Not to be confused with Black X-Mas from 2006 starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lacey Chabert, and Michelle Trachtenberg, I’m talking about the original. I was merely attempting to name as many of the actresses as possible without checking IMDb, and I think I did pretty well. The first time I watched this movie is always a good memory for me, because I was working at a movie theater and watching it on a laptop. It was around Christmas time and the last movie got out late, so another coworker and I just kind of hung out, did all of our work, and just shot the shit while watching this movie, which really puts you in the Christmas spirit! I think it was snowing too. Either way, it reminded me of how awesome it was being in school the day before Christmas vacation, where all you do is hang out, watch Christmas movies, and don’t really mind being at school. Oh, that has nothing to do with this movie? I guess I should review it then.
Interesting bit of trivia: They took that choker off, and her head fell off. Pretty crazy!
Christmas is approaching everyone, including a sorority house filled with 1970’s babes, including the foxy 1974 version of Margot Kidder. The house is receiving obscene phone calls from someone they have nicknamed “The Moaner”, because apparently he calls often…and moans. The viewers see a P.O.V. shot of someone entering the attic and stalking the girls, which isn’t information the girls in the house are aware of. One of the girls goes upstairs, and we see another P.O.V. shot of her getting a grocery bag over her head, strangling her, but because of the holiday party/inebriation, nobody really notices. Her dad shows up the next day to meet her, but not getting any information about where she is, informs authorities who think it’s connected to The Moaner. The police decide to trace the phone calls, only to learn that the calls are coming from inside the house! One of the girls gets paranoid that it’s her boyfriend, and a verbal battle turns into a physical altercation that ends in his death, so the police assume it was him and that everything is fine. As the film ends, we realize that the killer is still upstairs in the attic, and the phone starts ringing again!
Take that bag off of your head, ya doofus! You’ll catch a cold!
This film is typically regarded as one of the very first “Slasher” movies, having come out years before Halloween. Even though this premise has been seen countless times since this version, it really does it the best. I think one reason is because 35 years ago, tracing a phone call was really fucking hard, and those scenes are awesome. In films from the past few years, all you really have to do is stay on the line with someone for 30 seconds and computers can geographically locate you from anywhere on the planet and even show your picture from Google Street View. Showing a giant room with lots of mechanical equipment moving and pulsating and some guy running around who can somehow just tell by looking at machines where the call is coming from is really entertaining. It really demonstrates how things were a little bit easier with horror movies back then, because you could show an actual search party going out to find a missing person, rather than rely on computers and cameras, and believe it. You also never really learn who is doing this or why, and from a more modern mindset, you keep expecting them to explain it, but they don’t, making it that much more creepy.
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