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Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

Silent Night, Deadly Night is a film franchise that is notoriously legendary in its first two entries for entirely different reasons. As has been noted, the first film was one of the most controversial and protested films of the 1980s. Part 2 didn’t catch its legacy until 2006 when it became and internet meme for one of its most outrageous moments and line readings. Its not the holidays around my house if “Garbage Day” isn’t referenced 10,000 or more times. The film’s star had dropped off the map, leaving Hollywood in 1992. Like Mark Patton before him, Eric Freeman finally resurfaced a couple years ago, and we can now finally get his story about working on the film he’s most known for. And you’ll be able to see that on the Scream Factory Collector’s Edition of Silent, Night Deadly Night Part 2. They’ve loaded this one up with interviews and a short film follow up on the character made for this Blu-ray. It’ll sit nicely next to the first one in your collection, so pre-order your copy from the Amazon link below today!

It’s Garbage Day! Ricky is being released from a mental hospital. He takes with him the terrifying memory of his brother Billy’s death and the memory of Mother Superior who brought about his brother’s demise. For Ricky, starting a new life means avenging his brother’s death, which sets him on a blind journey of relentless revenge, leading ultimately to Mother Superior. And when he gets to her, not even her faith will be enough to stop Ricky as he follows in the family tradition of Christmas carnage.

If I were to be true to the spirit of Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2, I would past the entire body portion of my Silent Night, Deadly Night review and then tack on one paragraph at the end to say something about this one. For those who may not know, Part 2 for the first 40 minutes of its runtime is scenes from the original film with a little wrap around of Ricky discussing them with a psychologist having been institutionalized following the first film. After that, we get background on how Ricky himself got to where he is now that further delays the movie’s progression. However, I think I may prefer Part 2 over the original.

You see, Part 2 gives you a truncated version of the original and then a little film of its own on top of it. You get the best and most effective parts in the first movie, missing none of the kills, weirdness or darkness. The only thing missing is the songs (WARM SIDE OF THE DOOOOOR). The original film is a fine slasher and one that actually is pretty deep and well done. But, if you only have time for one and you’re in a mood this one is perfect.

Why are we even here talking about the second one? Two reasons; 1) “Garbage Day” and 2) Eric Freeman. Eric Freeman is the PRIME reason to see this film. The man goes big at every turn, has his mind set on everything from 2 weeks before shooting the film and doesn’t give a flip what you think. You can argue his performance’s level of quality all you want, but you can’t deny that he’s so intense and driven. A performance that feels like it would make him scary to be on set with. It all culminates in famous (Well, made famous years and years  later) “Garbage Day” scene.

Years ago, I used to hold cult movie parties where I’d show a double feature of films in a night (Like The Room and Miami Connection). One year around the Holidays I showed Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 and it ABSOLUTELY KILLED. Everyone there was rowdy for this movie and loved it. The funny thing was, NONE of them knew what “Garbage Day” was going in (A funny sidenote; one of them watched the first one in “preparation” for this movie. He quickly found that was a complete waste of time). I figured they would have, and NONE of them had. That scene owned the whole party and they wouldn’t shut up about it. It just goes to prove that Lee Harry film and Eric Freeman’s performance are insanely effective and incredibly entertaining without any sort of prompt to be so. Sure, “Garbage Day” became a thing, but I believe this film would have resurfaced in newfound popularity regardless.

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Layers: BD-50

Clarity/Detail: A disclaimer up top lets you know that in order to give us the best looking version for the Blu-ray debut of Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2, two different HD masters were used. For the most part, you can’t tell a difference or as to which one was used where. The look of the film is nowhere near the jaw dropping 4K transfer of the original film, but it has its moments (Like when Elizabeth Kaitan is introduced). Details are pretty strong here, displaying good information and textures abound throughout the film. If you’re a level headed person, you’ll respect what IS done here and realize the film we are talking about. There are moments in the print with some problems, but its been opted for the most part to leave this thing alone and its more natural and not heavily DNR’d. I’m guessing the poorer looking material is from the uncut print they were able to apply and the really good looking stuff (REALLY impressive at times) is the theatrical print. I’m scoring this on the benefit of the doubt, against the inserts, and going off it looking its best in the theatrical form (There is no option to pick a theatrical version, I’m just stating on what I’m pretty certain is going on here). As mentioned, last year’s Silent Night, Deadly Night Blu-ray from Scream Factory set the bar high, this one isn’t bad though. Just much more rough and carries more of a 1970s Grindhouse look.

