• Kelly M. Hudson

Silent Night, Deadly Dud!

Laura (Samantha Scully) is a young blind lady with latent psychic gifts that seem to manifest themselves when she sleeps. A doctor is doing experiments with her, trying to expand her abilities. He thinks she’s holding out on him, not telling him all she sees in her many visions. He is right, because she keeps connecting with the mind of another patient in the clinic, a comatose man that just happens to be Ricky (Bill Moseley), psycho killer from the second film. Ricky’s brain is exposed in this fishbowl he wears over his head (don’t ask me, I didn’t make this shit up) soaking in blood. There’s electrodes or something attached to his brain, as well. Her psychic probing wakes Ricky out of his coma and he begins to kill again. Only this time, he stumbles around more like a silent zombie than the wise-cracking bastard he was before. No cries of “Punish!” this time, only staggering, mostly off-screen kills. Laura goes with her brother to visit their grandmother out in the countryside. Ricky follows and eventually arrives, resuming his murder spree. Can Laura use her psychic abilities to stop him, or will Ricky continue to kill?

Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out! is a real goddamned stinker of a movie. I wanted to like it. The lead actress is sympathetic and pretty, the idea is outrageous and could have been wild, and it’s got Bill Moseley in it for Santa’s sake! But none of this really gels into anything compelling or interesting, much less the badass shitstorm it could have been. Imagine Ricky running around with that bowl on his head, his brain sloshing in whatever that red liquid is inside (blood? I dunno), screaming “Punish!” as he dispatches person after person. This could have been nuts, a lot of crazed fun. Instead, it’s mostly doctors opining to each other about “scientific” theory (it’s just hokum) and Laura chatting with her brother and having half-assed surreal dreams that don’t make much sense and really are there just to pad the running time. I get they had no budget (it’s VERY obvious) but come on. This was the time to really turn it loose and go for it. This could have been as much of a cult classic as the second film in the series. Instead, it’s a dud. It’s like we got promised an M-80 and instead got a Sparkler that fizzed for a few seconds before dying. Also, no Santa suit for Ricky (this is BASIC SHIT HERE, PEOPLE!) and I’m not even really sure that this takes place during the Christmas season. I suppose it does, because there is a Mall Santa type, but damn, they sure didn’t exploit the holiday, either. Also, fake blood doesn’t cost much. Just throw some of that shit around, man.

Definitely avoid this one. There’s a lot here and in my description that might tempt you to watch it, anyway. I suppose if you have to know, or you’re a completist, go give it whirl. But don’t come crying to me. I warned you. I never give a One Star review. Well, now you see what almost earns it. They get an extra Half Star because of that ridiculous fish bowl brain thing.


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