Merry “Black Christmas”
As the yuletide draws near, my heart turns to… slasher flicks! Seriously, if you want a creepy diversion from holiday festivities that manages to subvert the season to great effect, the basic cable channel Turner Classic Movies will present its premiere of Bob Clark’s stylish, truly deranged Black Christmas tomorrow night (Dec 17) at 1am.
Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, and Andrea Martin star in this modestly budgeted 1974 Canadian horror indie that easily rivals Carpenter’s Halloween for smart scares and gnawning suspense. The plot sounds more than trite today – a homicidal maniac stalks victims at a sorority house as Christmas nears – but director Clark perfected the slasher flick before almost everyone else attempted it. Bleak snowy winter nights, abandoned attics, power outages, sharp glass ornaments, and a persistent obscene phone caller who has one of the freakiest voices in modern horror cinema – Clark layers on the dread brilliantly. The real trip is where the killer turns out to be hiding…
Black Christmas will leave you with one big mystery – how did the guy who directed this sophisticated little gem go on to make the Porky’s movies?