If this had come out a couple of weeks ago, I could have started this by saying, “A new article, it’s a Christmas miracle!” Instead, I just sort of reappear awkwardly. Ah well, why break tradition, I suppose. Well, the holidays are over, to the delight of many a parent, shopper, employee, or pretty much anyone. Maybe if the Christmas decorations in my mall didn’t go up mid-October, the season wouldn’t seem to last so damned long. Instead, we get to experience a nearly three month test of monetary endurance and emotional integrity. The holiday season claims many a victim.
I feel somewhat sorry for Jewish people during this season. They have to put up with the Christmas madness, and they don’t see any shred of a reward from it; aside from suing businesses that say “Merry Christmas” instead of “Happy Holidays,” but that’s beside the point. Actually wait, it wasn’t, it was quite related to the point. There just wasn’t much of a reason to say that, except the hope of rumor spreading that I run a hate site, thereby increasing the traffic here. Jeez, that probably isn’t the best method to go about bringing in visitors.
Anyway, the holiday season has come to an end, so I figured this would be the best time for you to read an article… about Christmas! Yay!
I’m not writing about Christmas exactly, rather a movie inspired by the Christmas season, which really seems to be quite an untapped market. You know, businesses really should start making some Christmas related products and events; I really think they’re missing out on a potential gold mine.
This movie will make you feel infinitely better about your life, and your holidays; if only for the reason that you were not involved with the making of this movie. Unless you actually were involved, in which case I guess there would be a much different reaction. That reaction would most likely be immense pride in the fact that you contributed to a movie that completely obliterates the line between a movie that is just bad, and a movie that is so amazingly bad it rises to an entirely new level of cinematic greatness.
By now, I’m sure there really is no question as to what movie I am referring to… there can be no other. This movie is Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2.
Sequels surpassing the original movies are very rare. Many of them were mentioned in “Scream2” (which wasn’t one of the previously mentioned kinds of sequel.) “Terminator2” and “Aliens” both rise about their predecessors, as does “Godfather 2.” Actually, I don’t know if it does; I haven’t seen any of the “Godfather” series. I just say I have to avoid the typical movie fan, “What?! You haven’t seen it? Oh my God you have to see it, you don’t know what you’re missing!” reaction.
The original “Silent Night, Deadly Night” actually has quite a strong cult following. It was unrated, due to extreme quantities of violence and nudity. Much of the said violence was committed by a man dressed as Santa Claus, so there are some valid reasons for the movie’s audience. Part 2 (or SNDN2, as it will be referred to from now on) also has a strong cult following, mainly consisting of a group of friends and myself. Our love for the movie is based on completely different reasons, however, most of them revolving around how flat out awful every aspect of the movie truly is.
One of the hardest parts of making a sequel is trying to give background information from the first movie, in order to accommodate viewers who never saw the original. The director of SNDN2 was smart, and knew that there were likely to be many people who never saw the original, since it wasn’t very widely released. He therefore was kind enough to include solid background, in the form of flashbacks, but we’ll get to that soon.
The story starts off in… wait, hold on, it hasn’t started yet. The camera is still panning up someone’s body; the entire panning process takes approximately ten minutes. And who is revealed? Why it’s Ricky Caldwell, our story’s main character! Ok now the story seems to start, taking place in a mental institution, where Ricky sits smoking a cigarette, and mugging to the camera. In comes an orderly, in a nifty white jumpsuit, complete with male panty lines. The scene goes on without any dialogue which, as the movie will later show, is the best thing that can happen to the viewer.
The orderly isn’t given a name, but it seems like he should have one, so we’ll go with a completely random name. Samuel L. Jackson sounds good.
Ricky and Sam seem to have quite a chemistry together, as they continue to give each other knowing, almost flirtatious looks. Samuel is jumpy, and becomes startled when Ricky flicks his lighter. Although I suppose that’s quite an understandable feeling when you are alone in a room with a shaved ape that is locked in an asylum.
Samuel finishes setting up what appears to be a tape recorder, although its size is greater than most DJ’s turntable setups.
Soon a doctor comes in, who proceeds to treat Sam like dirt, and makes him leave. Dr. Bloom, he introduces himself as. He seems a lot calmer than Samuel was, and doesn’t take any crap from Ricky, even when he starts yelling and threatening the doctor. This yelling brings Sam back in, for fear that Doc Bloom is being hurt. Instead of being thankful for the concern, the doctor merely yells at Sam and tells him to get out. What a prick.
