Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2

Midway through a month-long journalistic odyssey (look for a comprehensive look at every single Christmas horror movie on /Film soon!), my life as a movie-lover changed for the worst best best-worst. I’m a horror genre devotee, but I’m still catching up with “lesser known” titles and those more obscure cult classics. Until recently, I was a Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 virgin. My eyes had not seen the glory of thy new religion, but now I have been reborn, anointed into the blessed Caldwell flock. Each minute worse than the last, yet more inscrutably divine despite all good conscience.

May I enlighten you by preaching the weird word of my new so-bad-it’s-good gospel, Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2?

Note: this post will spoil the hell out of this bonkers, un-spoilable movie. Second note: this movie is violent and everything follows should be considered NSFW.

Let’s get you caught up…

In one of the most baffling diagnoses of “Sequelitis” ever recorded, Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 recalls the events of Charles E. Sellier Jr.’s original slasher in flashback form – but not just as tiny glimpses. For the first 39 minutes, Lee Harry replays every major scene from Billy’s spree to the point where Sellier deserves dual directing credit. Every so often Harry cuts back to a stuffy interrogation room where Ricky describes his brother’s Christmas carnage with exact detail, but if you were to flip Part 2 on cable syndication during the first half, chances are you wouldn’t be able to tell.

“Matt, is that a good thing?” Of course. You can skip Part 1 and jump head-first from the pinnacle of insanity. No catch-up needed. How lazy-odd-thoughtful!

Patron Saint Of Psychotic Performances: Eric Freeman

Somewhere, definitely not in a Hollywood acting class, a perfect breed of midnight entertainer was born. His name is Eric Freeman. It’s one of those beautifully committed, possibly unaware, cyborg-like unhinged performances only the best of the worst movies unearth. Eyes bulging like an enraged insect. Lines screamed from behind popping veins. Every scene more quotable and absurd as his confession presses on. THAT LAUGH. THE PUNISHMENT.

So stealthy he can sneak up on his interviewer despite being in an open, four-walled room.

Eric Freeman was engineered by using a weightlifter’s corpse and liquified B-movies injected as DNA for one single purpose – Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2.

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Always Thank Your Friendly Town Murderer!

Finally. Ricky’s first kill. After rewatching all those Billy kills, Ricky gets a crack at some handsy boyfriend who tears his girlfriend’s shirt open à la Santa killer to Ricky’s mother. He hops in the dude’s car and crushes him under tire, forward and reverse as the woman watches. Her response? “Thank you!”

Cut to Dr. Bloom writing the words “Red Car!” in his notepad with triple the font size – because that’s the takeaway from Ricky confessing a goshdang murder – and Ricky’s face floating into frame. “Going too fast for you, Doc? Red car! Good point.”

Oh, yes. So very yes. Thanking a slasher. What is this movie.

Cloudy With a Chance of Impalement

At this point, I became a bit worried that Ricky himself wouldn’t have any memorable kills to boast – given Billy’s full count already being shown and the car death occurring behind tall grass. Speed forward to a back-alley sleazeball encounter and Ricky taking out the trash – by using trash as a weapon. He gazes at this broken, torn umbrella like some holy grail, then shoves it through the trenchcoated scumbag’s abdomen ONLY TO POP OPEN OUT THE BACK. I’d seen it before in Stitches, but Ricky’s second kill is a work of carnivalesque beauty. Expectations asserted, slasherness off the charts.

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Love Hurts…Like Getting Hit With A Car

Is there a better uniting/more inept understanding of human interactions than Ricky and Jennifer’s first meeting? Ricky, backing out of a parking spot on his motorcycle. Jennifer, hitting him with her car, tossing him from the bike. She gets out, NARY A WORRY ABOUT RICKY’S HEALTH BECAUSE SHE’S ASSUMED BLONDE HOTTIE POSE. Ricky, admitting he was smitten at his first glance WHICH, BASED ON THE CAMERA’S POSITION, IS OF HER FEET. No words or exchanged registration information. Love at first crash. How very David Spader of you Ricky.

