Available on Video on Demand (December 5, 2023)
“Nightmare on 34th Street” is a Horror movie, but also a horror of a movie. A sick and twisted Santa runs amuck and shares some ghoulish stories of Christmas-themed mayhem. Nobody is safe when the bodies start to drop like the newly-fallen snow. It becomes a low-rent Advent when the gruesome gore starts a-knockin’ at your door. Sick Santa brings out his Slay Bells…
This movie is a ‘slasher’ in terms of the Horror trope, but that is also the way the story is jammed together. There are a few separate ‘stories’ that are hung like disturbing ornaments on a sparse bare stick of a tree. That tree is the main thread of a bedtime visit of Santa (played by Pierse Stevens) to a young boy named Peter (played by Jude Forsey). Not the real Santa, of course, a demented killer version.
The demented Santa tells Peter a bunch of horror stories about murderous people on a rampage during the Holidays. This is right after the demented Santa has killed everyone else in Peter’s family. The first story is “Toby and Chloe’s Christmas Nightmare”.
This is about three escaped psycho fiends who have escaped a mental ward. Mr. Toby Red (played by Tony Fadil) goes with Mr. Green (played by Sonny Denham) and Mr. White. They invade a house and kill everyone, except for a young girl named Chloe (played by Eloise Henwood).Chloe is kidnapped by the monsters, but she believes Mr. Red is the real Santa. Five years later, they all come back to same house to torture and murder the new people who live at that house. What a delightful bedtime story!
The next story is “The Ventriloquist Who Stole Christmas”. It gets into the background story of Mr. White. His real name is Henry White (played by Mark Beauchamp). He is a terrible ventriloquist with a terrible puppet. The puppet is a Snowman, and he got it from his father, also a ventriloquist.
Henry’s father, Oscar White (played by Jon Vangdal Aamaas), lived in Norway and was suspected of many murders. Oscar hung himself and nothing was proven. But now Henry has the evil puppet, and it invades his mind the same as his old man. Before too long, Henry has followed in his father’s footsteps, and there are many fewer people alive in the little sleepy London suburb. But the ‘bad Santa’ is not done with telling stories.
His next tale for Peter is to tell the youngster about “Merry Krampus”. This is where a terrible mother, named Louise (played by Lucy Pinder) has a few children — but not a husband. She is sleeping around and has several kids. One of these kids is named Luke (played by Rafi Wilder). He hears the stories about ‘Krampus’, the evil version of Santa who visits the bad kids. He gets a visit from Krampus (played by Leslie Mills). He is nasty and evil, but not really there.
Krampus ends up murdering everyone in Louise’s family. That includes her daughters and Luke. He also murders Jonathan (played by Marc Zammit) – Luke’s father who had come over to visit. But the investigating PCs (that would be the Police Constables for those not from England) find that the killer was Louise all along. She was off her meds and haunted by visions of Krampus. He was not the most Holly and Jolly of visitors.
The final story that the evil man in the red suit tells Peter is about “The 12 Kills of Christmas”. There is an elderly priest who is currently old and infirm. There are stories about Father McShane (played by Jeff Kristian). When he was a young Anglican pastor at the county church, there had been several young boys who had gone missing.
McShane has a daughter named Maria (played by Olivia Hespe). The friends of the missing boys from years ago have formed a murder cult to kill McShane. They plan on kill everyone in around his family, and then get the old and infirm wheezer. But he might not be as old or infirm as they might think…
Santa, the disgusting bad version talking to Peter, is going to tell the young boy his own story: “Santa’s Revenge”. He tells Peter that his life used to be normal, until his mean boss at the place where he worked fired him. The place, called The Grotto, had people dressed up as Santa at all the stores.
But the Grotto Board Chair (played by Katherine Hurley) got reports that he was not Jolly enough. So they fired Mr. Santa and sent him on his way. Of, course – he became a mass killer out for revenge and out to cause mayhem and death.
Peter sees a chance to escape from this fiendish Holiday freak. He runs away, and hides at a church. When Santa is distracted, Peter is able to beat Santa to his murder game. But, of course, Peter is taken away to a mental hospital. That leads to the final chapter — “Peter’s Christmas Present”. Put it this way, Peter does deliver a present, but it might not the type that you would want to open under the Christmas Tree.
“Nightmare on 34th Street” is the brain-child of James Crow. He is listed as the Writer, Director and Editor on this movie. He also selected the cast and did some other tasks. He might have also been the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.
If this movie is judged as being sub-par, I guess there is only one person to thank. Of course, James Crow was able to get this movie financed and made, and was able to a distributor. So, if in the future, he makes any more movies, they might be good. As long as he becomes a better Writer, Director, Editor, and so on.
It is difficult to judge the acting in this movie, if only because the quality of the script is so fractured. Nobody is given much to work with. Leslie Mills (playing Krampus) is pretty funny, just because the makeup is good and he is so over-the-top. Mark Beauchamp (Henry White) tries pretty hard, but there is not much to the story.
“Nightmare on 34th Street” – There is a shortage of Coal this year, so if you are Naughty – Santa might wind up leaving this movie in your stocking!
Nightmare on 34th Street
Written and Directed by: James Crow
Starring: Pierse Stevens, Mark Beauchamp, Lucy Pinder, Leslie Mills, Jeff Kristian
Music by: Pete Coleman
Cinematography by: James Crow
Editing by: James Crow
Production studio: Last British Dragon
Distribution: Wild Eye Releasing
Release date: December 5, 2023 (Video on Demand)
Length: 2 hours and 10 minutes
MPAA rating: (not rated – but it would be a hard R)