Before leaving, Sam warns Ricky with a finger wave, although instead of wagging his finger like a normal person, he just moves his arm side to side. Jeez, it really isn’t a good indication of a cast’s acting ability when they aren’t even able to do normal human functions correctly.
Doc goes back to questioning Ricky. From the first few questions, we learn that Ricky’s parents were murdered. The strange revelation is that they were murdered by Santa Claus.
This cues a “flashback” scene, which in this movie means recycled footage from the first movie. Ricky (who is quite the ugly baby) and his family are driving along a country road, on Christmas Eve. Ricky’s parents, who are apparently the stunt doubles of the parents from “Vacation,” pull over because a man dressed as Santa was flagging them down. The father asks Santa if he needs a ride, to which Santa replies by pulling out a gun and shooting the father dead. He then assaults and kills the mother, all of which Ricky’s older brother Billy sees.
The doctor calls Ricky’s bluff, asking how he could remember all this if he was just a baby. Ricky proceeds to get all pissed off, and continues to pronounce Doc as “dawk.” Doctor Bloom asks Ricky what life was like in the orphanage, which leads us into another flashback.
We discover that his parents’ murder was very damaging to Billy. He has grown into a very ugly young boy. He displays his lack of appreciation for Santa’s evil deeds by drawing, and hanging up, classroom pictures of Santa shot by arrows and a decapitated reindeer.
This leads to Billy being called to the principal’s office, or rather the office of Mother Superior. Mother Superior is basically the amalgamation of every bad stereotype of nuns, principals, and prison wardens. She is greatly angered by Billy’s drawing, but whether that is because of the content or how awful the quality of the drawing is, can’t be determined.
Mother Superior has an incredibly odd way of speaking, a very surprising manner for an elderly woman to use. She sounds like one of the Nazi scientists from “Schindler’s List,” pronouncing until as “unteel,” and speaking with an alarmingly strange combination of calmness and sternness.
Billy gets sent to his room, but is later released by a nicer, more sensible nun. On the way to going outside to play, Billy hears noises coming from one of the rooms on his floor. The noises turn out to be a couple having sex, apparently quite loudly.
There are so many things wrong with that, I don’t even know where to begin. First of all, who are these people? They look to be almost thirty, so why are they in an orphanage? I doubt they work there, since it seems to be run by a church. They’re too old to live there, and they’re not visiting. Hmmm. Also, what kind of sick, depraved person do you have to be to have sex in an orphanage, and at that volume? If you can’t control yourself until you leave, at least be a little quieter. Especially when the woman running the orphanage is an insane old hag who seems to display no emotions.
Billy, the perverted voyeur, decides to camp out in front of the room and stare through the keyhole. Apparently the couple was so loud that Mother Superior heard them going at it from across the building, so she comes to investigate. She throws Billy away from the door, busts in, and proceeds to beat them with a belt.
She later comes up to Billy to talk about what he saw. It is now that we learn Mother Superior’s two favorite terms, “naughty” and “punish,” which she uses over and over. After explaining to Billy why what the couple was doing was naughty, and why they needed to be punished, she then beats Billy with a belt for some reason.
We are now back with Ricky and Doc, who clearly is ashamed to be part of this movie. At first it seems his reactions to Ricky are due to the character’s role as a doctor, and that he knows to use a more logical line of thought. As the movie progresses, he seems to simply develop a great disgust for Eric Freeman the actor, and the fact that he has to appear in this movie, even as a distinguished doctor.
Ricky continues to spout of more nonsensical lines, while standing by a window with the fakest scenery outside I have ever seen.
About three minutes of new footage goes by, which means we are way overdue for some more flashbacks.
Ricky tells of one Christmas at the orphanage, when Santa came to visit. Mother Superior forces Billy to sit on Santa’s lap, but Billy struggles because he’s scared of him. When confronted by Santa, Billy cold cocks him and knocks him flat on his ass, which is really just one of the most amazing sites to behold. Billy then runs away, and is chased after by Mother Superior. The scene cuts off, showing a frightened (and ugly) Billy’s face, as Mother Superior enters the room. Given her tendency to overreact in the past, I can only imagine his punishment this time. Certainly something involving branding irons or cordless drills or something.
