For its ‘no-budget’ state, lack of name-power and the fact that it’s called Santa Claus vs. the Zombies, what we have here is an entertaining horror comedy. A movie that only makes one obvious mistake. Like the last drunk of the night at a house party, it overstays its welcome.
Written and directed by George Bonilla, it stars Billy W. Blackwell, Alex Del Monacco, Cassidy Rae Owens and Claude Miles.
The story surrounds a family of obnoxious characters getting together over the Christmas period. Phil (Miles) is the put-upon patriarch of the family who is desperate to ensure his pre-teen daughter, Cass (Owens) has a magical time. So much so that he has hired a Santa Claus and some elves.
Unfortunately for Phil and the rest of the world, this festive season will be drenched in blood as a zombie outbreak begins. The group are forced to barricade themselves inside and await rescue from the military.
Who are initially reluctant to help this one family until they find out Santa is inside. The president seeing the rescue mission as a beacon of hope for the rest of the country. Some of his advisors see the attempted rescue as a waste of time. After all, this Santa (Blackwall) is just an actor…right?
Santa Claus vs. the Zombies isn’t going to go down in history as a holiday classic. Even the most ardent of defenders can attest to that. However, the effort put in by everyone to make something enjoyable out of this is incredibly praiseworthy. The cast throw their all into it and while few are going to be picking up ‘best actor’ awards anytime soon, their enthusiasm is clear. This is a silly movie, rooted in horror-comedy (although laughs are few & far), so that’s how everyone treats it.
Just one look at the pretty awful effects will make it clear that we are supposed to be in on the joke as much as they are.
The story, paper-thin as it is, holds the attention for two-thirds of its runtime. Especially when we begin to explore the possibility of this Santa being the real thing. However, it does seriously run out of steam and it becomes clear a lot of what we get is just padding a runtime. It never quite becomes boring or frustrating, but it certainly could have been better served by being tighter and much shorter.
Regardless, decent Christmas horrors are hard to come by and Santa Claus vs. the Zombies is decent. It manages to capture the season, makes good use of some of the music and has zombies!
Santa Claus vs. The Zombies
The Final Score - 5/10