Thursday, December 25, 2008

Black Christmas (1974)

So what is this one about?
I didn't even know this movie existed until I read about it on the Toronto livejournal group, here. (Yes friends, there are still people who who use livejournal, hahahaha) Then after learning it took place in Toronto I added it to my netflix queue. The description is,
Terror reigns inside a sorority house a few days before Christmas break as a series of menacing phone calls -- and the discovery of a dead girl's body -- transform yuletide cheer into fear. Margot Kidder, Olivia Hussey and Andrea Martin ("SCTV") co-star as just a few of the petrified sisters at the mercy of an unseen stalker in this 1970s horror gem from director Robert Clark, who told a much happier holiday tale with his 1983 classic, A Christmas Story.
tah freaking dah.

And how much did I pay to watch?
Well, I got it on netflix, and this month I am averaging $2.83/movie. Yikes.

And what did I think?
Oh, Canaduh. I couldn't understand a damn word the killer was saying. I mean, come on! I guess that made it a little scarier when he called on the phone, because I was straining to hear, but all I heard were gurgles, screams, a scary voice, and completely unintelligible words. The film makers did a great job at those phonecalls. For sure.

But, despite not really understanding what was being said on the phone (AND the terribly annoying accent of the main character...apparently she is Argentinian) I am going to tell you, the end of the movie was pretty suspenseful, it made me real uncomfortable...a little scared even. Can you imagine?! A scary horror movie. It also demonstrated the ridiculousity of the Canadian police force in the 1970s. har.

What I don't understand about Canadian movies is this: why do they never admit they were made in Canada? Anyone who knows Toronto can tell that Land of the Dead was filmed in Toronto! Same goes for Hairspray! And Black Christmas, jesus, can you possibly have more actors with Canadian accents and timbers? (I say timber because good lord, in Toronto I heard people who had the exact same voice as others, I am convinced Canadians talk in the same way) So, if it is filmed in Canada, and maybe even at the University of Toronto (holler, alumni!), AND it doesn't mean anything to the story where the movie takes place, with the exception of it taking place in a town with a University, then WHY, WHY, WHY were there American flags in the police station? Why couldn't there have been Canadian flags?! OR, why did there have to be flags in the first place?! They never said what city it took place in, so why couldn't the filmmakers make it as ambiguous as possible? Do Canadian film makers really think that Americans can't relate to a film if it doens't take place in America? I mean, we all liked The Pianist, and Schlindler's List, and Saving Private Ryan, and Dr. Zhivago, and Lost in Translation, and Life is Beautiful (AND THAT ONE WASN'T EVEN IN ENGLISH!!!!!) I don't beleive that Americans are so stupid that they can't relate to a movie that takes place in Canada.

Overall it was pretty good. The new point of view that never showed the killer but allowed the audience to see through his (I assume it was a he) eyes. Apparently, from the extra features, that was very revolutionary at the time. And I suppose it did make me interested to see the remake, since it didn't take place in good ol' T-dot.

So what is the rating? (out of 10)
It was sufficient. A little scary, a little stupid, and a little Toronto as a backdrop makes a sufficient movie watching experience for me.

Black Christmas (1974) gets a 6.


sickboy said...

This is considered the birth of the slasher flick by many. Beating even the legendary Halloween.

If you think this one aint too good, then check out the remake. lol

this is not a joke said...

Hah, yeah, I have heard the remake is all kinds of bad.

Yeah, thats what the actors and filmmakers said in the commentary! I was surprised to hear that this movie was so bigtime! If it is any consolation I don't really like 70s horror movies...well, except the exorcist.

It was pretty scary towards the end though, and it was filmed in Canada.


sickboy said...

Well on the suject of Canadia, what about those movies i assumed WERE filmed in Canada, like 30 days of night, and then turns out they were filmed in NZ.

And were those films you chose just hiding a little irony. The Pianist, Schlindler's List,Saving Private Ryan and Black Christmas. 'If you just watch one movie this year' - brilliant

this is not a joke said...

it was a little ridic that so many of those movies were about WWII/ the Holocaust. Makes me seem like a real depressive.

The NZ film industry is major! They are just like the Canadian labor and scenery that can be adaptable to anywhere!

Matthew Barney Gumble said...

Huh. That is weird, just yesterday I was discussing with my brother two movie ideas that follow the same naming scheme without knowing that this even existed.

The first is Green Christmas: the stoner christmas story. Basically Pineapple Express but with the gang of high school buddies home for the holidays. I think you could dress this one up with a reunited-romance story and really have something, personally.

The follow-up, then, would be Red Christmas. Basically this would be a remake of Red Dawn, but more over-the-top, with the Russians all posing as Santa Clauses and invading on Christmas. This would need to be really hilariously gory, a la Rambo IV, to work.

Please, Hollywood, make these movies, I don't even need the credit.

this is not a joke said...

I read on wikipedia that when Black Christmas was released in the US (because remember, it IS Canadian) the producers or whoever thought that the title would be confusing. They thought it would be interpreted as a blacksploitation film, rather than a horror movie, so they changed the name to "silent night, evil night"

I do LOVE the idea of Red Christmas though. It is amazing!