The star of classic 1970s slasher film Black Christmas is returning for a new fan-made sequel. Released in 1974, Bob Clark’s Black Christmas told the chilling story of sorority sisters being stalked by a mysterious killer over the Christmas holiday. Regarded as one of the very first true slasher films, the low-budget Canadian production was unique among horror movies for never receiving an official sequel. The only Black Christmas follow-ups to reach the screen are a pair of remakes, one in 2006 and another in 2019, and a 2019 short film, centered on the granddaughter of the original movie’s final girl, entitled It’s Me, Billy.
Now the fan-made It’s Me Billy is getting its own sequel, and the production is receiving a huge boost, as original Black Christmas star Olivia Hussey is set to reprise her role. As revealed by the film’s co-directors Bruce Dale and Dave McCrae, It’s Me Billy 2: Chapter 2 is currently seeking contributions via Indiegogo, with an eye toward kicking off production in winter of 2023. The hope is to release the film free online in 2024 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the original Black Christmas. Dale and McCrae said in a statement (via Collider):
“It’s Me, Billy was always designed to be the first part of a two-part story, hence the cliffhanger ending. It was always our hope that we’d get a chance to complete our vision and bring this story to a conclusion. Now is that time. We are excited to invite horror fans from around the world to help us complete the final step of our journey, one that will continue to pay honor and respect to the incredible legacy of the original Black Christmas and everyone involved in the making of that film.”
Where Black Christmas Fits In Slasher Movie History
When it comes to the history of slasher movie villains, figures like Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger immediately come to mind. But before all those classic monsters terrorized young moviegoers, Black Christmas unleashed Billy, a deranged sorority-sister-terrorizing murderer who helped set the template for future mad movie killers. Saying it merely set the template might indeed be an understatement when it comes to the influence of Black Christmas, as John Carpenter allegedly got the entire idea for Halloween from a conversation with director Clark about a potential Black Christmas sequel.
Beyond the influence of the Billy character on future horror movie icons like Michael Myers, Black Christmas also offered an early example of the final girl concept, paving the way for characters like Halloween’s Laurie Strode and A Nightmare On Elm Street’s Nancy Thompson. Now one of the OG final girls is set to return, as Hussey will reprise the role of Jess Bradford 50 years after first bringing her to life. This is obviously great news for the creators of It’s Me, Billy 2, as it lends an extra boost of credibility to their efforts, but it’s also great news for fans of classic slasher movies like Black Christmas, as it represents the return of a truly important character who seldom gets her due as a great horror movie survivor.
Source: Dave McCrae/YouTube, Indiegogo (via Collider)