1989. Brian Yuzna's Initiation ditched the Santa theme for some festive witches in 1990. And 1991's The Toy Maker took Pinnochio as its thesis, and starred Mickey Rooney as Joe Petto. We swear, we're not making that up.
The sight of Malcolm McDowell in a blood spattered Father Christmas costume is one to warm the cockles of our evil little hearts... but sadly we're to be denied it, since he's only playing a cop. His Sherrif Cooper is a small-town guy looking to make a big name for himself, hunting the yuletide psycho on Christmas Eve. The new version is going by the more compact moniker of Silent Night.
Anchor Bay have the North American distribution rights, and shooting starts very shortly. Expect to see this, in the States at least, in time for this year's silly season. It doesn't get much sillier.