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Ugly Sweater Party Review

November 30, 2018 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
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Ugly Sweater Party Review  

Ugly Sweater Party Review

Felissa Rose– Mrs. Mandix
Sean Whalen– Declan Rains
Hunter Johnson– Jody
Charles Chudabala– Cliff
Brad Potts– Detective Brolin
Tiffani Fest– Susan
Emily Dahm– Samantha
Marv Blauvelt– Counselor Mandix
Lara Jean– Hanna
Matt Holbrook– Father Bottoms
Jody Barton– Ernie

Directed by Aaron Mento
Screenplay by Aaron Mento

Distributed by Ocular Migraine

Not Rated
Runtime– 81 minutes

Check it out here


Ugly Sweater Party, written and directed by Aaron Mento, is a low budget horror comedy that actually works most of the time. It revels in being crude, gross, and offensive, and while some of the jokes and situations fall flat, it doesn’t wimp out on us and slow down/stop being ridiculous. Ugly Sweater Party is in it for the long haul.

The movie stars Hunter Johnson and Cliff as Jody and Cliff, two best friends who are going to a big hooha ugly sweater party out in the woods on Christmas Eve. The friends expect the party to be a booze, drug, and sex bonanza (Jody shaves his body hair for the occasion) where they bang two sisters, Susan and Samantha (Tiffani Fest and Emily Dahm). Little do Jody and Cliff know that the big party is at Camp Mandix, a weirdbeard Christian camp run by Counselor Mandix (Marv Blauvelt), a homophobic weirdo with latent homosexual tendencies, and his mega horny wife Mrs. Mandix (the top billed Felissa Rose) and serial sexual abuser Father Bottoms (Matt Holbrook). The party place is, essentially, a no sex or booze or fun zone. In fact, Susan and Samantha get baptized before the party starts and swear off premarital sex for eternity. When Jody and Cliff finally arrive, to say that they’re unhappy would be a serious understatement. They didn’t sign on for a no sex religious bash in the woods. They also didn’t sign on for the other weird shit going on at the camp.

And what is that weird shit? See, Cliff wears an ugly sweater that he picked up off a homeless guy on the road to the camp, an ugly sweater that just so happens to be demonically possessed. The sweater used to belong to Declan Rains (Sean Whalen), a serial killer that was killed by an overzealous cop (Detective Brolin, as played by Brad Potts) during an interrogation gone wrong ten years ago. As far as I can tell, Rains isn’t a fan of Christmas or goodness or any of that kind of thing, and his demonic ugly sweater is all part of his big scheme to continue to spread evil and awfulness all over the world. Rains may be dead, but he can speak to the owner of his ugly sweater and he can look at stuff as a ghost. Once Rains is unleashed, the world may be doomed.

Now, while all of that is going on, Hanna (Lara Jean), the sort of Goth daughter of the Mandixes, tries to get Jody and a few others to see that there’s something seriously wrong going on at the camp. She doesn’t know exactly what it is, but she senses that it’s a great evil and it will have to be stopped at some point. And while all of that is going on, there’s a guy named Ernie (Jody Barton) who is making his own ugly sweater and a special laser rifle that will help him kill the evil at the camp or something. I’m actually kind of confused about why Ernie is in the movie at all.

I’m also confused by the time shifting thing that starts happening towards the end of the movie. I don’t get why it’s part of the story or why it’s necessary, especially since up until that point the movie was humming along just fine as a sort of slasher movie. What’s the point of messing up a good thing for no real reason?

And then there’s the Satanic rock band that pops in every now and then. I have no idea why the band is in the movie, but I’m glad that they’re there as they provide some killer tunes for the soundtrack. I just don’t know if they’re supposed to be characters in the plot, friends of Ernie, or if they’re just in the movie because the director wants them there.

Hunter Johnson and Charles Chudabala are great as best friends Jody and Cliff. They have a natural buddy chemistry that comes through in their car ride to the party (that and the whole “body shaving” sequence). Johnson is quick with the insane dialogue, and Chudabala has to sort of play the straight man while Johnson keeps talking. Chudabala also knows how to act like a demonically possessed maniac. The movie needed more of Chudabala doing that.

Tiffani Fest and Emily Dahm are two of the weirdest sisters in low budget horror moviedom as Susan and Samantha. You never quite know how onboard they are with their newfound religiosity. Is it just something they decided to do because it was the thing to do at the time, or do they really believe in it? Of course, Marv Blauvelt is just as confusing as Counselor Mandix. He’s a raging homophobe but he also has a thing for muscular men (he loves to fondle them). Is he aware of how conflicted he looks to the rest of the world or is he oblivious to it? I’m a big fan of Lara Jean as Hanna, the misunderstood young woman who may know what the heck is going on. It’s a damn shame that no one likes her, it really is.

The funniest performance in the movie, though, belongs to Brad Potts as Detective Brolin, the overzealous cop that inadvertently creates the demonic spirit Declan Rains. His dialogue in the opening interrogation scene is hilarious and rude as hell. His best line, the one that should end up on a poster for the movie? “Jesus Christ is fucking God you filthy fucking bowel movement!”

