Thursday, April 5, 2007
The very sad news has come through today that director Bob Clark and his 22 year old son have been killed by a drunk driver. Clark is probably best know for A CHRISTMAS STORY but I will always love and admire his work from the early seventies.
After the creepy shocker Clark delivered two of the finest horror films from the seventies with 1974's DEATHDREAM (DEAD OF NIGHT) and BLACK CHRISTMAS.
The underrated DEATHDREAM concerns a young man returning home from Vietnam as a literal zombie. Clark directs Alan Ormsby's politically charged script with a lot of flare and this remains genuinely haunting and scary all of these years later. It also remains a very timely commentary on war and its affects on soldiers. It is a great film currently available in a fine special edition from Blue Underground.
My favorite Clark film is undoubtedly the incredibly chilling and influential BLACK CHRISTMAS. This near perfect film is simply put one of the most important films of the seventies and one of the most copied. Clark's early slasher features a stellar cast including Margot Kidder, Olivia Hussey, John Saxon and Keir Dullea. One of the most stylish horror films of the decade it is also one of the most ambiguous with an ending that has been the subject of many discussions between horror fans since its release.
BLACK CHRISTMAS is currently available on three special edition dvds and I recommend the last two for any horror or film lover.
Clark admittedly made some poor films later in his career but that shouldn't obscure the fact that he was amongst the most interesting directors working in the early seventies. His best films will be remembered and valued by film fans for decades to come. He had a reputation of being a very warm and nice man, the senseless death of him (as well as his son) is a very tragic event.