The Top 5 Best Killer Santas in Movies

By | December 25, 2020

The Top 5 Best Killer Santas in Movies is getting in the Christmas spirit by looking at the best killer clown in film history. Check out our selections below!

The iconic jingle, ‘Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,’ clearly states that “he’s making a list, and checking it twice; gonna find out who’s naughty and nice.” Because of his revered ability to dish out coal, people rarely question Kris Kringle’s integrity. However, Hollywood loves to subvert expectations (or at least try). 

RELATED: Mel Gibson is a Deadly Santa Claus in Fatman Trailer

On numerous occasions, filmmakers have employed the killer Santa trope—turning jolly old Saint Nick into a mass murderer, not unlike slasher icons Halloween’s Michael Myers or Friday the 13th’s Jason Voorhees. This subgenre of horror sees the once benevolent figure come to town and take his naughty list a bit too seriously. Coal is no longer on the menu and misdeeds are punishable by death. While many killer Santas have been depicted in film, all are not created equal. We’ve compiled a short and sweet naughty list, taking a look at the very best. 

RELATED: The Five Best Film Versions of Santa Claus

Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)

Click here to purchase!

Charles E. Sellier Jr.’s Silent Night, Deadly Night tells the story of Billy (Robert Brian Wilson)—a young man suffering from PTSD in the wake of his parents’ murder on Christmas Eve by a man dressed as Santa Claus when he was a kid. His subsequent upbringing was spent in an abusive Catholic orphanage, worsening his condition. As an adult, the silly season truly makes Billy silly. Following in the footsteps of his parents’ killer, Billy dons the red suit and goes on a killing spree. Silent Night, Deadly Night is largely praised as the best killer Santa movie of all-time. 

Santa’s Slay (2005)

Click here to purchase!

David Steiman’s Santa’s Slay put professional wrestler Bill Goldberg (yup) in the role of buff and brutal Santa Claus. This version of Claus was originally a demon who lost a bet with an angel, condemning the former to a millennia worth of gift-giving. Unfortunately, for fans of holiday cheer, Santa’s thousand years of servitude are up and it’s time for some cathartic murder. 

Silent Night (2012)

Click here to purchase!

Steven C. Miller’s loose remake of Silent Night, Deadly Night (and the last entry in the Silent Night, Deadly Night franchise) sees a respected lawman dress up as Santa Claus and wreak havoc on a small town’s annual festivities. This time the killer is an owner of a local chimney cleaning and repair service (of course), who, angered by the death of his father (who took a flamethrower to his ex-wife and was then gunned down by police officers), dresses as Santa to get revenge on the Sheriff involved. This Santa gets points for perhaps being the most inventive on this list—using everything from Christmas lights to a wood-chipper on his victims. 

To All a Good Night (1980)

Click here to purchase!

David Hess’ To All a Good Night throws Santa Claus in the most cliché slasher narrative on this list. The film follows a group of sorority sisters who, after being involved in a deadly prank the year before, are hunted by a psychopath dressed as Santa Claus during their Christmas party. To All a Good Night lacks tension, suspense, and the surviving characters are incredibly dumb—they rarely noticing when their friends go missing. Throw in excessive nudity and you have a film elevated only by its killer, a vengeful Santa Claus. 

Christmas Evil (1980)

Click here to purchase!

Lewis Jackson’s Christmas Evil AKA “You Better Watch Out” AKA “Terror in Toyland” was prosecuted for its obscenity in the UK. Since then, it’s warranted a cult following thanks in large part to Brandon Maggart’s Harry, an underappreciated toymaker who takes Christmas way too seriously—the man worships Santa, even spying on the neighbors’ kids and making naughty/nice lists. Harry inevitably snaps when he witnesses too much naughty among the people in town and goes on a killing spree. Christmas Evil is essentially the Taxi Driver of killer Santa movies.