The Curator of Schlock #115 by Jeff Shuster

Krampus

I liked it.

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It’s that time again. No, I’m not referring to Christmas though that time is upon us. We’ve got another Star Wars movie coming out. Yeah. I suppose I’m supposed to be excited. Of course, I kind of gave up on Star Wars after I saw Attack of the Clones s. Yoda was fighting Count Dooky. They were having a big old light saber fight.  I heard someone in the back of the theater yell out “Kermit D. Frog!” It was at that moment that I knew Star Wars was over.

So … Krampus. John King wanted me to review a Christmas horror movie this year so I paid my six bucks on Tightwad Tuesday at the Frank Galleria and watched Krampus from director Michael Dougherty. It was good. Real good. So good I don’t even want to go into detail about what makes Krampus so good because you should go see it in the theater…right now!

It has a great cast featuring the likes of Toni Collette and David Koechner. The effects are fantastic, practical effects that bring to life killer jack-in-the-boxes,  teddy bears, and Christmas angels.

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The movie is unsettling, but not in a bad way if that makes any sense. If it doesn’t, then just see the movie and see what I mean.

It’s about Krampus, the shadow of St. Nicholaus, or is he the inverse of St. Nicholas? The Anticlaus? Don’t wish for ill tidings on your family no matter how dysfunctional they are. You might just get dumped into a gingerbread-fueled nightmare. Did I mention the elves? Creepy as all get out!

Where does the Krampus come from? Who or what is he? I found a quote on Wikipedia from a Maurice Bruce:

There seems to be little doubt as to his true identity for, in no other form is the full regalia of the Horned God of the Witches so well preserved. The birch—apart from its phallic significance—may have a connection with the initiation rites of certain witch-covens; rites which entailed binding and scourging as a form of mock-death. The chains could have been introduced in a Christian attempt to ‘bind the Devil’ but again they could be a remnant of pagan initiation rites.

 Uhhhhhh. What is this? Santa Claus for devil worshippers? Why can’t they leave Christmas alone! I’ve read elsewhere that Krampus is a demon or Santa’s evil twin. I guess he punishes the bad kids while Santa rewards the good kids. This whole thing is German and you’d figure I’d have some clue about it considering my own ancestry.

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So see Krampus. I did my best not spoil it for you guys. Hey, it beats giving Love Actually another whirl.

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Jeffrey Shuster 1

Photo by Leslie Salas

Jeffrey Shuster (episode 47episode 102episode 124, and episode 131) is an MFA candidate at the University of Central Florida.

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