For the Trailers From Hell gang, nothing gets us in the mood for the holidays like a yuletide slasher movie. “Black Christmas” was directed by Bob Clark in 1974. Nine years later he would settle in to a more conventional view of the holiday season with “A Christmas Story.” Ralphie would have peed in his snowsuit had he seen this film.
When you answer the phone over the holidays, you’d better hope it’s Grandma and not the homicidal maniac who phones it in before he does his dirty work. Watch “Black Christmas,” and you’ll immediately get rid of all the Saran Wrap in the house and put that unicorn ornament away for next year.
The title makes one think a Blaxploitation movie is about to roll. As a result, the name has been changed a couple of times. It was to receive yet another name change for television airing, until the TV brass said, “Never mind – it’s too scary for the small screen.”
Horrifyingly, the movie was based on an actual string of Christmas murders in Quebec. It was one of the first slasher flicks and it has all the elements of a great one. Disturbing title? Check. Deranged killer? Check. Sorority house? Check. A variety of gruesome killings? Check. All we need now is some black wine.
For “Black Christmas,” lets go with a very dark and very forceful wine – the black wine of Cahors. The Cahors region, in South West France, is the only place where Malbec is still grown in the whole country. It hasn’t been without its struggles, either. Phylloxera killed all the Cahors vineyards in the late 19th century and a horrible, deadly freeze in 1956 brutally murdered the replanted vines. The strong, black wine of Cahors has been a favorite of many generations of royalty, dating back to the Roman Empire.
Château Haut Monplaisir Prestige Cahors 2007 is a $20 version of the black wine of Cahors. The inky Malbec shows a nose of meat on the hook and herbs on the black cherry flavor.
Also in the black:
Château du Cèdre Héritage Cahors 2009 – More inky, black Malbec with 10% Tannat. $15
Black Estate Wine – from New Zealand’s Waipara Valley.
I’m Dreaming of a Black Christmas – holiday musings from the very funny Lewis Black