Robert Culp (Bill Maxwell from the 80's television show The Greatest American Hero)
Emile de Ravin (the alternate ending of this film alluded to the fact that she is in the television show Lost - I really need to start watching that show, as I've only heard great things! She is also in the 2006 Re-make of The Hills Have Eyes)
Jolly old Saint Nick isn't making a gift list this year - he's making a hit list, checking it twice, and unleashing his inner demon for an unforgettably terrifying Christmas.
A bet that Santa lost to an angel 1,000 years ago has expired, and now he's hell-bent on spreading some holiday fear.
As the big day approaches, only young Nicholas Yuleson and his grandfather can stop him.
At the very beginning of the film, a family is gathered for their Christmas dinner. [This family consists of James Caan, Rebecca Gayheart, Chris Kattan, Fran Drescher, as well as a few others that I may not have recognized] While they are bickering with one another, they are interrupted by Santa Claus (Bill Goldberg) who totally decimates the family! :-)
The film has a great premise as well. You see, in this film, Santa is Satan's only son [born of the virgin Erica] Through a stop-motion-animation sequence [like those old Christmas classics most of us grew up on] we see an angel descend from heaven, taking the form of a human. He approaches Santa, while ice fishing [in the North Pole, I presume] Knowing that Santa enjoys gambling, the angel creates a contest - the rules are simple - whoever can slide a rock closest to the ice hole, without the rock dropping in, wins. The bet: If Santa wins, the angel is thrown into Hell for an eternity of suffering. If the angel wins, Santa has to create a joyful holiday of cheerfulness & happiness, for 1,000 years. [Before Santa starts, he slaps his face a few times, which is hilarious, as Goldman used to do the same thing before his wrestling matches]
Well, I am sure that you can guess the outcome - the problem - the 1,000 years are up! :-)
This movie has everything going for it!
The writer & director, David Steiman, was Brett Ratner's [the director of the Rush Hour films, as well as X-Men 3] assistant for seven years. [Ratner produced this film]
Steiman came up with a whole "Viking feel" to Santa and his sleigh [which is pulled by a hell-deer, which is really a buffalo!] which really worked - I thought.
Santa's antagonists - young Nicholas and his grandfather [who reminded me of the grandfather from Lost Boys - I'm not really sure why, he just did] as well as Nicholas' girlfriend were perfect as well.
On top of the all-star cast, at the very beginning of the film, the movie also has Dave Thomas, [as a preacher who steals from his congregation and then spends the money at a strip club] Saul Rubinek [True Romance - he was also in Rush Hour 2 - and I have to plug the new television show Leverage, which is on TNT, on Tuesday evenings - he was in last week's 1st episode]
You will also recognize Tommy "tiny" Lister as the main prisoner on the ferry boat in The Dark Knight - he shows up as a gas station attendant in this film.
So, tuck the kiddies in bed and watch this one, before Christmas! :-)
Just in case I haven't convinced you yet - here's the trailer:
This movie is begging for a sequel to be made!
Perhaps since the Elite XC, [an MMA organization that went under, in October] which Goldberg was a commentator for, is no more - Goldberg will sign up for another one - he seemed to really be enjoying himself in this one! :-)
Also, be sure to watch all of the Special Features on the DVD - there are some good Deleted Scenes, as well as an Alternate Ending - which I thought was even better than the one used!
There are also some hilarious [easily found] Easter Eggs on the disc.
Let me leave you with what I thought was the funniest line in the film:
[after Nicholas discovers one of his grandfather's "inventions"] he tells his grandfather to "file that next to brown colored toilet paper, as a bad idea" HA!
Also, when Nicholas first sees the "Book of Claus" he asks if it is the Necronomicon! :-)
Enough - just go buy/rent this film. . .