Dip back into the Full Moon Features well, and enjoy these small gifts from the fires of hell…a self-serving but satisfying short.
I have to say that I love Christmas. I also love Christmas-centric horror. And I especially love a short but extremely sweet Christmas-set horror tale.
Luckily, 12 Slays of Christmas is exactly that.
An early present from my friends at Morbidly Beautiful, this decidedly wicked short from Full Moon Productions is really a greatest hits compilation from popular Full Moon franchises, including Puppet Master and Subspecies. And what hits they are!
Before we dive into it, here is a bit of history on Charles Band and why he is important to the genre we love.
He (via Charles Band productions) released Parasite, one of the first new phases of 3D films released in the early ’80s. Following his growing dissatisfaction, he established Empire Pictures to be able to distribute the films he loved properly. He is responsible for some of the most widely respected and classic horror films, including Re-Animator.
Empire Pictures folded but undeterred, he started Full Moon Productions and has remained in business ever since.
Among the most popular films in Full Moon’s stable is the aforementioned Puppet Master and Subspecies series of films, along with Evil Bong, Demonic Toys, and The Gingerdead Man.
Clips from these cult classics make up the segments of the short, with some fun interstitial shenanigans and clever voiceovers to make the whole thing feel like a cohesive holiday offering.
You better not pout!
It starts with three ladies, Christine, Mandy, and Brittany, stranded in the snowy waste when their car breaks down. They find a seemingly deserted mansion that has lights, heat, and a fully prepared Christmas feast for them to get stuck into. It’s not long before our host makes his appearance, made up like a cross between Mr. Burns and Riff Raff from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Ignatius, played by Tom Fitzpatrick, with a knowing look, calms our ladies with Christmas cheer and starts to offer presents as a means of telling the tale of the 12 Slays of Christmas. This provides a back story for each present the ladies unwrap.
It’s these backstories that are the star here.
Each story contains a blood-drenched, gore-filled refresher on one of Full Moon’s naughty antagonists.
The stories move backward, sideways, and upside down in time, from the late 80s to WW2 and earlier, without bogging you down in the “how” and “why” they came to be.
Each tale is eviler than the last, with obvious nods to the Zumi doll that menaced Karen Black and my favorite, Baby Oopsie, which looks like the Visitor / human baby from V (for those of us of a certain vintage…).
Each story is served up with a sliver of delicious black humor that Full Moon is known for.
There is only one piece I considered a bit of a letdown. It contains the story of Radu the Vampire (from Subspecies). The change in tone here seems to jar, but it’s not a massive detriment to the overall enjoyment of the film.
Alas, it must end, and the final tale is delivered with a sinister twist I didn’t see coming.
That sense of playful fun is the main attraction here; this is not to be taken seriously.
There’s no desire to explain anything about the mysterious house or host. We don’t need any elaborate setup. We just get right to the bite-sized twisted treats — moving rapidly from one vignette to another. It won’t be new to fans of Full Moon Features, but it’s a blast revisiting some of the best scenes from the studio’s most beloved properties.
The cynic in me might say it’s a rather shameless way of presenting older films in the Full Moon catalog to a new audience. But even with that outlook, props are still well deserved. Because, at the end of the day, it’s handled with creativity and delivered in a charming and entertaining way.
Ultimately, The 12 Slays of Christmas is a great reminder that there are a ton of timeless treasures that never go out of style, thanks to Charles Band.
Full Moon films are the gift that keeps on giving. And for that, I am personally very thankful.
So, check out the short, available exclusively on Full Moon Features streaming platform. Then head to Tubi, where you can revisit all these great films for free.
And be sure to keep an eye out in 2023 when Full Moon introduces their new horror toy label, which they tantalizingly tease in this short.