Black Christmas (1974)
Directed by: Bob Clarke
Written by: Roy Moore
Starring: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, John Saxon, Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, Marian Waldman, James Edmond, Douglas McGrath, Lynne Griffin
Just in time for the remake. Ha ha, I shall mootch off of it's impending success. I'm really expecting a lot of this remake. It's not really fair. I'm probably not going to go see it, even though it's got Michelle Trachtenberg in it (I only really liked her on Buffy).
The plot is fairly simple. A bunch of sorority girls are picked off by a deranged psychopath living in their attic. There are other things going on, of course. The girls lives are happening around them, but whatever. I'm sticking to the horror. Woo hoo.
It's hard to believe that this was made before Halloween. I'd always thought that it was made later, as a sort of rip-off, but I was wrong. Damn. I guess that makes it the real first slasher flick? I have no idea anymore. All I know is it was made in my beloved homeland.
Halloween uses a lot of the same stuff that's in this. The killer's P.O.V. shots being the most obvious, but also some of the sorority girls feel like some of the girls in 'Ween. They're better actors, of course.
That's the other weird thing. For a Canadian movie, (particularly a Canadian horror movie), it was rather well put together, and the acting was surprisingly good. It was a little slow, granted, but there were some pretty scary bits.
The phone calls were especially disturbing. The subject matter reminded me of some of the stuff coming out of Regan's mouth in The Exorcist for some reason.
The dead girl in the attic was kind of creepy, too. Actually, the killer himself was creepy as hell, and wonderfully ambiguous. It might have ruined the whole movie if they'd revealed the identity of the killer. Say that, I don't know, he was some crazy guy who had a rough childhood and lost his shit for whatever reason. It's the downfall of Psycho. It's a hell of a lot scarier when you don't know what the hell is wrong with this person. It makes them that much less human.
Why did Michael Myers kill his sister in the first place? Who cares. I don't buy that bad childhood crap anyways. Lots of people had bad childhoods. Some people are just psychotic, and they would be psychotic no matter what happened to them when they were ten.
Then again, maybe they were just hoping to make a sequel.
The whole guy making the phonecalls from inside the house thing was kind of cool, too, except that I know way too much about When a Stranger Calls to revel in it's originality (I haven't technically seen When a Stranger Calls, but I know what it's about). Still, that thing works a lot better with cellphones, I'm sorry. Like in Scream, for example. Cellphones seem to have complimented the horror genre quite nicely.
It was kind of well written, for the most part. Some of the melodramatic parts between Olivia Hussey and Keir Dullea were on the boring side, but at least they were better than some of the stuff in From Here to Eternity (I just watched that the other day, and Jesus Christ it was dull. It made me want to kill myself. Okay, the parts with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr were pretty good. That's the famous part, anyway. All of the other stuff was painful though. I'd watch a movie that was just about Burt and Debbie, there. Hmm, who could they put in that? Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman. They'd have to make it British...). Most of it had a pretty good sense of humour. The parts with Marian Waldman were quite amusing.
It's got Andrea Martin in it, too. She's not even playing the comic relief or whatever. She's dead serous. That's just funny. (By the way, she comes back to play Marian Waldman's character in the remake. Heh heh heh).
And it's Christmas. That's funny. Christmas is one of the funnier holidays. Right after those chicken ones.
So finally I've found a Canadian horror movie to really be proud of. Something to aspire to. So that when people go "Canadian horror movies, huh? Like the Ginger Snaps trilogy?" I can hold my head high and say "Black Christmas!!!!!??***&!1111@@@@@#"