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The Six Slays of Christmas – Day Six

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At last it’s time for the sixth and final installment of Dread Central’s Six Slays of Christmas feature! We’re now just one day away the year’s biggest holiday, and to celebrate the coming of Saint Nick (or whomever you believe in), we’ve been taking a look at a different yuletide horror flick each day until the 25th! Think of it as a cinema crazed Advent calendar!

Although the Six Slays of Christmas have come to you in no particular order, it’s fitting that today’s entry was saved for the finale. For Day Six we feature an absolute classic, Bob Clark’s 1974 groundbreaking horror film Black Christmas, which proved to us that Canada has more to offer than just Pam Anderson, hockey and Molson Canadian Lager. The script was written by Roy Moore, who drew inspiration from actual murders that occurred in Montreal around Christmastime. And a horrific cinematic gem was born.

The Six Slays of Christmas - Day Six

Filmed in just 40 days, the influence of Black Christmas can be seen in countless horror films that followed. In the initial scene we have the killer stalking around outside the sorority house. And as he walks and peeks in the window, we are seeing everything through his perspective. This certainly had to be an influence for John Carpenter’s opening scene for Halloween (which came along four years later). Or consider the scene in which the police trace the killer’s calls coming from inside the house. (And check out the high-tech phone-tracing machine they used…it was the size of a living room!) We have to at least consider the fact that the creators of When a Stranger Calls (1979) drew some influence here.

And how about the infamous phone calls themselves, which terrorized the girls of Black Christmas? What starts as an almost comical nuisance becomes extremely creepy as the film rolls on. Clark (who also appears as the prowler’s shadow) and veteran actor Nick Mancuso (who appears as the actual prowler) were responsible for creating the creepy calls…as well as an unidentified woman. Judging by the voices on the calls, I would be willing to bet the woman involved was outstanding voice actress Mercedes McCambridge, who delivered a similarly disturbing performance in The Exorcist one year earlier. There’s no proof that she was involved, but that voice does sound eerily familiar.

Black Christmas, at least in name, underwent many changes before finally settling on its memorable title. Upon initial release the film had also carried the titles Stop Me, Silent Night, Evil Night and Stranger in the House. In preparation for its US release, Warner Brothers even tried to convince Clark to change the ending to have Clare Harrison’s boyfriend, Chris, appear in front of Jess and say, “Agnes, don’t tell them what we did,” thus revealing him to be the killer. Thankfully, Clark knew the film worked much better with the mystery killer ending and left it as it was…to the delight of decades of Black Christmas audiences.

Not only was it a trailblazing film as far as creating unique imagery that would be mimicked by films that followed, Black Christmas was a truly effective horror film overall. Clark managed to create real discomfort and tension with the outlandish phone calls and grim shots of the killer stalking his prey. It’s hard not to gnaw your fingernails to the quick as the initial victim, Clare, slowly walks toward her closet following what she believes is the sound of Claude, the house cat, when in reality we know the killer is waiting to pounce on her. And tell me your skin didn’t crawl a bit when Jess (Olivia Hussey) sees the killer’s eye staring at her from behind the door. That was some truly effective horrific filmmaking.

Clark wove the story masterfully around the scenes of violence, working in Jess’ pregnancy issue as a key point of the story, bringing drama into the fold to enhance the horror. And we mustn’t forget the comedic elements of the film. In addition to creeping the shit out of you, Black Christmas will make you laugh out loud. It’s a complete work.

From the unforgettable image of Clare’s suffocated body sitting in the rocking chair to the vicious murder of Barb (Margot Kidder), Black Christmas consistently delivers. It’s amazing to think that the film is nearly 40 years old and is as effective today as it was during its initial release.

As one of the original slasher films, Black Christmas has certainly entertained us all through repeated viewings. With phone calls to make your flesh crawl, murders to make you wince and an ambiguous ending to keep you awake at night, Black Christmas easily earned its place as the grand finale of the Six Slays of Christmas. Ho, ho, ho!

