Sunday Morning SyverSinema : Black Christmas (1974)

Black Christmas (1974)

Starring: Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, John Saxon, Art Hindle, Kier Dullea

Directed By: Rob Clark

Written By: Roy Moore

The original "Black Christmas" premiered in 1974 and has been both frightening audiences and influencing film makers ever since. Together with Mario Bavas "Twitch of the Death Nerve", "Black Christmas may be the most influential slasher film of all time.

The plot is simple : in the winter of 1974 a small New England college is rocked by a series of grisly murders taking place at a local sorority house. The question is who would want these young girls dead and why would they do it?

A virtual who's who of B-List cinema populates the film. A pre-Superman Margot Kidder, a post 2001, Keir Dullea, and a pre-Nightmare On Elm Street John Saxon are just a few of the faces you might recognize populating the film. Then there is Olivia Hussey. She is the glue that holds the film together. Striking the perfect balance between (somewhat) innocent ingenue and scared to death potential murder victim. She steals every scene shes in, particularly after the gruesome dispatching of Margot Kidder.

Influential in every way possible, there is hardly a scene that goes by where you won't find something that's been directly ripped off and used in another film. Jason Vorhees' first hand "vision" - check. Michael Myers silent stalking - check. Numerous films hacking faceless sorority girls to shreds- check. Even Han Solos pimp line from "Empire Strikes Back" where Leia says "I Love You" and he responds "I know" - is taken word for word from this film.

Then there is the ending. After setting up a certain character as a red herring for most of the film - going so far as to have the protagonist actually kill him, there turn out to be more questions than answers.

5 out of 5 stars - A must see for any fan of horror films or great films in general

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