Monday, October 4, 2010

31 Days of Halloween: Black Christmas (1974)

Every year, my friends and I have a Halloween horror marathon.  This has gone from simple party to very serious ritual.  The anticipation grows all year, the list making commences a good month in advance, and we have all grown from casual, undereducated viewers of the genre to schooled, varsity gore-hounds (though some of us will disagree with this description).  Last year, one of the must-sees (and best ofs) was the original, 1974 Black Christmas.  Black Christmas is one of the original slasher films, maybe the original.  It precedes John Carpenter's Halloween by 4 years and as you watch it, you're literally watching 75% of the genre conceits being established before your very eyes.  Set largely on a college campus, the film concerns the asphyxiations of sister after sister in a sorority house as the killer goes undetected.  While its 2010 audience has become jaded and will undoubtedly be unsurprised by most of the story's developments, Black Christmas remains an awesome, solid, teen slasher with enough retro sass to keep the midnight movie masses entertained.  It's a bonafied, cross-holiday gem that should not be ignored.  Forget the remake, 1974 is where it's at.    

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