Silent Night Bloody Night
We asked our Patrons to tell us which “Silent Night XX Night” horror movie they wanted us to wrap up December with this year, and this is what they said. This really weird flick stars an insanely young Mary Woronov, much of the entourage from Andy Warhol’s The Factory, and is an early producing credit for Troma’s Lloyd Kaufmann. And it’s also in the public domain, so you can check it out on YouTube for free if you’re so inclined! What a way to wrap up 2022. Happy Holidays, everyone!
Silent Night Bloody Night (1972)
Todd: Hello and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd
Craig: and I’m Craig. Merry Christmas. . You
Todd: Well, Merry Christmas Craig. It’s snuck right up. Yeah, it really did. It feels like this month flew right by. We had a blast doing three Christmas themed horror movies. Uh, strangely skewed towards Santa Slashers this year.
Uhhuh . I think there were just a lot of those out, but I also had the opportunity to get together in person. That was nice. Unforgettable. Really nice to see a movie in the theater. You know, one of the few movies in the theater I had actually seen at all since the Covid era started. Mm-hmm. . So, um, that was cool and especially special to, uh, be sitting there with you in the dark watching, uh, violent night.
That’s what it was. Yeah, it was fun. Yeah, it was fun. So, uh, the movie that we are doing this week, we decided to put towards our patrons. Uh, we put up a little pole and, uh, all three of the movies that I pulled them with were like, silent Night, something Night. I said, which Silent Night movie would you like us to do for the Christmas season?
And I think Craig was really gunning for, what was it called? Silent Night. Silent Night. Yeah. with, uh, a more, more modern movie with, uh, what’s her name? It, Kira Knightly in it. And, uh, a bunch of others. But, um, the patrons spoke and they, uh, would preferred that we do Silent Night, Bloody Night, a very moody 1972 Horror movie that, uh, has been in the public domain actually for a while. Yeah. Um, be because it wasn’t registered with the US Copyright Office when, uh, after it was released, which is no longer necessary, but a lot of really, um, notorious horror movies such as a Night of the Living Dead. and a lot of the ones that Elvira would do on her show.
Yeah. Which, you know, have later gained a cold following are in public domain due to those laws. Um, stupid things, right? Like, oh, we just didn’t put a copyright notice on the credits or whatever. Right. That’s
Craig: maybe the most interesting thing about this movie is that , you know, as, as, as soon as it finished its run in like the drive-through circuit, it became public domain and then nobody really talked about it again until Elvira featured it on, uh, one of her.
Shows, and then I guess from that point forward, it kind of gained a cult following. Maybe you could explain to me why .
Todd: I don’t, well, I, I, I agree with you that this movie is not fantastic, but I don’t think it’s by far one of the mo most interesting things about this movie. One of the patrons that, um, really wanted to see this movie, put a little comment on the page that, uh, Mary Waroff sold her.
Yeah. Uh, on this movie, Mary Waroff is one of, uh, the stars in here. Uhhuh . And she, she is a cult actress who I think you and I really like. Oh, yeah.
Craig: Yeah. I like her. I, I can never, we’ve seen her in several movies. The, the only one that I can remember. That one where aliens came through the satellite dish. .
Todd: Oh, yeah.
Uh, television. Yeah. TerrorVision. I know
Craig: she’s been in several other movies we’ve watched, but that’s always the one that comes to mind. She would
Todd: always show up on those USA up all night movies. Yeah. And not always in horror movies. Right. Lot, lots of like sex comedies and things like that. Uhhuh , she had a very brief role at the beginning of Killbots.
Just sort of like a cameo role in Killbots, otherwise known as Chopping Mall. Yeah. Right, right. Yeah, she was, she’s interesting. You know, she was a member of Andy Warhol. Entourage. I read that. Yeah. Back when, uh, I, I guess she visited there during a class trip, huh? , which is interesting. And, uh, decided to stick around.
Uh, this is her first, I believe, her first film role. And, uh, she got it because she was actually married to the director. Right. Um, the director, Theodore Ghany. He did one or two other movies after this. Uh, he wrote and directed this one. He co-wrote it with, A guy named Jeffrey Convitz who wrote the novel, The Sentinel.
Oh. And also, uh, co-wrote the screenplay for that. Have, I don’t think we’ve done the Sentinel yet on here, have we? No, it’s been on my list though. That’s one of those satanic cult type movies that I kind of like from the seventies. Anyway, we’ll do that eventually. Aside from that and this movie and one other movie that’s kind of a thriller, erotic thriller, like, uh, it doesn’t seem like the direct.
Theodore Gini did much, uh, after this. Neither did, uh, Jeffrey Convitz after he did the Sentinel, he did a f He produced a few things a couple decades later. But then when you look at the cast of this, there’s it’s kind of impressive, stable of older horror older movie stars who are maybe a little bit past their prime or coming up into.
To that point. Yeah. This is a Cannon released film and they were sort of notorious for doing this. Of course, I think this was the first film that Cannon releasing did later in the eighties. They would go on to do like Chuck Norris movies and these action thrillers and horror, just like all kinds of crazy stuff.
The Masters of the Universe movie. That was so terrible back then. You know, we, I think we did a whole episode where we talked in depth about, uh, cannon, and I can’t remember which movie it was that. Where we’re doing at the time. I don’t remember. . Yeah, I don’t remember at all. But I think that’s kind of interesting.
This is their first one and uh, also one of the co-producers on here is Lloyd Kaufman. Oh. Who would later go on to co-found, uh, Troma. Yeah, I believe that after he did this, he was running around, he did some, I think some location scouting or something for Saturday Night Fever. He popped around a little bit in the Hollywood area before he decided to go and do a movie called Battle of Love Returns.
Which then kind of went off to co-found Troma. So, so this was like around that era. So it’s, it’s sort of this interesting point where all of these interesting characters are in this, otherwise this movie that was quite forgettable for the time. Let’s see what we can name off a few other people. John Carradine is in here.
Craig: in a non-speaking role. Yeah. That’s weird.
