Thursday, 4 December 2014

Holiday Horror: Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 (1987)

Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 (1987)
Director: Lee Harry
Starring: Eric Freeman, James Newman, and Elizabeth Kaitan
Running Time: 88 min

  I remember seeing this as a kid but I don't think I can recollect anything from this film besides the "It's garbage day!" line.  This "film" came out three years after the original and has been panned and left for dead by almmost every credit out there, so, I thought I'd take a kick at this carcass.

 Ricky, the younger brother of Billy Caldwell, is being held in an institution waiting to see a psychiatrist.  When Dr. Henry Bloom or "Doc" arrives, Rickey is aggressive towards him but he slowly loosens up and eventually tells the story of how his brother Billy lost his mind, put on a Santa suit and went out murdering people on Christmas eve.  After 40 minutes of flashback scenes of the first movie, Ricky finally squeezes in his story about how he was affected by his parents death, his time at the orphanage and how he was eventually adopted by a nice family.  Happy at first, but that happiness slowly faded after his adopted father passed away and then he starts having some serious angry issues.  Which lead him to lashing out and murdering people who are being "Naughty" and need to be "Punished".  Eventually Ricky kills the doctor, somehow escapes the mental institution and hits the road to take up where his brother left off   Is there anyone who can help or save poor young Ricky, or is he destined to don the Santa suit like his older brother and have history repeat itself again?

  It's such a shame that so much of this film is done with footage from the first film.  Even a scene in a theatre with Ricky and his girlfriend, they're watching "Silent Night, Deadly Night".  Which is sad but kind of humorous at the same time.  The commentary on the DVD claims that the studio wanted them to just re-cut the original film and put it out as a sequel but director Lee Harvey wanted to shot an original film, although he didn't have the budget for it, so maybe this was really the best compromise.
  This is why, it falls into that it's so bad it's good category for me.  The flashback scenes take most of the good footage from the first film, including the very old sledding bullies, and chop it up into a much quicker cut than the original, so it's kind of fun if you haven't seen the first one for a while.  Also, the acting in this film is horrible and it's not just Eric Freeman (Children of the Corn, Murder Weapon) who plays Ricky,  but everybody is so bad in this that it's quite incredible to watch.  It's  hard not to laugh because they are trying so hard to try and sell this story to you.
  However, Ricky Freeman does bring a fun charm to his bad acting, whether it's murdering somebody with an umbrella or somehow electrocuting someone with a jumper cable, he delivers the lines "Naughty" and "Punish" like any true thespian.  His coup de gras has to be the "It's Garbage Day" scene, which is the money shot for his film.  This is such a strange scene where Ricky strolls down the street after strangling his girlfriend and starts shooting random people for no reason.  Freeman plays this scene like a pro and puts all the crazy he's got into this. The whole thing is so absurd that it makes me laugh.

  What's bad about this movie, well everything.  The story is terrible and to think that Ricky could so easily escape a mental institution after going on a random killing spree is totally unbelievable.  Again, the acting is bad and even the deaths, which there is an abundance are pretty shitty but amusing at the same time.  

  This film is a real turkey and I accept that, but this is one of those bad films that can be enjoyed with the right friends and after a few drinks, if you're so inclined.  The acting is terrible, most of the film are scenes from the first one and the deaths in this one are mediocre at best but it's pretty funny to watch.  So, if you know somebody who has been "Naughty" and you want to "Punish" them, force them watch this and maybe what they did won't seem so bad.  

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