Quentin Tarantino Loves This Banned Christmas Movie

By Jason Collins | Published

Quentin Tarantino Silent night deadly night

B-movie lover Quentin Tarantino shared his views on 1984’s Silent Night Deadly Night Christmas horror/slasher film in Eli Roth’s History of Horror, explaining why this controversial movie is one of the best in the genre—despite all the heavy criticism it received and the controversy it was surrounded with.

Silent Night Deadly Night

For those who aren’t really familiar with the history of horror films, Silent Night Deadly Night is perhaps one of the goriest Christmas horror films ever made—a sentiment horror fans share with Quentin Tarantino.

Its plot, about a man who dresses as Santa Claus and goes on a killing spree, might seem as tame as the original The Nightmare on Elm Street by today’s standards.

However, four decades ago, Silent Night Deadly Night was considered extremely shocking and offensive to the majority of the US public.

Shocking And Gory

In fact, the movie was so shocking that the outraged public organized protests that resulted in the movie being quickly pulled from theaters, shortening its release.

However, everything has a buyer, and one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so the banning of Silent Night Deadly Night only made the controversial movie that much more popular among horror fans.

But what made the movie about a killer Santa so shocking, and why does a moviemaking great such as Quentin Tarantino love a rather mediocre slasher?

Not The First Christmas Slasher

silent night deadly night

Well, as they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Silent Night Deadly Night, while significant to the history of horror cinematography, wasn’t the first horror movie.

Bob Clark’s Black Christmas came out a decade earlier, and it’s arguably a better and more popular movie.

Silent Night, Deadly Night also wasn’t the first horror slasher with a killer Santa because other movies had done it before, and ultimately, it wasn’t even the first, or only, Christmas-themed subgenre of the 1984—the Gremlins stole the spotlight that year.

Quentin Tarantino’s Appreciation

silent night deadly night

But what makes Silent Night Deadly Night stand out from all those other releases is its graphical violence and gore, as well as a deeper message of past traumas. This actually make the movie so much more relevant now, 40 years since its shortened release.

So, Quentin Tarantino’s appreciation for Silent Night, Deadly Night, can be attributed to the film’s controversial premise and its status as a cult horror movie.

Breaking Norms

silent night deadly night

Then, there’s the matter of the trauma-induced killing spree that Silent Night, Deadly Night portrays. As is evident from his work, Quentin Tarantino appreciates moves that take bold risks and present unique storytelling angles. And we can all agree that Silent Night, Deadly Night breaks conventional norms.

And finally, the gore! Something Tarantino is well-known for is that his movies are often noted for their graphical violence and shock value—just look at Kill Bill. Taking into account Tarantino’s filmmaking approach, we can actually understand why he liked Silent Night Deadly Night so much.

A Christmas Horror

silent night deadly night

Ultimately, Silent Night Deadly Night managed to make some $2 million at the box office against its $750,000 budget, and it’s likely that it would have made more had it not been pulled from screening due to controversies and censorship.

However, it did cement itself as one of the goriest Christmas slashers ever, and its depictions of violence and gore align well with what’s publicly known about Quentin Tarantino’s tastes in movies.

Source: James Whale Bake Sale