Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 (1987)
WRITERS: Story by Lee Harry, Joseph E. Earle, Dennis Patterson, and Lawrence Applebaum
Screenplay by Lee Harry and Joseph E. Earl
DIRECTOR: Lee Harry
STARRING: Eric Freeman as Ricky Caldwell
James L. Newman as Dr. Henry Bloom
Elizabeth Cayton as Jennifer
Jean Miller as Mother Superior
Corinne Gelfan as Mrs. Rosenberg
Michael Combatti as Mr. Rosenberg
Kenneth Bryan James as Chip
Frank Novak as Loan Shark
Randy Baughman as Eddie
Joanne White as Paula
Nadya Wynd as Sister Mary
J. Aubrey Island as Orderly
Randy Post as Loudmouth in Theater
QUICK CUT: Crazy Billy's little brother is now all grown up with a new last name, and thanks to his brother being shot to death at his feet, he's just as screwed up. We get to hear all the gory details of his past craziness, as he sits in an interogation room and tells his tale to a psychiatrist.
Ricky Caldwell - He's big, he's violent, he's crazy, and has no redeeming qualities, unlike Billy. Ricky is almost a caricature, more than he is a character. As much as Billy was arguably a fully realised character with motivations and damage, Ricky is just a running joke.
Dr. Henry Bloom - Ricky's latest in a long line of psychiatrists trying to get to the root of his bucket of crazy. He's also not much of a character, and more there to serve the purpose of exposition, and driving Ricky to exposit. But since he's playing it straight, he comes off as more of an actual person, even if that's one without much personality.
THE GUTS: As the credits finish up, we see Silent But Deadly 2 is written and directed by the same guy. Somehow, that sounds like a good idea, but never works out, does it? It also doesn't help that there's a bunch of other writers in the kitchen.
Anyways, we see a guy in a small room, tapping his foot and smoking, while an orderly sets up recording equipment, and finally Dr. Bloom walks in to begin the interview with the subject.
The man in the suit introduces himself as Henry, or Doc. The other guy in the blue tells him to fuck off. Meet the new Ricky, ladies and gents! He's all grown up now, and a bit of a dick! His brother may have suffered his share of trauma, but at least before the murder spree, he was an ok guy.
Doc tells Ricky that time is running out for him, and we learn right off the bat that this Ricky? He is an overacting sociopath. By the end of this movie, he will not just have chewed the scenery, but eaten entire buildings. There is no room for subtlety here.
The orderly busts in at the commotion, and Doc tells him to buzz off, so he can get to the root of Ricky's problems. The orderly gives the fruitcake a warning, and Ricky just smirks back at him, smug and confident.
We get informed by some writing onscreen that this is December 24th as the session truly begins, and Doc asks Ricky who killed his parents, and if you've seen the first movie, or read my first review, you know the answer is Santa Claus.
If you haven't seen the original, don't worry. The movie will show it back to you in several minutes of reused footage from the first movie. On the upside, at least Ricky is adding some narration so there's SOMEthing new here.
Ricky's narration though is so obvious and annoying though. "It was nighttime by the time we turned." We can see that! "I don't know why my dad stopped. Actually, I do. Billy told me." ARGH. I'm not even ten minutes in, and I want to punch my face.
And we'll stop the reused footage timer at: Three minutes.
Doc asks how Ricky possibly could have remembered all that. Easy, he saw the movie like the rest of us! Or, Billy told him. LIKE HE JUST SAID TWO MINUTES AGO!
And after Ricky tells us how much he hated St. Mary's orphanage, it's back to more flashbacks! Gnnngh. Get used to this. And to say Christmas was the worst time of year, and brought out the worst in Billy...well, no shit. I know sequels sometimes have to recap for the newbies, but this is a serious abuse of power.
*squints* I THINK they snuck in some new footage of a young Ricky when Billy gets yelled at for watching the nunsex from the first movie.
Reused footage timer: Five more minutes.
