The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Special Christmas Edition: Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2
The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Special Christmas Edition: Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2
Hello, everyone, and welcome to a very special Christmas edition of the internets movie review column that thinks it’s about time some cable channel did a full on Christmas horror movie marathon (you’d think El Rey would be all over that shit), The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this very special Christmas edition, I take a look at Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2, the sequel to the notorious, not as messed up as once thought but still pretty dang messed up anyway slasher classic from 1984 Silent Night, Deadly Night, which this column reviewed way back here.
Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2
Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2, directed by Lee Harry, is one bizarre goddamn movie. And that seems to be what was intended from the beginning, which is cool and all, but very off putting at first. You don’t expect the movie to spend so much time directly rehashing the events of the first Silent Night, Deadly Night, and once you start thinking about the story being told it seems impossible. But when the movie starts telling its own story the flick becomes interesting and somewhat entertaining.
The movie stars Eric Freeman as Ricky Caldwell, the little brother of the killer in the first movie, Billy (Robert Brian Wilson and Danny Wagner and Jonathon Best, playing Billy at various ages, in footage from the first movie). Ricky is a murderer and psychopath, confined to a psychiatric prison of sorts. When we first meet Ricky he’s being interrogated/examined by Dr. Henry Bloom (James L. Newman), a man who claims not to be scared by the twitchy inmate. Ricky is about to go on trial for murder, and Dr. Bloom is there to see if Ricky is sane enough to actually go on trial (or something like that). This big interrogation is taking place on Christmas Eve, which seems like a big mistake considering Caldwell’s family history when it comes to the Christmas season. But then people, even smart people, do stupid shit all of the time.
So the interrogation begins and Ricky starts talking about his brother’s troubled life, his own troubled life, and his family’s personal hell. Via flashbacks to the first movie, we see a good chunk of the attack on the Caldwell family by the psycho criminal dressed as Santa Claus (father killed, mother raped, mother’s throat slit). We then see Ricky and Billy in the orphanage run by nuns and the absolute hell that was (the Mother Superior, as played by Lilyan Chauvin, was a terrible, terrible person). And then we see Billy, aged out of the orphanage, trying to live a normal life but becoming a psycho killer himself, offing a bunch of people in a toy store, in the woods, and a topless Linea Quigley, among others. It’s at this point you’ll likely wonder how the hell Ricky could have directly witnessed most of this stuff since he wasn’t around for most of it, plus he was a fucking baby when his parents were killed. How the hell would a baby remember any of that stuff? But then the movie “gets around” all of that by having Ricky say “he was there.” Yeeaaah. Because that explanation makes sense.
After about forty minutes of those flashbacks (I want to point out that these flashbacks are not uncut, so if you watch the uncut version of the first movie and then part 2 you’ll wonder where the gore is. That’s what I did), we finally get to see Ricky and his own life. We see him as a child with his adopted parents, and then we see Ricky as a teen out in the woods, where he witnesses a rape in progress. This incident causes Ricky to commit his first murder, as he steals a jeep and runs over the rapist and backs over the guy several times. A disturbing scene, yes, but also sort of exhilarating as it’s a righteous murder. The rapist wasn’t going to stop. So, really, what else is a concerned citizen supposed to do in a situation like this? Call the cops? Right.
So then we see Ricky in his “present” older teen form, working in a restaurant and trying to hold back the murderous rage inside of him. But then Ricky sees a mob shakedown in the alley behind the restaurant and decides to intervene and kills the mob aggressor with an umbrella. Are we witnessing the birth of a public avenger of sorts here? A vigilante that wants to take out any and all law breakers? He does keep saying that he wants to take out the “naughty.” But then Christmas imagery (sometimes that just means red cloth somewhere) does seem to provoke him into killing people. A slippery slope kind of thing, maybe, where Ricky can go either way?
Ricky’s life, outside of the murders, is pretty awful up until this point. His adopted family is broken (his father is dead and his mother is in perpetual mourning), he has no one to support him, and the guy has serious, undiagnosed mental problems. But then something great happens and Ricky meets Jennifer (Elizabeth Cayton), a wicked hot blonde chick who is really into the whole weirdo dude thing. They get together, they’re a couple, they have sex, and all seems right with the world. But, as is the case when it comes to the Caldwell family, this situation turns to shit pretty quickly when Jennifer’s ex-boyfriend Chip (Kenneth Brian James, now known as Ken Weichert) shows up, starts fucking around with both Ricky and Jennifer, and Ricky finds out that Jennifer banged Chip back in the day. That’s naughty! That can’t happen!
The rest of the movie is Ricky exacting his revenge on pretty much everyone he’s interacted with up until that point. No one is safe, although he does allow a little girl on a tricycle to pass by. I really thought he was going to take her out with his stolen police sidearm. Eventually, Ricky decides to go after the old Mother Superior from the orphanage, a retired old woman living alone.
The best parts of the movie all involve Ricky’s descent into madness. The flashbacks aren’t as interesting as they originally where in the unrated version of the first movie. They’re just there to pad out the runtime. When we see Ricky in action, as Ricky, the movie is pretty dang fun. It’s ludicrous, sure, but it’s still fun. Freeman gives a superb performance. His Rick Caldwell is a bomb just waiting to go off most of the time, and when he does go off things get messy. I’d love to know why director Harry couldn’t come up with more new stuff for Ricky to do. And I’ll ask it again because it bothers me: how the hell is a baby going to remember seeing his parents killed before his eyes? How would the baby know what was happening? Why couldn’t the whole flashback thing have been what Ricky assumed happened after hearing about it? That would have made more sense.
