There’s just something about Christmas that brings out the worst in our fellow human beings. Shorten the days, lower the temperatures and before you know it, they’re seeing hidden messages in Star Wars movies.
Fortunately for Christmas haters, there’s a whole sub-genre of horror films dedicated to the most wonderful time of year, several of which hide behind punning titles. Following the lead of Black Christmas, filmmakers gave the world such cultural treasures as Christmas Evil, The 13th Day Of Christmas, Santa Claws, Satan Claus, Santa’s Slay, Silent Night Bloody Night, Silent Night Zombie Night and Violent Night: The Movie.
The most entertaining tend to be the ones that trap their characters in an isolated locale during a snowstorm, usually with a psycho killer or indestructible creature on their tail. These movies may not all be big on logic and characterization, but they rarely outstay their welcome and the premise is so foolproof that even the bad ones can be entertaining.
There’s a real sense of claustrophobic dread to some of these films as the filmmakers mine their material for all its worth, while others go the opposite route and offer up a few cheesy laughs with an outrageously convoluted idea. If you’re looking for something fun to watch this Christmas, start here.
Originally slated for a November 1999 release, D-Tox was dropped from Universal’s production schedule and quietly sold to another distributor, who sneaked it out three years later on 78 screens. It got a proper promotional push in Europe, which probably qualifies as an act of international aggression.
Directed by the guy behind I Know What You Did Last Summer, D-Tox is basically Friday The 13th in a rehab clinic. And not just any clinic – this one’s an “isolated as hell” former military bunker in a snowy wilderness prone to storms that cut off the roads, communications etc. Thank goodness Sylvester Stallone is around to apprehend the killer, throw him down a flight of stairs and quip, “How’s that for a twelve-step program?”
Okay, he doesn’t do that, but if he did it might’ve hinted that D-Tox knows how silly it is. Instead, we get a po-faced movie about a killer whose plans for Stallone include killing his girlfriend, driving him to drink and stalking him once he enters rehab. Which, if you think about it, shows commitment above and beyond. Hats off.