What can I say? I spent 5 nights watching a marathon of the Silent Night Deadly Night series while stringing popcorn for my tree.
Silent Night Deadly Night (1984)
The original Silent Night Deadly Night was so scandalous it was banned because it featured a killer Santa Claus…even though it was far from the first movie to do so. It was released just as slashers became most concerned with body counts rather than scares and atmosphere. It fits the bill.
After great 80s slasher music in the opening, we see a family get killed by a Santa on the side of the road. There’s some major boobage, as he feels the need to rip the mom’s blouse open before doing her in. Meanwhile, a baby in the back of the car survives and his brother, young Billy, hides in the woods.
The brothers end up in Saint Mary’s orphanage, where hard ass Mother Superior makes sure that we get the crucial message: sex is evil and thinking about it or witnessing it makes you a serial killer. She spanks Billy (there goes that fetish) and then ties him up in his bed (there goes another fetish).
10 years later, Billy gets a job at a toy store and becomes a store Santa. But Billy hates Santa! And adults are naughty. Adults must die. And they do. Plenty of gore and kills in this one, including Linnea Quigley looking for her pussy outside and letting Santa in instead. Santa gets her really horny (Correction. Those are antlers on which she’s impaled).
Billy has one ultimate goal. Mother superior must die.
There’s an awesome 80s new wave girl group Christmas song, but unfortunately, it was just recorded for the movie and has never been available on vinyl or CD.
Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2 (1987)
Remember the baby brother in the back of the car at the beginning of the first film? His name is Ricky and he’s back to avenge his brother Billy. He spends the first 40 minutes of this film recapping the first movie, so you pretty much get to watch it all over again in flashbacks. The question is, how does Ricky know all these details about his brother’s murdering spree? At least he does get some of the information wrong, which you’ll notice if you watch these two movies back to back.
Finally, after 40 minutes, we learn how Ricky was adopted, is scared of nuns, witnesses a girl getting assaulted by her boyfriend, and is then ready to kill those who are “Naughty!”
Silent Night Deadly Night 2: The Muscle Man Murders
There are some inventive kills with umbrellas and jumper cables, Muscular stud Ricky has a love affair, and eventually gets a gun and walks around town shooting people while laughing maniacally—although he sounds more like an asshole heckler at a comedy show.
The fact is, Mother Superior is still alive, and Ricky must kill her. The number of her home address is 666 and she’s a different actress, so her new look is explained away by the fact that she had a stroke. So why is her face all gnarly like she was burned?
The 80s hair in this installment is awesome.
Silent Night Deadly Night III: Better Watch Out! (1989)
Silent Night Deadly Night III: Better Watch Out combines numerous 80s slasher clichés. Chick has psychic link to killer. Killer escapes from mental institution. Killer holes kids up in house and stalks them one by one.
It’s basically Halloween 1 and 5 combined and set on Christmas Day. Ricky is back. He awakes from a coma and never bothers to take off the electrode hat on his head, which leaves us with a member of Devo chasing around a chick with psychic powers for an hour and a half.
Q: Is he not Devo? A: He is Moseley!
Robert Culp went from The Greatest American Hero to this. Richard Beymer went from lip-syncing “Something’s Coming” in the Oscar-winning West Side Story to this. Bill Moseley went from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 to replacing the actor from the second movie as Ricky in this.
The hottest thing about this sequel is the final girl’s heavy metal boyfriend with long curly hair, an awesome jean jacket, a furry chest, and the classic 80s one-liner: “Is it live or is it Memorex?” And to keep you in the spirit, Laura has a grandmother who looks exactly like Mrs. Claus.
Initiation: Silent Night Deadly Night 4 (1990)
Initiation: Silent Night Deadly Night 4 seems to want to take the series in the direction that was originally meant for the Halloween franchise beginning with part 3; instead of continuing the slasher story, they’d make a new, independent movie each year based around the holiday. It’s a great idea, but it never panned out for either.
Part 4 goes for the absolute gross out. It’s like Suspiria meets every disgusting bug movie you’ve ever seen (big and small bug movies), wrapped up in a big bow of lesbian man hate. Awesome. Also, the Christmas holiday is pretty much irrelevant and just white noise in the background.
Some reporter who looks like the lead chick from the TV show Suburgatory wants to investigate what appears to be a case of spontaneous combustion. Hey! That’s kind of like my own book Combustion, available in paperback now! And just as in Combustion, things aren’t always what they seem.
It needs a little Christmas, right this very minute….
To confuse matters, Clint Howard appears in the film as a character named Ricky. Any relation to Ricky, the guy who did all the killing in the last two films? No idea. But in this one, he’s homeless and part of a bizarre cult to purge women of the “parasite” that men plant in them.
As if all the slimy bugs in this one aren’t gross enough, Clint gets felt up by a bunch of hags during a ritual. Eek! It also gets a little uncomfortable when a young boy is to be sacrificed and the women rip his shirt open and begin touching him. Blech.
Parts of this film rock: the really bad cusp-of-the-90s fashions and Clint Howard watching Silent Night Deadly Night Part 3 on television. Also, Reggie Bannister makes a completely pointless cameo.
SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT 5: THE TOY MAKER (1991)
There will be no more toy maker to the king…because Mickey Rooney, our favorite Santa Claus from the likes of Santa Claus is Coming to Town and The Year Without a Santa Claus, sold himself to the devil to appear in Silent Night Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker.
Before Demonic Toys but after Puppet Master, this movie had a bunch of little toys going around killing at Christmas time. For no explicable reason, the chick from the 4th film appears as the same character with a very limited role, and Clint Howard also appears as Ricky in a cameo playing a store Santa. Is this supposed to signify that they got on with their lives after the events of the last film?
Anyway, Mickey Rooney owns a toy store, toys kill people, and we get a very Halloween 3: Season of the Witch ending.
Put one axe in front of the the other, and soon you’ll be chopping down the door.
Again, the early 90s fashions are like Saved by the Bell awesome (I forgot how popular leather jackets were right before grunge took over), and there seems to be an homage to the 4th film, with a toy worm-parasite crawling into some dude’s mouth. Oh…and the semi-incestuous toy sex at the conclusion is the only way they could have ended this series on a high note.
Here’s my video of loads of Christmas horror flicks you can check out: