December 22, 2013

Movie Review: Silent Night, Deadly Night 4 - Initiation

With three Silent Night, Deadly Night movies in the can, the series made the shift to video and they started churning them out, one a year for three years. The first was 1990's Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation. This slice of DTV badness was directed by Brian Yuzna, settling into the director's chair after producing such classics as Re-Animator, From Beyond, and Dolls. Now, this is not a good movie, features some rather sloppy storytelling and acting that is pretty poor. On the plus side, it does feature Clint Howard and a small role for Reggie Bannister.

I don't want to spend a lot of time on this movie, but while I was watching it I noticed an interesting (maybe) parallel to a movie from this year. Kind of hard to believe that a current flick could be tied to a completely forgettable direct to VHS horror sequel, a fourth in a series at that, but its there. On the other hand, I could just be imagining things and making it all up as I go. That is more likely, I cannot believe that there is any actual connection outside of coincidental.

First things first, this movie has no connection to the prior three, the tale of the Santa-killer Caldwell boys is over and done. This movie looks to move in a new direction. As it opens a flaming woman plummets to her death from atop a tall building. An up and coming reporter, Kim (Neith Hunter), decides to investigate on her own.

Kim discovers the dead woman's fire problems were caused by spontaneous combustion. Her investigation soon uncovers a Wiccan cult who worship the Egyptian goddess Isis, led by former Bond-girl Maud Adams (Octopussy). Lucky for Kim, the dead woman was a member of the cult and they have targeted her to be their new member. What follows is an increasingly bizarre sequence of events that sees Clint Howard pull giant maggot/worm things out of a pipe, a home invasion, plenty of cockroach imagery, all while Kim seems to be losing her mind as the cult insinuates itself into her life, forcing her down the rabbit hole. The end game would see Kim play host to Isis.

It sounds a lot more interesting there than it really is. It is kind of dull and takes a long time for things to start happening. I bet by now you are wondering about that current movie connection, right? I see some similarities with one of my favorite 2013 movies, Rob Zombie's Lords of Salem. In that movie we have a woman who has been targeted by a witch coven to be the vehicle used for the rebirth of Satan. They work their way into her life, she sees things, weird things happen leading up to a bizarre conclusion.

See what I mean? There is definitely something there, coincidental or not. It is a moderately interesting to me as I saw something similar in a prior Zombie movie, The Devil's Rejects bears a passing resemblance to The Empire Strikes Back. There may not by any actual connection, but it is still kind of neat.

Anyway, Silent Night, Deadly Night 4 is far from a must see movie. Frankly, there really is no need to watch it. It is not graphic, there is not much death to it and anything that could be considered controversial from earlier entries in the series has been completely stripped out. All that is left behind is a rather bare bones movie that does nothing to excite the senses or invite a revisit. I suspect the Lords of Salem connection was invented as my mind was grasping for something to keep me invested.

Not Recommended.

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