We are now at a transition between the tale of young and old Billy. Since there is a stoppage in recycled footage, we get to watch in awe of Eric Freeman’s (Ricky, in case you forgot) acting ability. He simply has no control over his emotional range. Any call for a slight raise in emotions means he simply blows his top and chews his lines and scenes up like a maniac. His eyebrows rise and fall like the chart of the heart beat of a man going into a cardiac arrest. His energetic approach to acting is made even more ridiculous by his size. In any given scene, he is simply a giant man yelling and bounding about, as his eyebrows display thousands of random emotions at once.
Now that that is taken care of, it’s back to the excitement. Billy has turned eighteen, and therefore is able to leave the orphanage. Billy now vaguely resembles a young Phil Anselmo from Pantera. He is set up with a job at the local toy store. Either the management of this store was given no background to Billy, or they are simply jackasses. They decide the best task to give him is to dress up like Santa Claus for their customers. Billy goes on to tell children that he doesn’t bring toys to naughty girls; rather he punishes them…severely. I’m a firm believer that negative reinforcement can be effective, but perhaps that’s not the best time to go for it.
After the customers leave, it’s time for the big Christmas party. God, this group of employees is a bunch of losers. Their party consists of standing around, while the managers get blitzed out of their minds. And for some reason, Billy is still wearing the Santa costume. Two of the employees break off from the group, and go into the back room. Billy decides to follow them, since apparently his perverted habits haven’t dissipated since the last time he was caught spying on people.
It seems the guy in the tight bootleg Lacoste shirt wasn’t quite the chick magnet he thought he was. In the back room, the girl resists his advances, but he proceeds anyway. This scene gives Billy a flashback (a flashback within a flashback… simply fantastic) to when his mother was being assaulted by Santa. This makes him snap, and Billy goes ahead and strangles the guy. The girl is less than thankful to Billy, so he decides to kill her as well.
Drunky the manager bumbles into the back to see what the commotion is all about, and winds up with a hammer to the skull for his troubles. The other stupid manager eventually winds up walking to the back herself, only to discover what happened. She tries to escape, and Billy chases her around the store. It’s strange to see a murderous chase amidst old boxes of Mousetrap and Kermit dolls. Her attempts to flee are all for naught, as Billy drops her with an arrow to the back. You know, the typical bow and arrows that carry the force to penetrate human flesh and bone, the ones you see in toy stores all the time.
Ricky insists it wasn’t Billy’s fault, rather it was Mother Superior’s fault for raising him so poorly. At this point, the doctor takes out a friggin’ pipe, to attempt to become the epitome of stereotypical father figures in film.
Ricky tells the tale of Billy’s murder spree, of course in flashback form. Billy only punished “naughty” people, for which he didn’t have to look very far. One of the first victims was the doppelganger of the bad guy from the first “Karate Kid” movie, which Billy proceeds to pummel all over his house and tosses out a window.
The next set of victims was rather interesting. The scene starts with two kids sledding at night. The kids are then bullied into giving up their sleds by two men who appear to be in their late thirties. Billy, come on. If two middle aged men’s lives consist of jumping kids so they can go sledding, leave them be. Their lives are as empty as can be already.
Of course, how Ricky knows that all of this happened is unknown. He knows every detail of Billy’s murders, despite being nowhere near any of them, and not being told about them.
We wind up back at the orphanage, where we see a Santa walking towards the children in the front yard. A police man speeds to the orphanage, fearing Billy has come back to harm someone. He then proceeds to shoot Santa dead, right in front of the kids. It turns out this Santa wasn’t Billy, rather the orphanage’s deaf janitor dressed up to surprise the kids. The cop searches the scene for Billy, and finds him. He also finds an axe buried in his chest.
Billy is let into the orphanage by an absolutely idiotic kid, despite being told specifically not to. If you just saw Santa shot by a policeman, it might be a wise idea to steer clear of the next one you see, especially if he appears ten minutes later. Despite this, the kid lets Billy in, and Billy attempts to murder Mother Superior. He fails in his attempt, since he gets shot by a detective who just showed up. This makes the second Santa that was shot in full view of the children. They are going to grow up so messed up in the head.
Unfortunately for the director, Billy’s death means he has run out of footage from the first movie to use, and must now actually start using his own ideas. This movie runs about 88 minutes, 40 of them being clips from the first movie. The fact that they got away with this is truly impressive.