Todd: Yeah. , maybe it was cheaper that way. I don’t
Craig: know. And is that, is he like David Kaine’s. Yeah,
Todd: Uhhuh . We did a, a movie, I think it was a little later than this, it was early eighties or late seventies called Monster Club. Oh, right. Remember, he and Vincent Price were in the beginning, he was definitely a little older.
Oh, that’s right. In that movie. That’s right. Yeah. Yeah. Definitely spoke in that one. . Yeah. He has a long history. Patrick O’Neill, I think, um, pretty notable. He starts out as a guy in this movie named John Carter.
Craig: Yeah, that was another interesting thing about this movie. They, that, um, they pulled a psycho Mm.
The, the people that I thought were gonna be the main characters for the movie got killed first. .
Todd: Yeah, exactly. kind of suddenly didn’t they? Uhhuh . And, and you know, also, I couldn’t believe when I was watching this movie, there was a point where I was like, wait a minute. I had to look up and see if Black Christmas came out before or after this.
And it turns out it came out after this because there is such a striking similarity between the killer in this movie and the killer in Black Christmas that I cannot, for a moment, believe that it was not influenced. And it turns out this, yeah, this movie was shot like four years before Crip. Black Christmas came out.
I think it was released two years after it was shot. So still two years before Black Christmas. I have no doubt that Bob Clark must have seen this. That’s funny. You know, I
Craig: hadn’t really thought about that, but you’re right. You know, the, the killer making phone calls and talking in a funny voice and Yeah.
And claiming to be somebody. Yeah. Oh my gosh. There are a lot of similarities. I hadn’t thought of that. It’s also got
Todd: breaking into a house and hang, hanging out up there. Uhhuh, .
Craig: It’s also got kind of a yellow feel with, you know, the killer and the black leather gloves and lots of killer p o v and like heavy breathing behind the camera.
Todd: well. It’s kind of interesting when you think about it. You put this at 1972 just before sort of the slasher craze, which we sort of credit Black Christmas. Mm-hmm. with kicking off, which then influenced Halloween, which then kicked everything into high gear. This movie’s actually got some, you could almost argue it.
Set a tone. Yeah. It’s set up a few of these standards. Of course, we’ve also reviewed a Diallo film, uh, called Bay of Blood. also has, you know, I, I mean it’s complicated. The history of horror, you know, has a lot of influences from a lot of different places. But yeah, I would be not convinced if you tried to tell me that this movie completely flew under the radar and did not influence anybody.
Right. Uh, who later came along. Cuz there’s some very direct and solid influences there, regardless of what you know. I mean, it’s. It’s slow. . It’s slow. Yeah.
Craig: It’s moody. It just, it feels, it feels kind of old school. I, yeah. Yeah. I, I, I, I feel like, I don’t know, I could just be making this up, but it feels like it kind of comes from a time period where they could take their time.
Um, I, I feel like we’re a little bit more impatient today. Um. But cuz it is, it’s a slow burn. Uh, I don’t know. Ultimately, like , I kind of felt like the whole time, like I didn’t know what was going on. Yeah. Like I couldn’t, I couldn’t keep track of who was who and when was when, because. Mm. Like a lot of stuff happened in the distant past, and then some things happened in the recent past, and then things were happening in the current time, and by the end when it finally was over and it was kind of revealed what was going on, I was like,
I know the ending is a little unsatisfying. , I’ll just say the least, but it’s narration heavy. There’s a lot of narration. There’s a lot of flashback Also, you know, usually flashback is rather quick, right? We get a flashback, we kind of see, you know, what happened, and then we come back to present day with this.
The last flashback in this movie that sort of explains everything goes on for like 10 minutes. , it’s long.
Craig: Yeah. And it’s in, its complete, it’s shot in a different style. It’s weird, like all like out of nowhere. You’re kind of in like a silent movie from the thirties. Yeah, .
Todd: It’s weird. SepOne Uhhuh, kind of black and very monochromatic sep Sapia tone.
It’s very artsy and I think. So I was reading and, uh, Mary Waroff has a quote, uh, that she talked about, uh, for this movie. And she said, silent Night, bloody Night was terrible. We were given a weird script and Ted, the director, tried to spark it up. He tried to make it an artistic statement, but it didn’t work.
It didn’t even make much sense. Most people couldn’t understand what was going on, which is not good, particularly for a horror film. And I think that’s pretty fair. Yeah.
Craig: Uhhuh. . She nailed it. . .
Todd: So thank you all for listening to this episode. No, actually, I think All right. I agree with almost everything that she said.
I don’t think it’s a terrible movie because I can see what it was trying to do, but like you said, it was just not entertaining enough to pull it off. Uhuh. Yeah.
Craig: Well, and. Like you said, like the heavy narration, it goes on for so long like this. It’s silly. It is, and it, I like, I don’t care. I don’t care. And it’s, and it’s taking itself so seriously, like, and again, like I didn’t know what was happening.
I didn’t know who any of these people were. It just throws you right in, in the beginning with her, I guess Mary Warnoff like revisit. House and, and she’s telling us in this very serious voiceover that like she’s revisiting this place once more before it’s demolished. And I don’t know, like I have it in my notes that she grew up there, but like, is that even true?
I don’t know.
Todd: It seems like it, right? I mean, it gives that impression. I think the movie is trying very hard at the beginning to set up this sort of gothic tale of generations, right? Yeah. It, it’s really got that vibe and, and initially that’s kind of captivating, you know? Oh, it’s the mysterious house kind of.
Craig: But I, I couldn’t even under, like, I couldn’t follow the timeline. I don’t, because they say that the guy who built the house got put into a mental institution, but then, He came back and then , he caught on fire. ,
Todd: right. . That, that’s really funny. It’s, it’s a house in the snow. And we’re getting all this in narration, but then we’re getting to see some of this happen in the backtrack.
It’s supposed to be the day before Christmas in 1950 and suddenly this guy comes stumbling outta the house and he’s on fire. . Yes. Yes. Fully, fully. In flame. He runs out into the snow and tries to, I guess, put, he doesn’t try very hard actually to put himself out. I. He’s in the snow. He, he could maybe, anyway, uh, he falls down and then we get a shot from inside the house through the window of the guy burning in the snow in the distance.
Craig: old lady just like playing piano .
