With the Mayan scare behind us, we can finally focus on the holiday season completely. And for you doomsdayers out there… Wrong again! The next film in the Slays of Christmas collection was recommended by none other than The Woman in Black herself: the Dutch holiday nightmare Sint.
Sint (aka Saint, aka Saint Nick) was written and directed by Dick Maas (keep your chuckles to yourself, please) and takes a couple of liberties with the Sinterklaas traditions of the Netherlands. Instead of being a fun-loving, gift-giving guy, Sint‘s portrayal of Sinterklaas is initially that of a murderous, looting gang leader in 1492 and then as a murderous zombie-like beast as the film moves into Amsterdam in the present time. According to the film, whenever there is a full moon on December 5 (the day Sinterklaas is traditionally celebrated), he arises and basically kills as many people as gruesomely as he can. And you thought your grandmother’s fruitcake was a tough holiday tradition to swallow!
Basically what happens in 1492 as the film begins is Sinterklaas leads his gang of thugs (Black Peters) into villages with a list of demands that must be fulfilled each full moon. If the villagers don’t comply, bad things happen. Well, as the movie starts, the villagers are pretty much sick of Sinterklaas’ bullshit and decide to rise up against him. Sint wastes no time in getting right to the action with a shovel in the head and a burning alive in the first five minutes of the movie. Sinterklaas’ spirit, however, is so evil that, even after being burned alive, he returns to kill again and again.
Although the film is a bit slow in the middle, the action scenes definitely make up for it. The undead Sinterklaas is a great, creepy character and looks very impressive, especially upon his trusty steed! In fact, when the film was released, a legal complaint was filed that stated the movie poster was unsettling for children, showing Sinterklaas with a mutilated face and malevolent look. During the court case, Dick Maas (that’s right, I worked it in one more time) stated that if parents could make children believe that Sinterklaas existed, then he was sure they could make the children understand that the man on the poster was not really Sinterklaas. The jury ruled in his favor, stating that the mutilated face was barely visible on the poster. A victory for common sense.
A truly fun, horrific romp with a great adventure, Sint is certainly one to add to your holiday viewing list immediately! Vrolijk Kerstfeest!
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