Santa's Slay David Steiman

Obviously from the title to the cover to the star, Santa's Slay is not the finest moment in cinematic history, but it's as thoroughly enjoyable as it is terrible. Former NFLer and pro wrestler Bill Goldberg stars as Kris Kringle, a red-clad, muscular, buffalo-riding sadist who 1,000 years after losing a curling bet to an angel is freed from his curse of being a saint and can now go on sinning and killing like he did in the old days. Santa finds his victims to prey on immediately in the opening sequence, which is a wise and desperate bid to get the viewer interested using some familiar faces. Fran Drescher, Chris Kattan and James Caan help kick things off with a bang in an unforgettably ridiculous scene that gets better every time you think of it. From there, the film focuses on a small town where a teen, his girlfriend and his kooky grandfather (Robert Culp) try to stop the killer Claus from fulfilling his mission to completely run amok. Often these b-movies suffer from bad humour, bad effects and/or thin scripts, but Slay has enough of the good to make it a sufferable watch. Even the ending opts for a wise direction that leaves the door open to the possibility of a (gulp) sequel, it's handled with a nice comic touch that is aptly cheesy. Goldberg may not have the best skills in delivery, but his brutish presence is effective and he pulls his weight with some funny one-liners that put a nice spin on his character's legacy. Funny Canadians Dave Thomas and Saul Rubinek also throw their comic weight around, even though their roles are merely bit parts. The three featurettes are all fairly predictable, tackling the pressures Steiman faced as a first-time director, the difficulties in using a real-life buffalo, which helped avoid the costs of CGI effects, and the "greatness" of Goldberg and the rest of the cast. As far as holiday films go, b-movie buffs can't go wrong with watching a Jewish wrestler inhabit the spirit of Saint Nick with a taste for blood. Plus: commentary, deleted scenes, bloopers. (Maple)