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‘Black Christmas’: The groundbreaking 1974 slasher film that paved the way for ‘Halloween’
12.25.2015
09:03 am

Topics:
Movies

Tags:
Halloween
Black Christmas
slasher film

Black Christmas
 
In 1974, Bob Clark’s Canadian horror film, Black Christmas, was released. At the time, it was the highest grossing made-in-Canada film ever. It didn’t do as well in the U.S., but made enough of an impact to get the attention of writer/director John Carpenter. Black Christmas is now regarded as a pioneering slasher film, having a major influence on Carpenter’s Halloween (1978).
 
Black Christmas title card
 
Black Christmas begins at a sorority house Christmas party. Outside, an unseen figure approaches, entering the house through an attic window. Soon the phone rings and the girls are greeted with a disturbing obscene call from “Billy,” who also babbles about a childhood tragedy involving his sister that he was responsible for. Later, one of the girls returns to her room and is suffocated by the intruder, who then brings the body to the attic.
 
Dead girl in the attic
 
Meanwhile, one of the sorority sisters, Jess, tells her boyfriend, Peter, that she is pregnant. When she tells him she plans to have an abortion, he becomes upset, telling her in somewhat of a threatening manner that she will be “sorry” if she goes through with terminating the pregnancy.

Eventually, the police are on the hunt for both the missing girl (no one realizes she’s been murdered) and to identify this “Billy,” who continues to call the house. The cops suspect Peter may be responsible for the calls, as does Jess, though she covers for her boyfriend. As the holiday season progresses, more undetected killings take place inside the house, until Jess discovers two of the bodies. She’s then chased through the house by the killer, though she doesn’t lay eyes on him. As she hides in the basement, a concerned Peter approaches—is he the murderer?
 
Black Christmas lobby card
 
Director Clark was surely influenced by Italian giallo films. A giallo usually features a shadowy, unseen killer, who murders his victims with a knife. Giallos also include camera angles meant to be from the killer’s point-of-view, which Clark incorporated into Black Christmas, The technique was also used by Carpenter in Halloween and became a standard component of slasher films. But unlike the giallo and many future slashers, the murder scenes in Black Christmas are neither gory nor are they explicit. It also lacks the sexualized violence that would become so associated with the slasher film. Instead, Clark used good ol’ fashioned mystery and suspense, as well as the alarming dialogue from “Billy,” to create the appropriate atmosphere.

Both Psycho (1960) and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) are commonly cited as forerunners of the slasher film, though neither feature all the essential elements of the horror sub-genre—a single, mysterious killer terrorizes and murders, one-by-one, a group of mostly young people, ending with a “Final Girl”—but Black Christmas has all of those components. As does Halloween.
 
Jess on the phone
Jess, the “Final Girl.”

Both are also set around a holiday or day of culturally significance, an element that would become common in slasher films after the success of Halloween (see My Bloody Valentine, April Fool’s Day, the Friday the 13th series, etc.)

Around 1977, Bob Clark and John Carpenter talked about doing a film together. Carpenter asked if Clark would be willing to do a sequel to Black Christmas. Clark told Carpenter:

No, I don’t intend to, I’m not here to make horror films, I’m using horror films to get myself established. If I was going to do one, though, I would do a movie a year later where the killer escapes from an asylum on Halloween, and I would call it “Halloween.”


 
Halloween
 
Bob Clark died tragically in 2007, when he and his son were involved in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. His son was also killed in the accident. Clark is best known today for having directed two wildly different films, the holiday classic, A Christmas Story (1983), and the maligned and misunderstood (it’s better than you think), Porky’s (1981), the success of which inadvertently helped spawn another kind of motion picture: the raunchy teen sex comedy.

After the jump, hear some of the disturbing ‘Black Christmas’ soundtrack…

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
Cruella De Vil and her Dalmatian
10.28.2015
11:14 am

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
Halloween
101 Dalmatians
Cruella De Vil


 
We try to stay away from “cute kids” posts here on Dangerous Minds, but sometimes we do make exceptions like for this adorably-twisted Halloween costume of Cruella De Vil and her sobbing Dalmatian.

This photo is too perfect for words. She’s obviously having a wicked good time. He is not.

via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Counterculture’ kids’ Halloween costumes that are NOT clichés
10.22.2015
11:45 am

Topics:
Amusing
Fashion

Tags:
Halloween


Patti Smith

It’s that time of year again, isn’t it? Halloween, I mean. Time to dress your children up in the most clever costume you can possibly think of, but what if you’re plumb out of ideas? ASK THE INTERNET and ye shall receive… Following is a gallery of some of the finest, funniest and most badass costumes for kids that I could find.

