Thursday, January 26, 2012

Black Christmas (1974)

If I were to pick the greatest slasher of all time. I would probably have to go with this one. Most would argue that Halloween is the best but I stand by Black Christmas. First off Black Christmas is really the first of its kind and set the standard for what would become a formula in the future with movies like Halloween and Friday The 13th. Secondly the story is better with twists and turns that keeps the audience on the edge of their seat.

Then there is the over all atmosphere that is Black Christmas. Back in the vhs days this movie seemed to be very dark and I used to jokingly say that it was properly titled because most of the film seemed to be black. However this is no longer the case since Black Christmas has been properly transferred onto dvd. The lighting in this movie is perfect. It shows us just enough to keep us biting our nails in suspense. The perfectly lit location makes Black Christmas a scary ride but its the cinematography and the soundtrack that really keep the heart pumping. The shoulder-cam pans through the creepy house, hinting that the killer can be in any room and the voice of the killer is brilliantly scary. The film makers uses a compilation of different shrilling voices to make the killer seem to be a sort of schizo or have multiple personalities or something of the sense. Either way its fucking creepy.

This masterpiece in 70's horror was directed by Bob Clark who previously did Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things and would go on to do the family Christmas movie that so annoying plays for 48 straight hours every year A Christmas Story. Its safe to say that nothing else that Bob Clark has done before or since has ever helled up to Black Christmas. John Saxon who just got done filming Enter The Dragon plays lieutenant Fuller who is trying to track down a killer who murdered a 13 year old girl in a park and is now terrorizing the girls of a sorority house. Amongst the girls is the beautiful Olivia Hussey (Romeo And Juliet) and Margot Kidder who just finished filming Brian De Palma's Sisters.

The killer suffocates a girl with a plastic bag which would become the memorable poster for the movie. He also kills another with a giant hook attached to a pulley system and he slashes another up with glass. There is some rape and murder that happens off screen but the true scares come from the haunting telephone calls. "Let me stick my tongue in your pretty, piggy-cunt. I'm going to kill you". The things that come out of the killer mouth is pretty sick & twisted and there is no doubt this person is a psychopath.

I have not yet seen the remake nor do I want to. This film is untouchable. 1974 was such a strong year for the horror genre. I would say Black Christmas and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre are amongst the best and neither one of them should have been remade.


  1. I do love this movie but I have to say, to me, the Italians really invented the slasher movie with stuff like TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE which came out before this.

  2. Yes you are right Steve. The Italians were doing Slashers in the 60's. There were of course American slashers before this too but for me this one really set the standards of your typical American slasher, from the camera style to the murder pace