The Curator of Schlock #303 by Jeff Shuster

Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation

Clint Howard finally enters the Museum of Schlock!

Yes, someone apparently made a Silent Night, Deadly Night 4. In the United Kingdom, the title of tonight’s movie is Bugs. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say this movie isn’t conceptually part of the Silent Night, Deadly Night series.  I think someone made a horror movie that takes place at Christmastime and decided to slap Silent Night, Deadly Night on it. You won’t be finding any slashing Santas in tonight’s movie, but we do get a poorly-groomed Clint Howard so there’s that.

1990’s Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation from director Brian Yuzna begins with a young woman bursting into flames before leaping from the top of a building. A disheveled man named Ricky (Clint Howard) gets distracted from his dumpster diving and sticks his hand into her charred remains.

Enter Kim (Neith Hunter), a fearless reporter looking for her big break and this story, naturally, is it. Her boss, Eli (Reggie Bannister), hands it off to her boyfriend, Hank (Tommy Hinkly), and asks Kim to fetch some coffee. Kim decides to investigate the story on her own and stops at the local bookshop.

While looking for a book on spontaneous human combustion, Ricky touches her butt. Can you imagine browsing in a bookstore and Clint Howard walks up to you and touches your butt? I think I would see red and go into a homicidal rage.

This won’t be the last time Ricky does something inappropriate in this movie.

Anyway, Kim screams. The bookstore owner, a statuesque woman named Fima (Maud Adams), chases Ricky away. Fima gives Kim a free book, something pastoral landscapes and Celtic lasses. Yup. Fima is some kind of devil worshipping witch. Fima gives Kim a date to snack on and I suspect that date is really a roach. Oh, and Fima invites Kim to a picnic so she can meet the other members of the coven. 

It’s not long before Fima slips Kim slips some sleeping powder in her tea. When she wakes up, Fima and the other witches are stripping Kim down. Ricky throws a giant larvae under the blanket covering Kim and before we know it, the larvae is pushing its way under her skin. You can use your imagination as to how it got inside her, but maybe you shouldn’t. Kim then throws up a giant roach…or was it a beetle? Fima says something about Kim giving birth to her fear and it’s about this time that I’m wishing I were watching a movie with a psychotic Santa Claus. 

And then there’s Clint Howard—I mean Ricky. I seem to recall a scene where the coven was oiling up a naked Ricky with roach oil, prepping him to mate with Kim. I can’t really get that scene out of my head. There’s another scene where Ricky strangles an old man to death with Christmas lights and then the family Christmas tree catches on fire. I guess this makes this a Christmas movie.

I’ll leave you now while I go contemplate my life choices.

Merry Christmas!

Photo by Leslie Salas

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