Merry Christmas everyone from your friends at Internal Bleeding! I’m not really sure what’s so bad about a Black Christmas, I have one every year. Well my last name is Black, so maybe that explains it?!? My guess would be that a lot of strange things happen, and we are scared out of our seats. Anywho… lets take a look back at the 1974 Christmas tale which launched a remake a couple years back that went highly unnoticed. The original stars such names as Margot Kidder and John Saxon. It was director by Bob Clark who went on to direct Porky’s, a movie at the complete opposite end of the spectrum from this one.
Tis the Holiday Season on the campus of an unsaid American University. One of the sorority houses has been receiving some nasty phone calls from a guy they call “the moaner”! But what starts out as moaning turns into some pretty freaky screaming, yelling, pig noises and some extremely foul language for the times. Lucky for the girls they have someone just as foul, Barbie, played by Kidder. She spouts a few expletives that made me wonder how she got into serious films. But just went things start to get a little comedic the prank caller says he is going to kill someone! The girls are a little freaked, but play it off as some drunk frat boy who isn’t getting laid enough. One girl in particular, Claire, takes things a little hard and lucky for her she is packing to go home the next day… or is she? She goes upstairs and is looking for what sounds like the house cat Claude. But while the rest of the girls are downstairs helping their alcoholic house mother, Claire is suffocated by who we suspect is the prank caller. And we have our first victim!
Downstairs we are introduced to our main character Jessica, who is on the phone with her musician Peter (and I use that term lightly because his piano playing sounds like a cat in a blender). Their relationship is on the rocks because Jessica is pregnant and want to get an abortion, which Peter is wholeheartedly against. He wants to get married, and she wants to stay in school and let him follow his dreams of being a shit musician. And he is well on his way! More weird calls come in, and some of the girls decide to file a police report. At the same time people begin to worry because Claire didn’t meet up with her father, and no one knows where she is at. While at the police station the main detective (Saxon) begins to realize that something fishy is going on because there is another girl who has already been reported missing. They send out a search party and some of the girls attend. But the house mother is too busy and goes home to pack for her vacation. She begins to hear the same cat noises and follows them up to the attic. Just as she gets up there and notices Claire’s body with a bag over her head, she turns and takes a meat hook to the face… victim number 2!
Meanwhile the search party finds the missing girl, dead in the park, and everyone starts to panic! The remaining girls, Jessica, Barbie and Phyllis head back to the house and get their drink on. Officer Fuller and an engineer from the phone company head over to the house to see if they can find out where the calls are coming from. They tap the main line, but just so happen to leave the other line in the house mother’s bedroom. Jessica must now keep the prankster/killer on the line when he calls, and the calls keep getting creepier and you begin to hear that this guy is reliving some childhood nightmares. Some carolers show up at the door and this is the opening the killer has been looking for as he takes out Barb the drunk with a glass statue of a unicorn… pretty inventive! After a few more calls, they finally get a trace and realize that it’s coming from the other line in the house, but who is it?!?! You’ll have to watch to see the twist ending!
It’s hard to expect a lot from a Christmas movie, not to mention one that is supposed to be a thriller. Plus it was made over 30 years ago when gore just wasn’t to widely used. Black Christmas has an interesting story, but fails to explain certain necessary pieces… like why is the killer doing this? But in the scheme of things it does fit what IB is all about; low budget movies the average person would probably never see and would never write about. This movie falls short in a lot of areas, but for a Christmas slasher flick it wasn’t horrible, it just doesn’t stand the test of time. I would give it 2.5 unseen Claude’s out of 5.