Black Christmas (1974) (101 Films Edition) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)

Black Christmas (1974) (101 Films Edition) (Blu-ray/DVD Review)
Directed By: Bob Clark
Starring: John Saxon, Margot Kidder, Olivia Hussey
Rated: 18/Region B/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 2
Available from 101 Films

The few remaining residents of a Canadian sorority house are celebrating the onset of Christmas vacation when a thirteen year-old girl is found dead in the park. Soon, it is discovered that one of the sorority sisters is missing, which triggers a terrifying chain of murders within the house. Director Bob Clark’s (‘Porky’s’, ‘A Christmas Story’) tense, effective film is a precursor to the slasher films that would come a half decade later, but never relies on gore. Olivia Hussy (‘Romeo and Juliet’) stars alongside Margot Kidder and SCTV’s Andrea Martin.

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We are now on the 4th Blu-ray of this holiday horror classic and this one seems to be more in line with the Scream Factory one but does manage to feel slightly different. Now that could be just me or maybe there is a bit of a ratio difference, but if you want to know if this version looks good or not then the simple answer would be, yes. There are fewer extras on this version than you will find on others but this one does offer up at least a couple features that I don’t recall from the others with the film and furs interview with  Art Hindle.  As well as another feature called Victims and Virgins with Lynne Griffin. Well, what can I say that hasn’t already been said about it? This is a classic and one of two Bob Clark movies I watch every Christmas. The story of “Black Christmas” takes us to a female sorority house as we approach Christmas. The girls of the sorority have been getting some rather odd and x-rated prank phone calls and when girls come up missing someone finally starts to get worried, and rightfully so.

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One familiar face you may notice in this film (besides John Saxon who plays Lieutenant Kenneth Fuller) is none other than Olivia Hussey who takes the lead female role in this movie playing Jessica Bradford, and she does a great job at it. Matter fact, I can’t really find a bad actor in this film. Even people who have sorta bland parts fit their roles so well that you hardly notice. This is a rare case of characters actually coming across as real people, which is hard to find. One key filming technique you’ll also notice in this film is the first person point of view. As we at times see through the eyes of the movie’s killer. A style that while I’m sure this movie wasn’t the first to do, it is a style that would later be used in Halloween and many many more horror films. It probably is the actual film most movies that came after got it from if we are, to be honest. The whole style of this film is simple yet effective. There isn’t really any bright colors or fancy setting, even with the Christmas theme. Just a grim feeling and an even grimmer house. which helps a lot with the overtone of the movie. The movie isn’t full of blood, but like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, most people seem to remember it being more graphic than it is. I also love the ending to this. Some might not dig that if they haven’t seen it, but I always thought the less being resolved in a movie can sometimes make the all the more spooky and thought provoking. That can work and go against movies, but this one works perfectly. Overall, this is a great and legit scary horror film and one you should be watching every year for Christmas.

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Extras

– Film and Furs: Remembering Black Christmas with Art Hindle
– Victims and Virgins: Remembering Black Christmas with Lynne Griffin
– Black Christmas Legacy (doc)
– Original TV and Radio spots
– 40th Anniversary Reunion Panel (Blu-ray only)
– Original aspect ratio – 1.85:1

Quality of Transfer: 95%