DECEMBER 19, 2007
You know, for years I bought into the belief that more than half of Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2 was recycled footage from the first film. Having only seen the film once, nearly 20 years ago, I couldn’t remember much other than it DID indeed have lots of “flashbacks”. Well, now that I’ve seen the film again, I can safely say “Fuck you” to them. For starters, the last bit of recycled footage ends before this film even REACHES its halfway point, and up until that point there is plenty of new footage mixed in with the old footage to boot. And Christ, even some of the “recycled” footage is actually new (the two people fucking in the orphanage, as well as a different actor playing young Ricky at the end of part 1). It’s still excessive, but wildly over-exaggerated nonetheless.
I WILL complain that the footage suffers from a cinematic pet peeve of mine: flashbacks from a character who wasn’t present when they occurred. Ricky (the brother of the killer from the first film) is the one telling these stories, and even if we assume that Billy, for some reason, told Ricky the story of his father being shot and his mother being sexually assaulted and stabbed on Christmas eve at some point, he certainly wouldn’t have been able to tell him about his exploits as the killer Santa, since Billy was shot and killed before ever speaking to Ricky again. And on top of that, these flashbacks also include scenes that Billy HIMSELF wasn’t even around to see. And they even try to explain this at first (Ricky says things like “Billy told me…”), but they give up after a while.
There are also some bizarre errors in the flashbacks. For example, Father O’Brien, the deaf priest who was shot in the first film after being mistaken for the killer, has become Kelsey the Janitor in this film? Why change that? A dead priest is way more crassly hilarious than a dead janitor. And why does Mother Superior look like she was burned when we are told she suffered a stroke? On the other hand, they also re-edit the antler scene in a manner that makes a hell of a lot more sense; making it seem that her boyfriend DOES hear the sound of her being thrown around and screaming. Nice work.
Also, at one point, Ricky goes to see Silent Night, Deadly Night, which defies pretty much all laws of cinematic physics. It’s one thing when the characters in H20 watch Scream (a film in which the characters watch Halloween), it’s another when a character goes to see the first film in his own series.
Hilariously enough, in addition to the 2 writers of the first film, there are FOUR credited writers with the story of this film, which is pretty astounding when the entire story of the new footage is “Ricky talks to a shrink, kills him, then goes and kills Mother Superior”. There are some other murders, including one committed by a “teen Ricky” who looks much older than the actor playing “older Ricky”. And, keeping with the series’ tradition, he looks absolutely nothing like any of the other actors who played the character – which totals about 6 at this point (7 if you count Bill Moseley, who played him in part 3). But these elements aren’t exactly story-heavy, amounting to nothing more than random killings; nothing that you’d need four people to come up with at any rate. Did each guy tackle a scene?
While nowhere near as awesome as the first, the sequel carries on the tradition of this reprehensible series pretty well, in my opinion. It’s just as ridiculous, mean-spirited, and downright wretched as the original, only less funny (“Garbage Day!” sequence aside). In fact, it almost seems at times that the filmmakers were trying to make the film too legitimate, what with diopter shots and lots of camera movement. Come on guys, no one is going to use this on their reel; just have some fun (i.e. kill more people for no reason).
What say you?