The rest of the movie’s characters aren’t all that interesting. Dr. Bloom would have been interesting if he had more to do than listen to Ricky and occasionally change tape and smoke a pipe. Jennifer is topless for a short period of time, which is always cool, but then she’s dispatched before she can do anything beyond scream. The woman being raped in the woods could have been a cool character but she disappears before that potentially cool stuff can happen. And Chip is hilarious as one of the top douchebags of 1980’s slasher cinema. I think you’ll love the way he gets his.
I would like to call attention to an insane car stunt that happens during Ricky’s suburban massacre with a cop’s stolen gun. Ricky shoots a car that then spins out of control, comes right at him, then gets up on two wheels and flips and explodes. The car is so close to the stuntman in the scene it’s amazing that the stuntman wasn’t hit. How the hell did the moviemakers accomplish that stunt?
And the “Garbage day!” scene deserves to live on forever as one of those ridiculous, completely out of context YouTube scenes. Amazing stuff.
Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 isn’t a great movie. It is interesting, though, and contains just enough good stuff to warrant a watch. It isn’t the slasher classic that the first movie is, but it holds its own and deserves a place in the Christmas B-Movie Hall of Fame. I just wish there was more “new” stuff in it. Seemingly endless flashbacks are never a good idea. Never.
See Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2. It isn’t a classic or anything, but it sure is weird. That makes it worth a rental at least.
See Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2. See it, see it, see it.
So what do we have here?
Dead bodies: More than 20, and that’s including the people killed in the flashbacks.
Explosions: One. And it’s shockingly big.
Nudity?: Yes, both in flashback and in present time.
Doobage: Foot tapping, smoking, more smoking, multiple flashbacks, a street murder, rape, off screen throat slitting, a horrible orphanage, off screen belt whupping, multiple bad dreams, strangulation via Christmas lights, gut stabbing, off screen hammer to the head, bow and arrow hooey, deer antler impalement, guy thrown out a window, a sledding decapitation, axe to the chest, multiple shootings, nun talk, a picnic in the woods, attempted rape in the woods, running a guy over with a Jeep and then backing over him several times, an alley shakedown, a vicious knee to the face, blatant sadism, a freak out over the color red, umbrella impalement, a minor motorcycle accident, sex, a fadeout butt grab, a movie theatre excursion, a slasher movie commentator, jumper cables to the mouth, exploding eyes, strangulation, a vicious head shot, shooting the neighbors, bullet through a metal trash can, wild flip wit exploding car, attempted suicide, off screen strangulation via tape, multiple off screen murders, a dead body that sort of looks like Jack Elam’s stunt double, a messed up face, door breaking, attempted door locking, TV smashing, a horrendous stair fall, off screen axe murder, a sweet as fuck .357 magnum, a wicked shotgun blast, and a decapitated head.
Kim Richards?: Very close, multiple times.
Gratuitous: Plugging machine into electric socket, reel-to-reel recorder tape threading, argument about how valuable time is, finger wagging, flashbacks to the first Silent Night, Deadly Night movie, bad dreams, pipe smoking, shooting the wrong Santa, a “Real Men Wear Black” Raiders T-shirt, nuns, Red Carl, forehead sweat, audio preview for a horror movie called Chaos, a movie theatre douchebag, a guy named Chip, pay phone hooey, a wind up Santa toy, and a decapitated head.
Best lines: “You can leave now. Now!,” “Fuck off, doc,” “Sit down, Ricky,” “Need a ride, Santa Claus?,” “Bastard! He left us out there to die,” “You in a hurry, doc? Am I wasting your valuable time?,” “She! Was! Naughty!,” “Do you dream Ricky? I don’t sleep,” “What do you see out there? Bars,” “Punishment is good!,” “The others were innocent? Oh, no, they deserved it,” “Wait, what if I hit a tree? Just go,” “You don’t scare me. Not yet,” “You tend to get paranoid when everyone around you is dead,” “Eddie, you are such a pig,” “You’re an asshole, Eddie!,” “Thank you,” “Going too fast for you, doc?,” “Got any kids, doc?,” “You’re really starting to get to me, doc,” “Richard, do you know why you’re here?,” “Jennifer. She’s the only thing I ever cared about,” “You got a problem, pal?,” “You know, I really like you, Ricky,” “Go ahead, studdly! Kiss her!,” “Faggot! Well, we know that’s not true,” “Go away, Chip. I have a date,” “This movie is so bogus!,” “What are you doing? Are you out of your mind?,” “Motherfucker!,” “Garbage day!,” “No more bullets. Young and stupid. That was my problem,” “Oh, good! I love a chase!,” “You’re looking well!,” and “You’re being very, very naughty! Naughty this!”
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Coming Christmas 2017: Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 3: Better Watch Out!!
B-movies rule. Always remember that.
Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2
Eric Freeman– Ricky Caldwell
James L. Newman– Dr. Henry Bloom
Elizabeth Cayton– Jennifer
Jean Miller– Mother Superior
Kenneth Brian James– Chip
Directed by Lee Harry
Screenplay by Lee Harry and Joseph H. Earle, based on a story by Lee Harry, Jospeh H. Earle, Dennis Patterson, and Lawrence Applebaum and based on characters created by Michael Hickey and Paul Caimi
Distributed by Silent Night Releasing Corporation, International Video Entertainment (IVE), Image Entertainment, Avid Home Video, and Anchor Bay Entertainment
Rated R for graphic violence, nudity, and language
Runtime– 88 minutes
Buy it here