Movie Reviews 281 – Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 (1987)

silent-night-deadly-night-2Last year I reviewed Silent Night, Deadly Night, a great movie about an axe wielding Santa that begins with a great backstory, delivers innovative kills, and was overall a whole lotta fun. As my DVD also included the sequel, Silent Night, Deadly Night 2, I thought it best to set it aside and save it for this year’s holiday horror viewing pleasure. As I began watching the sequel, I wondered if I would remember enough of the first movie to make sure I got any contextual references. To say I need not have worried is an understatement. Let me explain…

The original movie recounts the story of little Billy Chapman who watched in horror as his parents were slaughtered on a roadside by a Santa suit wearing convenience store robber. Traumatized, he gets shuffled to an orphanage run by a unscrupulous Mother Superior that and torments him at every opportunity and refuses to acknowledge his residual anguish when confronted by any image of Saint Nick . When he is finally old enough to leave Billy gets a job at a toy store and, as luck would have it, finds himself obliged to don the store Santa suit on Christmas eve. Pushed one time too many, he cracks and goes on a rampage as he makes his way to his final intended victim, the Mother Superior.

But on that night of his parent’s murder so long ago, Billy’s little brother Ricky (Eric Freeman) was also present, just a baby left crying in the back seat of the car as Billy endured the carnage. While this movie is about what happened to Ricky after the events of the first movie, the first 45 minutes (more than half of the 88 minutes in this film) are just flashbacks to the first movie as Ricky tells the story to a psychiatrist, himself now in a mental institution.

His interrogation by the psychiatrist then continues on to tell Ricky’s story of being adopted by a couple, seeming to blend in, but similarly traumatized on occasion by nuns and red Santa regalia. It’s only when his foster father passes away that Ricky becomes slightly unhinged. At first he just gets easily annoyed by any matter of contention, but even so manages to have a girlfriend and lead something of a normal life.  But his anger grows and eventually he too goes over the edge and goes on a short killing spree of his own. He soon manages to snag the obligatory Santa suit before heading towards fulfilling his brother’s last act -getting even with Mother Superior.

With the exception of some decent effects shots (death by umbrella!), Ricky’s binge is shoehorned into the plot and makes little sense. The best parts of the movie is the reprise of the first movie from which just about every decent scene was stolen.

So is it a good movie? Only if you haven’t seen the first movie. In fact the end credits had to include everyone that worked on the first movie along with those who created the limited additional content for part 2. Call this one “Silent Night, Deadly Night 1.5”!


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