The Abbott and Costello-esque duo are back bringing holiday cheer for fans of indie B-movie horror in Caesar and Otto’s Deadly Xmas. In his follow-up to Caesar and Otto’s Summer Camp Massacre, Dave Campfield takes his campy humor even further, and he doesn’t do it alone. This time, a cast full of recognizable and beloved B-movie faces from the horror community have joined them.
While planning a Thanksgiving gathering with his half brother, Otto (Paul Chomicki: Caesar and Otto’s Summer Camp Massacre), to which nearly everyone invited cancels, Caesar (Dave Campfield: Dark Chamber, Caesar and Otto’s Summer Camp Massacre) receives a call from his agent, Donna Blackstone (Linnea Quigley: The Return of the Living Dead, The Barn). As an aspiring actor, Caesar never turns down a casting offer. However, this time is different. Upon hearing that he is being offered the part of a traveling Santa, the memory of a Troma-tic story told to him by his grandfather (Lloyd Kaufman) reignites Caesar’s fear of jolly ol’ Saint Nick.
After turning down the Santa gig, Caesar attends to the few guests who didn’t cancel: his 6 time divorced father, Fred (Scott Aguilar: Caesar and Otto’s Summer Camp Massacre), his father’s new wife and Otto’s friend without benefits, criminal Sashi (Brinke Stevens: Stirring, The Slumber Party Massacre). Discovering that stepmother number 7 knows his long lost love, Allison (Summer Ferguson: Caesar and Otto’s Summer Camp Massacre), Otto tracks down this old flame… that he spoke to once in high school.
Meeting Allison, who now lives in her car with her two kids, Otto brainstorms about how to win her over. Tis’ the season for Santa, which gives Otto the perfect idea. Hoping to get the role of a traveling Santa, Otto talks his brother into exploring this rejected opportunity. However, being such a spotlight stealer, Caesar not only takes his brother to the audition, but also attempts to snake the part of his worst fear.
Seeing more of an opportunity to be had over merely dressing in a big red suit, Caesar talks the company into creating an indie holiday horror film. Meanwhile, the embodiment of the aspiring actor’s worst nightmare begins, using Caesar and Otto’s Thanksgiving guest list as a hit list with intentions of framing the comedic duo.
From character backstories to plot development and side plots, there is a lot that is happening in Deadly Xmas. There are times when it feels like the film loses focus on the storyline, which is my only real complaint. Since everything does come together in the end in the wake of everything that makes this film worthwhile, it is a minor flaw. While returning faces Campfield, Chomicki, Aguilar and Stevens own their characters from Summer Camp Massacre yet again, the cast lineup is filled with great newcomer performances from horror film veterans.
One scene that stands out is the flashback sequence featuring Kaufman, which had me burst out laughing. However, this was far from the only noteworthy cameo. Cult horror icon Linnea Quigley gives a fun, humorous performance as Caesar’s agent, Donna Blackstone. Portraying a former actress working on the business side of the film industry after being blacklisted, Quigley gives a great and slightly meta performance as a former scream queen who reenacts a gruesome scene for an unexpected fan dressed as Santa. Speaking of which, Felissa Rose’s husband, Deron Miller, flexes his own acting skills as the film’s lead psycho Santa antagonist. Other humorous cameos include Felissa Rose (Sleepaway Camp, Victor Crowley), Robert Z’Dar (Maniac Cop, Maniac Cop 2) and Joe Estevez (Werewolf, Syndicate Smasher).
While the cast and story are enough to spark interest among B horror fans, the film has several nods to Silent Night, Deadly Night while poking fun at itself by blatantly showcasing horror cliches like trophies on display. Maintaining the same level of gory moments as Summer Camp Massacre, Deadly Xmas raises the bar in the ridiculous category of cheese. Ending with an original, catchy jingle tune, Deadly Xmas is a fun holiday slay ride for any fans of campy B horror cult Christmas films who love a great unforeseeable twist.