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"Black Christmas" (1974)...how is it?

Old 02-22-06, 07:54 PM
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"Black Christmas" (1974)...how is it?

I was thinking of getting the CE. the prices are a little steep, nothing short of $20.

So I am wondering for those that have the Critical Mass release...how is the movie (content, picture and audio) and how is the extras?

TIA! (thanks in advance)
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Old 02-22-06, 08:37 PM
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Well, that really depends.

I really like the movie myself. But, I also saw it in the late 80's as a young kid.

This movie and Halloween share some history together as Halloween very early on might have been a sequel to this film.

I don't know how you will feel about it. I don't ever like to tell someone awesome on any movie because I don't want it to come back on me. But, I thought it was a very good movie.

It's just too bad you didn't see it earlier on in years before it dated. It may have stuck with you.

The DVD I have has fine audio and video. It wasn't a slacker job. I have the 2nd release (red cover/bag head) It looks the best the movie probably can sans an HD release. Though HD releases on older movies might not be a benefit. They might make things much too obvious. Camera tricks were done for a reason.

Last edited by AllHallowsEve; 02-22-06 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 02-22-06, 09:20 PM
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I'm not a professional reviewer, but I'll tell you what I know. The video is 1.66:1 non-anamorphic. I'd say the transfer is anywhere from average to good. Hell, for a low budget movie from 1974 it looks pretty damn good. The colors look stronger and more saturated than on my old Warner Bros. VHS tape. It's also pretty sharp for the most part. The big disappointment is the fact that it's non-anamorphic. I don't even like to watch it on my 16x9 60 inch HDTV because of this. I don't know why we can't get a 16x9 enhanced DVD of this gem in Region 1 NTSC. It's one of my most requested titles for a 16x9 upgrade. The others include Picnic at Hanging Rock, Ms. 45, and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). Chainsaw is scheduled for a 16x9 2-Disc Set release this September. A company by the name of Tartan released a Region 2 PAL DVD of Black Christmas with a 16x9 enhanced 1.78:1 transfer. Why the hell can't we get that here?

Audio consists of the original English mono track as well as an English 2.0 stereo track. The Tartan DVD also got a 5.1 soundtrack. Maybe it sounds like crap, but I'd like to hear it.

Extras is really where the Region 1 NTSC Collector's Edition DVD from Critical Mass really shines. You get two commentary tracks. One is with Bob Clark, the director. The other is with actors John Saxon and Keir Dullea. A note about the commentaries - some of it is screen specific, while other parts of it are quotes that are lifted from interviews elsewhere on the disc. Also, Saxon and Dullea weren't recorded together. They were recorded separately and Saxon does most of the talking. Don't let this discourage you though. Both tracks are really interesting and really worth listening to. You also get a 36 minute documentary titled Black Christmas Revisited which is hosted by Lynne Griffin and Art Hindle (who tour the sorority house throughout the documentary) and features new interviews (well, from 2002, that is) with select members of the cast and crew. Noteably missing is Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, and Andrea Martin. You also get a 25 minute interview with Bob Clark, a 13 minute interview with John Saxon, an episode (20 minutes) of Dark Dreamers with John Saxon as guest in which most of his horror roles are discussed, two trailers (English and French), six TV spots, two radio spots, two alternate opening segments (Silent Night, Evil Night and Stranger in the House), a picture and poster gallery, and some DVD-ROM stuff. The cover is reversible featuring the original 1974 art.
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Old 02-22-06, 10:28 PM
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My DVD is OAR or at least I thought. Could be from a different region then. I would have to check. Ignore what I said about quality then because we might not be talking about the same DVD.

