12 Days of Christmas Films Day 10: Black Christmas

Sadly not a hip hop retelling of the nativity scene…

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I went into Black Christmas fully expecting it to be terrible. Partly because I have seen the 2006 remake and it stinks and partly because Bob Clark is behind the camera. This does Clark a bit of a disservice though actually despite the fact he is mostly remembered as the director of Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 nowadays. The third worst film ever made according to IMDB. In the earlier part of his career however, he was responsible for both Porky’s and A Christmas Story. Two films I really enjoyed. Black Christmas is the polar opposite of the feel good A Christmas Story. Less cute kids licking lampposts and more teenagers being chocked to death by terrifying psychopaths. If that doesn’t evoke the spirit of Christmas then I don’t know what does.

Black Christmas sees a bunch of interchangeable teenage girls being stalked by a mysterious stranger. This starts out as menacing phone calls that can only be described as sounding like they have come from the very depths of hell and soon escalates into all sorts of murderous mayhem. Joining the fun is John Saxon, who has played a cop so often now that he probably thinks he is one, and Margot Kidder, who would graduate from her role as a foul mouthed, drunken hussy in Black Christmas to become none other than hard hitting journalist Lois Lane in the Superman movies. A trajectory that absolutely nobody would have seen coming on the strength of her performance in this movie.

There are various other characters you would never encounter anywhere but in 70’s cinema. The cackling policeman, the lampshade wearing drunken housekeeper, the one facial expressioned father. Its flaws only add to the overall charm however and Black Christmas is surprisingly creepy in places. Add in a super effective ending and we have a very decent horror film that still holds up today. After the disaster that was Fred Claus I really needed something to steel me for another helping of Tim Allen in The Santa Claus 2 tomorrow (God help me).  After watching Black Christmas I think I might just make it.

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