Earlier in November, while battling my first bout with COVID-19, a great dude named Mark Lager interviewed me for Rue Morgue, North America's premier horror movie magazine. Mark and I spoke about A Scary Little Christmas, all things Christmas horror, as well as one of our favorite Yule Die horror films, Silent Night, Deadly Night (1972). I've recently spoke with the venerable co-founder of Troma Entertainment, Lloyd Kaufman, about his role working on Silent Night, Bloody Night, as well as line producer Frank Vitale. Both are great guys and they both fondly recalled working on the film 52 years ago, impressive! I'm also working on a Golden Anniversary article celebrating this wonderful film, and Lloyd, myself, and writer/producer Jeff Konvitz are working on getting back the rights to Silent Night, Bloody Night in preparation for a full on restoration Blu Ray and extras galore. Fingers crossed, my friends.
A snippet of the interview follows below with a link for the entire article over at Rue Morgue's website.
“SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT” (50TH ANNIVERSARY) & A HISTORY OF HOLIDAY HORROR: AN INTERVIEW WITH MATTHEW C. DUPEE
By MARK LAGER
A Scary Little Christmas, A History of Yuletide Horror Films, 1972-2020, a new book from Matthew C. Dupee, is a detailed and investigative 370-page chronicle of holiday horror with 174 photos and interviews with many actors and filmmakers involved in the creation of this compelling horror subgenre. In A Scary Little Christmas, Dupee sheds light on holiday horror titles lost to time even amongst the most dedicated of horror fans.
50 years ago, Silent Night, Bloody Night (1972) was released, a film that a was a precursor to both Black Christmas (1974) and John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978), two films that are celebrated by both critics and horror fans. While Black Christmas eventually gained praise and respect, however, its reappraisal as a classic film in the horror genre took many years. With this interview, Rue Morgue hopes to intrigue horror fans into seeking out and watching Silent Night, Bloody Night, since the film deserves more acclaim and attention.
The subtitle of your newly published book, Scary Little Christmas, is A History of Yuletide Horror Films 1972-2020. What is significant about the year 1972, for those horror fans who are unaware?
Although the darker side of the Christmas season had been explored throughout early cinematic history, 1972 marks the first time that a violent maniac dressed as Santa Claus graced the silver screen in the British horror anthology film Tales From the Crypt, which of course was based on the popular EC Comics title of the same name. The film’s segment “And All Through the House,” based on a story found in EC’s Vault of Horror issue 35, pits a malicious housewife named Joanne played by the beautiful Joan Collins against a violent escapee from a local asylum. It’s set at Christmas time during a snowstorm, and the maniac (Oliver MacGreevy) wears this classic red Santa suit, complete with the tassel cap and pillowy white beard. The two square off as he tries to break into her house shortly after she killed her husband.
Now, Joanne can’t risk alerting the police to the maniac’s location because it’s also an active crime scene, so she attempts to clean up the mess and frame the maniac for her husband’s murder but naturally, her plan falls apart and she’s forced to square off against the lunatic before receiving her comeuppance in typical EC Comics fashion. The film actually enjoyed a much larger budget than most of the other films being put out by Amicus Productions at that time, and the result is a memorable collection of gritty tales ripped right from the famed pages of EC Comics, but most importantly, it gave viewers the first portrayal of a murderer dressed as Santa, one of the many themes that have become a mainstay in the Christmas horror subgenre. The year 1972 also saw the initial release of Silent Night, Bloody Night, an atmospheric American horror film that takes place over the course of several Christmases, and also features escaped maniacs from an asylum.