In a psychiatric hospital several years after the first film, Ricky, the younger brother of the first film’s killer, recounts the events leading to his incarceration. He begins by re-telling the first movie. I knew going in that this entry recycled a ton of footage. Maybe this lessened the sense of feeling cheated. Regardless, I enjoyed this highlight reel of the first film’s sleazy bits.
The recap done, the film transitions to its own material. The snowy, isolated Utah vistas are out, replaced with sunny Los Angeles. Eric Freeman’s performance as Ricky careens between stoic and flippant, sometimes in the same scene.
Combined, these ingredients present an uproarious take on horror villains and modern Los Angeles artifice. Consider how, when Ricky murders a would-be rapist in cartoonish fashion, the victimized woman responds with a deadpan “Thank you.” Or my favorite scene, where Ricky and his girlfriend attend a movie about a murderous Santa Claus (featuring footage from the first film) and Ricky murders two loudmouth patrons. It’s as though director Lee Harry knew he lacked the resources to make a sequel and opted for satire instead.