Movie Review: BLACK CHRISTMAS (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray

BLACK CHRISTMAS was directed by Bob Clark from a screenplay by Roy Moore and stars Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, Keir Dullea, Andrea Martin, Lynne Griffin, Marian Waldman and John Saxon

The college town of Bedford is receiving an unwelcome guest this Christmas. As the residents of sorority house Pi Kappa Sigma prepare for the festive season, a stranger begins to stalk the house. A series of obscene phone calls start to plague the residents of the sorority and it becomes clear that a psychopath is homing in on the sisters with dubious intentions. And though the police try to trace the calls, they discover that nothing is as it seems during this Black Christmas.

It’s winter break and there’s a sorority house full of pretty girls, so what could go wrong? Well, there’s a maniac on the loose, that’s what! The girls start getting some strange phone calls from this anonymous caller and then there’s a murder that happens in the same area, so this is where the hysteria slowly sets in. The entire community is on lockdown. Jess (Olivia Hussey) is the focal point and obsession of the mysterious caller. She’s also dealing with some of her own personal drama with her boyfriend and this doesn’t help with the stress level. There’s also her sorority sister Barb (Margot Kidder) who doesn’t make things any easier by aggravating the caller whenever she gets the opportunity. This also doesn’t end well for Barb as the movie plays out. This is where the sorority sisters start to go missing.

The creepy factor is elevated so Lieutenant Kenneth Fuller (John Saxon) is put on the case to try and trace the calls. Even though it takes him and his team a while, they finally pinpoint the location of the mysterious calls and the location is a shocker to everyone. Once Lieutenant Fuller discovers where the calls are coming from, the police head out to save Jess before she becomes the latest victim of this crazed killer. They arrive in time to save Jess but the rest of the situation is deceiving to the eye. They think the killer has been taken care of, but in the end, the viewer gets to hear the maniac’s seriously creepy voice one last time and it’s coming from the same room Jess is recuperating in. Fade to black.

Black Christmas is such a fun horror movie in a number of ways. First of all, it takes plays at Christmas time and we really haven’t really gotten a lot of these kind of horror movies over the years. We’ve gotten a few but not a lot. Bob Clark did a fantastic job telling this story and bringing this tense and uncomfortable situation to life. There’s also some impressive cinematography used. All of the cast in this horror classic did an amazing job and of course it’s Olivia Hussey who plays the beautiful final girl who’s complimented nicely by Margot Kidder’s obnoxious character who drinks a little too much, plus she likes to aggravate the maniac when he calls.

You can’t have a horror movie without some creepy murders and this one here offers up some unsettling and claustrophobic moments between the killer and his victims. There’s everything from slicing and dicing to suffocation. There’s even some chases and hair pulling that comes from out of nowhere! There’s also some blood to go along with all of this. I guess the creepiest part to me are the series of phone calls that’s really down right scary sounding. I mean these girls are dealing with some seriously disturbing phone calls that creeps the viewer out as much as it does these poor characters. The even scarier part is the location these phone calls are coming from. Shocker! The concept for this movie was so good that we even got a remake back in 2006 that was a pretty cool watch in its own right.

The packaging comes with a slipcover. The front features the fantastic all-new artwork you see up top and the back includes movie details, an image and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features the creepy cool original artwork and movie credits, so you have your choice of which side you’d like to use for the cover. Both Blu-ray discs also feature their own individual artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this high-definition release were really good. The movie is featured in Scream Factory’s all-new 2K scan (1.85:1) as well as the popular Critical Mass version (1.78:1) that was offered ten years ago, so you have your choice. I really didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, Black Christmas was already a horror classic and a movie that has had its fair share of home video releases over the years but once again Scream Factory has gone above and beyond with their release. Bob Clark was a master of several different genres that included comedy and horror. He directed comedy classics like A Christmas Story and Porky’s, but it’s Black Christmas that is easily the standout in my personal opinion. He captured the intensity and eeriness that this movie sets off to near perfection. It’s a slasher that came along way before the slasher genre was even a thing. Clark could be considered one of two the pioneers of the slasher subgenre, with the other pioneer being Toby Hooper who delivered that chainsaw classic we all know and love. This movie is already a go-to holiday film for many of us horror fans and now we have the pinnacle of all the home video releases that have dropped over the years. This is all the previous releases rolled into one awesome new present that’s even gift wrapped with all-new artwork. Black Christmas arrives on a two-disc Collector’s Edition Blu-ray set on December 13th and is definitely worth checking out. Scream Factory never disappoints!

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 98 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1) and (1.78:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD MAster Audio 5.1 and 2.0 / DTS-HD Master Audio Mono

Subtitles: English SDH

Special Features: Good Stuff! This release includes two new interviews as well as all of the extras from previous home video releases. There’s well over five hours of bonus content included with this release.

Disc One:

  • NEW 2016 2K Scan Of The Negative (1.85:1) – DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, DTS-HD Master Audio Mono
  • Audio Commentary With Director Bob Clark
  • Audio Commentary With Actors John Saxon And Keir Dullea
  • Audio Commentary With Billy (Actor Nick Mancuso)
  • Audio Interview With Director Bob Clark

Disc Two:

  • 2006 Critical Mass HD Master (1.78:1) – DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • NEW Film And Furs – Remembering Black Christmas With Art Hindle (26:11)
  • NEW Victims And Virgins – Remembering Black Christmas With Lynne Griffin (26:35)
  • Black Christmas Legacy (40:22)
  • 40th Anniversary Panel At FanExpo 2014 Featuring John Saxon, Art Hindle, Lynne Griffin & Nick Mancuso (18:02)
  • On Screen!: Black Christmas Featurette (48:41)
  • 12 Days Of Black Christmas Featurette (19:48)
  • Black Christmas Revisited Featurette (36:25)
  • Archival Interviews With Olivia Hussey, Art Hindle, Margot Kidder, Bob Clark, & John Saxon (1:41:30)
  • Midnight Screening Q&A With Bob Clark, John Saxon And Carl Zittrer (20:21)
  • Two Scenes With A New Vocal Soundtrack (03:04)
  • Original Theatrical Trailers (English And French) (08:16)
  • Original TV And Radio Spots (03:09)
  • Alternative Title Sequences (02:47)
  • Still Gallery (04:33)

 

 

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