It’s once again that time of year when families gather around the warm glow of the television and watch such holiday classics as It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, Home Alone, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation to name a few. Sure, your pals here at Critical End! watch those too, but when the hour grows late, the fire has died down, and the kids from Ryan’s third marriage have all gone to bed, that’s when the real Christmas fun begins. Logan mixes his “special” eggnog (Ingredients: Eggnog, mostly booze), while Ryan warms up the DVD player for those holiday slasher films known as Silent Night, Deadly Night. This year, in honor of the birth of Christ our savior (Okay, and the release of Parts 3 to 5 on DVD), we thought we’d let Logan share his opinion on each film in a special 5 part series each week until Christmas.
This week Logan looks at Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2.
Body Count: 24 (But to be fair, 12 of those are from clips of the first movie)
Best Death Scene: One poor soul is killed simply because it’s garbage day and he’s disposing some trash. Fellas, let this be a lesson next time the wife/girlfriend wants you to take the garbage out.
Oh, where to start? I guess I need to get the most important thing about this movie out of the way first: Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 is my favorite bad movie of all time. Yes, some people may tell you that you could never get worse than, say, Troll 2, or to a more recent extent, The Room, but for my money, this film has them all beat. And do you want to know the weirdest part about the whole thing? More than one third of Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 is made up of, yeah, you guessed it, clips of Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 1 MINUS most of the gore and nudity.
Following the video success of the first film, producers begin to search for a way to extend its shelf life a bit. Due mostly to the fact that nobody in Hollywood likes to use their brain (See any Adam Sandler film for further analysis), they collectively decided that the best thing to do would be to hire an editor to re-cut the film, adding two more scenes that would, get this, feature a mental patient telling the story which would have made the original film appear to be nothing more than the ravings of a lunatic. Hollywood, this is why you have no friends.
Lucky for us, Director/Editor Lee Harry (and yes, that is his actual screen credit in the movie), and a team of six writers decided that the movie needed a bit more. Now, when I say a bit more what I really mean is about 30 minutes of new material. The rest, as I mentioned above, is nothing but clips from the first movie edited for content. Wow, it took six writers to come up with that? Maybe this film was some sort of tax write off…whatever the case, the movie comes across like the equivalent of listening to your drunk Uncle Steve attempt to explain the first film. It’s now several years later and Billy’s little brother, Ricky, is all grown up and in the nut house. How he got there is the only real mystery in the movie (Spoiler: He killed lots of people), and is revealed mostly through what I have dubbed “eyebrow acting” and in flashbacks that bring the grand total of Ricky actors to a staggering EIGHT people. My God, that’s a lot of eyebrow acting. At one point the film really jumps the rails (and Ricky’s eyebrows threaten to jump off his face), when he decides that he needs to flashback to his first date. The movie then becomes a love story about a killer Santa for a few minutes. The best part? They go to see Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 1 on their first date. Just when we thought the film had finally stopped showing clips from the first movie, the filmmakers decided that what we really wanted to see was people watching the first film. God, I love this movie.
Oh, there’s more, but just take my word for it: Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 is NOT to be missed. If you’re a lover of bad films, then this will be like the holy grail for you. I can’t end this review without mentioning the fact that this film features one of my all time favorite lines and scenes from any movie ever. The clip from this scene is all over YouTube, but it’s worthless unless you actually made it through the rest of the film. I guess what I’m saying is that you have to work for it…and believe me: It’s worth every second. Happy Garbage Day, folks!
3 out of 10
In three days: Ricky returns for some more yuletide slayings, but due to the head injury he received in the last film, he now wears his brain in a glass dome. GENIUS.