Thursday, December 23, 2010

Silent Night Bloody Night (1974)

Silent Night Bloody Night (1974)
seen online via YouTube
12.22.10

I worked with Steve in video retail for over six years at two different locations. He was, among other things, the horror and cult movie expert. I could never figure out whether he was a horror fan because he was an oddball, or he was an oddball because he was a horror fan. Don't get me w
rong, I say oddball with great affection; we were good friends all during this time and I miss him. He was the kind of guy, though, whose darkly cynical sense of humor informed his personal tastes, which ran far, far left of center.

He loved Italian horror. I first learned about Mario Bava and Dario Argento through him. He liked Hammer horror too, of course. The Traces of Death series, Mondo films and other underground material; he knew all about them and in many cases recommended them for the store buyer to pick up. He loved mocking most, if not all, of the current Hollywood movies, but he wasn't a total mainstream snob. Bugs Bunny cartoons would cr
ack him up.

Steve and I both started out as clerks and eventually became managers. As managers, I would work weekdays, he'd work weekends. We both preferred it that way. I think, looking back, he was better able to keep his sense of humor than I was when it came to dealing with corporate accounts, deadbeat customers who always returned their videos late, messenger issues, and other daily craziness that came with the job. Oh, sure, there'd be plenty of times when he'd be stressed out as much as I was, but he never seemed as if he was on the verge of going postal, whereas I felt that way constantly.

We didn't plan on moving from Third Avenue to Avenue
A together; it just happened that way. Both stores were independents, but the former was a single outpost catering to a wide clientele and aspired to be the anti-Blockbuster, and the latter was part of a local chain that still felt like a neighborhood store. At Avenue A Steve and I both felt more relaxed and in our element, especially Steve, and we had more fun, I think.

I have no doubt that Steve has seen Silent Night Bloody Night. It's definitely his kind of film. I'm sure he even put it on in the store one Christmas. As I watched it last night, I wondered what he thought of it. I know he liked holiday horror movies. My mind was wandering because I put this on at around 10:30 PM or so and I was getting sleepy. Plus, I don't know whether it was a bad transfer or if the original really looked this way, but the version I saw on YouTube looked awful; dark with little-to-no contrast and pale, washed-out colors. I had the audio cranked up to maximum but it wasn't as loud as it should've been. So I can't say I even remember much about what I saw, which is too bad because Mary Woronov is in this movie and I like her. This is the last time I watch a movie after ten PM.

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