Todd: Yeah. It slowly pulls back through the house and then there’s a person in there playing like a harps supporter piano or something. All of us believe that his death was an accident. No one knew that another person had come to Butler house that Christmas. Yeah. But I mean, it’s setting up a central mystery, right?
There was this mysterious death, but by
Craig: the, yeah, but by the time that mystery was solved, I had forgotten about like, . I had forgotten that hole. But then nobody else, nobody knew that someone else had come to O. Okay. I, I totally forgot about that . But then it, but, but see then, like it jumps around in time cuz they’re like, well, and then they buried Wil.
Butler on New Year’s Day, so I guess he was like the owner. Mm-hmm. . And the guy, the guy who built it and the guy got burnt up, but then it said he left his house to his grandson Jeffrey? Yes. But then the house was empty for 20 years. and then it shows somebody breaking out of another mental institution.
Todd: Yes, and I didn’t know who it was
Craig: and I thought it was Jeffrey, and I thought it was
Todd: Jeffrey for a long time, but then I think we’re supposed to. Yeah. Uh, I didn’t know
Craig: what was going on. I was totally lost
Todd: and bored . Yeah. I, I agree with you in being deliberately misleading. It’s a little. It’s confusing.
That’s the problem. You know, there’s a fine line right in, in withholding information, creating some intrigue, doing some foreshadowing and whatnot. But if you don’t do it well enough, then you’re just confused and. Unsettled, you know, through the whole thing. And I, I, I felt, I, I, I agree. I was waiting for all this to come together and it didn’t really come together towards the end.
And then I was questioning myself like, what did I really know? Or did I miss something throughout a lot of it, uh, I just wanna, I want at least point out a few things I liked about the movie. I really liked that point of view of the killer. Bits, uh, where he broke out of the metal institution, beats a bunch of people over the head with like a wrench or something.
A wrench and, and drives the car and takes off. I thought that was kind of interesting and well shot. And then the, you know, she says a man who came to sell the house. Had never seen it. He was just a man doing a job. And that’s when the couple pulls up to this house taking pics and selfies. And there’s this woman who I never caught her name.
I don’t know if it was ever uttered
Craig: the girlfriend, like, hi, the girl that he’s with.
Todd: Yeah, I think it’s. Must be his. Ingrid. I think. Ingrid. Okay. Uh, Astrid Huron. This, this was, it was also
Craig: weird because, okay, so when they introduced this guy who’s played by Patrick O’Neill, I feel like I should know him from something.
He looks really familiar, but I couldn’t figure out what I know him from. His name’s John Carter. Carter, and he’s just there to sell the house and he goes and meets with the mayor, and then the mayor introduces him to this like shady. . It’s like the, the people who run the town or something, but it’s like they’re all weird.
They’re all weird. And, uh, he, it’s the sheriff and the switchboard operator. Yes. Who’s a lady and the newspaper editor who is, uh, the guy who doesn’t talk, uh, played by the guy that we already talked about. His name. John Carradine. Yep. John Carradine. His name’s Toman and he doesn’t talk for unexplained reasons and they’re weird.
The mayor is introduced and the, I don’t even know what’s happening on or what’s going on. The, the guy, John Carine, like just every once in a while, he’ll ring a bell. Just that’s it. Like he just does, and it’s
Todd: his way of communicating and everyone seems to understand what he’s saying, ,
Craig: and they seem like, like the, the whole group of them seemed like.
I don’t know. They’re just super shady. You’re like, why are they so weird? And why are they just sitting around a table silently and staring like mm-hmm . It’s so weird. I don’t know what’s going on. And apparently they say that, uh, Carter says, I know that the town wanted to buy the house. Well, I’ve got a deal for you.
Todd: you still want the house? Are you offering it to us, Mr. Carter? Exactly. Why? Well, that’s Mr. Butler’s business, isn’t he? You know, we are not rich. Most of us came here during the depression, but we love this town. It’s our home. And naturally you want to improve it. Exactly. My client understands that and he fully sympathizes and he’s willing to sacrifice the.
For $50,000 in cash
Craig: by noon tomorrow. What? ?
Todd: Yeah. Why is the town buying a house? It. It’s weird because it’s, there’s the, there’s the impression left that the, the town is embarrassed by the house. Right. That it’s a scandalous place because something terrible had happened there. And I’m thinking just what this, just because this guy burned up anyway.
And then, and then, yeah, my idea was, oh, maybe the town wants to buy the house so that they can tear it down. And, and it is true, like I think later. The mayor asks the group, so what are we gonna do when we buy the house? One of them says, burn it down. But yeah, they’re weird, right? They’re all sitting around the table on one side staring.
They’re just off. Yeah. And later on we find out why. Yeah. Which is funny. . Yeah. Really funny, but just, I don’t
Craig: know the like serious, honestly, I really didn’t know what was going on. Yeah. I somehow missed that that house had been turned into an asylum for a while.
Todd: Like I thought, Nope, I don’t think it was told at this point yet.
I don’t think anybody knew it at this point. Yeah, I don’t think we find that out until the end. Well,
Craig: so then this killer. Again, who we don’t have any idea who it is. You know, black coat, black gloves. That’s all we see. And then we see from their point of view, they show up and like, I feel like the, the movie is still kind of trying to trick us into thinking that it’s Jeffrey, because Jeffrey is also arriving.
Yeah. Um, but, but he’s not mask. or gloved or anything.
Todd: Somebody drives by Jeffrey. I think it was Mary Warnock’s character. It’s
Craig: the one. It is. I couldn’t tell the two women apart at first and that was confusing me also. But yes, it is her, like he’s like along the side of the road and I think he’s like holding a wrench, like maybe his card broken down or something.
But we had just seen somebody else kill somebody or, or at least threatened somebody with a wrench.
Todd: Oh God, I didn’t know. So red
Craig: herring and, and she just, she drives by and just looks
Todd: at him like, and then he smashes the windows. He’s
Craig: trying to flag her down, but she doesn’t stop cuz he is shady. He smashes the windows.
