Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Horror for the Holidays: Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation

Hiya kids and welcome back to Day 3 of Horror for the Holidays. Initially I tried to find a copy of the 1996 Santa Claws starring Scream Queen Debbie Rochon but that is just not happening. Seriously, an hour has gone by searching for this bit of tripe and I guess we just have to shuffle on to the next pile of festering feces. Hey! I know! How about a sequel in name only? Yeah we haven't had one of those since the Return to Salem's Lot. Boy that was a delight... for people that dislike Stephen King books I guess. Not sure who that film was for. So tallying back to our Santa Claus Killer when find... no continuation into the story of Ricky. Apparently after Bill Mosley's Jiffy Pop Popcorn dome in Silent Night Deadly Night III: Better Watch Out!, the producers were embarrassed for a follow-up and Ricky is no more. Go ahead and shed a tear, folks. This is Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation.

Ah, young fornicators!!! SINNERS!!!

With a grainy translated VHS to streaming feed I am guaranteed too much Dolby reverb and the post production audio track coming as loud as Evil Dead 2's "WORKSHED!" Our film in Los Angeles again but no orphanages or vindictive Mother Superiors this time. Yes, gone are the days of "Punish!" and we must adapt, gentle readers. Our movie opens with a hobo enjoying a half devoured burger when a girl atop a six story building gets set on fire via jump cut, slow pyrotechnics and then a dummy fall, cut to actress looking bored (dead) but not aflame then finally engulfed after landing on the safety mat the wrong direction from the fall. Completely seamless. And that is our minute forty-five intro and right to the credits.

We follow the lead investigator Kim (Neith Hunter of Born in East L.A., Less Than Zero, Fright Night Part 2, and Inside Out) is trying to channel her inner Lois Lane as the editor of Classified Ads is not as hard hitting as it sounds. Her boss Eli (Reggie Bannister of Phantasm, Phantasm II, Wishmaster, Bubba Ho-Tep and Revamped) is a sexist porker that believes anyone without a penis has no gut instinct for a story. Actually he comes across as the editor that doesn't give a budding reporter a hot story because she has had a month's experience and not been in the trenches.

I'm late for Quidditch!!!

Kim goes behind Eli's back to cover a spontaneous combustion story when she finds out at her first stop of the local butcher's shop that it would appear to be a suicide. Kim makes her way into the nearby bookstore to view the surprisingly impressive occult section when hobo Ricky (Clint Howard of Freeway, Tango & Cash, Leprechaun 2, Ice Cream Man, Barb Wire and House of the Dead) goes all Torgo of Mano: The Hands of Fate on her causing her overacting outburst and gathering attention of the bookstore owner Fima (Maud Adams of The Man with the Golden Gun, Rollerball, Octopussy, Hell Hunters, Angel III: The Final Chapter and The Seekers), who shoos Ricky away and sends him packing. She comes on a bit creeper as well and invites Kim to a picnic she is having with friends for the following day. Ominous music follows this woman's every other sentence so no worries there at all.

With her investigation bearing no fruit she head home only to be under seige by roaches from her sink ruining dinner she then goes to her boyfriend Hank's (Tommy Hinkley of Lethal Weapon 2, The Cable Guy, Star Trek: Generations and Ocean's Thirteen) parents' home for a Christmas dinner. Hank's father has been guzzling beer and decrees a woman's place is in the home and not out being career minded even since Eve was made from Adam's Rib. Hank attempts logic with his father and gets shot down after explaining it was an allegory.

Kim makes her way home having strange visions and dreams, thinks to skip work and visit this picnic of musical ill-boding intent. Finding a certain connection with these women, Kim seems to notice how the women adhere to Fima's will and her teachings of Lilith, first wife of Adam. As events of the week unfold, people seem confused to Kim's whereabouts or should they questioning her intent. Fima's gathering seem almost cultism in their actions unnerving Kim as she seems to feel they may be responsible for the young girl's death.

A few comments on the film now. This is the first of the series not having a killer Santa Claus in it. The views of man and woman having issues in the workforce is a tad cliche and point to almost every man being either a sexist pig, a lout or a creep. Granted, the work environment has its share of problems but this is way over the top establishing that black magic and blood sacrifices is the only way to alter that. I am sure feminists worldwide would be just thrilled at their sacrifices made to be summed up in this fashion, let alone any follower of Wicca portrayed as dark, sinister monsters. So while different from the original three I was not blown away with this creation. A moderately original story to be certain but not eye-opening at all.

Sweetie, it was this film or another Roger Moore Bond flick.