Mark my words though, this year Kim Davis will outnumber Bette Davis during this year’s Greenwich Village Halloween parade in New York.
 

James Brown
 

Johnny Cash
 

Andy Warhol
 

Joey Ramone via Pinterest
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
The Devil wants ‘fresh Christian meat’: Kooky vintage anti-Halloween TV commercial
10.21.2015
08:58 am

Topics:
Amusing
Occult
Television

Tags:
Halloween
Christian adverts

00devooo11smhn.jpg
 
Apparently, this Halloween while you’re out trick or treating, TPing houses or getting diabetes from all that free candy, Satan will be chowing down on all the freshly prepared “Christian meat” served up by his faithful acolytes on Earth. Which, let’s be honest, is certainly some feat considering the number of his alleged followers in the USA alone. I mean, Old Nick’s waistline must be XXXXL and his cholesterol thru the roof if all he does is feast on those freshly grilled human patties and barbecued spare ribs—no wonder he only dines out once a year.

Thankfully, not all so very long ago, a Christian church in Chicago decided to help Satan with his dietary issues by warning off unsuspecting Christians from ending up in a well-roasted burger bun in Hades from celebrating Halloween. Through a character called Sam Hain (boy that’s original…) the ad was supposed to shock young, innocent (feeble-minded?) boys and girls about the hidden dangers of Halloween—that this was not a time of fun and games but the Devil’s party night, when he comes a-looking for “Christian meat.”

As any fule no, Samhain is the Gaelic festival marking the end of summer and the start of the “dark half” of the year, when harvest was finished and yon cattle brought down from pasture to shelter from the long, cold winter. What this has to with a kooky Christian anti-Halloween advertisement, I’m not quite sure, but let’s not let the facts get in the way of good giggle at the devil’s expense…

Note how INTO IT, this guy is. Remarkable.
 

 
Via Christian Nightmares.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
A horrifying collection of scary vintage dolls that will make your flesh crawl
10.15.2015
11:43 am

Topics:
Unorthodox

Tags:
Halloween


 
To get you into the Halloween spirit here, dear Dangerous Minds readers, here is a collection vintage dolls and dummies to make your skin crawl.


 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Vintage photographs of an awesome Halloween party
01.21.2015
12:41 pm

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
Halloween
parties


 
I know, I know it’s only January, but these amusing photographs of a Halloween party taken in sometime 1960s were just too good to sit on for another nine months. There’s not a whole lot to say about them. They speak for themselves, don’t they?

Now as to the provenance, these photos were auctioned off on eBay back in 2009 and according to the seller, “All I know about them is they were taken in California by someone named Daibaus…”

Well a big THANK YOU is in order to Daibaus for capturing this wonderful moment in time.


 

 

 

 
More after the the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Hugs for nugs: Dress your baby as a pot leaf for Halloween!
10.30.2014
11:40 am

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
marijuana
Halloween
pot
babies


 
Brandsonsale are selling an infant sized pot leaf Halloween costume.

This Halloween dress up your baby in our most outrageous costume yet! The baby marijuana plant costume is just the right combo of cute and edgy that is sure to get stares and laughs from everyone.

I don’t know about “edgy”—isn’t weed how you’re supposed round those edges off?

Of course, the predictable pearl-clutching from the predictable prigs is happening. I won’t link to Fox News here, but the dumb people on one their crappy shows had an inane discussion about it to an ultimately boring end. I say whatever, it’s one day out of the year and it’s not like anyone’s naming their child “Dank Sticky.” At least I hope no one is. And most people dress their kids to reflect their own tastes and project their own values—no baby has ever chosen to wear a Ramones onesie.

Brandsonsale have a full line of pot-related costumes for adults, too: There’s the basic-bro pot leaf:
 

 
They also offer the hilarious-to-no-one-I-would-trust “baked potato”...
 

 
...and the totally racist Rasta outfit. Tell me that’s not blackface—at least in spirit if not in actual fact—but the baby pot leaf, people complain about. Because priorities.
 

 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Graveyard Rock: SICK SOUNDS from Intoxica Radio!
10.28.2014
11:28 am

Topics:
Music
Occult

Tags:
Halloween

jfjfidl
 
For all of you fellow rock and roll monsters, here’s my ninth annual Halloween radio show. It can be played or downloaded free or just press play below. I’ve spent my life collecting records and horror film memorabilia among tons of other pop culture items. The combination of horror, monsters and rock n roll is the ultimate for me and many thousands of creeps worldwide. This is the original insane punk music.

