Fear of Santa Claus Pt 3 (Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out, 1989)

sndn_3_posterIn the 3rd installment, things get weird.  The first two films were straight up slasher films.  This film introduces a psychic blind girl who has a connection to Ricky.  Ricky was not killed in the second film…instead he is in a coma and someone chopped off the top of his head and replaced it with a plastic dome which shows off his brain.  So, yeah…it is getting weird.

Why scientists would want to have a psychic connect with a serial killer is a bit uncertain, though they say something about seeing what he sees.  But of course, Ricky wakes up and pursues Laura (the previously mentioned blind psychic girl) to her family gathering at a cabin.  And he, you know, kills people.

One of the things that stands out is just how truly unpleasant Laura is.  Especially when she is talking to her brother and his girlfriend.  Both are friendly and kind towards her, and all she can do is offer snarky and condescending comments.

Robert Culp is the police officer pursuing Ricky, which I suspect was an attempt to make the film seem more legit.  On Culp’s part, I suspect it was simply a paycheck.  Culp is probably the strongest thing in the film, and his exchanges with the doctor responsible for Ricky’s reawakening can be amusing.  The doctor has his moments, as when he tell’s Culp in a deadly serious voice “Science is the only way to restore our innocence.”

I am a big fan of Bill Moseley, who plays Ricky here…but the character does not offer him much opportunity to perform.  He just stumbles around, looking like he is in a daze.  And sometimes he says “Laura” in a raspy whisper.  But hey, he has a dome on his head.  That is something.

This might very well be the best film in the franchise.  But make being less terrible is still quite terrible.

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