Yeah. I don’t
Todd: remember that. Why? Yeah. He smashes the windshield and. I still don’t know why I, I really have no idea what car that was and why he smashed the window. The windows ,
Craig: I don’t know. It’s weird. And then the, the, the killer. Stabs a dog outside of the house for no
Todd: reason. I guess it was a guard dog or so, or maybe it was just a dog.
That was annoying him. Yeah, I, I thought, oh, Craig . I’m sorry. Every time there’s cruelty to animals, I always think of you, Craig. Well, that one bothered
Craig: Sometimes they have it coming, but that dog was just, It’s not bothering him. Plus, fine, it’s a guard dog. Whatever. There’s nobody else around. What are you afraid of?
Like ? Yeah, just go in the house.
Todd: Leave the dog alone. . Well, I might mo you, you know, I mean, who knows? Oh, it like a nice dog might bark and let other people mow you there,
Craig: So, but anyway, this gloved person is just like prowling around the house and then Carter and his girlfriend, I guess when he goes inside.
Yeah, they. They go inside
Todd: the, well, first of all, the bad guy go the, the, the killer breaks into the house and goes in, there’s some stuff of him kind of wandering around POV shot, uh, in the house before the couple shows up.
Craig: Yeah. And then I was not really confused. I guess they were just kind of trying to set it up that this Carter guy is a dick because, uh, yeah.
At sometimes he ca at some point he calls like his kid, like his little kid. Mm-hmm. and talks to her and his wife apparently. Yeah, but he’s there with. Bimbo? I don’t know. I don’t know anything about her. She’s probably lovely.
but she’s definitely a side piece. Mm-hmm. . But I’m thinking that they are like, it, it’s, it seems like they’re gonna be the main characters like Carter and, and Ingrid are gonna be the main characters, but then they’re just, Inside. And they go to bed, go to bed together, and the creepy guys just creeping around and then they get ax, both of them in the bed and yeah.
Um, lots of blood, blood splattering everywhere. Mm-hmm. , you know, bloody hands, pretty brutal blood. Yeah. And at that point, That first killer was like, okay, I might be able to get into this. Mm-hmm. , because that was a pre, like, even though it wasn’t super graphic, um, like you didn’t really see a lot of like the, the hits.
You didn’t really see the ax hit, but it was really bloody and.
Todd: Well, I thought it was kind of a, I don’t can’t believe I’m making this comparison, but I thought it was kind of effective in the same way that, you know, the shower seat and psycho is effective. Yeah, you didn’t see the ax hit, but gosh, you saw a limbs flailing and blood everywhere and it was pretty, I felt.
Very skillfully done kill for not ever seeing the ax hit the body. Exactly.
Craig: And I was thinking the same thing and I was thinking I was, I was like, okay, I mean, if, if it’s gonna be this kind of movie, I can at least get on board for that . But then
Todd: you have to wait a while, , you have to wait a
Craig: while and then it doesn’t, like, I don’t know, I don’t even remember.
I just watched this yesterday. I don’t even remember what happened. .
Todd: Let me fill in some gaps because I just finished watching it right before we watched this, before we started recording. First of all, uh, Patrick O’Neill, uh, he, he was a TV actor, like he would pop into TV shows all the time. I, I, he might have had one series that he was a primary actor on, but he was all over television in the seventies, a little bit in the eighties.
Um, he was in the original Stepford Wives in 75. He, I think his last role was, uh, captain Adams in Under Siege. I think he was the captain of the boat. Okay. Before, uh, it gets taken, which is one of my favorite Steven Sigal movies. Oh my
Craig: God. You have a favorite Steven Segal movie, .
Todd: Oh yeah. Oh yeah. I have a favorite Van Dam movie too.
Oh, geez. The one that takes place in the hockey rink. Which one is that? Oh God. I don’t know. It’s actually pretty good. I don’t know.
Of what does that say? Something about me, what he tried to say.
Dude, I grew up in the nineties, right? I mean we were watching all you were too. Don’t, don’t pretend. I don’t know. I never
Craig: really could get on bor with Sigal. I’ll give
Todd: you van dance. Well, especially not now, but yeah, it was always, he was always a little weird, but uh, he’s really gone off the rails. Yeah, he’s cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs these days.
He’s a Russian citizen now, isn’t he? So, I don’t know. He’s crazy . So I thought, alright, I agree with you. I thought the kill was cool. I was like, all right, this is kind of, you know, what I was looking for anyway. Yeah, the, the, the dude kills them with the ax and uh, then he picks up what looks like a bible, opens it to a marked page, places a crucifix in the dead guy’s hand.
Yeah. All these things I thought were going to be significant first. Don’t think they were. No,
Craig: I don’t understand it. No. I expected it to be some religious thing, you know? Mm-hmm. , like, like, or some like religious guilt thing or some, or, or, or this guy, you know, is punishing them because they’re sinners or something, you know, like there are so many possibilities, things that we’ve seen in these movies over and over again.
Even like Silent Night, deadly Night, you know? Yeah. The, the kid, you know, has all these terrible feelings about sex because of mm-hmm. , you know, seeing his parents. His mother like raped by Santa and then , you know, growing up in this, you know, Catholic nun run orphanage in school. So like there was motivation there for like this religious kind of stuff.
But here, yeah, I, you see it happen. You see him like open the Bible and like lay it down and then put the cruise fix. Clearly there has to be some reason for that.
Todd: No, not at all. Not that I could tell anyway. No. Well then at very, uh, black Christmas styles slash yellow style, these gloved hands pick up the phone and dial And Tess is the, is it’s funny because Tess is introduced in that group earlier in the meeting in the mayor’s office as their communications direct.
Well, let’s just say she’s our communications director, is what they say about her. And I’m like, that’s a weird way to introduce this woman. Mm-hmm. . And then you realize she’s a switchboard operator like Uhhuh . Oh my gosh. Even in 1972, like, think about that for a minute, right? Yeah. Wow. So, or, or I think small towns even still had this, because I also remember Black Christmas, only four years later, um, has this big deal about them tracing the phone call and they’re literally in the, the telephone, um, oh, right building, right Running up and down these physical switches and stuff looking, I mean, so that was kind of interesting.