I do like snapping back to Ricky while Billy gets the belt. That's an honest to goodness almost filmic trick. And yay, Doc is Ricky's thirteenth shrink. And it's Doc's lucky number! Bonus points! But they won't save you, movie, oh no.
And then...oh, and then, Ricky delivers one of the most hilarious line deliveries ever. Doc asks Ricky if he dreams, and in a halting deadpan that would make Ivan Drago wince, he forces out, "I. DON'T. SLEEP." Dude, calm down. Decaf is your friend. Seriously, that line alone is worth the price of admission.
But that gives us our entry into another flashback, this time where Billy was tied down to the bed, having his nightmares. At least they got to reshow punching Santa again!
Reused footage timer: Two more minutes.
Doc says they should jump ahead, which is a good thing, since the previous movie didn't show anything for the next ten years! Yes, this brings us up to Billy being 18, having to go out on his own, and back to work at Ira's Toys.
Should I even question how Ricky knows THIS part of the story? Did Billy call up his kid brother and tell him he was playing Santa before he went on his rampage? Or did that come after? Sure, he'd know that his brother became Santa for work, but all these details? I'm a little dubious.
Reused footage timer: SIX minutes!
After we see Billy's toy store rampage again, which I honestly can't complain about TOO much, it's back to Ricky, who places all the blame on Mother Superior, saying she made him do it. While she helped warp...er, mold Billy the Kid's mind, I'd hardly say she's to blame.
But then we go straight back into flashback territory so Linnea Quigley's breasts can guest star some more, and Ricky tells us about Billy hunting down the naughty to punish them like a good Santa.
Ok, I call total bullshit on Ricky knowing about the kid's dad almost getting shot by the cops! And even trying to force that into this movie!
Reused footage timer: Seven! SEVEN more minutes! Burn in hell, movie.
Back in this movie for a moment, Doc says it was fairly obvious Billy was going back to the orphanage in the first movie. I don't really see how it was obvious, other than from a purely scriptwriting standpoint with no real facts other than hunches to back it up. But I digress.
Ricky says if it was so obvious, maybe we're just jerking off going over all this stuff. Oh, you do NOT want to get me started, movie!
Some other nice moments of intercutting between Ricky now reenacting the moment of the wrong Santa getting shot, and seeing how he reacted to the moment. Some almost nice acting here, but it's still stiff and over the top.
Really movie, we do not need to see the entirety of Deputy Dog's search for Ricky in the basement. Really. Sigh.
Reused footage timer: ANOTHER six minutes.
And the flashback goes weird as instead of cutting to the actual Ricky from the end of #1, we see New Ricky telling the Mother Superior that she's the naughty one, showing us that the terror will continue.
We are now 40 minutes into this movie, we reached the end of the first movie, can something PLEASE finally happen here? Before *I* start going on a killing spree??
Ricky tells us the orphange closed, but they were able to find him a nice family, the Rosenbergs. You know, putting him in a Jewish family? NOT a terrible idea. I feel sorry for poor Willow, though.
Wait wait, what? Why is this flashing back again? The first movie was ended! NOOOO make it stop! It's even making up its own flashbacks now!
Sigh. Well, if we must continue to flashback...
Young Ricky is out with his adoptive mom one day, sees some nuns coming towards him, and he begins to hear the most ominous music that sounds like it was left on the edit bay floor from The Omen. Great. What's black and white, and red all over? Ricky's nightmares.
And then he sees a swatch of red fabric pass by, and like an enraged bull, he flips out and has flashes back to the first movie. AGAIN. At least these are only seizure inducing slivers.
We see the Rosenbergs with the nuns, debating giving the kid back, but they ultimately decide not to. So, that was pointless. But once his stepdad died five years later, something in Ricky changed. Somehow, he was mostly normal up until that point. Despite everything we've already been told. And no, we don't find out what it was about Mr. Rosenberg's passing that pushed Ricky over the edge.
