Ready to Rock out with your Cock out ’round the XXX-Mas tree, Kinky Ho-s? Here’s a DP (double post, ya pervs ;)) of Ho-rrorday Cheer for ya, starting with a review of the OG Black Christmas
, submitted by Anton Phibes
(who remains shrouded in mystery… ;)) I love the original, but if you haven’t checked out the remake, I highly rec that you do. It’s super fun/silliness, and is absolutely a must-watch every year IMHO. Enough about me, though, let’s see what Dr. Phibes has to say about this classic Christmas treat. 🙂 xoxo
Black Christmas 1974 ( by Anton Phibes, who totally needs to get on social media or something so I can promote him, but whatev ;))
We tend to make stars of our cinematic madmen. Killers and monsters are elevated to the status of icons, so filmmakers do everything they can to make their creeps stay within the collective consciousness, whether it be a gripping backstory, a wonderfully gruesome look, or some unique weapon/ability. Ironically, as much as I love a good monster, these traits usually have the effect of making ghouls less frightening. People root for Jason and Freddy more than they truly fear them. (“Hush, you!!” -D.P.) By effect, they become twisted heroes. Every horror icon, from the Phantom of the Opera to Leatherface, eventually reaches a point where we become to fond and familiar with them to truly fear them. In 1974’s Black Christmas, a film often sited as one of the first slasher films, we never get a chance to love or know the killer, and it’s all the scarier for it.
Black Christmas was directed by Bob Clark, the man behind A Christmas Story. The story, concerning sorority sisters and a lunatic killer, may sound like old hat, but keep in mind that this set-up was more common in urban legends than film in 1974. Another unique attribute in 1974 was the extensive use of POV shots to represent the Killer. Halloween may have popularized the slasher format, but you could argue that Black Christmas was one of, if not the first, to bring all of these elements together. In fact, it has been said that Halloween was originally conceived as a sequel to this film before the project became a standalone film. Despite its influence on a whole genre, Black Christmas still feels fresh with its quirky humor and its refusal to give us clarity on the Killer.
The cast features Olivia Hussey as our likable Final Girl, John Saxon playing a police Lt., and a scene-stealing Margot Kidder as the foul-mouthed Barbara. Each role is well-casted and serves the film nicely. Inventive camera work, beautiful cinematography, and a gloomy Holiday atmosphere also make this film especially delightful and a personal favorite of mine in the slasher genre. As mentioned before, the killer is never revealed. The film never comforts you and as far as we know, the mayhem may continue. No one is safe in the world of Black Christmas, a feature that keeps this chiller chilling.
If you haven’t seen this one, watch it as soon as possible. If you have, it’s time to unwrap this Yuletide gift and down some EggNog as you do so. Happy Horrordays!