There is a big difference between some of this stuff and silly novelty music, which I also like and play on the show, but you won’t hear the “Monster Mash” here, ever. You will hear “Graveyard Rock” by Seattle’s answer to Vampira, the Tarantula Ghoul, and many other crazy 45’s by horror hosts from TV across fifties and sixties America. You’ll also hear teenage garage bands, rockabilly lunatics and wild ads for old live spook shows, horror movies and monstrous toys. I even speak into an echo machine. This is something I do every week, not just on Halloween, hahaha), but THIS is the most special show of the year. Enjoy it!

The show’s basic description is this:

Howie Pyro plays the weird stuff… 50’s and 60’s rock and roll, psycho surf, garage, rockabilly, hillbilly horrors, voodoo R & B, insane instrumentals, religious nuts, teenage hell music, vintage global garbage, peppered with bizarre old movie ads & radio clips & general echo-fied screaming….wild, unhinged primitive 50’s and 60’s rock n roll played every Tuesday at 9PM (California time) from original 45 RPM records at Luxuria Music—Running wild since 2006!

 
dkfhgkd
 
Past guests include Kid Congo Powers (Cramps, Gun Club, Nick Cave), Miriam Linna (Cramps, Norton Records, Kicks Books), , Kim Fowley, ? of the Mysterians, Thee Midniters, Sylvain Sylvain, Cheetah Chrome, Tim Warren (Crypt Records), Reverend Beat Man, Boyd Rice, El Vez, J.G.Thirlwell, Todd-O-Phonic Todd, Sweeney Todd, Lee Joseph, Haunted George, Richard Elfman, Thee Cormans, etc.
 

 
jfhfjsl
 

Posted by Howie Pyro | Leave a comment
KISS rocks out on ‘The Paul Lynde Halloween Special,’ 1976
10.28.2014
10:02 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Television

Tags:
Halloween
KISS
Paul Lynde


 
Nothing better exemplifies the “everything but the kitchen sink” entertainment mentality of the 1970s than “The Paul Lynde Halloween Special,” which includes the following components: swishy comedian Paul Lynde, Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch, Florence Henderson, Billy Bartie, Tim Conway, “Pinky” Tuscadero (no, not “Leather”), Donny and Marie, Betty White, Sid & Marty Krofft’s Witchiepoo, and ... KISS!
 

 
In addition to being Samatha’s campy Uncle Arthur on Bewitched, and supplying the voice for Templeton the Rat in Charlotte’s Web, Lynde was best known for being the “center square” on the Hollywood Squares, from which perch he would uncork as many double entendres as the format could sustain. He was gay and didn’t apparently seem to care if anyone knew about it, meaning that the home audience could be assumed to be pretty much clueless on the matter. (At the wrap party for Bye Bye Birdie early in his career, Lynde quipped in a toast, “Well, I guess I’m the only one here who doesn’t want to fuck Ann-Margret.”) In any case his jokes are super corny—only masochists will want to sit through the whole thing.
 

Ace Frehley hanging out with Billy Bartie
 
Apparently this was the first prime-time network appearance for KISS—anyone know?

Here’s the part you want to see—KISS doing “Detroit Rock City”:

 
The entire special after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Smashing Pumpkins: Impeccably sculpted Halloween creatures
10.27.2014
11:19 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
Halloween
pumpkins

Pumpkins by Jon Neill
 
The work of master pumpkin carver Jon Neill has been featured in movies and television for years and right now Neill is a contestant on the Food Network show, Halloween Wars. The California resident and toy and prop designer also holds workshops on pumpkin carving and creates one-of-a-kind pumpkins for seasonal events or by request. It can take Neill over six hours to create one of his mind-bending gourd designs, and the results speak for themselves. Photos of Neill’s impossibly ornate pumpkins follow as well as a time-lapse video of the master carving one of his signature gourds in about three-minutes.
 
Angry pumpkin by Jon Neill
 
Clown pumpkin by Jon Neill
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
No, Internet, there isn’t a ‘sexy Ebola nurse’ costume for Halloween (or is there?)


 
Some troll today tweeted a shocking and, it was implied, inevitable idea for a Halloween costume: sexy Ebola nurse.  The apparent price was 45 pounds, as you can see in the image.

This offensive costume idea elicited considerable outrage on Twitter, which is understandable considering that Ebola has already killed thousands (around 5,000 as of this writing) in 2014 alone. Then there is this sobering fact from the World Health Organization: “A total of 450 health-care workers (HCWs) are known to have been infected with EVD up to the end of 23 October.” Three days ago the first known case of Ebola in New York City was confirmed.

On Twitter, user @thei100 tweeted, “Are people really trying to sell a ‘Sexy Ebola nurse’ outfit for Halloween?” to which user ‏@cfly97live responded “Unbelievable.” Perhaps @thei100 will be heartened to hear that the answer to your question appears to be no. The UK website Metro was on the case. It turns out that the sexy Ebola nurse is fake. The images were taken from a preexisting costume idea which is pretty absurd in its own right: a sexy Walter White costume. 
 

