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Tis the season to be jolly, jubilus and murderous! This month at Binge Out we’re celebrating the holiday season in true horror fan fashion with the original Christmas slasher franchise, Silent Night, Deadly Night. Comprised of five movies released between the years of 1984 and 1991, you can expect a progressively campy feel to this series making them a killer treat for your holiday murder marathon.

The first Silent Night, Deadly Night film was originally banned due to its violent depiction of Santa Claus, causing rage and unrest among conservative viewers everywhere who were concerned with their fictitious deity’s reputation. Although it was banned for its supposedly controversial material, I can assure you that the gore and graphic content in the film is actually kept to a minimum. Silent Night, Deadly Night is certainly a Christmas time classic.

The second film of the franchise simply titled Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 is a continuation of the original storyline. Only this time the killer Claus [SPOILER ALERT] isn’t Billy but his traumatized and deranged little brother Ricky who is hell bent on avenging his brother’s death by following directly in his footsteps.[END SPOILER ALERT] Genuinely a decent sequel, Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 not only does the original film justice, it uses a style all its own making it its own separate entity worthy of fans.

The third installment of this serial killing Santa franchise returns us yet again to Ricky’s story. Set six years since the events of the second film, this one, Silent Night, Deadly Night III: Better Watch Out! Takes a strange twist from the original slasher theme as Ricky is basically in suspended animation for a majority of the film. Should you choose to give this one a shot I will spare you from any unwanted spoilers. Should you choose to skip any one film in the franchise you would be doing yourself a great justice by making it this one.

Reeling from the flopped storyline of the second sequel, Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation pulls a total Halloween III: Season of the Witch move and reinvents the theme by spinning off into a completely new storyline altogether. Only this time it’s without any of the slasher Santa dudes in lieu of a wicked coven of witches.

Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker is another separate entity from the previous storylines but with a couple of great cameos added for the sake of nostalgia. In an effort to avoid being redundant I will spare you the synopsis of this final installment as it is strongly implied in the title what this one is about. Fan of the Puppet Master movies? Then check out this one.

Whether popular opinion says this forgotten franchise is now obsolete in the world of modern horror or not, the first two Silent Night, Deadly Night movies will always remain holiday season classics in my home. Keep in mind the campy nature of these films as they certainly are not silver screen quality but are still quite enjoyable for fans of obscure and campy throwback horror flicks and the final two films work hard to redeem their title.

Check out YouTube for free streaming or purchase options on any of these five titles.

– Rachael Rumancek

Follow me on Twitter @RachaelRumancek