Franchise Review: Silent Night, Deadly Night: Part 2

The now-adult Ricky talks to a psychiatrist about how he became a murderer after his brother, Billy, died, which leads back to Mother Superior.

Here we are with the highly anticipated sequel “Silent Night, Deadly Night: Part 2”.

After how much enjoyment I had watching the first film I was really looking forward to this, I know a lot of people were wondering where the story would go next, as was I. Initially I thought this sequel had potential, especially with the story they had gone with where we see what has become of ‘Billy’s little brother, ‘Ricky’.

We find that ‘Ricky’ is a patient at a mental hospital and it soon becomes highly obvious that he’s more messed up than his brother was. All sounds fine so far doesn’t it, well I thought so too but unfortunately I have to say that this is one of the worst sequels I have ever watched.

The first half of the film is basically a LONG recap of the events of the first film, ‘Ricky’ tells us what his brother was up-to (like we didn’t know!) I’m not against a recap in a film, sometimes it helps, BUT, a 45 minute long recap is just out of order. It’s not as if anything new is revealed during this recap either.

Eventually the story does finally begin to tell us how all of this has affected ‘Ricky’, the problem is though is that you wish he’d go back to telling the story of his brother. You get the feeling that the film makers had no idea what they were doing, or they did and the idea was just to capitalise on the first film success any way necessary.

“Silent Night, Deadly Night 2” is a truly awful film, the acting is incredibly bad and the whole thing


Miscellaneous facts about the film:

Ricky’s eyebrows move up and down 130 times.


Ricky yells “Garbage Day!” before shooting a man holding up a trashcan. It became a famous Internet catchphrase, and countless videos of the clip can be found on YouTube.

In 2004, the creators of the film attempted to contact Eric Freeman so that he could be included in the audio commentary for the DVD, but were unable to find him. Since then, Freeman would finally appear on the 2018 Scream Factory Blu-ray release commentary.

The movie received unanimously poor reviews upon release due to the excessive use of footage from Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984). Over the years, however, it has gained a cult following, mainly due to its unintentional campiness as a result of its over-the-top performances and poor screenplay.

The producers of Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) wanted director Lee Harry to re-cut the first film and insert one or two new scenes with Eric Freeman playing a mental patient, to make the story in the original film appear to be nothing more than the ravings of an asylum inmate. But screenwriters Lee Harry, Joseph H. Earle, Dennis Patterson and Lawrence Appelbaum, wrote short vignettes involving the patient’s youth, as he killed several people, and eventually it became this sequel. There wasn’t enough material for a full-length film, so numerous flashback sequences were added. The film still ran short, so almost 10 minutes of closing credits were added, showing the full cast and crew of this film and its predecessor.

According to James Newman and Lee Harry, the role of Ricky Caldwell came down to Eric Freeman and another actor. The other actor had more experience and was a better actor overall, but they liked Freeman’s looks better, so they chose him.

Filmed in 10 days.

Eric Freeman frequently received conflicting direction from director Lee Harry and co-writer Joseph H. Earle during filming. Freeman had wanted to play Ricky as more of a cold and malevolent killer, but Harry envisioned Ricky as more a wisecracking killer along the lines of Freddy Krueger, while Earle encouraged Freeman to be as over-the-top as possible in his acting.

Cinematographer Harvey Genkins stepped in to play the Salvation Army Santa after the actor originally hired for the role failed to show up for filming.

The love scene between Ricky and Jennifer was cut down dramatically.

Darrel Guilbeau, who plays fifteen year-old Ricky in a brief scene, was actually 24 at the time of filming.

Co-screenwriter Joseph H. Earle provides the dubbed voice of the Salvation Army Santa who Ricky gets his Santa suit from. Earle also made sure to impersonate the Brooklyn accent of Harvey Genkins, who played the Salvation Army Santa on-screen.

Live Entertainment wanted Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) director Charles E. Sellier Jr. to return as director for this sequel, but he declined.

Banned in the UK by the BBFC

Mother Superior’s address is 666.

Although Ricky’s surname was Chapman in the first film, for the sequel it was changed to Caldwell.

The scenes with Ricky and Dr. Henry Bloom were shot over the course of two days.

Two different houses were used for Mother Superior’s house.

Darrel Guilbeau (Ricky at 15) is 3 years older than Eric Freeman (Ricky at 18).


David Heavener originally auditioned for the role of Ricky.

Eric Freeman, star of this movie, was a guest on the podcast “Classic American Movies,” where he gave an in-depth talk about the making of this movie as well as talking about the “Finding Freeman” movement and how he got started in acting.

Lee Harry and Joe Earle wanted David Heavener to play Ricky, but producer Larry Appelbaum balked because he was too freaked out by him.

One thought on “Franchise Review: Silent Night, Deadly Night: Part 2

  1. If you pay attention closely, this movie actually uses footage from the R-rated cut (which took over 30 years to finally resurface on Blu Ray).

    For some reason, this movie contained some unsurfaced footage from the first movie, that neither appears on the R rated nor the unrated versions. Such as alternative footage of Barnes killing Father O Brian, and alternative footage of Billy being shot down by the Captain.

    Like

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