Christmas Evil (originally titled You Better Watch Out, also known as Terror in Toyland) is an psychological slasher film that was released only in Pennsylvania in November 1980.
On Christmas Eve 1947 in suburban New Jersey, a young boy named Harry Stadling sees his mother being sexually groped by his father, who is dressed up as Santa Claus. Heartbroken, the child rushes up to the attic and cuts his hand with a shard of glass from a shattered snow globe.
33 years later, an adult Harry works in a low-level position at the Jolly Dreams toy factory, where his colleagues consider him a "schmuck" and make fun of him. At home, he has taken it upon himself to become the next true Santa: he sleeps in costume, and his apartment is resplendent with Christmas décor. He spies on neighborhood children to see if they are being "good" or "bad" and keeps detailed records of their behavior.
Harry's coworker, Frank, asks Harry to cover his shift on the assembly line in order to be with his family. However, on his way home from work, Harry sees Frank drinking with friends at a local bar. Distressed by the man's duplicity, Harry breaks one of his dollhouse figures while humming Christmas tunes. The following day, he cancels Thanksgiving dinner with his younger brother Phil and his family. Phil has been constantly angered by his brother's odd behavior, while Phil's wife Jackie is more sympathetic.
At the company Christmas party, the owner of Jolly Dreams, Mr. Wiseman, announces that the company will donate toys to the children of the local hospital, provided production increases sufficiently and the employees contribute with their own money. Mr. Fletcher, one of the company's high-ranking executives, introduces Harry to new training executive George Grosch, who devised the donation scheme. Harry is angry at both for not really caring about the children. That night, he fills bags with toys he stole from the factory and other bags with dirt.
On Christmas Eve, while gluing a Santa beard to his face, he enters a fugue state that has him convinced to truly be Santa Claus. Donned in his Santa suit, Harry starts doing his rounds on the van that he decorated with a sleigh picture, and that he believes to have been trained by Santa Claus's reindeer. He first sneaks into his brother's home and delivers toys for his nephews; then leaves a bagful of dirt at the doorstep of "bad boy" Moss Garcia. Later, Harry drops off toys at the hospital, where he is greeted cheerfully by the staff.
On the street, Harry is taunted by three young men leaving Midnight Mass and, in a fit of rage, he partially blinds one of them with a toy soldier's sword, then murders them all with a hatchet. Later, Harry is welcomed at a neighborhood Christmas party, where people think he is just some harmless Santa impersonator; he dances and cheers everyone up and makes sure the attending children know they will have to be good boys and girls to receive their gifts. He then breaks into Frank's home and murders him in his bed with a Christmas tree decoration, leaving toys behind for his kids.
|"Santa Claus, Santa Claus"||James Brown|
|"Angels We Have Heard on High"|
|"Santa Claus Is Coming to Town"||The Crystals|
|Brandon Maggart||Harry Stadling|
|Jeffrey DeMunn||Philip Stadling|
|Dianne Hull||Jackie Stadling|
|Andy Fenwick||Dennis Stadling|
|Brian Neville||Marc Stadling|
|Joe Jamrog||Frank Stoller|
|Wally Moran||Philip Stadling Jr.|
|Gus Salud||Harry Stadling Jr.|
|Ellen McElduff||Harry's Mother|
|Brian Hartigan||Harry's Father|
|Peter Neuman||Moss Garcia|
|Lance Holcomb||Scotty Goodrich|
|Elizabeth Ridge||Susie Lovett|
|Chris Browning||Richie Sharp|
|Patricia Richardson||Moss' Mother|
|Scott McKay||Mr. Fletcher|
|Peter Friedman||Mr. Grosch|
|John Brockman||Dr. Probst|
|Burt Kleiner||Sol Wiseman|
|Lloyd David Hart||Tipsy Worker|
|Francine Dumont||Mrs. Fletcher|
|Pamela Enz||Mrs. Grosch|
|Philip Casnoff||Ricardo Bauma|
|Jennifer Novtney||Little Girl|
|Danny Federici||Accordian Player|
|Arthur Bressler||Saxophone Player|
|Ray Barry||Detective Gleason|
|Sam Gray||Inspector Grella|
|Bobby Lesser||Detective Gottleib|
|Will McMillan||Young Man|
|Joan Jonas||Older Woman|
|Nancy Clark||Female Witness|
|T. Wellington Perkins||Black Santa|
|Hy Mencher||Older Man|
|Marian Vitale||Mrs. Stoller|
|Danielle Comforti||Little girl at party|
|Lewis Jackson||Bartender (Christmas Office Party)|
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