He picks up the phone and ends up with her and, uh, the dude says he’s the owner. Of the house and that Carter is not there. I, I’m just gonna play this audio because this sounds exactly like the dude from Black Christmas Te
Todd: have come back. What’s that? Te I wanna see you again. Okay. Hello.
Craig: Who is this?
Todd: Mees. It’s Maryanne.
Craig: I’m waiting in my father’s house,
Craig: it’s so lonesome. Don’t belong. I’m like, who the fuck, fuck is Maryanne ?
Todd: Like, what are you talking about? And you sound, you don’t sound like a Maryanne .
Craig: No, it sounds like a man barely disguising their voice.
Todd: Oh, yeah. I, I, at that point I was actually kind of intrigued. I was like, holy crap.
That’s when I went back and looked up black Christmas. Yeah. And it, and found out this movie came years before, so it’s pretty creepy actually. It was creepy.
Craig: And eventually she does go there, which I don’t even understand why. Like,
Todd: well, she knows why, right? She knows who this is, but I guess we don’t know at this point or what the connection is.
She dials the sheriff. There’s no answer. Um, she dials, I guess the, the, the next woman on her shift asking if she can come by early. And then, um, we see the guy who had previously smashed the windows. Jeffrey. Jeffrey, who we later learned is Jeffrey Butler. Uh, who is the grandson. Grandson.
Craig: He grandson who’s inheriting the
Todd: house, right?
Mm-hmm. . He goes into the car that the couple left outside the door, finds that the keys are in there and takes it off. Takes off. So, , I’m thinking, well, the movie wants us to think that he’s the killer cuz he’s at the house and he leaves in the car. But it’s not gonna be that simple. So immediately I realize, well, this guy’s not the killer, but he’s associated with the house and, and Warnoff is at home somewhere wrapping presents the, the movie’s very Christmas, right?
I mean, I guess. There’s Christmas throughout it. It happens on Christmas Eve. I think most of it are a day or two before the movies, um, anchored in an event that took place, uh, Christmas many years ago. Yeah, they
Craig: sing Silent Night a lot. . Yeah,
Todd: suspiciously. So yeah, it’s like the movie that, you know, keeps repeating.
Its, its title. Yeah. I,
Craig: uh, God, I just
Todd: don’t know at, we don’t know. She. , that’s the problem.
Craig: We, we find out who she, but that’s the thing. Like she kind of just pops up out of nowhere. Like doesn’t, does Jeffrey show? Okay, so Jeffrey shows up at her house. Yeah. And the reason that he shows up there is because she’s the mayor’s daughter, so he’s looking for the mayor.
Mm-hmm. . But the mayor’s not home, but she’s there. with a lot of shotguns. did. Did you notice that there were like five guns like hanging on
Todd: wall? Yeah, I don’t know. I guess the mayor, you know, is not well liked or something. , I don’t know. He’s got such, I
Craig: really like Mary Waroff. Uh, cuz she’s tough. Yes. Like she always, uh, first of all, I think she’s really tall.
If I remember correctly, she, I think she’s really tall. She’s a statuesque woman. Like she’s got really kind of defined facial features. In all of the things that I’ve, all of the things that I’ve seen her in have been after this. Yeah. She’s really young. Uh, yeah. In this movie and just really, really beautiful.
Um, and, and not that she then just turned ugly . I mean, she was always beautiful , but she’s just so young in this. It was kind of cool to see. I’ve never seen her this young.
Todd: Me neither. Well, I mean, it was her first role, so nobody had Yeah.
Craig: and, and, and, and she’s, she’s kind of a bad. You know, she’s a no nonsense.
You know, this guy who she doesn’t know comes to her house, and so. Like she pulls a shotgun on him, doesn’t
Todd: she? ? Yeah, she does. She’s like the demands to see his id, all that stuff. Uh, you know, I, she had a bit of a Jamie Lee Curtis vibe. I, uh, Uhhuh . Uhhuh . Yeah. In fact, if you, you know, if you squinted a little bit, you might think she was, her.
Could be. It was similar in performance, uh, you know, with some of Jamie Lee Curtis’s roles. Similar in looks, I think in some ways when she was younger, like this Uhhuh , I, I was into it. I, but again, I was like, you, I was a little confused. I’m like, this is a little too much to ask for me to keep all this in my head.
Right? Uhhuh, , they introduced her really, really early on, but gave no indication that she was the mayor’s daughter. So, That wasn’t fair. That wasn’t nice . But eventually she does. She reveals it that she’s the mayor’s daughter. He is not there, blah, blah, blah. He says he just wants to get into the house and he’s looking for the keys.
Great. I guess he thinks the mayor has the keys to everyone’s house. . I, that’s I wa. Fun fact. I was a mayor of a, of a city at one point, and I’m telling you, when they hand you that key to the city, it’s, it, it doesn’t really, it’s not a skeleton key. . It’d be
Craig: cool if it was purely symbolic. I’d run, I’d run for mayor if I got a skeleton
Todd: key to the whole thing.
you’d be really a lot more choosy about who you elected for. Mayor I probably never would’ve elected. That’s true, . That’s true.
Craig: But, but yeah, at this like, okay, so I didn’t notice that it was happening. As it turns out, like then it just kind of sets it up as a series of ways to mess with that. Like city board of trustees or whoever it was that we’ve met.
Yeah, like it just like kind of one by one they get messed with. And I think that Tess is the first one, right? Like the, the person on the phone. Phone?
Todd: No. She leaves, but the sheriff is the first one, the sheriff. So she says the sheriff, oh, the sheriff might have the keys. You should check him out. Oh, right, right.
So they go and drive. But the sheriff is actually in route to the house. And we hear this through the radio. It’s like a radio thing, right. Uh, I think Tess finally got ahold of her. Somebody got ahold of her, actually, I’m not quite clear on that. But the sheriff, for reasons I don’t understand, pulls over at Alfred Butler’s grave.
Yeah. We’ve seen Alfred Butler’s grave from the flashback, so we know it’s there. Guess it’s close to the grounds. It’s one of these graves in the woods, you know? Right. And so I’m not sure why he pulls over there. Like maybe,
Craig: I think he saw a light or something. Oh, I don’t rem I could totally be making that up.
