They Call Him Billy
Over the years the “Halloween” “Friday the 13th” and “A Nightmare on Elm St” films have become the Monster Movies of the late 20th century. Instead of having “Dracula” “Frankenstein” and “The Mummy” we had “Michael Myers” “Jason Voorhees” and “Freddy Kruger”. Well a few years before those movie villains hit the screen there was another killer who packed a powerful punch his name was Billy and he was terrifying in the 1974 film “Black Christmas”. To me he is the scariest man in movie history.
I may be going out on a limb with this choice but way back in 1974 there was Billy in a creepy, hoorror-like film called “Black Christmas” (also known as Silent Night, Evil Night). What I am about to explain is notto be confused with any of the remakes that were done as the remakes chanmged the initial conception of Billy.
The nuts and bolys of this film is it’s time for Christmas break, and the sorority sisters make plans for the holiday, but the strange anonymous phone calls are beginning to put them on edge. When Clare (Lynne Griffin) disappears, they contact the police, who don’t express much concern. Meanwhile Jess (Olivia Hussey)is planning to get an abortion, but boyfriend Peter (Keir Dulles) is very much against it. The police finally begin to get concerned when a 13-year-old girl is found dead in the park. They set up a wiretap to the sorority house, but will they be in time to prevent a sorority girl attrition problem? And as they say, the tension mounts aqs the melodrama music plays throughout.
The Billy in 1974 (played by several characters no less) Nick Mancusco did the voicovers during the telephone calls, and both Bob Clarke and Albert Dunk played shadow roles, meaning you never do get a real glimpse of what Billy looks like and that was one of the things that made this such a good film at the time.
Other more well known cast members were Margot Kidder and John Saxon, Olivia Hussey and Keir Dullea (he portrayed David Bowman, an astronaught in 2001: A Space Oddessy. For as eerie as this film was, it did have some mumorous moments such as this line said by Barb (Margot Kidder) -- “Oh, why don’t you go find a wall socket and stick your tongue in it? That’ll give you a charge.”
Then there is Mrs. Mac (Mariann Waldman) -- “These broads would hump the Leaning Tower of Pisa if they could get up there! ”
This film, by today’s standards wouldn’t probably be all that frightening, but you couldn’t tell that to an audience back in 1974 that and make them believe you.
If you are looking for drama, horror, and that stay up all night with the doors locked and the lights on, then this is a film to see. With this link,you can.