Each week, one of Biff Bam Pop’s illustrious writers will delve into one of their favorite things. Perhaps it’s a movie or album they’ve carried with them for years. Maybe it’s something new that moved them and they think might move you too. Each week, a new subject, a new voice writing on… something they love.
As far as Black Christmas fans go, I’ll admit I’m something of a noob. After watching clips of the film on a Halloween horror TV special, I was too scared to watch the whole thing! But once I did, it quickly became one of my favorite slasher films. Although it was made in the early 1970s, it still feels as creepy now as it did the first time I saw it. A big part of this is due to the believable acting from the women in the film, including Canadian icon Lynne Griffin as Clare Harrison. Although she has few lines of dialogue, her appearance in Black Christmas is significant for other reasons, as anyone who’s a fan of the film will understand.
In honor of Anchor Bay’s new “Season’s Grievings” edition of Black Christmas, we chatted with Ms. Griffin about her role in the film. Be sure to look for the upcoming Biff Bam Popcast about the film that includes a roundtable discussion with Lynne Griffin, Nick Mancuso (the voice of “Billy”), and Doug McGrath (Sergeant Nash).
Despite being in a few iconic horror films, you’ve said you don’t care for the gore and violence of many current horror films. Are there any more recent psychological horror type films that you do enjoy?
I like films that spoof horror, like the films of April Mullen. I was in a film of hers called 88 and her vision is terrific. I do think David Cronenberg is a genius. My favourite horror viewing at the moment is every season of American Horror Story and Penny Dreadful.
Are there any horror films you wish you’d been in? If so, which ones and why?
I wanted to do a sequel to Black Christmas. I would be great as the drunken house mother Mrs. Mac now! I did a wonderful short-lived horror series called Happy Town. It only lasted one season but I wish it had caught on, the writing and the special effects were terrific as was the cast. Bring it back!!
You’ve done a lot of theater in your career. Things like Evil Dead: The Musical and Darren Lynn Bousman’s The Devil’s Carnival are super popular right now. Would you ever consider doing a horror play?
My dream is to do a stage version of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? with Lesleh Donaldson who was in the horror film Curtains with me. We have our fingers crossed. And yes! I hear there is a musical of Carrie, so, I am available and accepting offers!
As someone who has not only acted in theater, but also directed theatrical productions, which do you prefer? Would you ever consider directing a film?
As hard as I perceive directing film is, I would love to give it a shot.
What do you enjoy about working in theater and film in Toronto? How has the atmosphere of both changed over the years?
Independent film and theatre are exploding right now in Toronto. The digital age has made it possible and affordable. There are so many new companies enjoying a boom right now and I see it continuing to grow and be able to compete artistically with the big guns.
Although you were the first victim in Black Christmas, your corpse continues to appear throughout the film, even up to the last scene. Have you ever considered an alternate universe where Black Christmas had a sequel and your character became the new Jason Voorhees, i.e., someone who died in the first film but who becomes the killer in future movies? Am I crazy for even asking this question? (haha!)
I did get to play the killer in the horror movie Curtains and I loved that. I have played so many victims, like in The Amateur, that it is great to be able to live until the final reel and the end credits!
The “Seasons Grievings” edition of Black Christmas on Blu-ray is out now from Anchor Bay. Special features include a new documentary, a 40th anniversary panel from FanExpo 2014, new commentary from Nick Mancuso, documentaries, interviews, Q&A, deleted scenes, trailers, and more, plus new cover art from Ghoulish Gary Pullin!