Oh man, I was reminded of this via Eva Halloween‘s latest post (and I choose not to comment on the “death by Snowman butt-hurt” *ahem*): The original 1974 stalk-and-slash classic Black Christmas! Directed by Bob Clark this pre-dates John Carpenter‘s Halloween by at least three years, and even though it’s nowhere near as gory as today’s slasher films (or the slashers of the 80s) it’s one hella creepy flick, mostly thanks to the complete and utter nut job that’s stalking a dorm of sorority girls the night before X-Mas holidays. It may be anemic but it’ll scare the pants off you!
Funny anecdote when it comes to that whole “origin of the slasher film” – told by Clark himself in the audio commentary available on the great Tartan Grindhouse DVD release – he was actually approached by then-inexperienced director Carpenter who really wanted to see a follow-up to his film. Clark declined but Carpenter refused to take no for an answer. They communicated for a while on this subject, and when Carpenter finally realized Clark had no interest in doing a follow-up he asked him to at least toy with the idea. And Clark told him that for a sequel he’d start with the killer escaping from prison/mental hospital and return to the town where the killings took place to finish off the ones that escaped. And he’d set it in a different holiday like Halloween.
No matter what (there are some confirmations that Carpenter actually served as an apprentice for Clark) this is a killer movie (pun intended) and if you haven’t seen it – do!