The Curator of Schlock #302 by Jeff Shuster

Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out!

Is that supposed to be funny? The main character is blind!

Is gooseberry pie any good? I have never tried it. In fact, I’ve never seen it sold anywhere. Not even on a restaurant menu. I’m beginning to think that gooseberry pie (and the gooseberry in general) does not exist. It’s what country folk eat in Hollywood movies. Some cigar-chomping producer probably insisted that the gooseberry pie be inserted into movies every now and again in an effort to mislead the public for nefarious purposes. Gooseberry pie is mentioned in tonight’s movie, but it does not, in fact, make an appearance. 

1989’s Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out! from director Monte Hellman is the follow-up to Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2, which was the follow-up to Silent Night, Deadly Night. The movie begins with a young woman named Laura Anderson (Samantha Scully) being chased down hospital corridors by Ricky Caldwell (Bill Moseley, later of Devil’s Rejects fame). Ricky Caldwell now has a glass scalp with some electronics plugged into it. Through that glass scalp you can see his brain and a pool of blood. Here’s your monster, folks. Someone behind the scenes thought this was a good idea. 

Laura wakes up screaming and we find that she’s actually psychic and that a Dr. Newbury (Richard Beymer) was using her to probe a vegetative Ricky’s mind. It seems that all those bullets did a number on Ricky at the end of Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2, leaving him at the hands of intense reconstructive surgery at the hands of Dr. Newbury. The good doctor even managed to put Ricky’s brain back together and Laura’s psychic probing is proof that something of Ricky still exists in that living catatonic husk.     

Laura may be a super psychic, but she’s also blind. She asks the receptionist at the hospital if she could keep an eye out for brother who’s picking her up. The receptionist is very rude to her. Laura falls asleep and has a dream where the receptionist’s throat is slit. You see, Laura can see in her dreams and in her visions. Laura’s brother, Chris (Eric Da Re), and his girlfriend, Jerri (Laura Harring), pick her up as she wakes up screaming from her violent vision. Jerri is beautiful. Chris is hairy. Seriously, I thought the guy was wearing a shag carpet under his shirt, but that’s neither her nor there. The three of them are off to visit Grandma’s house many miles away. 

Meanwhile, a drunken Santa Claus roams the hospital halls. He visits Ricky’s room, makes fun of Ricky, calls him a vegetable and what not. Naturally, Ricky wakes up and slaughters him. Then he kills the receptionist just like in Laura’s vision. Then Rocky steals a car and decapitates a gas station attendant. And since Ricky has a psychic link with Laura, he knows where she’s going. Ricky decides to get to Grandma’s before Laura. 

Grandma is busy getting Christmas Eve dinner ready for everyone. There’s a glistening roast turkey in the oven that she bastes in its own juices. I’m sure chestnuts are roasting on the open fire. Oh, and Grandma has apparently made Laura’s favorite: gooseberry pie. (Liar.)

A knock at the door reveals not Laura and brother, but Ricky Caldwell. Grandma welcomes him with open arms, even feeds him. It is Christmas after all. Plus, she didn’t see Ricky’s exposed brain because he cleverly covered it with a cap. 

At this point, I’m almost thinking the movie will turn into Hallmark Christmas movie. The love and good cheer of grandma will reform Ricky’s psychotic heart. But then Grandma gives him a wrapped present. Ricky gets triggered and turns into the mass murdering Santa Claus once again. Grandma isn’t long for this world. Those of you expecting a scene of Chris opening up the oven to grab some turkey only to find Grandma’s seared corpse will be sorely disappointed. You were hoping to see Grandma’s seared corpse?

What is wrong with you?


Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeff Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124episode 131, and episode 284) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.