Black Christmas

( 9 )

Overview

This cult slasher favorite was the blueprint for the teen horror genre in many ways (school setting, "good girl" heroine, "bad girl" victims, black humor, plot twists, etc. . .) but Black Christmas only receives a fair budget DVD release from Music Video Distributors. The digitally remastered source print is relatively clean but the movie is only presented in the full-frame/pan & scan aspect ratio. The audio transfer is fine but those expecting a Matrix style sound design should keep in mind that Black ...
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Overview

This cult slasher favorite was the blueprint for the teen horror genre in many ways (school setting, "good girl" heroine, "bad girl" victims, black humor, plot twists, etc. . .) but Black Christmas only receives a fair budget DVD release from Music Video Distributors. The digitally remastered source print is relatively clean but the movie is only presented in the full-frame/pan & scan aspect ratio. The audio transfer is fine but those expecting a Matrix style sound design should keep in mind that Black Christmas is a Canadian flick made in 1974 (that said, it's also very creatively made on a tight budget). The disc also features a theatrical trailer and an extended interview with star John Saxon, which is amusing because Black Christmas has an excellent young cast -- especially when compared to the famously wooden Saxon. During this period Saxon was so busy running all over the globe shooting B-movies and cheapies that he doesn't really remember much about making Black Christmas. Still, it's hard to dislike the actor and genre buffs will enjoy the interview. There is also a DVD collector's edition of Black Christmas put out by Critical Mass Releasing. It is in widescreen and comes loaded with compelling extras but it is also twice as expensive as this budget disc.
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Special Features

Interactive menus; Scene index; Cast bios; Original theatrical trailer; Digitally remastered
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jeremy Wheeler
Often recognized as the first modern slasher film (whose title could arguably go to Mario Bava's Bay of Blood), Bob Clark's seminal horror classic Black Christmas is a chilling tale that ranks up there with the best of the genre, even if it's not as well known as its contemporaries. With genuine characters that defy latter-day splatter stereotypes and a risqué abortion subplot added into the mix, the film has a realistic feel that most terror flicks tend to ignore (or do very badly). By deftly utilizing sound and the first-person perspective (predating Michael Myers by four years), director Clark manages to bring the audience into the sick mind of the madman resulting in one of the creepiest maniacs in screen history. Humor is also a key ingredient in the story, as Clark (future genius of Porky's and the holiday classic A Christmas Story) adds enough laughs and smirks to balance out the drama and extreme scares. Margot Kidder has a blast as Barb, a constantly drunk college student who could easily be the focus of the story, though that pleasure belongs to Franco Zeffirelli's Juliet, Olivia Hussey. While her accent might be a tad grating at times, Hussey makes a fine lead, with her tense phone calls with the killer being the highlights. The backbone of the film, however, rests mostly on the supporting players, even if they don't have the most screen time. First and foremost, Marion Waldman is a hoot as Mrs. Mack -- the booze-guzzling head dorm lady. Almost funnier is Doug McGrath as the bumbling cop Nash, whose run-in with Kidder and scenes with genre-fave John Saxon are classic, to say the least. Also noteworthy is an appearance from 2001's Keir Dullea as Hussey's pseudo-crazy boyfriend and a very underrated performance by James Edmond, who brings a welcomed human element to the film as the grieving father of the first victim. Skillfully directed and stylishly executed, Black Christmas is one underappreciated classic sure to get under your skin and stay there long after the lights come up. A sequel taking place on Halloween night was once planned -- but a smash hit from a young director by the name of John Carpenter (coincidentally using the same premise and style -- no offense John) squashed those plans, changing the history of horror films forever.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/6/2001
  • UPC: 778854126992
  • Original Release: 1974
  • Rating:

  • Source: Eclectic Dvd Dist.
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:38:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Olivia Hussey Jessica Bradford
Keir Dullea Peter Smythe
Margot Kidder Barbie Coard
Andrea Martin Phyllis Carlson
John Saxon Lieutenant Kenneth Fuller
Marion Waldman Mrs. Mac
Les Carlson Graham
David Clement Cogan
Marcia Diamond Woman
James Edmond Mr. Harrison
Tom Foreman Cop
Tom Forman Cop
Martha Gibson Mrs. Quaife
Lynne Griffin Claire Harrison
Robert Hawkins Wes
Art Hindle Chris
Doug McGrath Sgt. Nash
Michael Rapaport Patrick
Les Rubie Search Party
John Stoneham Cop
Jack Van Evera Search Party
Robert Warner Doctor
Technical Credits
Bob Clark Director, Producer
Gerry Arbeid Co-producer
Karen Bromley Art Director
Stan Cole Editor
Roy Moore Screenwriter
Reginald Morris Cinematographer
Findlay Quinn Executive Producer
Richard Schouten Associate Producer
Carl Zittrer Score Composer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Index
1. In The Beginning [6:26]
2. Missed Appointment [4:19]
3. First Murder [6:21]
4. First Phone Call [7:59]
5. Second Phone Call [10:09]
6. Destroying the Ivory Keys [3:02]
7. Third Phone Call [5:33]
8. Second Murder [18:21]
9. Third Murder [3:35]
10. Fourth Phone Call [9:54]
11. Fifth Phone Call [1:24]
12. Fourth Murder [3:48]
13. The Revelation [16:41]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Filmographies
      Keir Dullea
      Margot Kidder
      Andrea Martin
      Olivia Hassey
      John Saxon
   Interview with John Saxon
      Clip One
      Clip Two
   Play Trailer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    I saw this movie alone and in a dark room.

    this is one of the best horror films i have ever seen! i love it! it is way better than Halloween and it was made four years before! Anyway, amazing movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Black Christmas is a movie that makes you jump!

    All I could say is that "Black Christmas" is scary and creepy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Original Black Christmas

    This movie I heard about when it was annoucned they was coming out a remake to it and I just had to see and was it worth it? Yes, this was a suspenseful and creepy movie as how a horror movie should be and it did come before Halloween. The story was about a killer stalking a couple of girls at a sorority house through his point of view and the ending left a haunting moment with the audience wanting more.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Black Christmas

    This movie was good and had a creepy ending. Here is the story about a killer who stalks girls at a college or school and keeps calling, leaving disturbing messages.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Scariest Movie of its Time

    My wife and I saw this in the theater back in 74-75. I love scary movies. But, after seeing this one, I even slept with the lights on for a couple of days. It set the standard for the 80's slasher films. This is not gory, it is scary. The ending was original at the time but has been copied endlessly since.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews