DVD Review “Silent Night, Deadly Night: Double Feature”

Starring: Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Robert Brian Wilson, Eric Freeman, James L. Newman, Elizabeth Cayton, Jean Miller
Directors: Charles E. Sellier, Jr., Lee Harry
MPAA Rating: NR / R
Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
DVD Release Date: December 4, 2012
Running Time: 85 / 88 minutes

“Silent Night, Deadly Night”: 3.5 out of 5 stars
“Silent Night, Deadly Night: Part 2”: 1 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, no question.  But what is Christmas without a little cheesy 80’s slasher horror.  “Silent Night, Deadly Night” has always been a favorite of mine to revisit during the holiday season.  The film has been hated and fought against since it theatrical release date.  It goes in and out-of-print on DVD what seems like every few years.  It has never been given the respect that it deserves.  In this Christmas Survival Double Feature, we get both “Silent Night, Deadly Night” and its absolutely terrible rehash sequel “Silent Night, Deadly Night: Part 2” on one release.   Horror fans will enjoy this release to get into the holiday spirit.

“Silent Night, Deadly Night” comes in its original unrated version, which is the best way to view it. The only issue is that it varies in quality since the uncut footage is not as clean. There is a nice disclaimer before the film starts, which says pretty much “Hey, here is the extra footage you asked for but it ain’t pretty”.  I prefer the extra gore to quality.   “Silent Night, Deadly Night: Part 2” is a really sad excuse for a film.  It spends the first 40 minutes only showing clips from the first film.  Let’s just say they put this film was a double features since no one would buy it solo.

“Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)”: Years ago, little Billy saw his parents murdered by an escaped killer wearing a Santa Claus costume. The experience left indelible scars on his psyche, made all the worse by his subsequent years languishing in an orphanage, where his life was made a living hell by the cruel and domineering Mother Superior (Lilyan Chauvin, Universal Soldier). With the help of the sympathetic Sister Margaret (Gilmer McCormick, Slaughterhouse-Five, Starting Over), the 18-year-old Billy (Robert Brian Wilson, “Search for Tomorrow”) secures a job at a toy store. But when the store’s regular Santa is injured, Billy is called upon to don the red suit. But as he does, he becomes a ticking time bomb. The traumatic memories of his parents’ murders, combined with the abuse he has suffered at the hands of the Mother Superior, propel him into a state of psychotic rage. Santa Claus is coming to town, and he’s got murder on his mind…

“Silent Night, Deadly Night: Part 2” (1987): Billy’s younger brother Ricky (Eric Freeman) follows in the family tradition of Christmas carnage. Psycho Santa is back…to deck the halls with chunks of bodies!

The special features are nothing spectacular but has a few extras worth checking out.  On “Silent Night, Deadly Night”, there is a audio interview with the director, Charles E. Sellier, Jr.; as well as poster and still gallery and “Santa’s Stocking of Outrage” featurette.  “Silent Night, Deadly Night: Part 2”, besides being an embarrassment of a film, contains an audio commentary from writer/director Lee Harry, Writer Joseph H. Earle and actor James Newman.  Lastly there is a theatrical trailer included, as well as a poster and still gallery. Also if you watch the film on your computer it has a DVD-Rom extra includes the original screenplay to download.

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