The Six Slays of Christmas - Day Six

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Ellen Page and The Cured Come Home to VOD

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We’ve been talking about the new zombie flick starring Ellen Page entitled The Cured for quite some time now, and we’ll soon be able to sink our teeth into it courtesy of IFC Films.

The flick stars Page (Juno, Hard Candy), Sam Keeley (Anthropoid, In the Heart of the Sea), Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (Avengers: Infinity War, The Infiltrator), and Paula Malcomson (The Hunger Games trilogy, “Ray Donovan”) and is directed and written by David Freyne in his first feature film. Look for it in theaters and On Demand on February 23, 2018​.

Synopsis:
What happens when the undead return to life? In a world ravaged for years by a virus that turns the infected into zombie-like cannibals, a cure is at last found and the wrenching process of reintegrating the survivors back into society begins. Among the formerly afflicted is Senan (Sam Keeley), a young man haunted by the horrific acts he committed while infected. Welcomed back into the family of his widowed sister-in-law (Ellen Page), Senan attempts to restart his life—but is society ready to forgive him and those like him? Or will fear and prejudice once again tear the world apart? 

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#Brainwaves Episode 74 Guest Announcement: Creature Designer Mike Hill – The Shape of Water and More!

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We’re getting monstrous on Episode 74 of Brainwaves Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio as joining us will be award-winning artist, filmmaker, and creature designer Mike Hill, whose work you can see right now in a little film called The Shape of Water.

Join us this coming Wednesday, January 24th, at 8:00PM PT/11:00PM ET for all the shenanigans fit to be had!

It’s radio without a safety net, kids. It’s Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio.

SUPPORT BRAINWAVES ON PATREON!

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Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is available to subscribe to on iTunes and Stitcher.

Spooky, funny, touching, honest, offensive, and at times completely random, Brainwaves airs live every Wednesday evening beginning at 8:00 PM Pacific Time (11:00 midnight Eastern Time) and runs about 3 hours per episode.

Knetter and Creepy will be taking your calls LIVE and unscreened via Skype, so let your freak flags fly! Feel free to add BrainWavesTalk to your Skype account so you can reach us, or call in from a landline or cellphone – 858 480 7789. The duo also take questions via Twitter; you can reach us at @BrainwavesRadio or @UncleCreepy, @JoeKnetter, or @MrDarkDC using the hashtag #BrainWaves. You can also check us out on our Brainwaves Discord channel!

Have a ghost story or a paranormal story but can’t call in? Feel free to email it to me directly at UncleCreepy@dreadcentral.com with “Brainwaves Story” in your subject line. You can now become a fan of the show via the official… BRAINWAVES FACEBOOK PAGE!

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is hosted live (with shows to be archived as they progress) right here on Dread Central. You can tune in and listen via the FREE TuneIn Radio app or listen to TuneIn right through the website!

For more information and to listen live independent of TuneIn, visit the Deep Talk Radio Network website, “like” Deep Talk Radio on Facebook, and follow Deep Talk Radio on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Brainwaves on iTunes.

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The Saw Chapter Comes to Dead By Daylight January 23!

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Time to play a game of Dead by Daylight! We told you last week that none other than Jigsaw would be coming to the hit PC and console game, and today we have a brand new trailer for you detailing what to expect when the hardest working corpse in cinema history gets digitized for an all-new adventure.

Let’s Play a Game… The Pig is here to create a whole new version of hell for all Survivors. Mentored by Jigsaw, she comes carrying Reverse Bear Traps into the Realm of the Entity. So if you’re gonna play, you have to accept that the stakes are high. The SAW Chapter comes with a New Killer (The Pig), a new Survivor (David Tapp), and a new Map (Gideon Meat Plant).

Jigsaw joins the previously released original killers alongside Freddy Krueger 2010, Michael Myers, and Leatherface.

For more info:
WEBSITE: www.deadbydaylight.com/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/deadbybhvr
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/DeadByDaylight/
STEAM: http://store.steampowered.com/app/700280

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