Recap: Jennifer is a horrendous driver who slams into a man who’s immediately aroused by nothing but her white heels. Linklater himself could not replicate such humanity.

DON’T YOU DARE TALK DURING THE MOVIE

I have so many questions about Ricky’s local movie theater. How is Ricky able to murder a man without anyone noticing is one. But what about the odds of a Santa-themed horror flick playing that weekend? Why do people like Chip treat the theater like a hangout, coming and going as if the specific screening room were some kinda day lounge? RICKY AND JENNIFER ARE TALKING THE WHOLE TIME BUT THAT’S OK?! What kind of girl – Chip’s date – waits outside a cinema when her boy toy pops in to interrupt a goddamn movie?

This scene is an absurdist work of art. A parallel moviegoing universe that has no explanation. Now my favorite “DON’T TALK OR TEXT” PSA.

Garbage Day Cometh

After Chip sleazes at length about hayrides and “f–cking Jenny’s brains out in the back of ol’ red,” Ricky sends electric car battery currents through Jennifer’s ex-boyfriend ‘till his eyes pop (my favorite part being how Ricky doesn’t get shocked while holding Chip’s neck). Then, Jennifer gets choked out. A yuck-worthy cop gets his gun reversed, taking a bullet to the dome. Next is a curious neighbor who gets shot by Ricky’s new gun – all this taking place in a residential neighborhood – and then it happens.

“GARBAGE DAY!”

*Man looks up confused, holding his garbage can LIKE HE HASN’T SEEN THE DEATHS OR HEARD NUMEROUS GUNSHOTS BY NOW*

He’s blasted by Ricky, trash flying everywhere while he flops backwards like a last-string Olympic diver. Garbage day.

I Don’t Think That’s How Guns Work?

But wait, there’s more?!

As Ricky continues to stroll down this sunny suburban road, cackling like a skin-camouflaged alien who just learned human “laughter” for the first time, he shoots an oncoming car in the grill. “BINGO,” he yells. Steam smokes out the bullet hole. The red sedan speeds off a pile of construction dirt to the side, flips, lands back on its tires AND THEN PROMPTLY EXPLODES FROM THE INSIDE. FOR WHAT APPEARS TO BE NO REASON.

I don’t proclaim to be a mechanic, but if an automobile takes one single bullet to the frontside, I’m not sure a fireball-like blaze is exactly in the cards. Then again, this is Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2.

Cops With Compassion

As Ricky’s shooting spree ends, he reaches a roadblock created by two slanted police cars. He, still armed, is told to drop the weapon. He’s still belly-laughing like a lobotomized looney bird. The cops threaten long enough for Ricky to raise the gun (no takedown), cock the hammer and load (still no takedown)…then point towards his own head. “No! Don’t do it!” “Don’t be a fool!” “It’s not worth it!”

Is this not the man who just murdered, like, six people in broad daylight, one of whom was local law enforcement? The tonal shift hits like a wrecking ball when lawmen go from stern “DROP THE WEAPON!” yells to terrified “OH GOOD GOD DON’T DO IT, MAN!” pleads. Like I’d expected anything less to this point.

BOO!

There’s some backstory. Ricky kills Dr. Bloom and finds a Santa suit. Then: the final interaction. Santa comes back to murder some nuns! “You are being very, very naughty!” Mother Superior’s last attempt to punish Ricky, who retorts the ever-so-witty, “Naughty this!” Seriously, did they steal comebacks from elementary school kids at recess? Nevertheless, Sister Mary walks in and Ricky raises his axe and yells “BOO!!!” before trying to decapitate her too.

“Boo.” Like he’s some murderer ghost come from the dead to haunter Sister Mary and THEN slice her up with an axe. Dialogue so horrendous all you can do is laugh, which, in the end, makes Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 one feature-length string of bad decisions that will forever be marveled at by genre fans who don’t believe such legend. Forever the butt of jokes, yet eternalized in story like the oldest tales of time. Now and at the hour of our death…oh-man.

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