You know, sometimes you just want to curl up and watch a nice holiday movie. And sometimes, you’re looking through the Wizard DVD library and you come across a Silent Night Deadly Night double feature and decide to watch it. And really, it was like Christmas coming early with how bad and funny these movies are.
The first one follows a boy through three stages of his life. As a youngster he goes to visit his grandpa in the asylum (there’s a car shot that looks like something out of Vacation for a moment). The old man’s supposed to be catatonic, but becomes animated as soon as the parents leave the kid in the room, talking about how Santa punishes the bad kids and only gives presents to the really good ones and then goes back to being a vegetable when the parents come back in (hilariously great scene, I’d watch this old man in anything). Anyway, on their way home that night a dude dressed as Santa kills his parents. Skip ahead a few years and the kid and his brother (who was a baby in the first sequence) are in an orphanage run by violent nuns who are really into the idea of punishing the naughty. And finally, the rest of the movie focuses on our star once he turns 18, goes crazy and starts killing people.
You see, after turning 18, he’s too old to be in the orphanage, so one of the nice nuns helps get him a job at a toy store. If you’re a toy fan, go rent this movie right now and just watch the toy store scenes. I recognized a few choice toys in the background, including a Jabba’s Palace playset from Jedi. Anyway, the kid gets forced to dress up as Santa (who he’s understandably afraid of), flips and goes around killing a bunch of people for being “naughty” which brings us up to 3 (four counting the sequel) horror movies in the past two weeks that have stayed with the killer as a main character for a good portion of the movie.
From there, our Santa clad killer goes on a bit of a spree. It’s pretty mindless, but I do have two favorite scenes from this part of the movie. In one sequence we cut to two kids sledding in the woods at night until two older bullies scare them off, steal their sleds and, well, go sledding. The first makes it down the short looking hill with no problems, but his buddy meets the sharp end of our killer’s axe as he jumps out of the woods from nowhere and beheads Bully #2. Apparently the hill’s a lot bigger than it looks as Bully #1 is at the bottom still waiting for his buddy to come sledding down, but all he gets is a rolling head and a decapitated body on the sled. It definitely comes off as the kind of scene where the writer just had a great idea for a kill even though it didn’t really make sense in the film. But hey, I loved it, so I’m not complaining.
My other favorite moment comes when our killer gets to the orphanage to wreak some havoc and for absolutely no reason cuts the head off of a snowman on the way. I wish I had been watching this movie with people because there’s all kinds of moments like that.
I dug the first one so much that I figured, why not pop the sequel on right away? Well, before I did, I did a little reading and found out that 2 is about 50% footage from the original with extra shots thrown in. The plot of this one follows the brother of the killer from the original. He’s in an asylum and some doctor guy is going over his case, which is where all the footage from the original comes in. I found myself fastwordarding through all that junk and stopping when we got back to our spectacuarly over the top main character and the doctor who, at times, had the same look of disbelief on his face as his co-star’s acting abilities as I did. My personal favorite part about these flashbacks is that not only is he remembering things that he wasn’t privy too (“My brother told me everything.”) but he’s also recounting scenes that neither he nor his brother saw first hand. Brilliant!
But there are also original flashbacks showing us that this guy is completely nuts on his own. The color red (especially in the form of a car) sets him off on crazy rampages. He even starts blasting away at random people in the streets for no reason. Haha, oh man. Anyway, as you’d expect, he kills the doctor and breaks out of the asylum to go back to the orphanage and wreck shop on the old lady Mother Superior who’s got a pretty gnarly scar on her face.
I highly recommend renting this bad boy as both movies are on opposite sides of the same disc. The original is a great over-the-top slasher flick with some pretty fun kills. And if you do rent it (or buy it, I’m looking for a copy of my own!) make sure to watch the sequel right afterward and just fast forward through all the recap stuff, it’ll be worth your while to see our leading man. Oh boy, is he a hoot.