FINAL GIRL explores the slasher flicks of the '70s and '80s...and all the other horror movies I feel like talking about, too. This is life on the EDGE, so beware yon spoilers!

Dec 30, 2005


Despite the fact that the Christmas holiday has come and gone, and despite the fact that fine folks everywhere will tell you expressly not to do it, I went ahead and flipped over the Silent Night, Deadly Night DVD in order to watch the sequel, Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 (1987)! Yes, you read that right. I'm a daredevil, what can I say? I watched the movie...and I liked it. Nay, I loved it. I liked it so much more than I did the first flick, because Part 2 just hurts so good.

In fact, you could just skip watching Part 1 altogether, because ample footage from it comprises Part 2, making up about a third of the film's runtime. While the ending of Silent Night, Deadly Night clearly laid the groundwork for a sequel, the budget for Part 2 was a mere $250,000! Director/Editor Lee Harry worked within these constraints by creating a story wherein he could recycle almost the entire first film. If you've seen Silent Night, Deadly Night, it makes the first 45 minutes of Part 2 pretty dull, because you've seen it all before, literally.

At some mental hospital somewhere, Ricky (little brother of the murderous Billy from SNDN 1) is having a session with his doctor. Ricky is nothing but sullen attitude as he smokes cigarettes, calls the doctor "Doc", and, when asked a questions, quips- "Hey, it's your dime!". When prompted, Ricky recounts all the incidents from SNDN 1- and when I say 'all', I mean all. We get flashbacks to the orphanage, to Billy's stint at the toystore, to Linnea Quigley's pooltable boffing, to the headless sledder- I mean pretty much the entire movie. Which begs the question, how does Ricky know all this stuff? While Billy was out doing his thing (read: killing people while dressed as Santa Claus), Ricky was just a wee lad at the orphanage. And just how, the doctor asks, does Ricky know who killed his parents? He was, after all, just a squealing infant in a car seat at the time. "Because," Ricky answers, "I was there". Ah, I see. That explains it quite nicely, doesn't it?

"What do you dream about, Ricky?"
"I. Don't. Sleep."

The orphanage run by Evil Mother Superior was eventually closed down, and the children were finally placed with families. Ricky wound up with a nice Jewish family, the Rosenbergs, which would ensure that he'd have no Christmas-related mania as he grew up. Or so you'd think! It turns out, though, that any sighting of the color red is enough to get Ricky going. Whereas Billy's rage was triggered by Santa, Christmas, and boobs, Ricky freaks out when he sees red. Hey! He sees red when he sees red! That's deep.

Anyway, when Ricky was in his late teens, he was out for a lovely stroll through some fields, having a little "me time". There in the field, atop a blanket, lie Plain Girl and Aggressive Guy, making out. Ricky decides "me time" includes voyeurism and watches them from behind a bush. Aggressive Guy is being, well, aggressive, wanting Plain Girl to give in to his advances. She refuses, and Ricky has a flashback to Bad Santa atop his mom in the road that night so long ago, smacking her in the face. Ricky is not pleased! Naughty! Aggressive Guy gives up his carnal quest for a moment and heads back to his Jeep for another beer. His red Jeep. Put one and one together, and suddenly you have Ricky behind the wheel of said Jeep, running over Aggressive Guy repeatedly- back and forth, back and forth, squish squish. Plain Girl sees this and she doesn't scream, she doesn't run away...instead, she simply says thank you. Great job, Ricky- way to go!

Now that Ricky's got his first killing under his belt, the movie starts to pick up steam. It's all told in flashback because he's still recounting all this to his doctor, but at least the flashbacks are new material. It's the little things, you know? Ricky grew up and started life on his own, working in a restaurant as a busboy. One night, while taking out the trash, he comes upon a tough beating up some poor sap who owes him money. When the beating is complete, the tough guy wipes his hands...with a red handkerchief! Ricky has become some kind of avenger now, and when the red hanky sets him off, he picks up an umbrella from a garbage can for a little justice...Mary Poppins style.

Ohhhh yeah.

Ricky then tells us the story of his girlfriend, Jennifer. She was just wonderful and amazing and sweet and innocent! She and Ricky would go to the movies (where, somehow, Silent Night, Deadly Night is playing...), have sex, you know- they were just a young couple like any other. One day, they run into Jennifer's obnoxious ex-boyfriend Chip. Chip starts mouthing off to Ricky, talking about how he and Jennifer used to like to do it in the back of his car...the car he's working on right here and now...his red car...! Well, you know what Ricky's gonna do, right? Right! And with the help of some dazzling special effects, we get a crispified Chip. ZZZAP!

