Sunday, December 18, 2011

Merry Christmas? It's enough to send you out on a killing spree...

I'll spare you the rant about why I really despise this time of year (maybe I'll save that for a later post!]
Instead I'll just share the love on one of my favourite horror films.

Black Christmas (Bob Clark)

Billy just loved wrapping the gifts 

Oh the heady days when the women smoked, said cunt and didn't have to get their tits out when they got throttled. One of Black Christmas's chief pleasures is it's spunky women. Of course it's a slasher flic and they're all here to be victims but at least they are funny, sassy and likable enough for you to give a damn if they get throttled or not - sensible but vulnerable Olivia Hussey, sparky and sexy Margot Kidder (cussing and feeding booze to minors in a very pre-Superman role) and of course the curmudgeonly and inebriated 'Mrs Mac' looking for that son of a bitch cat (Marian Waldman instead of Bette Davis provides most of the laughs and is marvellous fun and she also gets one of the great horror movie death scenes). Unfortunately Keir Dullea seems thoroughly bored, though he often does to me, but he's only there as a red herring anyway.
A gleeful delight in the macabre keeps things going nicely - Norman Bates had his mummified mother in the cellar, this heavy breathing mentalist sits giggling in the attic, taunting us with a suffocated sorority sister in a rocking chair and a throttled house-keeper, while our unknowing heroines get festive downstairs!

It's certainly not as bloody or graphic as what we have become accustomed to and some may prefer the more horrific and gory remake (which, though far from great, isn't too bad as remakes go but is let down by it's uninspiring script, Barbie-doll victims and the ever depressing need to patronise the audience by explaining everything). But even after nearly 30 years of immitators and copycats [pre-empting Halloween by nearly for years] it still manages to be deeply unsettling - the horribly screechy obscene phone calls ["Filthy Billy, I know what you did nasty Billy!" "Let me lick your pretty piggy cunt!"]; the aural assault from the soundtrack [achieved in part by the composer tying cutlery to the strings of the piano!]; the staring eye through the crack of the door; the asphyxiated corpse in the attic window; and not forgetting the 'rug-pulling' open ending. Clark refused an alternative ending that was less ambiguous; one that the makers of the remake obviously seemed to have picked up on (more fool them).

Merry bleeding Christmas...