most evil movie santas

This Friday sees the release of Krampus, the second holiday-flavored horror movie from Trick ‘r Treat director Michael Dougherty. This film is part of a long cinematic tradition: Santa Claus isn’t what you think he is. That jolly, playful fellow who comes bearing toys for all the good little girls and boys? He’s not here now. Instead, how about a figure who has come bearing punishment for all of the bad children? And, you know, anyone else who gets in his way.

There have been a number of films about “evil” Santas over the years, ranging from versions who are just big jerks to guys who will split your head open with an axe. To celebrate this tradition, this rich, cinematic tapestry of red-suited, white-bearded menace, let’s take a quick tour through some of the more bizarre, brutal, and coal-hearted depictions of St. Nicholas.

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