25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974)

CAST
Olvia Hussey (IT)
Keir Dullea (Blind Date)
Margot Kidder (Superman 1-4)
John Saxon (A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Andra Martin (Anastasia)
Art Hindle (Mutant X)
Leslie Carlson (Highlander: The Series)
A disoriented man climbs up into the attic of a sorority house while the occupants hold a Christmas party. Jess Bradford (Olivia Hussey) receives an obscene phone call from “the moaner”, a man who has recently been calling the house. After she calls sorority friends Barb Coard (Margot Kidder), Phyllis Phyl Carlson (Andrea Martin), Clare Harrison (Lynne Griffin) and the several other girls to listen, he starts saying perverted things to them, until Barb provokes the caller, to which he replies, “I’M GOING TO KILL YOU.” Barb and Clare argue about the things she said to him, and Clare leaves. She is then attacked and killed with plastic wrapping; her body is carried up into the attic, where the killer places her in a rocking chair and puts a doll in her lap.
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The next day, Clare’s father arrives to take her home for the holidays. The housemother, Mrs. Mac (Marian Waldman), cannot help him, and neither can Phyl or Barb. Meanwhile, Jess meets her boyfriend, Peter Smythe (Keir Dullea), a neurotic aspiring pianist, at the piano recital hall to inform him that she is pregnant and wants to have an abortion. Peter is upset and urges her to discuss the situation with him but she refuses. Elsewhere, Mr. Harrison, Barb, and Phyl go to the police to report Clare’s disappearance.Clare’s boyfriend, Chris (Art Hindle), is informed by Jess about the disappearance; they discuss it with Lt. Kenneth Fuller (John Saxon). A mother reports that her daughter, Janice, is missing as well. That evening, Mr. Harrison, Chris, and the sorority sisters join a search party for Janice and Clare. Back at the house, Mrs. Mac is packing her things and chases her cat up into the attic only to discover Clare’s body but is murdered by the killer by having a hook impaled in her throat. He then hangs her corpse up in the attic by the neck. After the search party finds Janice’s dead body, Jess returns home and receives another obscene call. Jess phones the police to report it; Peter arrives and argues with Jess about her planned abortion. He leaves after Lt. Fuller arrives to discuss the phone calls. A technician places a tap “bug tracer” onto the phone. Lt. Fuller also reminds Jess and Phyl that there will be an officer stationed outside the house. Christmas carolers then pay a visit to the house and sing Jess a song. The killer takes this opportunity to sneak in Barb’s room and murder her by stabbing her with a glass unicorn head, her screams for help are drowned out by the carolers so Jess and Phyl do not hear her. Jess receives another obscene call that quotes a part of the argument she had with Peter.
Phyl goes upstairs to bed and pays a visit to Barb’s room to check on her, as she discovers her corpse the door closes; she is murdered off-screen. Another call comes in, and this time, Jess manages to keep the caller on the phone for a minute, allowing the police to trace it inside the house. Jess is ordered to leave the house immediately and meet up with Officer Jennings (Julian Reed) outside not knowing that the killer slit his throat. Jess puts down the phone and yells up to Barb and Phyl. She arms herself with a fireplace poker and ventures upstairs, finding Barb and Phyl’s dead bodies propped up on the bed. Then, Jess sees the killer spying on her through the door crack, telling her not to Tell what we did, Agnes.., before she slams the door on him. The killer then attacks Jess and chases her through the house before Jess locks herself in the cellar. Peter appears outside a basement window, telling Jess he heard screaming. Jess, believing him to be the attacker, backs into a corner as he approaches.
Lt. Fuller and the police arrive and find Jess in the basement with Peter, whom she has bludgeoned to death in self-defense. Jess is sedated as Fuller and the officers discuss how Peter must have been the killer all along. They also discuss the fact that Clare and Mrs. Mac still have not been found, revealing that the attic has not been searched. The officers leave Jess to sleep in her bed while one cop keeps guard outside the house to wait for forensics to arrive to search the house and retrieve Barb, Phyl, Peter, and Jennings’ bodies. Once the house is quiet, the camera pans from Jess’s room to the attic ladder and up, with Clare and Mrs. Mac’s bodies. The killer says “Agnes, it’s me Billy”; the telephone begins to ring as the credits roll. Jess’ ultimate fate is left unknown.
A classic slice of Horror/Suspense from 1974. It’s a great atmospheric piece of film making It even manages to add some great moments of humour in this creepy and suspenseful film. It’s a true classic in the Horror genre.

