SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT (1984) is widely acknowledged as the apex of hyper-controversial, highly entertaining slasher trash film-making with (for the time) a shocking amount of graphic gore, the likes of which the FRIDAY THE 13th series couldn't even consider trying to pull off due to Jack Valenti's permanent stink-eye. Likewise SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT PART 2 (1987) is widely acknowledged as the nadir of cheap, shoddy sequels that are simply using the popularity of the original to make some quick cash. Granted all sequels are, to some extent, using the popularity of the original, but actually have a well-conceived story to tell of their own. Sequels such as PSYCHO II (1984) continue the storyline in a fresh way without besmirching the memory of the original, where as BOOGEYMAN II (1983)... well, that's a horror of a different kind. This sequel, however, is off in its own little doped-up world of odd.
Apparently after being shot (six times?) to death at the end of PART 2, Ricky went into a coma, was put on life-support. His brain was reconstructed by Newbury, who defends his actions by saying that he is saving lives but actually has some sort of agenda (insert evil laugh here). Newbury's brain reconstruction involves a see-through glass dome over Ricky's brain, complete with plenty of Kool-aide in case it gets thirsty (I'm just speculating on that last part). Newbury believes that Laura is psychic and has been using her to psychically connect to Ricky in his coma via several machines that go "bing". Since this is the holiday season, they need to break away from their experiments so that Laura can go celebrate Christmas with her grandparents in Piru. No, not Peru, but Piru, CA. As in "yes, we have oranges", "population: less than 1000" (at the time) and "film permits are really cheap here". Laura, who is one sassy blind chick - working blue with a variety of bad jokes including one about masturbation, heads out to Piru with her meathead brother (Eric DaRe) and his girlfriend (Laura Harring). They are, of course, completely fucked. Because they will soon have a serial killer after them? No. Because Laura decides the best way to get to Piru during the holidays is by taking the 101 freeway. Talk about the blind leading the freakin' stupid! Even Little Red Riding Hood knew to take a shortcut to Grandma's house to avoid traffic. At least, Stan Freberg said she did.
|How does that Terry Jones song go?|
Never be rude to a killer?
Hot on his trail is top cop Lt. Connely (Robert Culp) who, with the help of the Doc, must figure out where Laura is headed. The Doc suggests that it might be Piru, but then is flummoxed by the fact that Piru is so large that she could be anywhere! How to narrow it down? The doc mentions that Linda said something about Grandma giving her oranges (Really? In Piru?), so she must be at an orange grower's! Ok, let's index all of the orange growers in Ventura County until we find some connection. Real policework in action. Yeah, Ricky's got all night to waste these chumps.
Of course Ricky gets to Grandma's house before Laura and a game of cat and one blind mice begins, with a special twist that feels less December 25th and more like October 31st.
|Mmmm... someone had sausages for dinner!|
So many questions, so few answers, but that's it's what makes this movie so much more than it seems to be at first glance. Sure they could have used just a touch more gore. Sure they could have done some really weird and interesting stuff with some of the groundwork they laid out. For instance, Ricky can telepathically "see" what Laura is seeing. I know, it's been done before. The catch here is - Laura is blind! WtF? Inspite of it's faults, or maybe because of them, this might actually be the best SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT sequel... so far.