Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out! (Shitmas Day #25)

Okay so, I'm going to do this a little bit differently than usual, seeing as I have waited too long to write this. I'm going to write about the actual VHS of Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out!, rather than simply the movie itself. VHS was an experience, and if you don't remember it, you're missing out. So here we go!

I just put my VHS in of it and right off the bat: static! Something a lot of you out there have no idea about. And, the static continues. This is fun. Oh, wait.. Behind the static I see the IVE logo, fun fun. Obviously this is a tracking issue. So seeing as my VCR is a mid-90's model, it doesn't have a tracking control on the deck, only on the remote, and I’ll be damned if I can even remember when I lost that. So I have to sit here and wait for it to clear itself up automatically.
I see in the background there's a trailer playing now. Can’t see much of it, but it sounds familiar.. Stallone in Lockup!

Still static-y. Eddie and The Cruisers 2, gotta love it.
The image is clearing. Getting better..
Oh nice, just in time for Weekend at Bernies! So, now I have a nice clear-ish image with two large grey bars on the sides of my giant HDTV. The Nostalgia is sickening . . .

Looks like the feature is starting. Title Screen -. Silent Night Deadly Night 3, Better Watch Out!
First on the list; star of West Side Story and Twin Peaks: Richard Beymer as our good doctor. Next, the immortal Bill Moseley, followed by our lead, Samantha Scully, Eric Da Re and Laura Herring, Elizabeth Hoffman, and Robert Culp as Lt. Connelly. You know, watching these credits, you start to wonder if David Lynch is a fan of the Silent Night series..
We start with the image of Samantha Scully lying down, sleeping. She wakes up and we find ourselves in possibly the barest assed Hospital room I’ve ever seen. Oh! There's another body lying on the second bed. It’s Bill Moseley! And he has a brain bubble! He wakes up, and he chases her through the hallways. Bare-assed hallways, I might add. White walls, white doors, white ceilings, white Floors, white everything. And now, Santa has come to help her. Either this is a dream sequence, or it’s the most strangely augmented reality I've ever heard of.. Just as Bill is about to kill her, she wakes up, and our story really begins.

Dr. Newbury (Beymer) is testing the dreams of a blind woman; the blind (and psychic!) Laura (Samantha Scully) is the subject of these tests. The doctor is using her abilities to get into the mind of a coma victim; our beloved Ricky (Moseley).

She describes her dreams as just weird and strange, and the doctor knows she’s hiding something. She waits in the lobby, after an encounter with a rather cunt-ish receptionist, for her brother who also appears to have a crush on her.

Ricky eventually wakes up and the bloodbath begins. Starting in the hospital with the cunt, then some guy, and now Ricky is onto gas stations. Escaping the hospital, looking like a drunken Davros, he is after our girl. Laura, who is now sharing her thoughts with him unbeknownst to herself, tells Ricky the exact location of Granny’s house, where they are heading. Somehow, Ricky makes it to Granny’s house before they do. He comes across Granny, and being Granny, she invites him in, makes a plate of Christmas dinner for him. Ricky of course kills Granny and now we set up a Red Riding Hood tale.
Meanwhile, back at the hospital, we find out how and why Ricky is still alive. We meet the smart-assed Lt. Connely (Culp), who has more one-liners than Samuel L Jackson. The doctors in the hospital decided that they were going to reconstruct the brain of a serial killer, in an attempt to understand what makes a serial killer, and Ricky was the perfect candidate. I wonder what happened to Billys brain..?

So, if it wasn't for the fact that there's some lights in the windows, and they tell you it’s Christmas Eve, you would have absolutely no idea this movie had anything to do with Christmas. It could be the fourth of July for all we know, but that's California (?) for you. We spend most of the movie watching the Lt. and Dr. drive around, have nonsensical conversation, looking for Rickey and Laura. We switch back and forth between that and Laura, her brother and the slutty girlfriend, that gives good head, whom Laura hates (Herring). They get into nonsensical situations, doing things that normal people would never actually do. If you’re going to call the police, don’t stand and watch the blind girl stumble across the room, fumble for the phone, and feel around for the rotary.
There's some scenes where music is way over powering, in other scenes there is no music at all.
The blind girl likes to stand there and stare at nothing, calm as can be, as people are strangled Ricky right in front of her. She's not worried it seems, but if you couldn’t see the killer anyway, then why would you be?

At times the acting is so wooden, you can’t tell which one the blind girl actually is. Herring seems to touch everything in front of her, and has a hard time walking up stairs. As for Ricky, he likes pop up for a moment, and then disappears immediately afterwards, removing any and all tension that was built by any scene that possibly had some tension.
It’s not the worst movie ever though. It has its flaws and it has its charms. I thought part 2 was definitely more entertaining, even though half of that movie was just clips from the original. Keeping in form though, we have our share of flashbacks in this installment. It's your typical slasher sequel; it follows all the rules, has all the usual problems, and sticks to all the stereotypes. People split up when they shouldn't, the cops are one-liner morons, the doctor secretly knows exactly where they are and has his own agenda, the girls run back into the house when they should be running down the street, they block off the front door leaving the glass door completely open and susceptible to attack, etc, etc.

HAHA! Look at that, the static is coming back, and the image is fading in and out. I think the VCR has had enough of this movie. Luckily I just saw it's pretty much over. The whole psychic subplot and visions of Granny never really paid off, and the actual ending is so completely anti climatic, you wonder if they just ran out of time and money to film the final fight scene. As the ambulance drives away with Ricky in the back, you hear them say “With a little effort we could save this guy!” And, there we are with a our lead into the sequel!

Overall, if you really want to see Bill Moseley running around like the serial killing master Dalek, then go for it. Don’t expect too much out of this one; while it is enjoyable for its cheese factor, a young Moseley, and a topless Laura Herring, it’s nothing special.

- Manny

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