Understandably, the orphanage was closed after all the murders. They were able to find a family for Ricky… the Rosenbergs. Ah ha, quite the witty idea. A child is scarred by Santa, so have him live with a Jewish family, no problems there.
His years growing up are shown to be pretty normal. However, one day on the street with his mother, he starts spazzing out when he sees two nuns walking in slow motion, “Reservoir Dogs” style towards him. He loses it, showing that he’s still messed up from his childhood.
After his father dies, Ricky seems to go into a downward spiral at age seventeen. While walking through a field, inexplicably carrying a stick like he was Tom Sawyer or something, he stumbles upon a couple having a picnic. Apparently inheriting his brother’s voyeuristic tendencies, he watches them. The male gets aggressive with the woman, then backs off to get a beer from his Jeep.
Ricky takes this opportunity to get in the man’s Jeep, and run him over. About a dozen times. When leaving the scene, Ricky is thanked by the woman, who apparently sees nothing wrong with what just happened.
My my, what an interesting growth spurt we had between ages seventeen and eighteen. Ricky seems to have grown about a foot, added fifty pounds of muscle, and had his facial structure completely changed.
He tells about when he was working at a restaurant, and ran into a loan shark outside, beating up a client. Ricky, of course, only sees one logical solution to this situation. He lifts the man up against a wall, and impales him with an umbrella.
These two murders come as a shock to the doctor, since neither of them were on Ricky’s record. They do indicate how at first, Ricky was like his brother and only punished people who he felt were naughty.
We soon discover that there used to be a love in Ricky’s life, a girlfriend named Jennifer. The doctor gives Ricky what appears to be an autographed publicity shot of her. It is signed “Ricky, all the best, Jennifer,” which seems like quite an odd way to sign a picture of yourself to your boyfriend. He’s not asking you for an autograph, sister, you put some damned heart into that message.
We enter another flashback, however this time, it’s not to the first movie, but actual new footage. He is sitting on a motorcycle, seemingly trying to live the life of Jesse Katsopolis. While loitering on his bike, he becomes involved in the world’s most avoidable accident. Instead of apologizing for her vehicular faux pas, Jennifer gets out of her car and basically laughs at him for getting knocked to the ground.
Now normally with Ricky, this would result in you having a foreign object impaled into you or something similar to that effect. However, since he can’t stop leering at her legs, he gets distracted and forgets to murder her. We are then treated to a montage of their relationship, which basically consists of riding on the motorcycle and having sex.
Next we see them on a date at the movies. This movie, sadly enough, is made up of clips from the first movie. In a way, that’s kind of funny and self aware, but at the same time, it’s just more recycled footage. Bleh. While Ricky stares slack jawed at the screen, two lowlifes in the back row won’t shut up. Eventually, they start teasing Ricky and Jennifer, which really is not a smart idea. Even if the man you’re teasing isn’t an insane murderer, you usually want to avoid picking fights with people literally three times your size.
Inspired by the onscreen violence, Ricky decides to go to the back of the theatre to beat up the guys that were bothering them. While he is off doing this, Jennifer’s old boyfriend Chip shows up. Chip represents everything that was truly excellent about the 80’s. Ridiculous hair, clothes, and a smirk that just says, “Punch me.” The two of them discuss their old relationship, and Chip unsuccessfully tries to get back together with her.
While this is going on, Ricky finds his way to the back of the theatre, where the two guys who were bothering them are sitting. Here’s another pair of winners, one of them with the best mustache I have ever seen. Ricky proceeds to either beat up or kill the two off screen, with comical sound effects and popcorn flying thrown in for good measure.
The next day, Ricky and Jennifer are walking down the street. Watching Ricky spout out romantic lines is uncomfortable, like staring at a car accident. I honestly feel ashamed for him at certain points.
The two of them run into Chip, who is working on his car. Chip, who seems to have gotten his hair re-bleached since yesterday, starts bothering them, and gloats to Ricky about their past relationship. Obviously, what needs to be done in this situation is to put jumper cables in Chip’s mouth, and proceed to pump electricity into him until his eye sockets explode. Fortunately, Ricky is wise enough to know this, and goes ahead and does just that.
For some reason, this surprises Jennifer. She starts yelling at him, and telling him how much she hates him for doing that. “That”, you’ll recall, being violently murdering her ex-boyfriend in cold blood right in front of her. Of course, this causes Ricky to snap, and strangle Jennifer with a car antenna. All of this taking place in broad daylight, in the middle of the suburbs.
