Eric Freeman and Robert Brian Wilson of the Cult Classic Horror Film “Silent Night, Deadly Night” at London Comic Con 2019

Stars of the cult classic slasher horror films “Silent Night, Deadly Night” (1984) and “Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2” (1987) — Eric Freeman (Ricky Caldwell) and Robert Brian Wilson (Billy Chapman) — reminisce about the films, share behind-the-scenes stories and answer fan questions at their 2019 London Comic Con Q&A panel moderated by Jake from Shock Stock (Canada’s premiere horror and subculture event.

“Silent Night, Deadly Night” (1984) is an American slasher film directed by Charles E. Sellier, Jr., and starring Robert Brian Wilson, Lilyan Chauvin, Gilmer McCormick, Toni Nero, Linnea Quigley, Britt Leach and Leo Geter. The story concerns a young man named Billy who suffers from posttraumatic stress over witnessing his parents’ murder on Christmas Eve and his subsequent upbringing in an abusive Catholic orphanage. In adulthood, the Christmas holiday leads him into a psychological breakdown and he emerges as a spree killer donning a Santa suit. Upon its release, the film received negative reviews and substantial controversy over promotional material and content featuring a killer Santa Claus, and was criticized for presenting footage of the original film as flashbacks for nearly half of its runtime. Despite all this, it performed well at the box office, but was pulled from theaters anyway after only one week — ultimately grossing $2.5 million and being branded commercially unsuccessful. In the years since its release, though, this unintentionally comedic movie has followed a path similar to Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room” (2003) and became a beloved cult classic among horror fans — spawning a franchise consisting of four sequels, with the fourth and fifth installments having no connection to the original film, as well as a loose remake in 2012.

Eric Freeman (born July 13th, 1965) is an American actor best known for portraying Ricky Caldwell in the 1987 slasher sequel “Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2.” In the story, Ricky is the younger brother of the first film’s killer, Billy Chapman, who begins his own murder spree. It was his first lead role, and director/writer Lee Harry offered him very little in the form of direction, while Harry’s co-writer Joseph Earle encouraged Freeman’s over-the-top performance.That outlandish performance — particularly his delivery of the line “garbage day” — notably became the subject of an internet meme. In 2004, the directors tried unsuccessfully to find him to contribute to a commentary track on a DVD release. He finally reemerged in December 2013 at a screening of “Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2” where he stated in an introductory speech that he was unaware that people were interested in his roles and had been looking for him until, by chance, someone he met informed him there were websites dedicated to finding him. Freeman has appeared in various television and film projects including “Divorce Court” (1984), “The Twilight Zone” (1986), “America’s Most Wanted: America Fights Back” (1988), “Just the Ten of Us” (1988), “Murder Weapon” (1989), a notable guest appearance as Peter in the 1990 “Superboy” episode ‘The Woman Called Tiger Eye,’ “Valerie” (1990), “In Living Color” (1990-1992), “Dangerous Curves” (1992), “A Husband for Christmas” (2016) and “Bull” (2017).

Robert Brian Wilson (born March 8th, 1962) is an American stand-up comedian, actor, singer, voice artist and comedian best known for playing Billy Chapman in “Silent Night, Deadly Night” (1984). He made a solid and impressive film debut portraying a tormented teenager in the notorious and controversial seasonal slasher classic. Moreover, Wilson can be seen in copious flashback footage in the delightfully twisted sequel “Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2” (1987). His television credits include “Santa Barbara” (1984-1991), “Matt Houston” (1985), “Search for Tomorrow” (1985), “Houston Knights” (1987), “Thirtysomething” (1987), “Dynasty” (1988), “Perfect Strangers” (1988), “Knots Landing” (1989), “Gunsmoke: The Last Apache” (1990), “Generations” (1990) and “Jake and the Fatman” (1992). Wilson left acting behind in the early 90s and gained a prominent and successful position in the trade show business before reviving his acting career in the TV movies “The Wrong Roommate” (2016) and “A Husband for Christmas” (2016).

Ryan Yeager

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