Last edited by AllHallowsEve; 02-22-06 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 02-23-06, 03:21 AM
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Originally Posted by L Chabert Lover
I'm not a professional reviewer, but I'll tell you what I know. The video is 1.66:1 non-anamorphic. I'd say the transfer is anywhere from average to good. Hell, for a low budget movie from 1974 it looks pretty damn good. The colors look stronger and more saturated than on my old Warner Bros. VHS tape. It's also pretty sharp for the most part. The big disappointment is the fact that it's non-anamorphic. I don't even like to watch it on my 16x9 60 inch HDTV because of this. I don't know why we can't get a 16x9 enhanced DVD of this gem in Region 1 NTSC. It's one of my most requested titles for a 16x9 upgrade. The others include Picnic at Hanging Rock, Ms. 45, and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974). Chainsaw is scheduled for a 16x9 2-Disc Set release this September. A company by the name of Tartan released a Region 2 PAL DVD of Black Christmas with a 16x9 enhanced 1.78:1 transfer. Why the hell can't we get that here?

Audio consists of the original English mono track as well as an English 2.0 stereo track. The Tartan DVD also got a 5.1 soundtrack. Maybe it sounds like crap, but I'd like to hear it.

Extras is really where the Region 1 NTSC Collector's Edition DVD from Critical Mass really shines. You get two commentary tracks. One is with Bob Clark, the director. The other is with actors John Saxon and Keir Dullea. A note about the commentaries - some of it is screen specific, while other parts of it are quotes that are lifted from interviews elsewhere on the disc. Also, Saxon and Dullea weren't recorded together. They were recorded separately and Saxon does most of the talking. Don't let this discourage you though. Both tracks are really interesting and really worth listening to. You also get a 36 minute documentary titled Black Christmas Revisited which is hosted by Lynne Griffin and Art Hindle (who tour the sorority house throughout the documentary) and features new interviews (well, from 2002, that is) with select members of the cast and crew. Noteably missing is Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, and Andrea Martin. You also get a 25 minute interview with Bob Clark, a 13 minute interview with John Saxon, an episode (20 minutes) of Dark Dreamers with John Saxon as guest in which most of his horror roles are discussed, two trailers (English and French), six TV spots, two radio spots, two alternate opening segments (Silent Night, Evil Night and Stranger in the House), a picture and poster gallery, and some DVD-ROM stuff. The cover is reversible featuring the original 1974 art.
yes, but could you be more specific
thanks though.
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Old 02-26-06, 11:11 PM
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i fucking love black christmas
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Old 02-27-06, 09:25 AM
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With the Black Christmas remake coming to theaters this December maybe we'll finally get a 16x9 enhanced DVD of the 1974 original. Does Critical Mass still have the rights?
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Old 02-28-06, 12:07 AM
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DAMN IT, i just bought it for 9.99 new.
the critical mass edition.

i always upgrade my dvds, and that seems sort of soon to have to upgrade.
should i open it, or wait until december?
i've never seen it.
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Old 02-28-06, 06:49 PM
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$9.99 is chump change... and December is a long ways away... open it up.
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Old 02-28-06, 09:05 PM
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Excellent film. I had to download this to see it (hey, I couldn't find a DVD ANYWHERE and I'll buy any new DVD of it that comes out), but I loved it. Olivia Hussey was gorgeous too
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Old 02-28-06, 11:37 PM
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Originally Posted by BMan100
$9.99 is chump change... and December is a long ways away... open it up.
for a youngin like myself, it sort of isn't.
trying to balance college and my obsession with film is getting out of control.
but thanks for the advice, i sure will.

Last edited by rbbrbndsmlfnny; 02-28-06 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 03-01-06, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rbbrbndsmlfnny
DAMN IT, i just bought it for 9.99 new.
the critical mass edition.

i always upgrade my dvds, and that seems sort of soon to have to upgrade.
should i open it, or wait until december?
i've never seen it.
where'd ya get it for that?
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Old 03-01-06, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by scott1598
where'd ya get it for that?
Look around on eBay, I've seen it go pretty cheaply on there. There's a couple buy it now auctions for 10, 11 bucks.

Here's one
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Old 03-01-06, 10:00 PM
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Originally Posted by rbbrbndsmlfnny
for a youngin like myself, it sort of isn't.
trying to balance college and my obsession with film is getting out of control.
but thanks for the advice, i sure will.

I'm a college student as well (I'm 20), add renting a house with two other people, paying my share of the utilities, buying my own groceries, gas, paying for my car, cell phone bill and other necessities. When bills constantly exceed a hundred dollars, items that are $9.99 seem very cheap.
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