Great Slasher Mysteries Vol. 2

Time for us to delve deeper into the mysterious world of mysterious slasher mysteries, with two classic cases from the Vaults of the Unknown. Last time, readers were kind enough to share their opinions and extra information concerning the conundrums featured, and I encourage you to do so again if you think you know something we don’t. Similarly, reader “the2ndsuitor” posed a riddle of his own involving a cast member from My Bloody Valentine. If anyone feels they can answer it without stumbling into a libel case, please feel free!
Oh, and a warning to the less-seasoned slasher fans: proceed with caution. This volume is pretty heavy on the old spoilers…
CASE #3: The Mystery of the Enigmatic Eye

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At least until the release of the 2006 remake, the backstory of “Billy”, the killer in Bob Clark’s 1974 slasher Black Christmas, was one of the most ambiguous ever created. In fact, since the redux is a standalone (and, most would agree, inferior) film, it’s fair to say that, in the sinister world of Clark’s original, Billy was never really identified at all – and he was certainly never killed. All we find out is his name, the name of a previous victim (Agnes, who may have been his little sister) and the fact that Billy is still alive at the end of the story, hiding in the attic to continue his taunting phone calls and, presumably, killing spree.
That’s mystery enough, you might think… but no! Before his tragic death in 2007, Bob Clark mentioned that he couldn’t actually remember who “played” Billy in the film’s most memorable and disturbing image: that shot of the killer’s staring eye peering through the door at final girl Jess. Someone out there owns that enigmatic eyeball but, until they come forward, Billy remains one of the most mysterious figures in slasher history.
CASE #4: The April Fool’s Ambiguity

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Before you continue with this particular mystery, start by taking out your DVD of April Fool’s Day. Now, you have two options… If it’s the remake, throw it in the nearest bin. If it’s the Paramount release of the original, turn it over and take a look at the pictures on the back. You’ll notice that one prominently featured image shows the character of Skip apparently dead – which is a little odd if you think about it, considering he survives the film.

Well, he survives in the version that Paramount actually released, anyway. The original cut had an entire third act that was filmed but completely deleted before the movie hit theatres, resulting in the current love-it-or-hate-it ending we all know and love (or hate). If you want to read the original ending in its entirety, you can do so right here at Retro Slashers, thanks to a full transcription of the final section of the tie-in novelization. Or, if you’re more of a synopsis-type person, try reading the section in Lost Scenes.

Now the only remaining mystery is: why did that picture turn up on the DVD sleeve in the first place?

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7 Responses to “ Great Slasher Mysteries Vol. 2 ”

  1. That’s kinda weird. It’s almost as if they are playing their own April Fool’s Day joke on us…

  2. I spelled my name wrong. Whoopsy!

  3. It may not even be intentional. Just another still in a collection and someone thought it looked good never realizing it’s not in the film. I just wish they had that ending as a bonus feature though.

  4. wow, I never knew about that last third of AFD. Cool.

    I have always been fascinated with who Billy was, and entirely disappointed with the remake’s story of how he came to be a killer (with orange skin, right? Bah!)… I kind of like the idea of it being so ambigious. As for the eyeball, well yes, I’d love ot know who that belonged to, please!

  5. imdb lists Nick Mancuso as “The Prowler / Phone Voice (uncredited)”
    Bob Clarke himself also did a Phone Voice and appeared as the “Prowler’s Shadow” apparently!

  6. To anyone interested the novelization of April Fool’s Day is fantastic. I highly recommend it.

  7. well, i have to agree that the Black-Xmas remake is inferior, but it’s not that bad. In fact, i found it entertaining, but nevertheless, it is still inferior, it felt kinda…random.

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