****/**** Image A- Sound A- Extras B
starring Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon
screenplay by Roy Moore
directed by Bob Clark
by Bill Chambers SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT. At the beginning of Bob Clark's other yuletide favourite, the influential horror classic Black Christmas, college student Clare Harrison (Lynne Griffin) is getting ready to go home for the holidays. The sorority she belongs to receives an obscene phone call; when her "sister" Barbie (Margot Kidder) humours the pervert, sensible Clare--at the risk of making them sound one-dimensional, these characters are deftly drawn with a minimum of brushstrokes--suggests they not antagonize him. She then goes upstairs to pack, investigates a noise coming from her closet, and is asphyxiated with a plastic bag. A dread-bound dissolve from some hideous nativity scene in the attic in which Clare serves as a mummified Madonna takes us to a spot on campus the following day, where Clare's father (James Edmond), a prudish but decent man, is waiting to pick up his daughter. Not knowing what we know but indeed perplexed when Clare fails to materialize at the appointed time and place, he absently scans his surroundings, only to be struck hard by a snowball like a cosmic pie to the face. The fates clearly have it out for this family.