- R.I.P. filmmaker Jonathan Demme, director of “Something Wild,” “Stop Making Sense” & other Night Flight faves
- Record Store Day, every day: You got it nicer at Licorice Pizza stores in the 70s and early 80s
- “TV Party”: Glenn O’Brien’s weekly late 70s public-access punk cocktail party TV show
- Zinelandia: Night Flight talks with Joe Biel about “$100 & a T-Shirt,” his documentary about zines
- In 1977, Prince appeared on “The Gong Show,” but no one has ever talked about the episode, until now
- The Wu Tang Collection: The weirdest “Ku Fung Theater”-style mostly-Asian action flicks you’ll ever see
- Bullseye! Arrow Films’ exploitation, Italian horror, spaghetti westerns, drive-in sleaze & more, now on Night Flight Plus!
- “Dynaman”: Night Flight’s popular series featured rubber monsters, good looking Japanese teens, silly jokes, and cool pop music!
- “All Dolled Up”: Night Flight’s exclusive interview with director Bob Gruen about his New York Dolls documentary
- “The Gumby Show”: America’s Favorite Clayboy is back again on Night Flight!
“Satan Claus”: A modern classic Christmas tale of devil worship & demonic possession
We have to admit that we don’t know any more about the reclusive director J.X. Williams than anyone else does. Nevertheless, we’re big fans of his short film Satan Claus, which, according to his Vimeo page, has been screened at more than fifty film festivals since 2004. It’s a modern Christmas classic tale of devil worship and demonic possession.
According to Noel Lawrence, self-proclaimed head archivist/curator at the J.X. Williams Archive, the film was created by Williams who created a new short from two separate feature length source films — the Mexican fantasy film Santa Claus, which we told you about here, and Dario Argento’s 1975 Italian giallo film Profondo Rosso, which is better known as Deep Red (also: The Hatchet Murders).
Apparently Satan Claus nearly started a riot at an L.A. movie theater during its premiere at a matinee screening on Christmas Eve.
Here’s what the reclusive & mysterious “J.X. Williams” says about the film’s origins:
“In the mid-Seventies, I was working as a projectionist for this crummy movie theatre in downtown LA. The owner owed me six weeks back wages and when I ask him for the money, the scumbag has the gall to inform me that I’m getting laid off Christmas week.
If he’d known my reputation for mischief, he might have thought twice about it.
On my last day of work, I had to project a Christmas matinee for kids. Before the main feature, I added an unannounced opener to the program called Satan Claus. I fled the theatre right after my film ended but I heard the owner had to refund the entire box office. Even then, several outraged parents filed a lawsuit against the theatre.”
Merry Christmas, you cheap bastard!”
– J.X. Williams
The J.X. Williams Archive Vimeo page has a nice pullquote from VICE Magazine: (“Combine the Spirit of Christmas, Satanism, and a group of innocent children…Borderline psychotic? No doubt about that…”).
Here’s more, from a New York Times article (“Wrapped in an Enigma, Hidden in a Film Archive,” October 2, 2005):
“According to Mr. Lawrence’s spiel, Williams’s résumé reads as a RKO mail-room flunky, closet Communist, abortive House Un-American Activities Committee witness, Mafia gofer, pioneer of mobbed-up stag loops, ghostwriter of some of the blacklist era’s greatest films and incidental avatar of experimental cinema. Williams, as the story goes, has spent the last quarter-century in Zurich in self-imposed exile, leaving Mr. Lawrence to serve as a Robert Maheu figure to his shadowy late-stage Howard Hughes.”