You better watch out. Better not cry, sucker. Because this month we’re taking a look at seven examples of cinematic revenge — the bloodier, the better.
Part 4: Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2
Killer Santas are wonderful. Drunk Santas are funny, perverted Santas are unnerving and dirty, foul mouthed Santas bring joy to even the most jaded heart. It’s hard not to laugh at a Santa Claus getting trashed on cheap whiskey while oggling his female helpers at the mall as he calls every other kid he sees a “damn little bastard.” From a cynical and subversive standpoint, that is pure Christmas comedy gold; but when it comes to horror, a ‘Killer Santa’ is something special.
One of the best horror films to involve Santa committing murder was the original classic 1972 British anthology film Tales from the Crypt. The story from that shocking and highly controversial take on the old EC comic involved a young buxom beauty played by Joan Collins who murders her husband for his insurance money. She tries to disguise the crime as an accident, but soon falls victim to a mental ward escapee who enters her home and strangles her to death. In a way, our film today owes quite a bit to this take on the horrors of Christmastime.
Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 stars Eric Freeman as Ricky, a middle-aged young man who has super strength and carries a violent grudge against a handicapped nun. Ricky starts things off in an institution as we see him being interviewed about his troubled past. We begin with the events of the first film which Ricky can inexplicably recall for some reason. He tells stories from his infancy when his parents were killed by a carjacker dressed as Santa, and when his interviewer asks how he remembers it all, he simply states, “Because I was there!”
Ricky delves deep into memories of his brother and flashes back to a CliffsNotes version of scenes from the original Silent Night, Deadly Night movie. Many of the events he discusses happened without him being involved at all, yet for some strange reason he is able not only to explain things in great detail, he even has muscle memory of the time his orphanage’s Mother Superior beat his brother for acting up. How he has any of these powers is a mystery.
When Ricky’s brother leaves the orphanage, he winds up in the employ of a toy store owner who dresses him up as Santa for Christmas. Ricky’s brother Billy goes berserk killing everyone in his path he deems “naughty” to include store clerks, bullies and Linnea Quigley. Once Billy is killed in front of Ricky, a seed is planted that slowly grows into a psychotic and murderous rage. Ricky explains that his developmental years were difficult, but when the interviewer asks him to talk about his girlfriend Jennifer, the tables begin to turn.
I honestly couldn’t tell you if Eric Freeman is trying to play Ricky as a tough kid in his early twenties because he looks and acts like a 40-something gym teacher trying out his best mean psycho killer impersonation. The way he delivers dialogue in this movie is just bizarre and he tries so hard to be intimidating in every scene, that it comes across as dumb and ridiculous. Ricky eventually rampages his way through a neighborhood after killing his girlfriend and her ex, and the effort he makes in playing crazy is bad acting at its finest.
The kills in Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 are mostly on par with Friday the 13th: A New Beginning and overall the Christmas element gets sidelined after the flashbacks up until Ricky dons a Santa suit before hunting down and decapitating the evil and completely helpless Mother Superior from his childhood. His revenge is carried out and we are treated to final shot indicating that he survived multiple gunshots from police, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is that this film is horrible and hilarious with the right friends and plenty of booze.
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