Felissa Rose does her usual damn good job as Mrs. Mandix. She has a major thing for Cliff and really wants to get with him, but he doesn’t seem to notice her flirtations until much later in the movie. It doesn’t end well for Mrs. Mandix. Be sure to stay through the credits for a hilarious callback to Rose’s most well-known role. Full blown horror nerds will love it.

As for Sean Whalen, he may be one of the creepiest “funny” horror movie villains in recent memory. When the guy smiles he gives off an unsettling vibe that will make your skin crawl. And when you see what he’s capable of as both a real person (he kills an entire family with a chainsaw) and as an evil spirit you will start to cringe when he shows up. It isn’t going to end well for anyone that gets in his orbit.


Ugly Sweater Party is a generally fun horror comedy. It’s a little too weird for its own good, it should have done more slasher stuff, and a good chunk of the jokes just don’t work, but it succeeds more than it fails and, for me, that’s good enough. I’m not sure it will ever be labeled a modern classic or anything like that, but it’s worth checking out for horror movie nerds. I’m glad I did.

See Ugly Sweater Party. See it, see it, see it. It’s available exclusively right now on Amazon Prime Video (check it out here).

So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: At least 15.

Explosions: None.

Nudity?: Yes.

Doobage: Chair bondage, a police interrogation, flashback to a horrible crime scene, off screen dead babies, a glowing pentagram, devil bullshit, serious penis and testicle crushing, head smashing, a pre-sex dance, bed bondage, nose hair cutting, ball itching, psychic vision nonsense, bows on a car, a homeless cop, head crushing via rock, chainsaw killing, a massive boner, a decapitated head in the middle of a wreath, fondling, bloody penis removal, axe throwing, neck biting, potato chips, off screen toilet cleaning, fake ejaculating, a giant vat of holy water, a Satanic rock band interlude, face washing, a weird Christmas dance montage, mirror bullshit, rock throwing, a very long penis, mutant tentacle attack, really poor crossbow shooting, garden hose pulling, some sort of laser gun, nun killing, volleyball to the face, laser decapitation, exploding head, Uzi hooey, multiple head shots, a flaming penis, death via shovel, bloody shovel licking, laser gun throwing, a diarrhea flashback, a very gross thong, gay shower sex, Satanic zombies, back scratching, elbow to the face, knife to the chest, teleportation, laser to the foot, attempted necrophilia, and the prospect of a sequel.

Kim Richards?: Big time.

Gratuitous: an ugly sweater party song, Sean Whalen, testicle shaving, Christian baptism, making an ugly sweater of an ugly guy with a giant boner, killing Santa with a chainsaw, Felissa Rose, Camp Mandix, born again virgins, finger fucking, a conga line, a gay guy that married a woman, skeleton on a crucifix, a Satanic rock band interlude, the Holy Bible, limbo, homoeroticism, “Brothers in Christ” volleyball, muscle and pec fondling, Satanic zombies, and hilarious end credits.

Best lines: “Sir, what about his Miranda rights?,” “I’m not insane, Detective Brolin, Jesus Christ is fucking God you filthy fucking bowel movement!,” “Nice shooting, kid. For a rookie,” “Cliff, can I use your razor, man?,” “I dropped the razor in the ten years later toilet,” “In no time we’re gonna be fucking Susan and Samantha!,” “It’s an ugly sweater party? Why didn’t you tell me?,” “Fuck you, yuppie!,” “If you want the ugly sweater you’ll have to take it!,” “Cliff, are you okay, man? You’re sweating like Santa’s nutsac,” “Breadcrumbs. Thank you, Lord,” “Hey! Don’t call Susan a skank!,” “I got you now you peeping Tom garbage!,” “I’m a hugger!,” “Are you gonna barbecue all of those?,” “Hey, Samantha! I like your sweater!,” “Oh, sweet, you got your vages tightened?,” “I’m gonna go secure a cabin from Mom and Dad so we can fuck their daughters! This is going to be the best Christmas ever!,” “Allen used to be addicted to European pornography,” “Two more. Then we are complete,” “If Jody doesn’t register here at Camp Mandix, let’s make sure we charge him for that bottle of water,” “Are y’all ready for the Mandix mambo?,” “Let’s go to camp!,” “Don’t try your voodoo on me, witch,” “Are you my dirty snow angel?,” “I want those nipples!,” “Oh, dear God, is that my wife’s blood?,” “Are you seriously making another arrow?,” “Thank you, Declan. I’ll see you in hell,” “Yeah, the twins have herpes,” “Kill Cliff and I’ll heal your herpes,” “Is that like communion?,” “You’re so fast, sweater face!,” “You must reject Christ and worship Satan. I’m cool with that. Hail Satan!,” “Take my load, demon skank!,” “Hey, herpes!,” “Jody! His balls! Shoot him in the balls!,” “We won!,” and “What the hell is the matter with you? Why would you tell me I have herpes?”

The final score: review Good
The 411
Ugly Sweater Party is a generally fun low budget horror comedy. Some of the movie’s jokes don’t land and it’s a little too weird for its own good at times, but overall it works. It succeeds more than it fails. The main cast works well, and the two horror stars, Felissa Rose and Sean Whalen, both do a good job with their roles (and they’re actual roles. They’re not doing walk on cameos here). The movie is currently available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, where you can rent or buy it (check out your options and whatnot here). Horror nerds will like it. Well, probably. I liked it.