Synopsis: In Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2, Billy’s younger brother Ricky (Eric Freeman) follows in the family tradition of Christmas carnage. Psycho Santa is back…to deck the halls with chunks of bodies!
eyelights: the lead’s hammy performance.
eyesores: the lead’s hammy performance. the redundancy of the whole first 40 minutes.
Meet Ricky: Ricky is a burnout locked up in an institution. He’s also Billy’s brother from ‘Silent Night, Deadly Night‘. When we meet him, it’s years later and he’s about to be interrogated by a psychiatrist, his thirteenth one, about the events of the previous film. Why this is of any relevance, why anyone would ask Ricky about this some ten years later (he’s now an adult), is unexplained.
So, for the next 40 minutes, 1987’s ‘Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2’ essentially treats us to a complete recap of the original picture, with brief breaks for a quick exchange between Ricky and Doctor Bloom. It doesn’t matter that Ricky wasn’t around to see what took place or was too young to remember any of it, he’s the narrator of our picture, and he eagerly recounts all the grisly details.
Ricky is played by Eric Freeman, who has played a few other minor roles but is mostly recognized for a scene in this picture in which he says “Garbage Day!” for no real reason before shooting a guy taking out his trash. Freeman has a William Shatner-esque delivery (think Shatner crossed with Bruce McCulloch), which is both hilarious and grating at once. But it’s funny enough to be the film’s highlight.
His Ricky is a beefcake, just like his brother, but this time our protagonist/villain is played up like an ’80s action cliché, over-emoting (often with his eyebrows, to the tune of apparently 130 times!) and acting out a few action sequences, including a rampage down a quiet suburban street that was reminiscent of any Arnold Schwarzenegger picture of that era. Except bad. Really bad.
He does get a few hilarious kills of his own along the way, as Ricky tells Dr. Bloom of his own murderous proclivities, damaged as he is by his childhood and triggered as he is by the colour red: running over a girl’s abusive boyfriend (and then backing up and driving back and forth over him), impaling a man with an umbrella (and opening it through his back), and the afore-mentioned garbage day sequence.
He also gets a cheesy love-making scene that is so inept it was more of a groaner than a moaner. The funniest part was that his boobs were bigger than his girlfriend’s, who is terribly pretty and is very much the only reason to watch the second half of the picture – which devolves into Ricky’s bloody escape from the mental health facility with a mind to kill the Mother Superior of his orphanage.
It is Christmas night, after all.
This is probably the worst bit of the picture, as Ricky, now sporting a snazzy Santa Claus costume that he stole from a Sally Ann worker, breaks into the crippled (she had a stroke, although the heavy burn scars on her face suggest otherwise) old woman’s home and proceeds to chase her about. Except that she’s in a wheelchair, and yet still manages to sneak about and escape his grasp for a lengthy period.
If anything best encapsulates ‘Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2’, it’s “Garbage Day!” – not just because its tone captures the film’s, but because it also speaks to one’s impression all the way through. I don’t know what the producers were thinking, but rehashing the original film was a poor choice indeed – especially since it wasn’t exactly a great example of the genre to start with.
And yet, somehow, this is worse.
Much, much worse.
Date of viewing: November 7, 2015