** ½ Out of 5
Tagline- The Nightmare Is About to Begin Again!
Release Date- April 10th, 1987
Running Time- 88-Minutes
Screenplay- Lee Harry & Joseph H. Earle
Director- Lee Harry
Starring- Eric Freeman, James Newman, Elizabeth Kaitan, Jean Miller
I remember as a kid seeing the original Silent Night, Deadly Night and loving it, but I could never track down the sequel. Even my local video store, which had a great horror selection didn’t have this one. I saw 3-5 on cable, but still this one eluded me. This was back before the internet so it wasn’t easy to track these films down or head over to YouTube to see a trailer so I knew nothing about Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 outside of the killer being Ricky the younger brother of the killer in the original and I only knew that because of the ending of the original hinted at that and because of Silent Night, Deadly Night III. It wasn’t until about 93-95 that I finally came across a copy of Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 at another video store. I remember being quite excited at finally being able to see the film and upon my first viewing I was like what the hell was that? It wouldn’t be for about another 10-years until I saw it again when Anchor Bay released it on DVD along with the original film and the 2nd time around I had a lot more fun with it. The term worst movie ever is thrown around a lot and in most cases the movie in question is rarely ever deserving of that title, but Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 can be dubbed that and this time it would be very deserving. I wouldn’t rate this as the worst film of all time simply due to the fact I found the film to be fun in how bad it was. From a filmmaking side of things sure this is probably as bad as you’ll see, but when I think of films I’ve seen that I would consider the worst film the main theme each has is not only was it poorly made, but worst of all boring. Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 might be poorly made, but it’s never boring, which for me keeps it from the worst film ever, but I wouldn’t argue against it.
I’m sure everybody knows the controversy the first film created, which lead to the Silent Night, Deadly Night being pulled after 2-weeks. Lee Harry was hired to recut the original film with one or two newly shot scenes, but instead he decided to add more than a few, but with the limited budget only so much new footage could be shot and therefore roughly 40-minutes of the 87-minute running time is footage from the original with a couple of minutes worth of new footage. Than for the last 40 or so minutes is newly shot scenes and now it becomes a sequel. This does make the film a little frustrating early on and more so since the footage of the original is the R-rated footage and while the uncut version of SNDN isn’t exactly graphic the R-rated scenes very much lack. However once the sequel begins we get one of the ultimate bad films, but I will give everyone involved some credit for putting together some decent stunts with no money and no help from the studio.
The concept of Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 is pretty much the same as the original only this time we follow Ricky (Freeman) who is the younger brother of Billy the killer in the original. Whereas we can feel sympathy for Billy, Ricky on the other hand had a shot at a normal life, but since his victims are unlikable odds are you’ll probably root for Ricky.
The screenplay by Lee Harry & Joseph H. Earle is quite absurd filled with really silly, but often hysterical dialogue. This film has plenty of really great quotable moments and while I’m sure their intention wasn’t to write a so bad its good film, but regardless they ended up with that for better or worse. Ricky has amazing memory for detail on events he was too young to remember and is also able to mention events he wasn’t even there for. This why extremely idiotic only adds to the fun factor.
Director Lee Harry crafts a really bad film, but that’s part of what makes this so fun. There are so many moments too idiotic to count, but the film is almost always a lot of fun in the idiocy of it all. As I mentioned the first half can be a little frustrating as its clips of the original with a new scene or two added in. Once we get past that is when the fun begins. Pacing for the most part is strong due to how poor the film is. Silent Night, Deadly Night has to be seen to be believed.
Here are some highlights.
When a man and a woman are on a date and he attempts to sexually assault her, Ricky has a flashback of his mothers attack and kills the man attempting to rape the woman, after killing him the woman than says thank you to Ricky! And people say there aren’t any manners anymore. When Ricky is out on a date with Jennifer (Kaitan) the film they’re watching is Silent Nignt, Deadly Night!! Another highlight is when Ricky goes to kill Jennifer. She gulps and says uh oh and tries to run off and this scene is very much one you need to see to fully appreciate. Ricky walks around killing people and constantly does this evil laugh and for someone who’s never fired a gun before had great aim. And of course no review would be complete without Garbage Day! That scene has become an internet sensation with spoof videos, which are actually quite amusing. And if all that weren’t enough when Ricky sets his sights on Mother Superior (Miller) and her address is 666, which I found rather funny and Ricky’s got an axe, she’s able to get away and gets inside a room, which she blocks off with a small desk and locks the door. Than this look of relief comes over her. The guy has a freaking axe I hardly think any of that is gonna stop him!
On the audio commentary track for the movie with the writer/director Lee Harry, co-writer Joseph H. Earle and James Newman who played Dr. Bloom are quite aware of how bad this film turned out and never try to hide the fact this movie is bad. At one point the commentary track is something out Mystery Science Theater 3000, which they all actually mention; the three of them at times make fun of the film and well there really is a lot to make fun of garbage day alone makes this film worthy. But despite all of that this movie is a laugh riot and one of the most hysterical movies I ever sat through and the only thing more entertaining than watching this is watching it with audio commentary.
Eric Freeman as Ricky gives the ultimate so bad its good performance. I don’t think I can put into words how epic he was in this film and the constant eyebrow movements has to be some kind of world record.
Overall Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 is for me one of the best of the so bad its good films. Just putting this into words was quite tough as it truly has to be seen to be believed. I didn’t know if I should give this one star or five! The original film was set and shot in Salt Lake City, Utah and this one is shot in L.A. despite the fact it’s supposed to be the same setting as the original! When this film was released there was no controversy and it only played for about a week and than was gone, but would later find an audience on home video.