 

 

 

 

 

REVIEW: MUTANT X – SEASON 1

 

Starring

Forbes March (As the World Turns)
Victoria Pratt (Cleopatra 2525)
Lauren Lee Smith (The Shape of Water)
Victor Webster (The Scorpion King 3 & 4)
John Shea (Lois & Clark)

Recurring / Notable Guest Cast

Douglas O’Keeffe (The Andromeda Strain)
Cedric Smith (X-Men: TAS)
Tom McCamus (Street Legal)
Dylan Bierk (Andromeda)
Ross Hull (Are You Afraid of The Dark?)
Laura Vandervoort (Bitten)
Monique Ganderton (Smallville)
Anthony Lemke (White House Down)
Kevin Jubinville (Miss Sloane)
Reagan Pasternak (Sharp Objects)
Joy Tanner (House at The End of the Street)
Greg Bryk (Bitten)
Deborah Odell (Godsend)
Ralf Moeller (Gladiator)
Andrew Gillies (Orphan Black)
Anne Openshaw (Narc)
Guylaine St-Onge (Earth: Final ConflicT)
Sarah Gadon (Dracula Untold)
Art Hindle (Black Christmas)
Emily Hampshire (12 Monkeys)
Larissa Laskin (John Q)
Chris Owens (The X-Files)
Paul Popowich (Cracked)
Callum Keith Rennie (Jessica Jones)
Michael Anthony Rawlins (Blade: Trinity)
Louis Ferreira (Stargate Universe)
Krista Allen (The Final Destination)
Ted Whittall (Suicide Squad)
Jim Codrington (The Ladies Man)
James Gallanders (Bride of Chucky)
Michael Easton (Total Recall 2070)
Kim Schraner (Saw 3D)

Victoria Pratt in Mutant X (2001)Mutant X was a brilliant, and totally original, syndicated series that had genre fans tuning in faithfully week after week. Drawing from the timely topic of genetic research and engineering and experimentation on human DNA, Mutant X tells the completely original story of a group of outcasts with genetically engineered super-human powers and abilities and their attempts to evade capture or destruction by the ultra-secret, evil government agency which created them.Lauren Lee Smith in Mutant X (2001)Mutant X is the highly litigated syndicated series, created by comics veteran Howard Chaykin (writer for Earth: Final Conflict and Viper) and Avi Arad (executive producer of X-Men). With a totally straight face, they insist that this new show has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the X-Men. Both of these guys know the comic industry and Arad obviously is familiar with X-Men, and yet they expect us to believe that cashing in on the popularity of the X-Men wasn’t in their minds at all while developing this series. They can’t even seem to recognize the similarity. Heck, forget similarity. Try blatant rip-off.Forbes March and John Shea in Mutant X (2001)The main difference in plot line deals with the fact that the powers that the Mutant X mutants possess were a result of human intervention through science rather than a naturally-occurring genetic mutation, as in the X-Men. Apart from this very minor difference, the sky is the limit when it comes to Mutant X – X-Men similarities. The leader of the Mutants is Adam, a wealthy scientist who headed up the government project that created the Children of Genomex (a.k.a. the Mutants). He has seen the error of his ways and now is engaged in a crusade to locate, protect, and train the Mutants. He doesn’t actually own a school or have mutant powers himself, but this is the Professor X of the group.ss_9bd0fd40968d7f87f429b56aaf3950983ea3b32a.1920x1080The leader of the evil, covert government agency is Mason Eckhart, played by Andy Warhol as himself. This guy, complete with white hair and chunky glasses, wants to either use the Mutants for evil purposes or see them all destroyed. He’s sort of the Magneto of Mutant X without the overwhelming desire to see the Mutants rule the earth. Eckhart doesn’t have any super powers, unless you count just plain being evil, but his right hand man has telekinetic abilities.Victoria Pratt in Mutant X (2001)Very few actual Mutants were introduced in the premiere and even fewer of their powers were revealed, and just to make sure that no one mistakes Mutant X for the X-Men, these mutants have code names. Shalimar Fox (a.k.a. Shadowfox) seems to have Dark Angel type powers, stemming from animal DNA manipulation, yet that doesn’t explain all the apparent levitation she does. Jesse (a.k.a. Synergy) has the power to control his molecular density, which means that he gets all misty when he allows a car to pass right through him and has a more crackly appearance when he becomes solid enough to stop bullets in their tracks. Emma (a.k.a. Rapport) has telempathic abilities revolving around the sensing and sending of strong emotional images. Brennan (a.k.a. Fuse) can send out electrical blasts from his hands.Lauren Lee Smith in Mutant X (2001)If you’re interested in the whole genetic mutant outcast kind of story, I suggest that your time would be better served either renting the X-Men movie or picking up some of the multitudinous X-Men comics out there. Marvel knows how to do the stories and characters right, since, after all, they are the ones who created the idea in the first place.