You Better Watch Out (1980)

USA,
95m (re-release), 100m
35mm film, colour
mono, English
Reviewed at The

An American horror film directed by Lewis Jackson. It was one of the most influential of the cycle of “killer Santa” movies that have been popular since the 1970s.

Plot Summary

A young boy is so traumatised when he learns that Santa doesn't really exist that he becomes an idealistic toy-maker as an adult to try to keep the spirit of alive. But when confronted by the harsh commercial realities of Christmas he snaps and goes on a murderous rampage.

Credits

Crew
Directed by: Lewis Jackson
© 1980 Red Suit Productions, Inc.
Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz present a Troma Team release. Edward R. Pressman Productions present a film by Lewis Jackson
Executive Producer: Jerold Rubenstein
Produced by: Burt Kleiner and Pete Kameron
Associate Producer: Michael Levine
Written by: Lewis Jackson
Director of Photography: Ricardo Aronovich
Edited by: Corky Ohara, Linda Leeds
Music: Don Christensen, Julia Heyward, Joel Harris
Sound Mixer: Chat Gunter
Costume Designer: Deirdre Williams
Make Up: Lyzanne Goodson
Hair: Francine McGiven of Jungle Red Studios
Special Effects: Tom Brumberger
Special Effects Photography: Alex Fernbach
Model and Artwork: H. Aoki
Model Animation: Justus Taylor
Production Designer: Lorenzo Harris

Cast
Brandon Maggart as Harry Stadling
Jeffrey DeMunn as Philip Stadling
Dianne Hull as Jackie Stadling
Andy Fenwick as Dennis Stadling
Brian Neville as Marc Stadling
Joe Jamrog as Frank Stoller

Harry's childhood
Wally Moran (Philip Stadling Jr)
Gus Salud (Harry Stadling Jr)
Ellen McElduff (Harry's mother)
Brian Hartigan (Harry's father)

neighborhood
Peter Neuman (Moss Garcia)
Lance Holcomb (Scotty Goodrich)
Elizabeth Ridge (Susie Lovett)
Chris Browning (Richie Sharp)
Tyrone Holmes (Frankie)
Patty Richardson (Moss' mother)

Alternative Titles

Christmas Evil
The Man in the Red Suit – working title
Santa – shooting title
Terror in Toyland

Includes extracts from
Babes in Toyland (1934)

References

Periodicals

  • Daily Variety 21 April 1980 p.1 – note (Pix, People, Pickups)

Books

  • The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.96
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.441

Other Sources

  • BFI Southbank Guide December 2016 p.41 – illustrated listing