December 2, 2014

Movie Review: Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 (1987)

Day 9 of the David Hayes 12 Days of Christmas Crap Review-a-Palooza and the weather outside is frightful… somewhere else. I’m in Arizona. Ha! Wow, this Palooza thing isn’t good for my mental health. Officially add ‘spiteful’ alongside ‘bitter’ on my chart, doctor.

On the ninth day of Christmas, the Head Cheese gave to me… a sucky sequel to a classic movie.

Good or bad, the intention of a sequel, at least in the horror genre, is supposed to expand on the themes and storyline of the original film. We’ve seen it done well, like Aliens and we’ve seen it done poorly, like Alien 3. Regardless, each of these films took the original idea and brought it to a different world on a grander scale. Look at the original Leprechaun, for example. Five films later and we’re in space. Not good, but bigger. That is the entire point. This is how sequels have worked ever since the concept was invented (with 1933’s The Son of Kong). This doesn’t apply, apparently, to Christmas slasher films. I love the original Silent Night, Deadly Night from 1984. It’s cheesy and dopey but the film had guts. A lot of other people liked it, too. Some of them, like Lee Harry, liked it so much he took a bunch of footage from the original, cut out the gore, added the brother of the original killer in a ‘grown up’ psychiatric interview and released it as Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2. It’s like the Dradel Song, second verse same as the first

I’m not kidding. The sequel is, for all intensive purposes, the original film. Not a re-imagining or an Evil Dead 2-style improvement, it is actually the original footage. I know that the VHS business was cut-throat and wacky in the 1980s, but when would this ever be a good idea? If you’ve seen the first film, you know that a boy sees his parents murdered (and mother raped) by a drunken Santa Claus. He, and his brother, grow up in an orphanage with a very strict Mother Superior and the boy, Billy, gets in all kinds of trouble. He eventually grows up and gets a job in a toy store during Christmas. Smart move, right? The toy store Santa calls in wasted and Billy is forced to put on the suit resulting in a killing spree of jolly proportions. Billy is put down in front of his little brother Ricky and the day is saved. Years later, Ricky (this is where the Part 2 starts) is being interviewed by a psychiatrist. He describes all the awful things Mother Superior did to the boys. We see these as well but, don’t worry, you won’t have to remember anything new because it is the exact same footage from Part 1. Ricky then describes the awful things that Billy did as Santa Claus… and again, we are treated to Part 1 with a Ricky voice over. Ricky finishes his story and we’re about 45 minutes, well over halfway, into Part 2. The remainder of the film is Ricky chasing a now wheelchair-bound Mother Superior around the orphanage looking for vengeance. Yay. It’s not good, but at least it’s new. To be fair, the new footage with Ricky’s killing spree is freaking hilarious. Ricky, played by the completely over-the-top Eric Freeman has these bizarre eyebrows that flip and dance and undulate when he gets angry or kills people. Check out the montage of awesomeness below.

There were a few other sequels, going up to number five, for the Silent Night, Deadly Night series and, thankfully, they did not continue the re-hashing trend. If they did, though, Part 3 could be one of the other orphan kids telling a psychiatrist about Ricky’s interview which tells about the events of the first film. This could go on forever like one of those picture in a mirror, in a mirror pictures. If that were the case, I would break the mirror into shards and go Oedipus on my own eyes just to make it stop right around Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 9.

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