Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 (1987)


*. In my notes on the original Silent Night, Deadly Night I tried to argue that it really wasn’t all bad. I won’t extend the same charity to this title.
*. This is one of the worst movies ever made, a true disaster right from the start.
*. As you probably already know if you’re reading this, a huge chunk of the movie, I would guess about a third of the total running time, consists of flashbacks to the first film. And what’s left doesn’t exactly trip along at a quick pace. Notice how long they stretch that opening credit sequence out for, as the orderly sets up the tape machine. And then at the end two sets of closing credits crawl by (for both this film and the first).


*. How did this happen? Because originally the idea was to just re-cut the first movie and re-release it in a new version. But instead the people who had been approached to do the edit decided to make a sequel that would incorporate all the best parts from the first film because they had almost no budget to shoot new material.
*. From such clumsy and inauspicious beginnings things fell apart completely. There is no evidence of talent in any department: writing, acting, directing, or production design. Indeed, there’s no evidence that anyone involved even cared. On the commentary the writer and director mention “winking and smiling” from the moment they set pen to paper, and as the commentary continues it becomes clear that they thought the entire project a joke. Which actually helps.


*. Eric Freeman’s performance is notable mostly for the workout he gives his eyebrows. But let’s face it, with this script he was doomed anyway. “You’re good, Doc. You know all the moves. But I could squash you like a bug.” “Mother Superior! I’ve got a present for you!” “Naughty this!”
*. So young psycho Ricky first honks the horn of the jeep, then starts the engine, then puts it into gear, and then drives his victim over, all while said victim just stands there in front of the jeep waiting for him to do it. Come on.
*. There are only two moments, lasting maybe six seconds in total, that I thought any good at all. Spearing the loan collector with an umbrella and then having it pop open on the other side was creative. And, of course, “garbage day!” is a classic bit of nonsense that has gone on to become a popular Internet meme.


*. So there you have it. I think this one belongs on a very short list of worst movies ever. And it’s often so bad it’s pretty good. What lets it down in this regard is the amount of flashback material in the first half, which sits like a pig in a python. If they’d only had the opportunity to shoot more of their own material they could have made it even better/worse.


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