 
So it’s all good news, right? Humanity is redeemed. There is no “sexy Ebola nurse” constume. But wait! It turns out there IS a “sexy Ebola containment suit” costume, available on the brandsonsale website—it costs $59.99 per outfit.
 

 
Here’s their product description for that one:
 

As the deadly Ebola virus trickles its way through the United States, fighting its disease is no reason to compromise style. The short dress and chic gas mask will be the talk of Milan, London, Paris, and New York as the world’s fashionistas seek global solutions to hazmat couture. Ending plague isn’t the endeavor of a single woman, so be sure to check out our men’s Ebola Containment Costume for a great couple’s costume idea.

 
Long story short, if you’re hung up on the word “nurse,” then you’re in the clear. But this other costume is just about as bad, so faith in humanity—dashed.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
No fun! ‘Halloween Safety’ video from 1977 is a major buzzkill
10.10.2014
12:12 pm

Topics:
Television

Tags:
Halloween
PSA


 
Here’s a PSA from 1977 put out by Centron Educational Films called “Halloween Safety” that literally drains all the joy out of Halloween in about eleven minutes. The video is a copy of the original 16mm film that a blogger by the name of Jason Willis, who appeared in the film when he was seven, spent some time tracking down in order to see his fourteen-second cameo. Jason also provides some cool backstory on the loopy PSA on his blog, Scar Stuff. (It’s probably worth mentioning that Herk Harvey, the principal director at Centron, also directed cult classic Carnival of Souls.)

The long list of no-no’s on this vintage reel include not wearing black clothing, not wearing a mask, not eating candy (it’s going to be tainted anyway so why bother), no running, no pranks and for the love of god DON’T dress up like a traditional witch! It’s dangerous.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Herk Harvey’s ‘Carnival of Souls’

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Get your Halloween on with this treasure trove of wild 1970s cosplay
10.06.2014
02:28 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Design
Fashion

Tags:
Halloween
Cosplay


 
I posted these photos a few years ago from io9 writer Ron Miller‘s insane 1970s cosplay-esque photo collection. They need to be revisited again. If not just for the disco dust-era eye candy, then to draw inspiration from these batshit galactic costumes for this upcoming Halloween.

Some have a slightly Kenneth Anger-ish feel to them. Well, Ken Anger meets Sonny & Cher meets Sun Ra meets a contingent of OTO members snorting coke at a Star Trek convention taking place at Studio 54 maybe…

You have your work cut out for you, folks! A good soundtrack for these would be Chic’s “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsa, Yowsa, Yowsa)” don’ you think?


 

 

 

 
More photos after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
World’s first ever cake-themed edible Halloween ‘horror farm’
09.15.2014
01:07 pm

Topics:
Animals
Art
Food

Tags:
Halloween
Miss Cakehead


 
As grotesque as the above image of a life-size slaughtered pig is, it’s actually a very well-crafted vegan cake made by Miss Cakehead. I’ve been following her work since 2009 and she never lets you down with her genius edible creations. Perhaps you’ll recall back in 2013 Miss Cakehead made a deliciously demented life-size Dexter cake in honor of the TV show’s final season.

This year for Halloween she’s outdone herself with the World’s first ever edible horror farm.

What is a horror farm you ask? Well don’t pry too much because we all know how the curious cat ended up… If you do want to come and investigate the strange goings on here though, you might do well to bring a friend – we don’t want anyone picked off. Those select few brave enough to venture into the woods will witness, gorge, and be hunted through the world’s most terrifying cake installation, and those that make it out will ensure it is THE most talked about scare attraction of 2014.

Now, I’m not entirely sure of this installation’s message since all the “animals” are made of cake. Is it to show meat is murder? The reality of a slaughterhouse? Or is it just a gross-out Halloween attraction that’s not really all that gross in the end? I don’t know.

The “edible horror farm” will be open to the public starting on October 29 and runs through November 1 in Letchworth Garden City, England. More then.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Captain Beefheart ‘Trout Mask Replica’ Halloween pumpkin


 
It’s probably a wee bit early to post about Halloween-themed stuff, right? But hey, it might give you plenty of time to practice and master the skills that it took Shawn Feeney to carve this awesome Trout Mask Replica pumpkin. 

Feeney carved Beefheart in 2011 and writes:

Every Halloween, I carve into a pumpkin the likeness of a musician who died since the previous Halloween. The tradition began in 2008, and each jack-o-lantern is carved in 3D-style. Like those represented, the jack-o-lanterns soon decay and disappear, but the artifacts remain.

Last year he carved an Adam “MCA” Yauch pumpkin.
 

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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