Cleansing the lens of cinematic perception... until the screen is a white glaring rectangle

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Terrifying Commercials from Childhood: Silent Night Deadly Night (AKA Black Christmas)

I can't remember exactly why, but I was alone in the house on an average autumnal afternoon in Lansdale, PA, and I was half-asleep on the couch watching TV... probably Dr. Shock! I would have been around seven years old.

Suddenly a weird, long commercial came on for a movie called "Silent Night, Deadly Night." I thought I was about to be murdered, it was the longest, scariest stretch of time in my young life up to that point. I was too paralyzed by fear to get up and switch the channel (no remotes in 1974).

Looking at this trailer from the distance of an ironic 34 years later on youtube, I can't be sure if it's exactly what I saw (it was called Silent Night, Deadly Night and the narration was different, that I remember) but it sure was LONG, or so it seemed.

Here I was a confirmed monster freak, with all the Aurora glow in the dark monster models, and a die-hard fan of local TV creature features, but there were no VCRs, no way to "capture" a film you liked; everything was ephemeral, one-time only... and this was the only time I saw the commercial for SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT. It sort of fell into the realm of dream... a nightmare!

But even now I have a hard time even looking at the cover to Black Christmas. Do they really have to show the chick with the plastic bag on her head? Just looking at it, my lungs feel panicky...(which is why I'm not showing it; you can link to it, though, here)

1 comment:

  1. I have two posters to SILENT NIGHT, EVIL NIGHT. One is the girl with the plastic bag over her head. It came with a separate piece of paper that could be pasted over it that had the BLACK CHRISTMAS logo on it. The other one is an insert, much different, with the reflection of a nude dead body in a single shiny-ball X-mas ornament.

    I, too, was fascinate by BLACK CHRISTMAS when I was a kid. Seeing it in 1975 at the drive-ins when I was 9 years old, it scared the bejeebers out of me. The next week, I insisted on seeing it again, and my parents agreed, bless em. I still think it's one of the greatest horror movies of all time. One other note about it's marketing: in some ads for the movie, there was a number you could call that would give you a special Black Christmas message. I tried to call it, but I could never get an answer, which was, in itself, pretty creepy.

    Here's a link to my review on my website.


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