Silent Night, Deadly Night
Friday Dec. 18 and Saturday Dec. 19, midnight at Nitehawk: $11
Everyone knows the only sufferable holiday films are Xmas-themed horror movies. This 1984 genre classic Silent Night, Deadly Night tells the story of a young boy who witnesses the murder of his parents at the hands of a psychopath dressed as Santa. Traumatized by his exposure to such unspeakable violence, the boy grows into a truly screwed-up young man whose thirst for blood knows no bounds. Oh, and of course he feels the need to don a Santa outfit during his mayhem sprees.

And don’t call this a slasher film– the murderer doesn’t discriminate by medium, instead he utilizes a stockpile of weaponry to dabble in all sorts of killing methods. Witness Santa engage in everything from bloody knifings to gun downs and axe slaughterings and experience whatever remnants you might have of sentimentality for the holidays leftover from your childhood quickly disappear. Staying true to the original spirit of the film, Nitehawk is screening a 35 mm version.

Krampus
Thursday Dec. 17 through Tuesday Dec. 22 at Village East Cinema: $14
In keeping with the theme, we’re delighted to see that Krampus is screening at Village East Cinema. This freaky new movie continues in the tradition of the Xmas horror genre and functions something like a Christian allegory, lest we forget what Christmas is “really” about.

Krampus follows a dysfunctional family who has becomes disillusioned with the holiday, for obvious reasons– people are selfish jerks. Their wayward cynicism is rewarded with an onslaught of terror. First, a grizzly snowstorm hits their town and the family loses power, left to shiver in the freezing December cold. Spooky things begin to transpire and finally the family discovers footprints in the snow outside their home, but these just aren’t any paw marks: “[looks like] a goat that walks on its hind legs,” Dad says. Shudder.

This is gonna be Satanic as hell, isn’t it? Try not to freak out as you witness “a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers” stalk this family until they submit or die.

Psych-Out
Thursday Dec. 19, 9 pm at Anthology Film Archives: $10 
If you’re looking forward to ZomBikers aka Vamp Bikers Tres, the indie ode to The Warriors starring Michael Alig as King of the “Club Kid Zombies,” then here’s something just as trippy to sate you while you wait for the premiere: a 1968 psychedelic film shot on location in the Haight, back when it was full of flop houses, drugged-out runaways, and societal fringe elements.

In Psych-Out, screening Thursday night, part of the Bikers, Drugs, and Rock & Roll series at Anthology Film Archives, filmmaker Richard Rush takes us on a journey through the strung-out world of the 60’s counterculture. Jack Nicholson stars as Stoney, a hippie who befriends the film’s deaf heroine Jenny (Susan Strasberg), a teenage runaway on the lookout for her brother who disappeared from home as well.

The drug STP (“Serenity, Tranquility, Peace”), or DOM, a substance that combines the effects of psychedelics and amphetamines (a horrific cocktail by any measure) makes an appearance in the film. There’s a reason why you can’t find this shit on the streets anymore (at least we hope not)– it caused major freaks-out back in the day and a number of people were hospitalized.

Turns out for Jenny that her brother is right where she thought he’d be, in the Haight. But he’s barely recognizable as a delusional dude known as The Seeker. Her efforts to rescue her brother are thwarted when someone she thought she could trust doses her with STP. Will she survive the harrowing trip and be able to save him once and for all? We’re guessing probz, but make your way to Anthology to find out.

Mon Oncle Antoine
Thursday Dec. 17, 9:30 pm at Videology: $10 
This 1971 classic French-Canadian holiday film has won the distinction of “best Canadian film ever made” consistently for the last 20 years. And fear not, it’s safe to assume that tonight’s screening of Mon Oncle Antoine at Videology will include subtitles. Sure, you might be all whiney coz this is definitely a Christmas film, however it focuses primarily on an important historical event in Canadian history, the Asbestos Strike of 1949. Doesn’t ring any bells, huh? Well, then you’re obligated to go to this screening, seeing as any American who says they know a thing or two about Canadian history (fur trappers don’t count, sorry) is a liar.

The story is told from the perspective of a 15 year-old boy whose family owns a general store/ funeral parlor (under one roof, imagine that) set against the backdrop of a depressing rural mining town. Turns out they’re mining asbestos (ugh!), so you can imagine things are pretty bleak. Michael Koresky, staff writer for the Criterion Collection, will be on hand to discuss the film and share Blue Christmas, an informative video essay detailing “the longstanding tradition of melancholic Christmas movies.”