Ricky wanders off into the woods, and finds some lovers on a picnic. The guy tries to force himself on his girl, not getting that no means no, and trigger still more flashbacks to the original movie. Damnit movie, tell your own damned story!
If you've been paying attention, you can probably figure out that this is just the sort of trigger event Ricky needed, much like Billy with his friends making out in the backroom.
The guy walks over to his Jeep, walks around it, hears it start up, the horn honk, he looks INTO the Jeep, and somehow does not see Ricky sitting there grinning maniacally as he runs the sap over. This guy must be related to Linnea's boyfriend.
The death gets more awesome as Ricky keeps driving back and forth over the corpse. Heehee. And the girl thanks the psychotic total stranger! And they make way too much of a deal that it was a red Jeep.
And so Ricky's flashbacks reach the age of 18, and we learn about him getting his first job. Rather than the insane idea of sending this damaged by Christmas kid to work in a toy store, at least he's at the relatively safe job of cleaning up hotel kitchens.
Or it would be fine, if Ricky didn't run into a shake down outside. Even that was going ok, until! THE LOAN SHARK WHIPPED OUT A RED CLOTH! NOOOOO!
Ricky hoists the guy up by his collar, much like his brother before him, and I love that the guy punches Ricky in the face. Over and over and over again. To absolutely zero effect.
He sees an umbrella nearby that just so happens to be Santa's colours, and Ricky uses it to impale the guy through the gut. But it gets better. Oh boy does it.
And in an instant, it turns into a torrential downpouring monsoon outside. Well, at least the guy's corpse will remain dry.
Doc asks about someone named Jennifer, and Ricky decides he's done talking. YAY! Movie's over, let's go...aww, no he's not. He starts talking all over again when he sees a picture of the girl. So close to getting out of this. On the upside, Ricky almost shows an expression that isn't impotent rage.
So we're back into flashback land, with Ricky looking like the Fonz's loser cousin, and Jennifer literally bumping into his motorcycle with her car.
We get treated to their whirlwind romance in about five minutes of riding around on his bike, and sex, and finally see them in a movie theatre. With Ricky in a too tight shirt.
In the back of the theatre is just the kind of cretin we all know and loathe to have watching a movie with us, a smartass who won't shut up and won't stop making fun of the movie.
Uhhh...I do this in the privacy of my own home, I am exempt from my own criticism!
And remember my joke about the movie their watching? Well actually the movie they're watching is the original! They even show the holdup from the start of the first movie, where the guy that KILLS RICKY'S PARENTS blows away the clerk.
I...this...Uh. This raises too many questions, and my head is about to explode. Moving on.
Thanks to the obnoxious guy in the back, Ricky grunts out, "Punish!" like the neanderthal he is, and stalks off, while Jennifer continues to watch the previous movie. It keeps going! The hell?? Will she see Ricky's parents die? Why is this Ouroborous of a movie eating its own tail?!
With Ricky off chatting with Frank Castle, some blonde loser named Chip pops up behind Jennifer, and we learn she's one of his former lovers. This revelation would have meant a ton more, if Ricky hadn't blown it five minutes ago.
Ricky finally returns next to the dick in the back row, calls him naughty, and we just hear a huurk! off screen, and a struggle in the dark. Ok, that was funny.
And then he appears next to Jennifer once Chip buggers off, and she's ready to leave too. But Ricky's getting into the movie. But he just saw his parents die! This is not right. Head hurt...
Later, the happy couple are walking around, and run back into Chip, and his red car. Chip spills the beans about his past relationship with Jennifer, and you can see the steam starting to roil from Ricky's ears. And in this movie, at this point, it would not surprise me if they actually did that.
We pretty much enter non-stop carnage time from here on out. And it is GREAT!!
And then comes another surprising moment of awesome, as Ricky...well, Ricky is Ricky. He grabs Chip by the throat, attaches a jumper cable to his tongue, and cranks the voltage.
