The 25 Slays of Christmas – 7 – “Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 (1987)”

http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0093974/

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http://youtu.be/vJe_re68IRI

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You might be wondering why I have the sequel on here and not the original “classic”. Well, for one thing this one is about 50% flashbacks of the original movie and is essentially a “best of” in that sense. Additionally, the new stuff in this one is hysterical and a much more entertaining film, including the Internet classic “Garbage Day” line. Re-watching this one made me go out and buy the recently released 2 disc DVD of both movies. I’m not usually one for DVD commentaries, but this is one I’d definitely like to hear !

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The first SNDN was about a boy who sees his parents murdered by a man dressed as Santa Claus. He’s sent to an orphanage run by the extremely strict Mother Superior. After years of torment he grows up and receives a job at a toy store. When he’s asked to dress as Santa and witnesses a potential rape, he snaps and begins dispatching “naughty” people on his way to exact revenge on Mother Superior. This sequel sees his (now grown up) brother relating this story to a psychiatrist while in an institution. Eventually he escapes and sets off to finish what his brother started.

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Now, technically this is a pretty bad movie. It doesn’t really have anyone of note (apart from archival footage of Linnea Quigley from the first film) and the producers decided to cast Eric Freeman in the main role rather than going with a better actor who had more experience. They chose Freeman for his looks (such as they are) and we all reap the benefits of his amazingly over the top performance. Freeman has since disappeared, despite attempts by fans to track him down. At least we’ll always have this gem of a movie to remember him by.

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Although the original is arguably the best known of the series, there are actually 5 SNDN movies in total. The third carries on the story of Ricky (played by the much more capable Bill Moseley of Devils Rejects and TCM 2 fame) but does not feature him in a Santa suit at any point (sadly). 4 is completely unrelated and involves killer bugs, 5 stars Mickey Rooney as a crazed Toymaker. I initially bought the 3-5 DVD set that Lions Gate released a few years back, but after suffering through part 3 I gave up and sold it. 1+2 (but mostly 2) are really all you need.

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I suppose it takes a certain atmosphere to really appreciate this viewing experience. Freeman’s over the top performance is amazing though, and it really would have been a drag to see someone “better” playing it straight. Nearly every line of his is deliciously laughable, and I couldn’t imagine a Christmas Horror list without this stunning classic. Again, I use the term “classic” somewhat loosely, but if you can’t watch this one and enjoy it for what it is, well, maybe your heart is 2 sizes too small !!

Nah, I’m just kidding, you’re alright.

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