Depth:  Thanks to less tampering with the transfer, the film tends to look like it has more room to breathe. The movements look wonderfully cinematic, with no motion issues or distortions.

Black Levels: Blacks are deep and can be consuming. I didn’t really see any real crushing issues, but information did tend to be lost in much darker scenes, with the theater sequence being the poster child for all of that.

Color Reproduction: Colors are all right, Blond hair looks pretty good and saturated. Reds and blues show up pretty nicely. The Garbage Day sweater looks great.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural, with consistencies changes at times through the film. Those may have to do with when the reels switch back and forth to difference sources. Details are pretty good in close ups and for the most part medium shots.

Noise/Artifacts: N/A

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA

Subtitles: English

Dynamics: Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2 features a solid mono track that isn’t going to win anybody over, but its good enough to get the job done. Its a little meshed, but thats okay. Its loud and proud. The score is probably the loudest component, coming in pretty deep. Effects are done decently, but don’t off as much kick as they could.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension:  N/A

Surround Sound Presentation:  N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are plenty audible and mostly clear. They sound very analog and definitely mixed in very old school.

Extras 

Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 – Collector’s Edition comes with a reversible cover featuring the original poster art.

Audio Commentary

  • With director Lee Harry, actors Eric Freeman and James Newman
  • By co-writer/director Lee Harry, co-writer Joseph H Earle and actor James Newman

Slay Bells Ring Again: The Story Of Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 (HD, 1:14:39) – Produced by Justin Beahm’s Reverend Entertainment and features interviews with co-writer/director Lee Harry, actors Eric Freeman, James Newman, Elizabeth Kaitan, Darrel Guilbeau, Kenny McCabe and makeup effects artist Christopher Biggs. Everyone gives a little bit about how they arrived in their careers to get to this film. We then launch into a wonderfully honest and detailed feature length journey through the film with production and behind the scenes photos. Everyone’s memory feels fond and fresh, giving good anecdotes and descriptions all throughout the documentary on this quickly shot, almost guerilla-style film. Reverend Entertainment delivers first class entertainment and film education, leaving fans feeling full on satisfaction.

I Don’t Sleep (HD, 1:02:19) – An interview with makeup effects artist Christopher Biggs. This has the veteran makeup effects artist talking about getting his start and taking an lengthy chronicle through his career almost film by film. Its quite fascinating, full and informative. This also includes some original behind the scenes stills and test photos of effects from his films.

Garbage Days Are Here Again (HD, 19:30) – This featurette revisits the locations in southern California where the film was shot. Eric Freeman even joins in on the trip to give some insight.

Ricky Today Short Film (HD, 7:55) – Directed by Justin Beahm and written by Eric Freeman.On camera interview with Eric Freeman reprising Ricky. An off camera interviewer asks him questions about violence, regrets and his thoughts about the Silent, Night Deadly Night Part 2 film compared to what really happened.

Theatrical Trailer (HD, 1:57)

Finding Freeman Trailer (HD, 1:01) – Looks like there’s a documentary on Eric Freeman coming. “Garbage Day, bitch!”

Summary 

Call me weird or silly or dumb, but Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 is a classic holiday film to be watched every year. And now, I have this fantastic Scream Factory Collector’s Edition to do so with every year, retiring my old Anchor Bay DVD. Its a release like this that make me so thankful for the boutique labels and the production companies like Reverend Entertainment that show they CARE about something like this and give us such a passionate, driven amount of bonus materials to go with a terrific looking restoration. Most companies would probably have let this movie hit the dusty shelves forever after VHS as opposed to even putting a bare bones DVD out. Crazy movies like this one are the ones I want to hear the stories of in a feature-length documentary. Scream Factory has delivered a complete release top to bottom that’ll leave fans more than satisfied.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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