Earlier today I found this film in the Blu-Ray discount bin at a big box store. I had never seen it before so I decided to give it a try. Silent Night, Deadly Night is a bit of a mixed bag but, overall, it's a good film. There are no big names here and lots of first timers. Director Charles E. Sellier Jr. only directed 4 films but went on to produce a significant number of documentaries. He does a great job with the action sequences but the performances he gets from the actors are a bit uneven. Writer Paul Caimi's screen play is classic horror stuff with lots of creative Christmas kills as Billy goes buck on everyone after having a flashback of his parent's murder at the hands of a man dressed in a Santa suit. It's entertaining enough but lacks the genius of Black Christmas (1974) my favorite Christmas horror film.
The star of this show is definitely the way people meet their demise. Kudos to Rick Josephsen [Cujo, Fright Night Part 2] for all the squirm-worthy kills. A few in particular are genius but I'll let you discover those for yourself. The soundtrack by Perry Botkin Jr. is also quite good and adds to the feel of the film.
Silent Night is one of those early 80's "dead teenager" movies that tried to duplicate the success of Friday the 13th (1980) or at least make a quick buck riding the popularity of this horror sub-genre. It succeeds more than it fails.
As a final note the Blu-ray I bought was the 30th Anniversary Edition that is also the "Original Unrated Version." This means portions of the film are not as crisp as others but there is a disclaimer at the beginning that states this up front. The attempt here is to present the film as it was originally intended. With that in mind, I can easily overlook the uneven quality of the film.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.