T&A Factor 5/5
Getting into the holiday spirit, I decided to pop in my favorite Christmas themed horror film the other day. Interspersing the story of SN, DN Part 1, is the narrative of the younger brother of the whacked older one in the first film. If you haven't seen the first one, a brief synopsis is as follows:
On Christmas Eve night, a family of four stop to help a man dressed in a Santa suit as his car appeared to be broken down. Instead, Santa busts out a strap and caps daddy. He then wrestles mommy to the ground, ripping her blouse open and slitting her throat. The eldest brother escapes and hides in the surrounding wooded area until help arrives. Along with his infant brother (who's loud screams scared off the gat strapped St. Nick), both are picked up and brought to an orphanage which is run by a cruel and sadistic mother superior. Throughout their time there, she punishes the kids in extreme fashion, railing on them for everything: from not keeping their room tidy to peeping on the older kids as they have sex in their bedrooms, all while deeming such actions as naughty and evil. As the eldest boy grows older, he's given a job at a local toy store. When his boss makes him dress up like the fat bastard for X-mas, it sets off his internal ticking time bomb. It boils over when at the store Christmas party, he sees people boozing and sexing it up. He goes on a killing spree, ultimately turning his focus to the wicked mother superior who's only perpetuated and furthered his inner most fears.
Now that that's out of the way, (and really, if you haven't seen SN, DN Part 1, you really need to), a psychiatrist sits down with the younger brother who's now in his mid-20's. He's locked up, having fallen victim to the same traumatizations that affected his brother years earlier. Essentially the first half of the film is the brother recounting the story of the first, complete with over the top theatrics. The psychiatrist asks him how he could remember all of this. After all, he was only an infant. He simply replies with 'Because I was there!' to which he also responds with an appropriate (and many more times over during the film) serious face:
So Ricky continues with the tale of his older brother Billy and how mother superior tormented him and how, along with the constant memory of his parents attack, it was just too much for him to bear and suppress. This leads into his own story about how he was eventually adopted and how for once, he was actually happy. Until that is, it all came rushing back to him over the course of a few years and one too many visual reminders. Despite his momentary boughts of crazy, Ricky tells about how he thought he had overcome his demons, even meeting a woman whom he thought was the love of his life. Of course, everything starts to unravel after her ex-boyfriend rears his ugly head and he begins a rampage of his own.
The last 15 minutes of this film is pure cinematic genius. In Terminator like fashion, Ricky grabs a gun from a police officer who comes upon him after he's killed the ex and he walks down the street in the neighborhood, capping people at will. During the course of his murderous spree, he belts out a line that should forever be etched into the records of greatest cinematic moments:
Ricky then goes on to carry out the deed that his brother was never able to accomplish. He tracks down (Santa suit attired and all) mother superior and gives her a bit of holiday cheer.
Both SN, DN Parts 1&2 are my all-time favorite Christmas related horror films. Of course, the second is an absolute cinematic masterpiece and it should be shown every year in heavy rotation along with the likes of A Christmas Story and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Its both heart warming and compelling.
Cortez the Killer