December 12, 2022 Silent Night, Deadly Night Collection (Blu-ray Collector’s Series Review)
Around a month before the Christmas season kicked off in 1984 a film entitled Silent Night, Deadly Night was released in theaters. Apropos to the ’80s era of Horror films where the filmmakers pretty much had creative freedom to do as they wish, naturally, Silent Night, Deadly Night’s release was met with a mass of backlash because it featured a killer Santa Claus. In fact, the film was pulled from theaters just a week after its release. Since then, it was re-released independently in 1985 and went through a number of cuts to get an R-rating from MPAA.
A historic film in the world of Horror, most would think that the story of Silent Night, Deadly Night ends here. However, in the ’80s even if any Horror film had the most minimal success, chances are someone was going to capitalize and make sequels until someone cried enough. This happened with 1981’s The Howling, and yes, also with Silent Night, Deadly Night. First came 1987’s Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2; a film that focuses on Silent Night, Dead Night’s main character and obscenely reuses 30 minutes of stock footage from the original. Actually, released in theaters, the film received a lukewarm response, so you would think Santa was heading back to the north pole, right? Wrong, because in 1989 came Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out!, in 1990 Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation, and in 1991 Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker. Wow… that is a lot of sequels!
The last three sequels released in consecutive years between 1989-91, all were straight-to-video, and received VHS, Laserdisc, and even a combo DVD package back in 2009. Films long since forgotten by the average person, to the geeky Horror fan, while they may not be favorites, there is still a place in their heart for them. That is why it is exciting to see Lionsgate dust off the films to put together a Vestron Video Collector’s Series Blu-ray set called the Silent Night, Deadly Night Collection.
Just in time for the Christmas season, and out on December 13, 2022, the collection includes Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out!, Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation, and Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker. Packaged together much like the 2009 DVD set was, the difference is this Blu-ray collection pulls out all the stops to bring each film to you with the most they could possibly offer.
First off, each film is remastered, thus making the Blu-ray presentation at least more clarified than previous format releases. Second, the original DVD set was barebones, meaning you got each film, and that was pretty much it. For this Blu-ray Collector’s Series, you get audio commentaries and a bunch of interviews for each of the films. Additionally, the packaging has a nice slipcover and a really cool piece of original artwork unifying imagery of each of the three films into one.
Now, if you are someone who purchased the DVD set of these films over a decade prior, you are probably wondering is this really worth it? Well, yes and no. Yes, if you are someone who is curious to see cleaned up transfers of older films… because you can see a difference with each of these selections. Also, yes, if you really enjoy extra features to give you a better understanding of the films. And no if you really are not concerned with such details. Although, chances are if you are even considering this new Collector’s Series you are probably leaning toward yes. If you still need to be sold, remember these films also have some surprisingly cool cast members including Bill Moseley (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 1986, The Devil’s Rejects 2005) and Robert Culp (I Spy series, The Greatest American Hero series) in part 3, Clint Howard (Evilspeak 1981, Ice Cream Man 1995) in part 4, as well as Mickey Rooney (Breakfast at Tiffany’s 1961, Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town 1970) in part 5. So, all these factors in mind, Cryptic Rock gives the Silent Night Deadly Night Collection 4 out of 5 stars.