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Showing posts with the label Krampus

Book Review: Krampusnacht: Twelve Nights of Krampus

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Krampusnacht: Twelve Nights of Krampus
Edited by Kate Wolford, 2014

Premise: Twelve short stories about Krampus. Variously known as the Christmas demon, the punisher of naughty children, and the star of severalrecent horror movies, Krampus has been having a bit of a moment recently.

Anthologies are generally hit and miss, and in attempting to please many tastes, this one definitely had some misses for me.

It starts fairly strong. "Prodigious" by Elizabeth Twist straddles myth and contemporary fiction tropes decently with a young man who plays Krampus at a toy store. "The Wicked Child" by Elise Forier Edie follows with something akin to a fairy tale, blending aspects of St Nicholas and Black Peter.

"Marching Krampus" by Jill Corddry was not short or funny enough for its thin "bratty sibling revenge" concept.

"Peppermint Sticks" by Colleen H. Robbins has some strong ideas about a darker interpretation of Christmas elves, but I didn't …

Funko: Pop! Holidays: Krampus

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If you're not familiar with Funko's line of Pop! figures, it's probably been a while since you've stepped foot in a Hot Topic. Or Barnes & Noble. Toys R Us, Target, Gamestop, Walmart, Walgreens... these things are everywhere. Usually in large numbers, too.

These are vinyl figures, which is different than normal plastic for reasons that after fifteen years of collecting toys as an adult, I still don't remotely understand. They're stylized to look cartoonish and fairly uniform. The toy line stretches across more properties than I can count - if it is or has been part of pop culture in the past three decades, there's a very good chance it's been made as a Pop! figure (possibly with a dozen or so variants).

As a rule of thumb, I don't pick these up. There's too many to bother with, and while I like the look of them well enough, they're not really the sort of thing I go after. I made an exception when I heard they were making this one, thoug…

Krampus (2015)

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After some careful consideration, Lindsay and I agree that Krampus is our second favorite dark comedy/horror/fantasy movie released this year that features the famous Christmas demon. To be fair, there was some stiff competition.

Honestly, Krampus is only nominally comedy or horror - I'd describe the film as a fairy tale before referring to either of those genres. And fairy tale is where Krampus's strength lies: it's a fantasy about Christmas magic and the darker implications of that concept. In realizing this side of the holidays, the movie employs some amazingly beautiful visuals. When we first set eyes on Krampus, we're too busy staring in awe to be afraid.

Which doesn't mean there aren't some jump scares and the like. But there's less horror than wonder, even when the things on screen are anything but friendly.

The movie opens somewhat gratuitously on dramatized imagery of shoppers battling each other for sales. It's here both to establish the degr…

A Christmas Horror Story (2015)

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A Christmas Horror Story's title might undersell the content: this is at least four distinct stories, not one, each with a different tone. The stories are told in tandem, cutting back and forth over the film's hour and forty minute run time. All occur simultaneously on Christmas Eve. They're technically connected, but not significantly. Some of the characters know each other or have some background tying them to another story, but none of what happens to them in their own tales is impacted by what's going on elsewhere.

Despite being distributed direct to video on demand, this anthology was impressively well shot, written, directed, and acted. It balances the horror and comedy well, juggling between a genuinely unsettling horror/fantasy, a creature feature, a ghost story, and a campy horror tale. None of these - not even the camp - fall into the pitfalls that usually trip up this genre. The movie never forgets it's horror first, and it has no interest in settling fo…

Comic Review: Krampus! #1-5

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Krampus!
2014, written by Brian Joines, Illustrated by Dean Kotz

You know Krampus by now, right? You probably do if you’ve been hanging out on Mainlining Christmas long. So you know that Krampus is a demon companion of Santa/St. Nicholas, who punishes bad children at Christmastime.

He’s also the star of this extremely fun comic series.

Think of every winter/christmas related character you can. Now expand your horizons a little and you’ll start to get an idea of the world of Krampus! The first issue opens at a dead run to establish the world and the plot premise. Someone has stolen the power source of the Secret Society of Santa Clauses, made up of Christmas gift-givers from across the world. Desperate, the Santas turn to their long-time enemy to help solve the mystery.

The snarky infighting among the Santas is plenty of fun, with the main focus being on Father Christmas from Britain, Sinterklaas from the Netherlands and Hoteiosho from Japan, with many of the others taking sides.

Kram…

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Wrath of the Krampus (2012)

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Do not make the same mistake we made: do not start with this episode.

I've always kind of liked Scooby-Doo as a concept and as an early attempt at animated horror/comedy. But I've never actually seen an approach that worked. The originals had some cool designs on some of the monsters, but the stories were never interesting.

Well, this is where that changes.

Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated updates the concept and characters in a way that remains true to the show's original concept and history, while simultaneously offering extremely intelligent writing, complex character and relationship development, as well as multi-season plot arcs with satisfying payoffs along with way. I don't just mean "satisfying for a cartoon," either: this is the kind of in-depth, multi-dimensional story telling that's rare on live-action TV.

We, of course, stumbled across it because of the Christmas episode. Only it's not really a Christmas episode, at all. The hook is that K…