Christmas Evil (1980)


Christmas Evil (1980), originally titled You Better Watch Out and also known as Terror in Toyland, is a slasher film written and directed by Lewis Jackson. The movie follows the story of Harry Stadling, a toy factory worker who is obsessed with Christmas and believes he is Santa Claus. On Christmas Eve, he dresses up as Santa and delivers presents to those he deems “nice,” but also punishes those he deems “naughty.” As his delusions become more severe, Harry goes on a murderous rampage, targeting those who have wronged him in the past.

The film stars Brandon Maggart as Harry Stadling, with supporting roles from Jeffrey DeMunn, Dianne Hull, and Brian Neville. Maggart delivers a superb performance, portraying Harry with heartbreaking pathos and conviction. Since its release, Christmas Evil has gained a cult following, including praise and repeated viewings by director John Waters


  • Brandon Maggart as Harry Stadling
  • Gus Salud as Young Harry Stadling
  • Jeffrey DeMunn as Philip Stadling
  • Wally Moran as Young Philip Stadling
  • Dianne Hull as Jackie Stadling
  • Joe Jamrog as Frank Stoller
  • Peter Neuman as Moss Garcia
  • Mark Chamberlin as Charles
  • Scott McKay as Mr. Fletcher
  • Peter Friedman as Mr. Grosch
  • Burt Kleiner as Mr. Wiseman
  • Patricia Richardson as Mrs. Garcia
  • Raymond J. Barry as Detective Gleason
  • Mark Margolis as Christmas Party Accoster
  • Rutanya Alda as Theresa
  • Michael Klingher as Peter
  • Colleen Zenk as Binky


  • The film had the working title “Santa” during production[1].
  • The opening scene of the film was inspired by a real-life incident from director Lewis Jackson’s childhood[1].


  • [1] “Christmas Evil.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 16 Dec. 2006,
  • [2] “vocab.txt – Rémi Lebret.”,
Last updated byCody Meirick on August 23, 2023