I don’t remember, but I thought, no, you’re probably right. I thought he saw a light or headlights or a flashlight or something. I don’t know. But yeah, he goes and, and I feel like it is like a little graveyard, cuz there are other little graves mm-hmm. around it. But the, the main one, the, the guys, um, is this great.
Like cross, uh, with his name carved in it and everything. Um, but then he gets hit in the back of the head with a shovel, right? Yeah. And then killed, I think with
Todd: a shovel. He does pick up a diary. There’s a diary there. Alfred Butler’s diary is there. He picks it up, kind of looks at it, but again, he gets killed.
So there’s nothing he can do. Yeah, and I’m not sure why the diary was there, honestly. I mean, in retrospect, I guess the killer was holding it. I, I don’t know why he set it down right for the sheriff to find before he killed him, because it’s not like he opens it and looks through it or anything.
Craig: No. It comes back later, but, uh, yeah.
Oh God. . But see, and then it’s all like, I don’t know, it’s so weird. Like the, the somebody, uh, I, I feel so Jeffrey and, um, what’s Mary Warren’s
Todd: character saying, Diane, they return
Craig: to her house, Jeffrey and Diane, they’re like a team. Mm-hmm. from now on and, and eventually they like, they find the sheriff’s car and there’s weird stuff going on, but Tess goes to the house.
Is she looking for the sheriff too? I think. and maybe like maybe when she gets to the house, maybe his car is there or something. I don’t know. No ? Yeah. No, I don’t know. All I remember is that she ends up going into the house and then it’s, she does a, a weird scene that I like on its own. I enjoyed, I, it was difficult for me to be into this movie, but it was kind of spooky when she gets in there.
And I don’t know if the lights go out or they already were
Todd: out. Tess is one of the last people to get killed. Is she? And we’re, by then, we’re 50 minutes in, but a few more things happen, so, okay. Jeffrey Butler and, uh, Diane returned to her place. Um, they say, well, we’ll just wait here because my grandfather should sh my, my father should show up cuz we have dinner every Thursday night.
Right, right. Eventually they decide, well, we’re just gonna go to the house. Instead they find his grandfather’s grave. The sheriff’s glass is there and. You know, that’s when he was like, look, the lawyer’s missing. The sheriff is missing. We’re getting strange phone calls. They, they got a weird call too, I think, and she suggests they go down the road to the town to get help cuz it’s only 10 minutes away.
And then back at the newspaper, Mr. Taman is there, he’s, he bids goodnight to his employee. Then the mayor is in his car, he’s driving, I guess he’s driving back home, I’m not sure. And then we see Mr. Taman. The newspaper guy putting black gloves on. I thought, oh, wait a minute. They’re not trying to say he killed anybody, are they?
He shows up, he writes on a piece of paper that Tess has gone to the house. Butler asked Tellman to drive him there. They go out to his very classic car, which, you know, I was, I was going back and doing the math. There are a lot of really old looking cars in this movie, like 1940s style cars. And then I’m thinking, yeah, I guess in 1972.
Mm-hmm. , you know, that would be, Me and getting running across a car that was done in the fi, you know it was made in the nineties or eighties. Uh, I guess so. And that leads, leads him to Tess’s Place and town is, why is that? That doesn’t make any
Craig: sense. He drives, I think because Didn’t Jeff ask him to take him to
Todd: the house?
News House? Yeah, like the house, he just drives them there anyway to Tess his place. And Jeffrey’s like, what? This isn’t the house. And Talman seems to be trying to communicate something. He’s dist. And learns that someone has called there before. Uh, then Diane gets a creepy phone call and the, the guy on the line, Maryanne asks her to bring her father to the house.
Tell him I have the diary, I’m waiting. Uh, yes. And he gives her a date, 1935. And she wonders how she’s gonna know what the deal is and he just says he’ll know. And
Craig: that’s when we see Tess at the house. Mm-hmm. . And she sees someone with a flashlight inside and she thinks it’s the sheriff cuz his car’s out there.
But then, It’s dark in the house and Killer the killer, has a flashlight and shines it right in her face. It’s like, you can’t see me, but I can see you . And then he tells her she’s fat ,
Todd: you’re ultra now one fatter .
Craig: That was my favorite part. Like, oh, good to see you again. You’re fat . And but so then he kills.
With an ax. So then Diane does some research. Okay. Yeah. . And she finds out that Maryanne was 15. And she was, God, I don’t even, was this in a newspaper? I think she’s like, I don’t know. It’s Yeah.
Todd: Research mode. Yeah, it’s research mode. It’s like newspaper. I think, uh, I, I even have in my notes check Wikipedia for this cuz I wasn’t exactly sure what was going on, but the girl
Craig: Maryanne was, when she was 15, she was attacked and raped.
Mm-hmm. . And she gave birth to
Todd: Jeff to a. Right. Yeah.
Craig: Jeff. Yeah. So Jeffrey is the son, and then this is the part, it’s so stupid. It doesn’t make any sense. So like, I guess because of her attack and rape, she’s like mentally disturbed. So the guy who owned the house supposedly, I guess the guy who burned up or whatever, he turns the house into an asylum.
Yeah. So that she can be treated and committed there. Yeah.
Todd: Yeah, it’s really, really weird cuz he feels guilty and later we figure out what we learn, why he feels guilty. Yeah. With that weird ass flashback. I know, by the way, it’s very, very slow. It’s, it’s very slow. And this should be intriguing mystery revealing stuff.
But by now, you’re right. Like at this point you, you almost don’t care. No. Because you’re a little confused, uh, and you’re not sure what’s going on. That never feels good.
Craig: No. And I still don’t know what’s going on because Jeff then Rejoins, Diane Uhhuh, and we see the killer destroying somebody’s car. Yeah.
Todd: Ruining somebody’s car. There’s a car on fire. And I think now that I think about it, I think. Oh God no. I still have no idea who it was. I have no idea
Craig: who is it. It could be the Sheriff. It could be, but all I know is that Jeff and Diane like head to the house. Oh, it’s Tillman’s car. I think that’s burning Well, because then they’re driving along the street and Toman jumps up like out of a ditch onto the street and they hit him.