The hits just keep on coming, as Jennifer flips out, as one does when a murder happens right in front of them. This was probably the worst day she could have picked to dress like a nun and yell at her boyfriend with nun issues. He grunts PUNISH again like he's Bane, leaps to his feet, and she lets out the most hilarious little "Uh oh!" before trying to run off.
She doesn't make it very far though, as Ricky grabs the antenna from Chip's car, snaps it off, and uses it to strangle his ex-girlfriend with. This is why you should always be honest about past relationships.
A cop leaps up from behind a car, pointing his gun at Ricky. The guy looks like more of a goober than Deputy Dog in the last movie. This should be fun.
The cop gets right in Ricky's face with the gun, and Big McLargehuge grabs the gun and turns it on its owner, blowing a hole through his head. Ahh, the wanton body count is truly glorious.
Now, all this is happening on a populated street, and someone FINALLY comes outside to see what the crap is going on. And Ricky stops cackling maniacially long enough to shoot him in the face too.
Ahhh, and then we reach a point of infamy. If you've never seen this movie, the odds are still good that you have seen the following scene, where Ricky pulls the gun on a guy taking out the trash. Oh yes, this is where "GARBAGE DAY!" comes from. You wouldn't know it from the scene, since there are freaking palm trees all around, not a hint of snow, or Christmas decorations, or any hint to show this is a holiday movie. But this is where it comes from. And this is, quite frankly, not the worst part of this movie. It is certainly WTF inducing, though.
Next, a car rushes down the street, innocently driving, but IT IS RED and must be killed. So Ricky shoots the car, it flips over, and bursts into flames. As cars are wont to do in Hollywood.
The cops finally decide that Ricky cackling like a madman for the last five minutes is enough, and arrive to stop his carnage. Yeah, right.
Ricky puts the gun to his head, which makes the cops all shout at him to not take his life. I just can't take them seriously when the whole lot of them were going to shoot him full of lead not two seconds earlier. Don't kill yourself, let US do it! But sadly, Ricky is out of bullets, and the gun only clicks. Damn, that would have saved us another twenty minutes.
And that's how we got to the start of the movie, with a few dozen psychiatrists between then and Doc Henry. Oh, and he's dead now too, strangled with the tape he was recording the conversation with. Oh well. At least he's free of this movie now.
Ricky wanders off to take care of the person to blame, the same one Billy blamed the first time around, Mother Superior. But since she lives alone now after the orphanage closed, and she had a stroke, the cops don't think THAT will happen. He hasn't shown any resourcefulness at all, he won't possibly be able to find her!!
He mugs a poor Santa, steals his costume, calls up Mother to let her know Santa's back, and continues on his cackling way. Ricky has had more laughter than actual lines for the past 15 minutes, I think.
Rather than just get to Ricky showing up to kill the head nun, they make us see him get the costume, make the call, watch her wheel around for a bit...but then again, this movie has practically redefined pointless padding, so should I really be THAT surprised here?
And they pad it out further by walking him up to the house, watching him smash a Santa toy, oh and there's kids playing too. Ugh, get on with it! This movie could have ended 30 minutes ago!
FINALLY Ricky finishes the slowest walk up a front walk, and axes through the nun's door to get to the latch, and uh...her address is 666? Really? Still, probably the least odd thing from the past 20 minutes.
Ricky's already over the top acting hits overdrive as he cackles and grumbles his way to his victim, trying to be threatening, but just making me laugh. He's like the kid that tries to sound tough, but still sounds like a dorky kid. Which makes sense, in a weird way. But completely undercuts his threatening nature.
With his axe embedded in an upstairs door, the nun barricades and locks the door which...makes zero sense when you've got the axe staring you in the face. Unsurprisingly, the lock does nothing, since Ricky just bashes through the balsa wood.
But Mother Superior somehow manages to avoid him long enough, which becomes easier once he starts smashing up any Christmasy items nearby, in a frenzy. Because this movie has to drag this scene out for another five minutes.
