Silent Night, Bloody Night

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Silent Night, Bloody Night
Silent Night, Bloody Night film poster
Directed by Theodore Gershuny
Produced by Ami Artzi
Jeffrey Konvitz
Lloyd Kaufman
Frank Vitale
Screenplay by Theodore Gershuny
Jeffrey Konvitz
Ira Teller
Story by Theodore Gershuny
Jeffrey Konvitz
Ira Teller
Starring Patrick O'Neal
James Patterson
Mary Woronov
John Carradine
Music by Gershon Kingsley
Cinematography Adam Giffard
Edited by Tom Kennedy
Armor Films Inc.
Cannon Productions
Jeffrey Konvitz Productions
Zora Investments Associates
Release dates April 1974
Running time 81 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $295,000 (estimated)

Silent Night, Bloody Night (Also released as Night of the Dark Full Moon and Death House) is a 1974 horror film directed by Theodore Gershuny and co-produced by Lloyd Kaufman. The film stars Patrick O'Neal and cult actress Mary Woronov in leading roles, with John Carradine in a supporting performance. Many of the cast and crew members were former Warhol superstars: Mary Woronov, Ondine, Candy Darling, Kristen Steen, Tally Brown, Lewis Love, filmmaker Jack Smith and artist Susan Rothenberg.[1] It was filmed in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York in 1972 but was not released theatrically until 1974.


In 1950,Wilfred Butler runs out of his house and appears to have been set on fire. He collapses in the snow and is believed to be dead.

Years later, lawyer John Carter and his assistant Ingrid arrive in a small Massachusetts town. John meets with the town's nobles, Mayor Adams, Tess Howard, Sheriff Bill Mason and Charlie Towman. John is revealed to be the lawyer of Jeffrey Butler, Wilfred's grandson, and is trying to sell the Butler mansion for $50,000 by noon the next day. After a call to his wife, John is revealed to be having an affair with Ingrid, his assistant. The two stay the night at the Butler mansion, unaware that they are being watched. After dinner, the two go upstairs to a bedroom to have sex. The mysterious person walks in on them and kills them both with a felling axe. The killer calls the police and reveals himself to be Marianne.

After Tess, who is the town's phone operator, intercepts the call, she leaves her assistant in charge and goes to the Butler mansion. Marianne greets Tess, who is visibly frighten. She is knocked over the head repeatedly with a candle holder. At the same time, Sheriff Mason goes to the mansion, but stops at the cemetery. He sees the grave for Wilfred Butler to be empty and is struck over the head with a spade, falling into the grave.

Mayor Adams is called to go to the Butler mansion, leaving his daughter Diane at home alone. Not long after Adams leaves, a man arrives at the house and says his name is Jeffrey Butler, Wilfred's grandson. Jeffrey says he found the sheriff's car abandoned at the cemetery and "borrowed" it. After a brief conversation, Diane and Jeffrey go up to the cemetery to look for the sheriff. The two find that Wilfred's grave has been messed with. The two go into town to Towman's to see if they can find out what is happening.

Jeffrey takes Towman to the mansion and leaves him there to go back and retrieve Diane. Jeffrey hits and kills Towman, who had been stabbed in the eyes. Diane's suspicions of Jeffrey start to grow after this incident. The two enter the house and Jeffrey finds an old diary. The diary reveals that Wilfred had an incestuous relationship with his daughter, Marianne, and Jeffrey was the result. Wilfred turned the mansion into an asylum and admitted his own daughter. He soon regretted his decision and set loose the inmates. The inmates killed all the doctors and Marianne in the process. Jeffrey reveals that Towman, Mayor Adams, Tess Howard and Sheriff Bill Mason were inmates that stayed behind in town.

Mayor Adams finally arrives to the mansion and finds Diane and Jeffrey there. Adams and Jeffrey hold each other at gunpoint, believing the other to be the killer. The two open fire, killing each other. A distraught Diane is greeted by Marianne, who is really Wilfred Butler. Butler went after John Carter, Mayor Adams, Tess Howard, and Sheriff Bill Mason to get revenge for his daughter's death and used his grandson/son as a decoy. Diane grabs Jeffrey's gun and shoots Butler. A year later, Diane takes one last look at the Butler mansion before it is destroyed by a bulldozer crew.



Silent Night, Bloody Night played primarily at drive-in theaters before disappearing into obscurity. However, in the mid-1980s the film was featured on Elvira's Movie Macabre where its exposure would begin a small cult following. Since its release the film has fallen into public domain[1] and is now available on DVD from various entertainment companies that specialize in public domain films.

Critical reception[edit]

Allmovie called it a "minor gem", complementing the film's "eerie atmosphere" and noting its place as a predecessor to the slasher film genre.[2]


On 9 December 2011, website Dread Central announced that the film will be remade by UK production company North Bank Entertainment as Silent Night, Bloody Night: The Homecoming.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Did You Know?". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Fred Beldin. "Silent Night, Bloody Night (1973)". Allmovie. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  3. ^ "Silent Night, Bloody Night Remake Cooking in the UK". Dread Central. 9 December 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 

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