Yeah. And he goes flying off the side of the road and he’s dead. But then Jeff says something like somebody cut off his hands.
Todd: Who someone was cutting. Someone cut off his hands. He was asking for help. Yeah. Uh, oh God. I, I don’t get it was, plus it was way too dark. Couldn’t see what was going on at all during the scene.
Like ba, like seriously, the screen was almost entirely black. They get in the car, they arrive at the house, and now I guess it’s unlocked. So Butler can go inside and, and explore everything, touching everything, leaving Diane in the car. I don’t understand why he left Diane in the car, and I don’t understand why everything slows back down again.
At this point, this is where I thought, okay, there must be more to Jeffrey than meets the eye. He’s almost seems like he’s in a trance going through what I guess was his childhood house, which actually, now that I think about it, begs a few questions. But anyway, yeah, he’s like touching some things and he’s walking around and he’s clawing closing his eyes.
And then, uh, the killer calls the mayor, uh, the mayor’s back home. , and again, this is Maryanne Butler and invites the mayor over taunting him that his daughter is there too. Right. The mayor grabs a gun or whatever and goes, and then, uh, Butler back in the house finds his grandfather’s diary and this I know.
Yeah. It’s just
Craig: a stupid exposition dump, like
Todd: it’s super long, super dump.
Craig: It’s super, and it’s that, it’s that weird sepia toned, silent movie feeling flashback, which could be
Todd: cool. I think it could be cool. It just goes on for so long that it gets tir. .
Craig: Yeah. I almost feel like, I suppose, but I expected there to be, like, it felt like there should be that music behind it.
but it’s not, instead it’s very serious and it, it, it starts out when he turns the house into asylum to help Marianne. But he didn’t trust the doctors and like the, the dad and the doctors and their wives, I guess don’t know. I guess they, they all just seemed like rich and snotty and really welled unclear and drinking and smoking cigarettes and stuff.
I wasn’t really sure what was going on, but the, the dad came to not trust. , the doctors. And then I just have in my notes Gross . , because it turns out that he Butler Sr. Was banging his
Todd: daughter. Mm. He’s the one who raped her.
Craig: Yeah. Right. And got her pregnant. And that’s Jeffrey’s mom. So Jeffrey, I guess. His own Uncle
Todd: Yeah, he, this is kind of narrated by Arthur Butler, the, the grandfather.
Craig: Yeah. Cuz it, right, cuz it’s, it’s from his diary.
Todd: My cruelty to Maryanne was inhuman. I know that. I had loved her. I had fathered our child, Jeffrey. And brought her to this. I swear that on that afternoon, all I wanted was to save my child.
My hope was to get her away from that house, but also I wanted to set free those other Wretches who had so long been abused by the doctors. I knew what they might do if these inmates were freed and. Is my guilt. I knew and still I freed
Craig: them. And you see them all. It’s very walking dead. Like they’re all like lumbering up to the house.
It’s a very night of the living dead actually. That’s what I meant. Yeah. And they uh, they lumber up to the house and they kill the doctors and their wives. And Maryanne,
Todd: didn’t you think anything else was kind of interesting about this scene? I don’t.
Craig: I mean, I didn’t know what was
Todd: happening. I was trying to figure something out too because, because Maryanne was obviously a man trying to affect a woman’s voice.
I happened to notice that in the flashback scenes, some of the women in there were clearly trans. Oh, I didn’t notice that. Yeah, one of the, especially one, definitely two of them, and I was like, is this like one of those things where they’re trying to say that she went nuts and decided she was a man or something like that, and that somehow the doctor and them were.
You know, influenced her or something like you just raised more questions. I, I looked this up afterwards because it’s actually in, um, some of the notes and many of the people who are in this movie, and especially in this particular scene, were part of Andy Warhol’s Factory Entourage, and that woman I was just talking about.
In there is a very famous trans woman of the time, Kandy Darling. Mm. She was quite an icon, I think actually, uh, in the seventies. Um, wow, I didn’t know that. And was in a number of, uh, Andy Warhol’s movies and, um, hung around with the, you know, again, with the Velvet Underground. So, I thought that was interesting, but it did raise more questions for me because I thought that might have something to do with it.
Because, you know, at this time we, there’s a lot of this stuff where the twist turns out to be that the mentally ill person thought there were a woman or something like that, you know? Right. And I thought maybe that was what made Butler so angry is that they were turning her daughter into a man or something like that.
But no, it, it doesn’t turn out to be anything like that.
Craig: No, I think, I think they killed her. I think they killed Maryanne. Yeah. But Butler, that’s it said that after that, well, again, it’s him. It’s him narrating. He says, for the next 40 years I lived in prisons and asylums, but now I’m back for my vengeance.
Yeah. And so Diane goes in the house and Jeffrey is in there, and I guess that from reading the diary, he’s figured this all out and he tells her that his dad, Is still alive. And she’s like, no, that can’t be, because people saw him burned and he’s like, well no. It was a transient, like there
Todd: was like, yeah.
How does he know this? I
Craig: don’t know. It must have been in the diary. I guess.
Todd: It must have been. Yeah,
Craig: we just didn’t get that bit. But apparent, apparently Butler faked his own death by burning a transient to death and he’s still alive. And then we learned that that whole city council. They were the inmates of the asylum.
Yeah. So apparently, apparently after they all broke out and killed all the doctors and stuff, they just set up shop in town. We’re like, I’ll be sheriff and you can be the switchboard operator and you can be the mute newspaper guy, , and we’ll just go on about our lives as though nothing has happened.
Todd: How they pulled that off, I’m not quite sure, but that’s that.
So, um, at this. Alfred Butler comes walking down the stairs, and that was
Craig: weird too. Like, he looks weird. I, I don’t know. I, I don’t know how to describe his look. He’s. He looks crazy. He’s got like mm-hmm. wild, crazy hair and he’s kind of got like a boo rat thing going on, except for like with like Einstein hair.
Todd: They’re just trying to make him look like, especially old, I think. I guess. But I guess it’s, I dunno, it’s gotta be a different actor playing it. He doesn’t look at all like the guy in the flashbacks,
Craig: right? No, not at all. He looks younger, in fact.
