Plot: Although sadistic killer Ricky Caldwell (Bill Moseley) is shot down by the police, he survives, but remains in a comatose state. But Dr. Newbury (Richatd Beymer) is hopeful he can use Ricky’s vegetative state to conduct some experiments, as he tries to discover what a comatose mind is capable of. He would like to establish contact with Ricky and perhaps open a line of communication, but to converse with someone in a coma, you can’t exactly pick up a phone. This leads him to Laura (Samantha Scully), a blind woman who seems to have some powers of the sixth sense, which Newbury believes could be the key to telepathic contact with Ricky. She agrees to be part of the experiment, but soon after decides she can’t move forward, as dealing with Ricky’s mind is too stressful, so she exits the program. But when Ricky rises from his coma and resumes his murderous ways, will his connection to Laura’s mind make her a target for his wrath or can she evade the notorious killer?
Entertainment Value: This third installment of Silent Night, Deadly Night does indeed contain some flashback elements, but they’re brief this time around, so this isn’t a repeat of the previous movies. The narrative here is competent, but the movie just stalls most of the time and does little to entertain. Which is a shame, as there is some real potential here, from Bill Moseley in an outlandish brain helmet to some Twin Peaks performers on deck, but the movie just never finds a groove. The tone is less over the top, but fails to come through with effective chills and the few times things work, it is because of the sillier aspects, which are minimal here. The pace is languid in most scenes and not a lot happens, especially when the focus shifts to the dull detective thread, which really grinds things to a crawl. I can’t help but wonder how much fun this might have been with Eric Freeman back as Ricky, going off the deep end once again. Moseley is usually fun, but he is given little to do here beyond stumbling around and that is a missed opportunity, since he is great at dialing up colorful characters. And again, there is some potential for wild characters and the 80s vibes are strong, but the movie seems to veer off and go down the least effective roads instead. I think this winds up as a passable seasonal horror slice, but it gets a minor recommendation at best.
The movie offers a couple of topless scenes, with bonus clout for one of them involving an awkward bathtub encounter. Our 80s iconic dude with the crimped hair squeezes into the tub with his lady, leading to a humorous, awkward sequence. Maybe the crimped hair dude should have been the lead? Silent Night, Deadly Night 3 doesn’t have a wealth of blood and gore on showcase, but we do have the ridiculous brain helmet and some bursts of the red stuff. There’s a real nasty splinter at one point, a neat impalement and even a disembowelment. But most of the violence is low on the crimson, though some minor splashes pop up now and then. The dialogue has some fun spots, including some awful coma jokes and a few instances of awkward screaming, which I found to be quite humorous. The insanity scale doesn’t a move a lot here, which is a shame, as the movie could have really ramped up the wackiness at times. Instead, when things seem right on the brink of going bananas, the movie pulls back and that lessens the craziness, not to mention general fun involved. But we have the few over the top moments, the silly brain helmet, and the awkward screaming, which remains a highlight for me. I can’t help but think of the lost potential here, though.
Overall Insanity: 2/10