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!

Sep 12, 2013


A psychotic killer lies in a coma for six years, his exposed brain encased in a nifty liquid-filled Plexiglass cap. A psychic blind orphan connects with him in her dreams, awakening him. The Christmas holiday awakens his rage.

HOW CAN THIS MOVIE NOT BE 100% AWESOME? Man, if something with that kind of set up like that turns out to be a massive disappointment, then what can we really believe in anymore? Dear Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out!, you have stolen my childlike innocence and belief in the magic of ludicrous horror movie plotlines.

I know...I know. This couldn't fail- it sounds like pure magic! While Eric Freeman and His Fabulous Eyebrows of Acting don't return as SNDN Part 2's nutcake Ricky, the mantle is picked up by horror mainstay Bill Moseley. Bill Moseley in a brain hat! You can't lose.

Except that you can lose, and you can lose hard. Here are some ways you can tank your delightful concept:
  1. Be boring, oh so boring. (Be mostly scenes of talking heads. Be sure that the talking heads talk as monotonously as possible.) 
  2. Make your killer walk at the pace of a Romero Shufflin' Zombie. Have the entire affair and all action within wrapped in a cinematic shawl of lethargy that makes everything seem like a slo-mo rehearsal runthrough.
  3. Make your lead character a dull, unlikable bitch played by an actress who's really bad at that whole "blind" thing.
Okay, I guess I can't say "at all", because Silent Night, Deadly Night 3 has a few bright spots a-shinin' through the murk, such as "grammy" appearing to our heroine in a sort of dream. As she shucks peas (or whatever you do with peas), she gets all Obi-Wan Kenobi and tells Laura to use her powers and concentrate if she wants to defeat Ricky.

Then there's the moment Laura's brother spouts one of those infamous "cool lines" before taking a shot at Ricky. Here's his movie hero cool line:

"Is it live? Or is it Memorex?" 

Even if Memorex were still running those famous ads for The Power of Cassette wouldn't make any sense.

Then you've got the image of Ricky hitchhiking along the 101 freeway in his hospital johnnie and brain hat annnnd...that's about it. Robert Culp appears, probably just to collect enough money for a mortgage payment. Laura Harring (billed as Laura "Herring"), in her first film role, takes her top off and makes me wonder why I'm not watching Mulholland Dr. instead.

Oh well, I guess they can't all be gems, can they? Even if I live for another 150 years, I'll always wonder how the filmmakers took such a craptacular concept and managed to just make plain ol' crap. Naughty! But, I can take solace in that Part 4 has to be better, right? Right? It must be. Ah, that's it: childlike innocence restored. In your face, Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out! can't keep me down!

1 comment:

David Robson, Proprietor, House of Sparrows said...

I reviewed the thing several years ago, and liked it a lot more than you did. But I was prepared for the null/void hijinks. I've seen more of Monte Hellman's work since writing this, and I'm eager to revisit it. I would agree that it fails as a straight up slasher movie, but that's what I kinda dig about it.

My take, if you're interested: