Friday, May 27, 2016
HE'S IN THE HOUSE! : What came first?
I recently watched DON'T HANG UP (aka DON'T OPEN THE DOOR) from 1974 and something came to mind: What the heck came first - this one of BLACK CHRISTMAS?! IMDB has BLACK CHRISTMAS coming out in 1974, but December, while DON'T HANG UP is May of the same year. I thought this was really interesting. There are elements of both that are very similar.
Of course, BLACK CHRISTMAS is the better film by far. DON'T HANG UP is entertaining, but slow and amateurish with acting that's...well...fit for the stage of a college play, really. But, it does look like it came out before BLACK CHRISTMAS. I just never heard about it before.
DON'T HANG UP is very giallo - even down to the lighting with it's bright red and green lights blasting from time to time. SO Bava it hurts with it's old dark house feel and who done it nature. It follows in the BAY OF BLOOD styling.
There are family goings on and murders and sick grandmothers and memories of past events that happened to the lead when she was a little girl. And, someone (an obvious someone) who wants to get the lead and her grandmother out of the way. That someone makes a series of phone calls and seems to be very aware of where our heroin is, what she's wearing and what she's doing when he's talking to her. VERY much like old Creepy Giggle Voices from BLACK CHRISTMAS. That's pretty much it.
The reason why this film doesn't come rocketing into people's minds when they think back on the genre is due to the fact that S.F. Brownrigg just is NOT Bava when it comes to direction and Schaefer and Newcomb don't really bring much to the table on the writing side. The pace is slow and the style is VERY B movie. However, it does have something to offer and should be viewed if you're into the genre from a historical standpoint. It's an entertaining watch, albeit slow.
Check it out if times allows!
DON'T HANG UP (Don't Open The Door)