Todd: Yeah, that’s true. Uh, Diane shoots him. I don’t
Craig: know. The, the mayor shows up, right?
Todd: Yeah. Then he shows up and he’s got his shotgun at the same time that, uh, also Jeffrey has a gun and Jeffrey’s just being bizarre. He’s like, put on a tux for some reason. Yeah, yeah.
Craig: like a, or like a smoking jacket or something. I don’t know what’s
Todd: weird, like, oh, he has like a Dracula cape at one point. He spins around and you see that he’s wearing a cape that’s red on the inside.
I don’t know what that’s
Craig: all about. Like he just like, he found out that he was the incest. Child, love child. And so he’s claiming the house. He decided he was gonna become like, yeah, he’s gonna become like a gothic, I don’t know. It’s stupid . But, but the, and I don’t understand. I have these things in my notes and like, I’m reading them thinking, what bec the sh not the sheriff, the mayor and Jeff shoot each other.
Todd: I don’t, why I think. You’ve got a couple things going on here. I think Jeff, obviously Jeff knows now that the mayor is one of the inmates who okay. Killed his mother and drove his father crazy or whatever. Okay, so he wants him dead and then the. Mayor is either confused or he just thinks he needs to take out Jeffrey too.
So anyway, they shoot each other at the same time and they both die. And then Diane wanders out of the house. And then we kind, well the, but the
Craig: after they shoot each other, that’s when the elder Butler appears and he calls Diane Maryann, oh you are right. And chases her upstairs. But she shoot. and
Todd: then that’s it.
You’re right, that’s when she shoots him. I thought I was thinking he came down earlier
Craig: and then we cut back to the like the beginning, like the wraparound with where it’s her just like walking around the grounds and a more long, stupid narration and she. Talks about the house is being torn down, but it’ll always exist in her memory or something.
I don’t know. Something
Todd: really stupid. I mean, it’s it’s pretty classic gothic horror type material though, isn’t it? Yeah. That’s fair. I guess I, I think in a better movie it would’ve worked just fine. Be better presented even. It might work better, but it’s convoluted and. They, they’re not particularly skillful at doing that the right way.
You know, there’s a right way to kind of unfold things and to kind of bring it in, introduce the intrigue and the mystery without just, uh, confusing the hell out of us. And I think that’s mostly what happens here. I, I, I actually, I don’t think the movie is that bad. I do agree that it was confusing, but I also agree.
I think it was quite stylish and I think they were trying to go for something that just kind of fell flat. But yeah, and it’s kind of a waste of some of these talents, here, but it, uh, did the drive-ins for a while. Again, it kind of fell into obscurity. Elvira picked it back up for her show. And then Cannon Re-released it and I think in 1981, calling it Death House, but it clearly influenced black Christmas.
There you cannot, nobody can tell me that it hasn’t. Yeah. And also this style of movie we’ve seen Better Done.
Craig: Yeah. It reminded me of some things. It reminded me, what was that movie with Donald Pleasant where like the. The inmates took over the asylum. Do you remember what I’m talking about? Yeah.
Todd: I don’t know.
Don’t look in the basement. Yes. Was a Grindhouse movie like that. You know, it it a little bit like Burnt Offerings is one of these, you know, a little bit. But that was a good movie, . It was. It was better done. Yeah. Yeah. I
Craig: don’t know. It’s funny cuz I think, obviously this movie’s been around for a long time and every Christmas it’s come up like we’ve talked about it and I don’t know why we’ve not done it up until this.
Todd: Apparently c b s got the rights to it, although, I mean it being public domain, I don’t understand how this works, but they showed one, at least one of their big affiliates in Chicago would show this every year at Christmas, and it did really well for them. There’s a sequel. Did you see that? There’s, there’s like two sequels I, there are there.
I think Lo Lloyd Kaufman came back and at least had a cameo part in the third. Oh, I didn’t
Craig: know there was a third one I just read and it was made much later, like in the nineties or something. Yeah. Um, and it, it looked awful. , ,
Todd: I can’t
Craig: imagine. I didn’t, uh, I didn’t watch it, of course, but it didn’t look.
Good. But it did like, I don’t know, new people move to this town and find out about the gruesome history and something, I don’t know. It looks stupid. Uhhuh, . Um, yeah, I don’t know. Uh, I, I, I can’t lie, I, I, I didn’t like it . I, it was, it was really kind of a struggle to get through, and it’s short. It’s only like an hour and 20 minutes long and it feels longer
I, it does, and I kept, like, I’m watching it on my computer. I kept touching the. The keypad to like check the time and every, it would be like three minutes later since the last time I checked it, I’d be like, ah, oh my God, will this movie never be
Todd: over? I had to stop it and go to sleep and wake up to watch the last 20 minutes.
Oh my gosh. It was
Craig: terrible. Like, I, uh, I, I’m moving my mouse like on the timeline, like checking to see like, when do the credits start, like, okay. The, the credits start two minutes before the run time, so I’ve really only got 22 minutes left. , oh my God. It was, it was, I did not enjoy it. But again, I, I’m really surprised that it took us this long to get to it.
Oh, yeah. And now we can check it off the list and move on and never speak of it again.
Todd: again. Thank you, patrons. I still think this is gonna be a memorable Christmas episode for us. like,
Todd: Well, thanks again to our patrons, uh, for supporting us this year and for picking this movie for us. We really appreciate your input. We also appreciate your support. If you would like to support us as well, head on over to patreon.com/chainsaw podcast and uh, you’ll find all of the mini soaps that we’ve done up.
To this point. Uh, and then every month we do one or two. Uh, we also give you some say in what movies we’re going to do in the future, especially with requests. And we have a couple other goodies there for you as well as, as well as the unedited copies of our phone call conversations. Well, this is times get kind of interesting.
As always, if you enjoyed this podcast, please share it with a friend. They can find us If you just googled two guys in a chainsaw podcast and uh, we’ve got our website there, two guys.red boarding.com, please go there and leave us a comment or leave us a comment on our Facebook page. Until next time, I’m Todd.
And I’m Craig. Merry Christmas everyone. Merry Christmas. This is Two Guys and a Chainsaw.
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