The Curator of Schlock #164 by Jeff Shuster

Black Christmas

Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill!

Did you know that the English used to tell ghost stories around Christmas time?

No?

Neither did I.

Apparently, this was a thing back in Victorian England. As a proud American, I feel a bit funny about this. In fact, I kind of put a moratorium around this sort of thing around Christmas time. This is supposed to be the feel good season. May our days be merry and bright and all that? Still, our illustrious editor John King pleaded with your curator to supply some Christmas horror movies this year. The post 1980 ban limits my choices, but there is one that’s been on the back burner for a while now: Black Christmas.

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Some of you out there don’t like slasher movies, and that’s okay. Some of you out there don’t like horror movies, and that’s okay. Some of you out there would be rude to a middle-aged hostess at an Italian restaurant run by Rocky Balboa, and that’s–no! Nope. That’s not okay. Rocky will give you a talking to. Where was I?

Black Christmas.

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Black Christmas is a 1974 slasher movie from director Bob Clark, famous for such horror movies as Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things and Dead of Night. It stars Margot Kidder and John Saxon. Margot Kidder guest starred on Smallville. John Saxon did not. He needs to have serious talk with his agent. Yes, I’m talking about Smallville again! When you waste ten years of your life waiting for Clark Kent to put the damn suit on, your regrets are many.

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Olivia Hussey also stars in Black Christmas. She played Juliet in Franco Zeffirelli’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. We had to watch that one back in my freshman English class. The boys from the first period English class had informed me that I’d be seeing Juliet’s bare breasts and Romeo’s bare butt. I seem to recall a conversation that’s too crude to mention here. Speaking of too crude, Black Christmas starts out with a sorority receiving obscene phone calls from a deranged man talking about his private parts and what he’d like members of the sorority to do to his private parts. The mysterious caller also goes on about his tongue and what he plans to do with it. A member of the sorority named Barbara Courd (Margot Kidder) tells him off. He says that he will kill her.

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 It turns out the guy is living in the attic of the sorority house. No one notices he’s there until he’s about to murder them. Like their lush of housemother, Mrs. Mac. She has bottles of whiskey hidden all over the house, even in the toilet tank. When one of the sorority girls goes missing, the police mount a search and rescue to no avail. The police finally get around to tracing where the obscene phone calls are coming from and, brace yourself, they’re coming from inside the house!

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By the way, it would seem that Bob Clark directed another Christmas classic: A Christmas Story, based on the book by Jean Shepherd. I know TNT runs those A Christmas Story marathons each Christmas. They should switch out Black Christmas for A Christmas Story this year, mix things up a bit. We should start a petition.

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Jeffrey Shuster 1

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA graduate from the University of Central Florida.

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