Silent Night Deadly Night: Double Feature Charles E. Sellier Jr. and Lee Harry

Silent Night Deadly Night: Double FeatureCharles E. Sellier Jr. and Lee Harry
A great deal of the controversy surrounding Silent Night Deadly Night rears its hydra heads as outrage over anything with the gall to taint the sacred iconography of Christmas, but that's not why the film is an abhorrent piece of excrement squeezed from the mental bowels of a team of depraved, misogynistic, half-competent psychopaths. It's a little surprising that among the multitude of complaints levied against the film, as represented by the critical and public outcry grab bag special feature "Santa's Stocking of Outrage," only one voice even hints at the film's repugnant sexualized violence as a source of its status as indefensible and exploitative. Were it not for the film's wholly unnecessary lingering, graphic depictions of objects (a knife, antlers) penetrating the naked torsos of women and lack of moral consistency, a case could possibly be made for this trash as schlock worth mocking — there's something oddly funny about a despondent man in a Santa suit shouting "punish" before decapitating bullies — but there's little identifiable thought behind this sleazy novelty beyond a grotesque man indulging his guilty fantasies. In spite of its many unpleasant qualities, the first Silent Night Deadly night at least has something of a plot and spends most of its runtime outlining the reasons Billy (Robert Brian Wilson) becomes a killer Santa, simple and obvious as they are — abusive nuns and repeated exposure to sexual violence are behind the poor boy's snapped psyche. The desultory sequel included in this double feature outright borrows Billy's traumatic, anxiety-building experiences to explain the behaviour of his little brother, Ricky, who was an infant in a car seat with bad sight lines when a department store Santa forcibly exposed their mother's breasts and slit her throat. As cheap as they come, the lazily titled Part Two stoops to recycling footage for the whole first act, having Ricky (Michael Hickey), who is suspiciously fully grown after having been prepubescent three years earlier, recount the entire plot of the first film to a criminal psychiatrist before picking up the story and eventually going on his own bizarrely pointless killing spree. Both films lack internal logic and despite having moments of incredulous amusement, fail even as the lowest grade camp. For anyone wasting their life enough to be interested, the first film is the unrated version and comes with a meandering audio interview with the pompous idiot director, while the second features a commentary with the writers, director and star, plus a DVD-Rom of the original "screenplay." (Anchor Bay)