“It never rains but it pours” as the old saying goes. It’s still not Hallowe’en and here I am on my second Christmas film! However, there is nothing, other than the season, that connects Christmas At The Holly Day Inn and Werewolf Santa. One is a heavily seasonal rom-com with a few famous faces, a former Doctor Who and the one time landlady of the Queen Vic in Albert Square are famous in this country anyway! As it happens Christmas At The Holly Day Inn is all trees, decorations, mulled drinks, and dodgy jumpers. Whereas Werewolf Santa…
Well, Werewolf Santa is a totally different kettle of fish! I must admit that when I started watching Werewolf Santa I did think “oh my word, what is this nonsense?” I was wondering whether I should just give up and take a look at something else. But then I noticed that WS is a relatively short film; at seventy minutes it’s a bit outside the official Academy definition of a short feature but still a bit thin for a feature film. Anyway, I decided to give it a few more minutes and see if it could turn things around. And I’m rather glad I did.
Werewolf Santa starts with a title card saying about smugglers, pirates, and cave dwelling werewolves in Hastings of 1797. This card is hard on the eye as it is written all in upper case and in Wichita Bold; possibly the next worst typeface after Comic Sans. We then jump to Summer 2016 where we see wannabe YouTune star Lucy (Katherine Rodden) in the woods of Oregon, USA bemoaning the fact that there is no sign of a Bigfoot to liven up her Monster Hunters video series. Next up is Summer 2017 and we are by the side of Loch Ness in Scotland having the same amount of monster spotting luck. The next jump takes us to Christmas Eve 2018 and…Hastings!
There is then the title card which says that Werewolf Santa is introduced by Joe Bob Briggs. Personally I have never heard of Mr Briggs so I don’t know how big of a coup it is to get him to recite a lightly adapted version of A Visit from St. Nicholas over a series of comic book style drawings. He reads the whole thing, pretty much, straight but at the end drops in a line about how afterwards everything goes awry. This is when another jump takes us to Early Christmas Eve 2018 and were are in a car with YouTuber Lucy and her cameraman Dustin (Charlie Preston) driving home for Christmas.
The First How-el
And it is from now on that things start to pick up the pace. It is also from now on that I started becoming glad that I had stuck with Werewolf Santa. I did enjoy the earlier faux YouTube featuring Lucy and it is her character that drew me in. That and the whole total lunacy of the film! The primary conceit of Werewolf Santa is, pretty much in the title. This Christmas Eve it is a full moon and, as we now know Hastings is a hot bed of werewolves, the obvious happens…Santa gets bitten and turned! Me being me, I did check and it happens every nineteen years!
The thing that really got me hooked on Werewolf Santa was the total battiness of it all and the gusto with which the cast threw themselves into their roles. As well as Lucy and Dustin there is Lucy’s mother, Carol (Emily Booth), her father Charlie (Mark Arnold), her childhood friend Rupert (Cian Lorcan), and, of course, Santa (Cory Peterson). All of them seemed to have an absolute ball playing around for the camera and that joie de vivre came through. There was blood, guts, gore, and laughter by the bucket…which is probably what most of the blood, guts, and gore came in! Werewolf Santa is available on DVD and digital now.
Movie Grade: A-
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Former teacher, lecturer, homelessness administrator, pharmacy dispenser now happily retired, happily married, and a very happy granddad. I live next to the Mersey but on the side Daniel Craig and Taron Egerton come from rather than the side the Beatles came from!