HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
Straight Shooting
Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon
Man They Could Not Hang, The
Final Days
Frightened City, The
Assimilate
Sequin in a Blue Room
Common Crime, A
Into the Labyrinth
Power, The
Wake of Death
Night Orchid
Mortal
Iron Mask, The
Dinosaur
Personal History of David Copperfield, The
Dove, The
Collective
Charulata
Minari
Violation
Defending Your Life
Champagne Murders, The
He Dreams of Giants
Lost in America
Take Back
Honeydew
Banishing, The
Drifters, The
Gushing Prayer
Escape from Coral Cove
Swan Princess, The
   
 
Newest Articles
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
   
 
  Black Christmas Attic Attack
Year: 1974
Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, John Saxon, Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, Marian Waldman, Art Hindle, James Edmond, Douglas McGrath, Lynne Griffin, Michael Rapport
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 5 votes)
Review: One night, as the Christmas holidays approach, the girls of a college sorority house are enjoying an informal party before they get ready to leave. Little do they know that outside their house is being watched by a mysterious figure, who climbs up a trellis and breaks in through the attic window. Just then, the phone starts to ring, and Jess (Olivia Hussey) answers it. The caller is breathing heavily, and Jess calls her sorority sisters through to listen - it's the obscene phone caller again, making lewd suggestions. Bolshy Barbara (Margot Kidder) takes the receiver and gives the nuisance a taste of his own medicine, but the other girls don't think it's such a good idea to antagonise him... and they're right...

Written by Roy Moore, Black Christmas was notable for being the first real slasher movie, even before Halloween arrived. Although the Italians, such as Mario Bava and Dario Argento, had been producing horror thrillers featuring insane killers, this one set down the outline for the slasher cycle that happened in the late seventies and beyond. Here you can see the killer represented by a point-of-view camera, young people successively bumped off by a person of uncertain identity, and the atmosphere of a spooky tale told around the campfire, or in this case, by the roaring hearth on Christmas Eve.

It doesn't quite fit into all the clich├ęs, however: the first victim is the most viriginal. Traditionally, she would have lasted until the end credits, but here she is murdered within ten minutes of her entrance. This leaves our heroine to be Jess, who although kindly and reliable, has recently become pregnant by her boyfriend, a pianist called Peter (Keir Dullea). Peter doesn't react too well when Jess tells him she wants to abort the baby, leading us to suspect him as the killer, because, as we know, serial killers in the movies are a moralistic bunch.

As we are already aware that the killer is lurking in the attic, there is a certain amount of tension while we wait for the other characters to find out themselves. This comes about through tracing those phone calls, which are very well realised, with unnerving phrases ("Where's the baby? Where's the baby?!") and what sounds like more than one person talking at once, all interspersed with grunts, groans and screams. While you may wonder why nobody in the house heard the murderer on the other phone, it's a good idea worthy of an urban legend (which it is).

To relieve the menace, there is a drop of humour, and it's of the kind that Clark would later use in Porky's - crude, sexual and aggressive. But even that is turned on its head when the forthright Barbara is teasing the father of the first victim, only for her to get upset and lose her temper. What you most take away from the film is a chilly feeling, as the whole town looks as though it would freeze you to the bone, indoors and out. Surprisingly, the Christmas setting isn't over-exploited, except for one effective killing scored to the sound of carol singers in the street below. Maybe they should have called it "In the Bleak Midwinter" instead. Music by Carl Zittrer.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 12161 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Bob Clark  (1941 - 2007)

American born, Canadian-based writer, producer and director with a varied career, he rarely stopped working in the industry from his 1970s horror Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things onwards, with cult classics like chiller Deathdream, Black Christmas (the first of the North American slasher cycle), Murder by Decree (a Sherlock Holmes mystery), sex comedy Porky's and its sequel, and A Christmas Story (a cult comedy that has become a seasonal favourite) all winning fans. He was responsible for such derided films as Rhinestone and the Baby Geniuses movies as well. At the time of his death in a car crash he was working on a remake of ...Dead Things.

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: