Lee Harvey's 1987 feature debut was the first sequel to the Santa slasher Silent Night, Deadly Night. For those of you reading this that haven't seen the 1984 film, I'll give a quick primer. The original takes up a good part of Silent Night, Deadly Night 2, in fact, as a flashback. (That fact has me wondering if the production simply ran out of budget for celluloid.)
In the first film, a teenager has a psychotic break while working as a department store Santa and goes on a rampage. As a child, he'd seen his parents murdered, and of course, gets triggered, and of course, he just has to KILL. I mean, why not, right? In the second film, Silent Night, Deadly Night 2, we follow Ricky (Eric Freeman), who's been committed and is telling his story to a psychiatrist. Without spoiling a 32-year-old film, we find out what Ricky's tie to the original story is later in the film.
And I haven't even mentioned the cult phenomenon of "garbage day." This phrase comes from the utterly bizarre break that Ricky himself has, and it's really what this film is known for --- and it's hilarious. Freeman's over-the-top performance while going on a neighborhood shooting spree is what sells the scene, and frankly, why Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 is a cult classic. If you're in Los Angeles, head to the New Bev (Quentin Tarantino's 35mm print-only theater) for the screening; Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 is meant to be seen with a crowd.
Hell, Scream Factory knows that this film has fans, and is selling Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 with a Ricky doll in full murderous Santa regalia. It's an 8" action figure from NECA. (There's also an option just to buy the Blu-ray or DVD alone.)
Anyway, Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 isn't a good film, but it's an enjoyable one that plays to a niche audience. Scream Factory has put a good amount of extras (see the full list below) into this collector's edition release, including a new short film about Ricky, a visit to the film's locations, and an interview with special effects artist Chris Biggs (TerrorVision, Galaxy of Terror), which I found the most interesting.
The new 2K scan of the film looks pretty good, as it comes from an archival print. That's not to say that there are no blemishes, but they're pretty minor. I noticed some grain and flickering, but only rarely in certain scenes. The sound was crisp, but not mixed well in the actual film.
Again, this kind of film isn't everyone's cup of tea, but for those who love oddball, weirdo films, Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 has become a yearly watch. For those fans, this release (out now) is for them. You can get more info about the Blu-ray here and here's the version with the awesome action figure.