?Santa Claus. Fat man living with wife at the North Pole. Loves drinking Coke products. Has a love/hate relationship with kids. He’s the sign of the Christmas season and unless you’re luckily blinded for the holidays, you’re going to see a lot of his jolly elfin ass. Honestly, if his smiling face is anywhere other than the tinfoil covering a piece of Christmas chocolate, we can do without the saturation. But somewhere along the line some genius fan fiction writer decided that Santa didn’t have to be the Coke-swilling benevolent elf, and could be decidedly… creepier. Way to play on those bad memories of childhood, writer! Now we have more creepy Santas than we know what to do with, so here’s a sample of some of the best!
Note: This list was originally published on TR on December 21st, 2009. Hey, I’m on vacation. Sue me. –Rob
10) Santa Claus in A Christmas Story
Santa doesn’t play much of a role in the seminal Christmas film, but his segment is 100 times more entertaining than any of the other scenes in the film, especially those retarded fantasy sequences where Ralphie shoots people. Santa is jaded, probably drunk, and works at a mall. His nose is really red and his eyes bug out of his skull like an emaciated insect. And when Ralphie is too scared to say what he wants for Christmas? Santa kicks him in the face. Boo-ya! Suck it, four-eyes!
9) McFarlane Toys’ Twisted Christmas
?“S. Claus,” as he’s known in Todd McFarlane’s mind, never showed his bearded face on a cartoon or movie, but he’s creepy enough without the extra boost of movement and motivation. The claws are, to be honest, a pun that’s way too obvious, but the gas mask throws you off enough to accept it. So he’s a…professional tree trimmer with germ issues? Deli counter worker in 1988 Kuwait? Johnny Depp fan dressed as the Golden Age Sandman? There’s also a toy of a smokin’ hot Mrs. Claus, which goes to prove that sometimes the schlubby guys get the girl, especially if you live in the North Pole and don’t see the sun for half the year.
8) Art Carney in The Twilight Zone
The episode’s titled “Night of the Meek” and it first aired nearly 50 years ago. It’s one of the few episodes of The Twilight Zone that didn’t end with a big reveal like we’re all going to die and be trapped in limbo forever, and it was, in fact, pretty sweet. Art plays a drunk mall Santa who gets a magic bag of toys that produces presents. At the end of the episode he becomes Santa Claus, which is all well and good but it’s Art Carney, for God’s sake, and he will never stop being Art Carney in a creepy sparse beard. Crazy eyes!
7) Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas
Creepy characters are one thing, but a creepy character that gets off on cosplay is another. Have you been to an anime convention? Those guys are so far past “creepy” they can’t even see it in their rearview, yet they’re dressed like cats. Jack Skellington, really, is nothing more than a skinny cosplayer with an obsessive fantasy disorder, who’s not afraid to resort to felonies like kidnapping and home invasion to satisfy his pervy desires. You just know he was whispering sweetly to his Santa hat just off-camera. There are places for you, sicko. They’re called jails, where you’ll be crowned “The Pumpkin King” again and again.
6) Multiple Santa in The Tick
Did you know that fear of Santa Claus is called “hagiophobia?” Fear of many Santas would be…well, still hagiophobia, but like a real BIG case of it. The Tick had to go up against a self-replicating Kris Kringle in the animated series, with the little buggers running around like nasty little red ants. Sure, there are more than a few funny books out there that have Santa stealing things, but whip up a few mutant Clauses and you’ve got some good ol’ nightmare fuel.
5) Andy Dick in The Hebrew Hammer
Most of us, sadly, have forgotten this Adam Goldberg vehicle from 2003, but put Hollywood laughingstock Andy Dick in any starring role and you’ve got something creepier than Dorian Gray’s photo ID. Dick hams it up (no kosher pun intended) as Santa’s son who tries to covert Jewish kids to Christianity by distributing free copies of It’s A Wonderful Life. It’s a dick move (again, no pun intended), but just the fact that it’s Andy Dick — the same Andy Dick who pees in the corner of his dressing rooms after a coke binge and then gets punched out by Jon Lovitz — makes it worse. Mommy, make the bad man stop.
4) Santa in Santa’s Slay
Seems like every interesting slasher film on the shelf at Blockbuster has that awesome take-off on a famous folklore concept going for it. You’ve got your Gingerdead Man, your Leprechaun, your Jack Frost, and of course your slasher Santa, played by Jewish wrestler Bill Goldberg. See, Santa’s really Satan’s child and his only joy is slaughtering people, both Christian and Jewish — both James Caan and Fran Dresher bite the dust, only one being a real loss. There’s nonsense about angels and demons and evil reindeer/bison hybrids, but the real weirdness is Goldberg, who wears a goofy beard while dispensing with holiday-themed mayhem.
3) Harry Stadling in Christmas Evil
When John Waters says that your Christmas movie is his favorite, it’s got a lot going for it in the icky department. If you haven’t seen it yet, it is indeed the best “guy sees his mom getting molested by Santa so he grows up to put on a red suit and go on a delusional killing spree” film out there. But he does it so silently that you just go, “Gah!” and freak out a bit. Also, it’s filmed like a dirty grindhouse feature, so you feel the need to wash up after you see it.
2) Robot Santa in Futurama
He’s a robot who kills people every Christmas. There’s not much else to him, you get what you see.
1) Santa Claus from Santa Claus
If there was an annual award given for creepiest Santa, this Mexican flavor would win so many times that no one else would bother entering the contest. Santa’s goal of delivering gifts to the world takes second place to his ongoing battle with Satan from his castle in space. Not the North Pole. Space. While on break from the struggle, he peers into children’s dreams, plays a very creepy pipe organ, and keeps multiple kids in his castle to make toys and sing kids’ songs for his pleasure. Also, he rides robotic reindeer that are suppose to laugh but sound like they’re screaming. The film’s still a huge holiday favorite in Mexico, and the MST3K version just came out on DVD. but there’s absolutely nothing wholesome about this weird, weird mythical man.