A woman who is researching alien abductions for a book receives increasing reports of nocturnal attackers described as resembling Santa Claus. She enlists the aid of a scholar of mythology to see if the legend of Santa has a darker side, and what she discovers is more horrifying than she could never have expected.
A female figure sleeps, face buried in a pillow, covered only by a sheet of uninspired textile pattern. Something is off. Slowly an unseen force begins to pull the sheet off of her voluptuous figure. To our terror, it is Santa Claus! The intruder has his way with his victim with images of red velvet, white fur, nose piercings, and breasts, fill the tight close-ups spilling across the screen. Thus begins Santa Claus: Serial Rapist. This surprisingly pensive film delivers rape, Santa, and the philosophical ramblings of writer-director and star Bill Zebub. It all adds up to something that is thoughtful, yet painfully remiss of the absurdist possibilities that the title indicates.
Thalia (Emily Prior) is the first to receive a plea for help from the victim mentioned above. Smack dab in the center of research on a project covering alien abductions, Thalia is taken off guard and enlists the help of Mythology Scholar, Colin (Bill Zebub). As Colin sits on a bed sheet in the middle of the forest with a scantily clad female 20-somethings, he chats with Thalia over the phone on who might be behind the nocturnal attacks.
“This surprisingly pensive film delivers rape, Santa, and the philosophical ramblings of…Bill Zebub…”
Colin, a verbose atheist, knows the history and origins of most world religions, including the Greeks, the Romans, and even Jewish, but this gift-bearing incubus puzzles him and rocks him to the core. Through several Tarintino-esque scenes of protracted dialogue, none of which is particularly entertaining, we are offered dissertations on the origins of Christmas. We learn about St. Nicholas, we are made to note the similarities of most civilizations religious narratives, giving us a very meta subplot in which Colin speaks to his inspiration in the form of a blond in a bikini, laying in a hotel bed.
For those curious, there is a solving of the mystery, lest you think the time invested in watching a film called Santa Claus: Serial Rapist would lead to disappointment. But somewhere around the middle of the 2 hours and 30 minutes runtime the narrative focus shifts.
We suddenly get a very meta scene where two guys in the woods are discussing other Bill Zebub films and how they are a commentary and hardly meant to be taken seriously. For added measure, we are then subjected to a cameo by George ‘The Slayer’ Stiso who starred in the Zebub opus Holocaust Cannibal.
“..Mr. Zebub has some compelling ideas percolating.”
After this side note that lasts a good 7 minutes, we get back to Colin and his relationship with philosophy, his muse, and the painful relationship mankind has with its mortality. In a special third act twist, Colin meets his oncologist, Dr. Sitbon (David M. Sitbon) at a park to discuss Colin’s brain tumor and impending death. You can practically see the title plot waving at us from the bushes yelling “Hey! Remember me?” as Colin riffs on everything from his existential crisis to his penis size as method actor Sitbon chuckles along.
By the final act of Santa Claus: Serial Rapist, we have realized that Bill Zebub’s focus is on philosophy, metal, gore, tits, and a*s with the plot left standing in the corner with nothing to do. Let’s be clear. The irony of Zebub’s brazen approach is not lost on this reviewer. I would even argue that Mr. Zebub has some compelling ideas percolating. Sadly I must report that while made with the correct frame of mind, and a very irreverent and meta tone, Santa Claus: Serial Rapist takes the sleigh right off the rooftop and into a pile of coal.
Santa Claus: Serial Rapist (2016) Written and Directed by Bill Zebub. Starring Bill Zebub, Emily Prior, Holly Battaglia, Sabrina Alamo, David M. Sitbon, McCallahan Shamus, Zhu Bing.
2 out of 10 stars