A police officer comes after Ricky, with gun drawn (and hat off center.) He threatens to shoot Ricky if Ricky doesn’t come along quietly. Instead of complying, Ricky takes the cop’s gun and shoots him in the head.
What follows this scene will go down in motion picture history. The upcoming events are, without a doubt, the greatest sequences ever captured on film. These next scenes are so important, that the proud crew who were filming this made sure to capture themselves, in order to be part of it:
Ricky takes the gun he stole from the police officer, and goes off on an absolutely unnecessary killing spree. He walks around the suburbs, shooting people at random. The first kill is a man running out of the house with beer in hand, to see what all the noise is outside.
What happens next is simply the best thing ever recorded, and it pains me that the full extent of its amazingness can’t be understood until it is actually seen.
We see a man taking out his garbage, the garbage can blocking the viewer from seeing Ricky. Apparently the man can’t see him either, due to the director’s complete lack of understanding of angles and perspective. Ricky simply shouts out, with no shortness of glee, “Garbage day!!!” The surprised man looks up, and is shot. This leads to Ricky giggling and laughing like a madman. Well I guess he actually is a madman, so it makes sense that he is laughing like one. This murder is the epitome of randomness, and the idea of it seems to have been made up on the spot.
What makes this situation odd is that the garbage gets picked up early; so if you were taking your garbage out that would mean it was very early in the morning. If so, why were Ricky and Jennifer on a date at approximately 7 AM? And why was the first victim drinking beer this early? Wow, white trash deluxe.
Ricky continues to walk around the neighborhood, laughing all the way. He spies a car driving down the road towards him, and starts firing at the car. The car spins out, and hits a ramp that is inexplicably placed at the side of the road. Ricky goes back to wandering around the neighborhood, alternating between striking a tough face, and grinning like a child. He also keeps looking at his gun and laughing, which I suppose is supposed to show he’s crazy with its power or something, but really just looks retarded.
Eventually he is stopped by a roadblock of cops (why the cops are set up in road block formation, when they’re chasing a man on foot is beyond me.) Ricky tries to kill himself, in order to avoid jail, but he has no more bullets in his gun.
The murder flashback ends, and we are now back in the institution, where Ricky is finishing telling the story of the Garbage Day. What we now see is that he strangled the doctor (who now looks exactly like Woody Allen) with recording tape. The doctor is quite pale by this point, which would indicate that he’s been dead for at least a little bit. Yet for some reason, Ricky is still in the room, rambling on. I guess once you start talking about Garbage Day, it really is quite hard to stop yourself.
Ricky then walks out the room, and apparently murders every single guard in the place, since he is able to escape. He later kills a Salvation Army Santa, and steals the costume. Where is he going, dressed up like this? Why, Mother Superior’s house! Mother Superior now has some sort of unexplained facial scarring, and is also played by a different actress than the Mother Superior of the first movie. Strangely enough, the actress who played the second Mother Superior was murdered in real life. No word on whether Eric Freeman was ever brought in as a suspect.
Ricky breaks into the house, and chases Mother Superior around. He takes quite a long time catching her, considering she is wheelchair bound, and he is a giant monster. He eventually corners her, and proceeds to chop her head off with an axe. Another example of the director’s scientific genius is that Ricky takes a fully downward swing with the axe, yet the head is severed sideways.
Since the detectives knew he was going after Mother Superior, they finally wind up at her house, along with one of the nuns from the old orphanage. They discover Mother Superior sitting in her chair, perfectly still. The nun goes over her to see if she’s alright, only to knock the previously removed head off her shoulders. Apparently Mother Superior had zero blood flowing through her, since absolutely no blood is ever spilled from her, despite the great damage done.
Ricky then attempts to kill the nun, but is shot by the detective. In the last shot of the movie, we see a grinning Ricky Caldwell breathe his last breath.
I’m somewhat ashamed of my inability to explain in words just how amazing this movie really is. The only way to truly know is to find out for yourself. Luckily, it can be yours for only a few dollars on eBay. That truly is the best value for your dollar you will ever get in your life.
Unfortunately, Eric Freeman’s acting career never took off. He appeared on an episode of “Just the Ten of Us” as well as “The Hogan Family.” For some reason, his role in SNDN2 was not enough to guarantee him superstardom in Hollywood.
There is no justice in this world, when a crime like that goes unpunished.