He slowly walks down the hall towards her, she slowly rolls away, he slowly raises the axe and, well...
But even that can't be the end of it. Mother Superior falls out of her chair and, what's black and white, black and white, black and white, black and white? Mother Superior falling down stairs! And Ricky makes sure that we know he's REALLY mad now. Before, he was just ducky.
She gets into another chair, finds a weapon, and the two finally face off. Again. She tells Ricky that she is his mother superior, and she raised him from a child...yeah, bang up job you did there.
Once again, the axe gets raised, but the movie totally blocks any sort of release by cutting away at the last second. Come ON. This movie is a worse tease than the girls I knew in high school.
The cops finally arrive with Sister Margaret, and they check on Mother Superior. When they touch her, the old bat's head falls off to the floor. Because beheading someone leaves zero traces of blood.
Ricky turns to the police with his axe held high, and gets shot repeatedly in the chest. And I toss confetti everywhere. At least they got the right Santa first try this time.
But the pointlessness isn't done yet! Because that could have and should have been the end of this turkey. But no, the sister has to turn her head over and see Superior's head laying next to her, causing her to scream. For no reason other than to get another scream in the movie. Ricky's eyes flitter open at that, he gives a tiny smile, and there is a sudden shot of the arm of a Santa stabbing at the camera.
Which I think is another stolen shot from the first movie. Why should this movie end any differently than the rest of it?
Video: You will be happy to know that every inch of new footage looks just fine, and the reused footage looks just as good as the last time. Clear images with the right amount of grit for the time period. The thing I have the least complaints about with this movie.
Audio: Another ok mix, albeit stereo. It's good for 2.1, and everything sounds fine.
Features: A hilarious commentary with the director and Doc. Momentarily insightful, and they start MST3King it at times, even mentioning that show. It's nothing if not entertaining. They lament not finding him, and I concur that I wish Ricky had been there too.
Sound Bite: "Are you in a hurry, Doc? Am I wasting your valuable time?" No, Ricky. Just mine
First Blood: First body attributable to this movie is a whopping 49 minutes in thanks to all the reused footage. That would be Ricky killing the boyfriend with his Jeep.
Best Corpse: So, so many choices. I have to go with Chip's electrified head.
Blood Type - C: Not a lot of blood itself, once again, but some good effects on a budget. Could have been better though, and bloodier. Especially with the sheer number of bodies.
Sex Appeal: Linnea Quigley once again! And Jennifer showing some skin, along with Ricky, when they have sex.
Movie Rating: Oh, sweet Craven where to begin? First off, 29 minutes of footage from the original movie, probably closer to 30 thanks to the movie in the movie, is a serious breach of goodwill. That's over a third of the entire movie. But even leaving that aside, Ricky is a non-character. You don't care about him. His backstory is laughable. And his current story is even more laughable. And he laughs right along with you. There is no plot here beyond an hour of talking about the past, and thirty minutes of stalking around shooting and axing people. This is not a movie, this is a massacre. All that said, there is actually some good editing and use of that old footage. It's egregious to the extent they used it, but it was slipped in well, and had some good intercutting and mirroring between the old and new. But that is no excuse. This movie gets two out of five minutes of flashbacks, and only for some creative editing.
Entertainment Value: This...this may be the single greatest experience ever. You will not be able to look away from the 90 minutes straight of WTF?? What the hell happened with this movie?? This is such an obvious cash grab with no budget, they had to use the last movie to pad a third of this one! Make it a drinking game; see old footage, take a drink! And Ricky is HILARIOUS. He doesn't so much overact as he just stumbles from one scene to the next looking like he needs to take a crap. Every line out of his mouth is pure comedy gold. If you want to see the dumbest movie ever that will crack your shit up every minute it's going, you can not miss this one. Five out of five umbrellas. A Triskaidekafiles must see.