Christmas is just a few days away, and that, of course, means many of you have already blazed through a hefty catalogue of your favorite Christmas movies. Whether it’s Home Alone or It’s a Wonderful Life, everyone has their go-to Christmas classics. For the macabre among us, that also means the holly, jolly horror flicks. And a staple within that genre is the all-time classic Black Christmas (1974).
No, I’m not talking about the terrible 2006 remake. Nor am I talking about the overly-preachy 2019 remake. I’m talking about the original Canadian slasher flick inspired by urban legends and true crime. The haunting ending has captured the imagination of fans new and old, and some believe that John Carpenter was inspired by this film when creating another little slasher movie called Halloween (1978).
But one thing that has always stuck with me, since the first time I watched this movie, was an unsung hero: the sorority housemother Mrs. MacHenry (lovingly called Mrs. Mac and portrayed by Marian Waldman). But it wasn’t her mother hen persona that stood out as much as it was her character flaw. That flaw, of course, was her tendency to hide stashes of booze all around the house. As the film progresses, we see all the ways Mrs. Mac makes her spirits bright, and I’ve decided to rank her five hiding spots.
Honorable Mention: Alcohol Wreath
As the protagonist of the film Jess Bradford searches through the house for the killer, she enters one door with a holiday wreath. But instead of your traditional wreath trappings, this one is decked with booze. It’s a sorority house, so this could be anyone’s doing, but this just feels like a Mrs. Mac move (other than the fact that its out in the open).
Number Five: Her Purse
As Clare Harrison’s prying father grows increasingly anxious about finding his missing daughter (who is very dead in the attic, as of the beginning of the movie), he gets more and more on Mrs. Mac’s nerves. Mrs. Mac politely excuses herself to fetch her purse before heading to the police station and then verbally unloads in front of the mirror. But not before rifling through her purse and pulling out a bottle for a swig to take off the edge. I may not own a purse, but a traveling bottle of booze is an all-time reliable move.
Number Four: Her Suitcase
Another travel supply. Mrs. Mac is jovially singing to herself before heading out, and this means another swig of holiday cheer. But the atmosphere quickly darkens as Mrs. Mac can’t find her cat, Claude. Sadly, this is her last hoorah before meeting her grisly demise. Poor Mrs. Mac.
Number Three: A Shoebox in the Closet
After returning from a shopping trip, Mrs. Mac goes to hang up her coat. One of the sorority girls tells her they received another lewd phone call. This appears to be too much stress on her nerves, so she frantically looks through the coat closet for…something. Finally, she pulls out a box, exclaiming, “Eureka!” But, unfortunately, this bottle is empty. Poor Mrs. Mac.
Number Two: A Book
After we witness the first murder of the movie, we quickly cut to an excited group of sorority girls gifting Mrs. Mac with a nightgown. She acquiesces to their demands and dons the nightgown then shoos them off to bed. She then makes her way to the bookcase where, nestled between the Harvard Classics, is a large black book. “B for…booze,” she recites as she opens the book, revealing a perfect-sized cutout for her bottle of sherry.
Number One: The Toilet Tank
Yes, you read that right. As Mrs. Mac prepares for bed, she stops brushing her teeth and searches the bathroom mirror cabinet. Unsatisfied, she knowingly smiles as she looks down at the toilet tank. She lifts the lid, draws a string, and behold: a stash of booze. And it serves a double purpose as mouthwash! Good old Mrs. Mac, always resourceful.
And there you have it! You can witness all of Mrs. Mac’s hiding spots and more by streaming Black Christmas on Peacock.