I think there’s a bad case of the Kaufmans going around the Graveyard and I’m pretty sure I caught it from Johnny. We can’t seem to go a month without watching some movie featuring a cameo from Troma’s head honcho, Lloyd Kaufman. He’s like the goddamn rick roll of horror movies to me at this point. I think he might actually just live on low budget movie sets, scrounging the craft services table for any scraps of food in between begging the director to let him be in whatever low budget crap-fest’s set he happens to be haunting that week.
This bring us to Ceasear & Otto’s Deadly Xmas, one of the aforementioned low-budget horror movies plagued by a Lloyd Kaufman cameo. They do also manage to rope scream queen Linnea Quigley into this movie, but more on that later. Deadly Xmas follows the exploits of the titular characters, Ceaser and Otto, as they attempt to find work to pay the rent and ultimately get involved with Satan worshiping mall Santas trying to ruin the holidays. Read the last bit of that sentence again. Let it sink in. It basically epitomizes why I love horror movies, especially low-budget ones, with most of my tar black heart. Even if the movie you’re watching misses a whole slew of targets, you’re usually guaranteed at least an interesting premise that sets up the crap shoot.
I wouldn’t say that Deadly Xmas is so much a crap shoot as it is a movie that tries to do too many things in the hope of entertaining the widest range of people. When it hits the mark, it’s a really entertaining movie but when it doesn’t it get’s pretty groan inducing. Give us an example you ask? Alright. There’s a bunch of meta jokes directed towards the horror fandom and indie filmmakers in general that make up the back end of the movie that had me laughing pretty good but to get to that payoff, I had to slog through near an hour of 3 Stooges-esqe slapstick comedy. Lets just say I was less than impressed about this little foray into vaudeville. The only time I’ll willingly rock some slapstick is when Mr Bruce Campbell is involved, otherwise leave me at home with the beer and the bong.
That being that,like I said before, the back half of this movie is definitely funny and worth the walk through Laurel and Hardy territory.. It’s inclusion of Linnea Quigley as Ceasers’ agent is good for some laughs and as a nod to hardcore fans of the genre. I will say though that Ms Scream Queen needs to get some aftercare instructions for the monroe piercing she’s rocking. That shit looks sore! Speaking of things that make me sore, we come to Kaufman…fucking Lloyd Kaufman. Seriously, we as fans need to stand up and say “No more cameos Lloyd!” or he won’t stop. This is becoming a problem and is acting as a deciding factor for if I’ll watch a movie or not. “Lloyds in it? SKIP!” It could be an amazing movie but I seriously can’t handle another shoehorned in role. In Deadly Xmas, he shows up in a flashback to a green-screen hospital for fuck sakes! That’s about as shoehorned as it gets.
Deadly Xmas does have some gore going on it, mostly courtesy of Deron Miller, of CKY fame (the band, not the stunt videos) hacking people up with an axe dressed as Santa. Though not spouting fountains of blood and viscera all over the place, the gore used is fairly decent (and practical!) and is present in some of the goofier slapstick scenes that actually worked for me.
There are far worse crimes you can commit in film than slapstick humor (even if that does play to the lowest common denominator) and the meta humor running throughout does make up for the 3 stooges type buddy comedy stuff. I don’t think Deadly Xmas is bound to be a seasonal classic but I would give it a watch if I saw it come up on iTunes and I had already exhausted my reserve of seasonal horror or just in the mood for something new you haven’t watched before.