Oh, and in case you didn't know, by "do it", I meant "make sweet, sweet love".

Now, unlike Plain Girl, who was grateful for Ricky's...murderous forthrightness, Jennifer is a little put-off by the electrocution of her ex-boyfriend. She shouts "Are you crazy? I hate you!" at him...sheesh. "I hate you"? Women. They can just turn on a dime! Well, Ricky doesn't take kindly to this. He gets all mean-looking, and yells "PUNISH!" which Jennifer replies, literally..."Uh oh.". She says uh oh and swallows a big gulp, I fucking kid you not. Let that sink in for a second.
There. Ricky takes care of Jennifer with the broken-off antenna from the Chipmobile, and once again he's single and ready to mingle.

Poor Jennifer! Ricky might not have been so cranky if he'd only had access to corrective eyewear.

It turns out that a cop saw all this double-homicide action, but when he tries to arrest Ricky, the cop ends up shot in the forehead with his own service revolver...and now Ricky has a gun. He struts down the street, blowing away anyone who even looks at him. One poor guy, just taking out his trash like any other suburbanite, gets blown away after Ricky proclaims, all eyebrows-a-twitchin', "Garbage Daaaay!". Wow. I really, really love this movie.

Eventually, Ricky's rampage ends when he's stopped by some cops at a roadblock. He tries to shoot himself, but alas- he's out of bullets...and so, he ends up at the mental institution! And thus we come back to the here and now, where we find out that Ricky has somehow killed his shrink and escaped the asylum! He knows who's to blame for his problems...who's at the root of it's Evil Mother Superior! That's right, good ol' Evil Mother Superior- and Ricky's a-comin' to settle the score.

After the orphanage closed, Evil Mother Superior 'retired' and is living out her days alone, just like she deserves. At some point, she suffered a stroke, which for some reason has left her looking like Two-Face:

Can a stroke do that to a person? I had no idea.

Anyway, Ricky kills a Sally Army Santa and takes his costume. Despite having had no contact with her in a good 10 years, he knows how to locate Evil Mother Superior immediately and rings her up: "Santa's back!". He finds her house, chases her around with an axe, and manages to lop her head off before he's pumped full of lead by the cops. But Ricky's not dead...and we know this because he turns to the camera and smiles. You know I love it when movies end this way, so I was happy indeed.

Much of the fun in Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 comes from watching Eric Freeman as the adult Ricky. He overacts gloriously throughout the entire movie, and his performance had me rewinding the DVD on several occasions. I mean, look at these scary psychotic faces if you need any more proof!

This movie just plain rocks. It's terrible, from the acting to the bloodless murders to the plot to the countless flashbacks, and I just fucking loved it. How about these lines, uttered by Ricky as a segue to yet another flashback: "I don't know what happened. Actually, I do know what happened."

If you don't want to watch a movie with lines like that, well then I guess I just have to hate you. A sequel better than its predecessor! I give this flick 8 out of 10 bumpy, stroke-riddled faces!


Des said...

damn! that's one mean stroke!

Des said...

But have you seen "Silent Night, BLOODY Night"? John Carradine Rocks!

Stacie Ponder said...

I have seen it, but not in a while. I loves me some John Carradine!

Anonymous said...

I got the double DVD for Christmas and I flipped out over part 2! I instantly loved it because I got to fast forward through so much of it, but it is equally amazing once it actually shows new footage. That actor ought to work more. My favorite exchange is when the doctor says about Ricky's emotions, "Let it out," and Ricky answers, simultaneously seductive and surly in a straight to the camera extreme close up, "Here. It. Comes."

Stacie Ponder said...

Ha! I love the lines he just sort of punches out.
"I. Don't. Sleep."
There's SO many great lines in this movie, it was so much fun...

"Lets go, start the movie! Movie, movie, movie!"

"You tend to get paranoid, when everyone around you gets dead."

"I THINK you'll enjoy this...sounded like a squirrel getting his nuts squeezed."

I love this movie, and I'd watch anything just for Eric Freeman!

Thanks4theadd said...

SNDN2, as I'm sure the fan community that exists for it somewhere must call it, is one of my favorites ever and I didn't know it was on DVD - thanks! If you haven't gotten around to 976-EVIL, run don't walk

Anonymous said...

She looks more like Mel Gibson in "Man Without a Face".

Of course, wasn't Pamela in the last movie NOT grateful for being saved from that greasy douchebag who tried to rape her?

And from what I've read, the sequels kept getting ludicrous and ludicrous...