Cancelled Movies. Wiki

A concept for a film was pitched by executive producer Scott J. Schiend who at the time, accepted screenplay ideas in submissions from the public. One of these was a short story entitled He Sees You When You're Sleeping written by a Harvard University student named Paul Caimi. The story was about a killer Santa Claus and Schiend was impressed with the concept even though he disliked slasher films. He then contacted writer Michael Hickey and requested him to write a screenplay based on the short story in which he agreed. Afterwards, Hickey sent the screenplay to Tri-Star Pictures who were pleased with it and agreed to finance and distribute the film.

The film's working title during production was Slayride and it was to be produced by Slayride Productions Inc. Producer Ira Richard Barmak was recruited by Tri-Star to produce the film. Executive producers, Scott J. Schiend and Dennis Whitehead were hoping to hire a new and young director who would be the "next John Carpenter" and considered Sam Raimi, Albert Magnoli, and Ken Kwapis for the position. Tri-Star expressed interests in television producer Charles E. Sellier Jr. who was well known for producing the Life and Times of Grizzly Adams motion picture and TV series. Schiend and Whitehead disagreed believing that a veteran producer would not give the film a good look and reputation; however, Tri-Star insisted and eventually hired Sellier for the position.

Principal photography lasted from March to April 1983 and was shot on location in Heber City and Midway, Utah. At the time, most of the snow was beginning to melt, so the production crew raced to shoot all exterior shots first. Numerous buildings were used for the interior scenes during filming. The orphanage building was an abandoned school house that was renovated by the crew during production. It was then demolished not long after filming concluded. The Ira's Toys building was a vacant building that was rented out by the crew. As of 2022, it still stands and is currently a gym. During filming, director Charles E. Sellier Jr. was too uncomfortable with shooting the murder sequences and this resulted in editor Michael Spence to come in as the stand-in director for these scenes.

The film's cast mainly consisted of local actors in the state of Utah. Lead star Robert Brian Wilson (Billy at age 18) was at the time living in Salt Lake City and had no acting experience. He auditioned for his role as the request of his girlfriend.


The plot was currently unknown at the time.

Why It Was Cancelled[]

  1. No major and well-known actors were featured in the film and many mostly had experience in only television acting roles.


  • During post-production, TriStar had decided to change the Slayride title of the film to Silent Night, Deadly Night.
  • The final version of the film was released on November 9, 1984.