MAY 11, 2007
Next week on Freezedriedmovies.com I will be launching a miniseries of articles about movies I am sick of defending. Whether just assumed to be bad due to poor box office (Postman) or because they don’t feature a psychotic druid in a Shatner mask (Halloween III) or whatever other reason, they will all be films I feel are unjustly criticized. I expect the article to be a complete bomb and get me fired.
Either way, one of those films will be Black Christmas (2006), a delightfully (and refreshingly) mean-spirited slasher film that took a lot of heat for being a remake of a great (and under-appreciated) film, as well as “ruining” the original by adding a backstory. Those people are of course, idiots. I am pretty sure that short of buying every copy in the world and destroying it, nothing that Glen Morgan, James Wong, or anyone else in the world can do will ever ‘destroy’ a pre-existing film. If anyone can explain to me how this would be possible otherwise, feel free to drop me a line.
Anyway, the director of that film is one of my favorite unsung directors: Glen Morgan. He and partner James Wong are two of the best black comic filmmakers in recent memory. They got their start on X-Files, and then went on to make the first and third Final Destination films. But while I rushed out to see all of their other films, I missed their Willard remake during its 7 hour or so theatrical run in the spring of 2003, due to being unemployed at the time (yet I managed to be the one who saw Dreamcatcher, which was released around the same time). But thankfully, I watch 365 unseen horror movies a year!
I never saw the original (for which I am a bit ashamed of myself, as I usually have a rule never to watch a remake before the original) but now I definitely plan on doing so. And the remake is definitely up Morgan and Wong’s alley: It’s weird, it’s frequently hilarious, and it’s DARK. One scene in particular, of a poor little cat’s attempt to flee the hundreds of rats it is trapped with, ranks as one of the funniest/horrifying scenes in the past 10 years (though this may be due to the fact that the cat looks just like my own cat). For some reason, cats being killed just don’t carry as much hatred as a dog being killed. Maybe because dogs actually like people.
Speaking of the DVD, it’s pretty jam-packed. The deleted scenes segment runs close to a half hour, there’s a Ben music video (complete, like the film and the deleted scenes, with a commentary track), an 18 minute documentary about rats, and a 75 (!!) minute documentary about the making of the film proper. Plus TV spots! I think I’ll just keep the DVD from Blockbuster. Beats returning it.
Of course, since it was really good, this film tanked in theaters. I have no idea how many people found it on DVD, but hopefully many. People need to start supporting offbeat horror films. I would love nothing more than to have this type of dark humor/horror movie showing up in theaters every other week.
What say you?