Blu-ray Review: Red Christmas

Many shoppers are upset that stores are pushing the Christmas season so you arrive in stores in September to find Santa amongst Jack-O-Lanterns. Can’t Halloween enjoy itself? Thankfully there is a way to enjoy both holidays at once when you sit back to watch Red Christmas. You can easily get into the holiday spirit of the movie since it was made in Australia where it’s summer in December. There’s holiday trimming around the house, but green leaves on the trees. Not to mention there’s a bit of ghastly gore and horror to remind you that this isn’t a sappy Hallmark Channel tender tale of holiday cheer. Red Christmas deserves to be enjoyed when trick or treaters are roaming the neighborhood.

Diane (Dee Wallace) is a mother having her children reunite for what will be the last Christmas in the family house. Now that her husband has died, she’s selling the place to downsize and go on a tour of Europe. The kids aren’t quite happy knowing their huge country estate is going away. But she wants a fun time. Little does she know that her past is coming back to haunt her on Christmas day. A stranger in a black robe and covered in bandages knocks on her door and brings up what she did 20 years ago. The normally sweet mother loses her temper and tosses the stranger out the door for ruining her holiday. She’s not happy that her dysfunctional family is being screwed up before they’ve opened the presents and pulled the Christmas poppers. This rejection leads the stranger to get the ultimate revenge of making sure that this will not only be the family’s final Christmas at the remote country house, but the final family Christmas forever.

Red Christmas brings the red as the stranger goes on his killing sprees. The family members seem like the kind of characters that would be in a made for TV holiday movie that would have them rediscover the meaning of the season and form a deeper bond. Sadly they are not in that movie. They are in a film where they being tracked down and destroyed by the mother’s dark secret. The movie has enough things to upset everyone in the family including the truth about the stranger. But do not let

While Dee Wallace is best known as the mother in the Extra-Terrestrial, she was in two classic horror films: The Hills Have Eyes and The Howling. This movie brings together bot her motherly characters and being attacked by mutated people. She’s able to hold the film and most of her family together during the nightmarish holiday evening. She is the calming influence even though she’s also the reason for the attack.

Director Craig Anderson (TV series Black Comedy) really pours on the weirdness including have one family member going into labor during the attack. The Stranger is a homicidal version of The Ghost of Christmas Future from a Christmas Carol even though he’s the mother’s Christmas past. The film brings out the joy of vintage Ozpolitation. The movie packs a lot into 81 minutes. Red Christmas is the perfect Blu-ray to have on the shelf between White Christmas and Black Christmas.

The video is 2.35:1 anamorphic. The 1080p transfer allows the holiday colors to pop along with the grotesque special effects. The audio is DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround. The mix is fine for the happy holidays and the Stranger’s carnage. There’s also a DTS-HD MA 2.0 mix for stereo. The movie is subtitled.

Director’s Commentary allows Anderson to tell how he created such a heart-warming tale about a family’s most memorable Christmas.

Dee Wallace Speaks (19:43) has her explain how she went to Australia for a master class in acting and ended up being charmed by Craig Anderson and making the movie. She was a producer on the film.

An Interview with Gerard O’Dwyer (9:57) has us get to meet the actors who played Jerry and Cletus.

Red Christmas Blooper Reel (3:26) has the cast and crew demonstrate how things can go wrong during horror scenes.

Deleted Scene (0:45) is more Christmas dinner fun with a touch of awkward friskiness.

Mini Interview with Craig Anderson (1:40) has Gerard O’Dwyer put him under the harsh light.

Artsploitation presents Red Christmas. Directed by: Craig Anderson. Screenplay by: Craig Anderson. Starring: Dee Wallace, Geoff Morrell, Sarah Bishop, David Collins, Janis McGavin, Sam Campbell, Gerard O’Dwyer. Rated: Unrated. Running Time: 81 minutes. Released: October 17, 2017

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