Tag Archive | "KRAMPUS"

Tags: , , , , ,

FLICKS: The Spirit of Krampus, Christmas movies & more

Posted on 15 December 2016 by LeslieM

flicks121516By Dave Montalbano


For that past five years at The Spooky Empire, I have observed the teamwork between a mother and her son, Cheryl A. Thayer-Blackford and her son, Jarrad Walker. These two are cosplayers, and their costumes are eye catching and unique. Upon closer inspection, one realizes that Jarrad is in a motorized vehicle, for he did not have use of his legs. Over the summer and under consultation with medical doctors, Jarrad had his legs amputated to improve the quality of his life.

Yet, as early as April, Jarrad planned to attend The Spooky Empire Ultimate Horror Weekend as the Anti-Santa Claus – Krampus. When Hurricane Matthew forced the closing of Spooky Empire in October, Jarrad was more than prepared for Spooky Empire’s Halloween for Christmas. Cheryl and Jarrad’s perseverance paid off, for Krampus won The Spooky Empire Best Exhibition Costume Contest.

Best known for providing lumps of coal in the Christmas stockings of naughty children, Krampus represents the dark side of Santa Claus. By acknowledging his own tribulation through Krampus, Jarrad provided another lesson about the importance of the human spirit rising over adversity.

Happening this week:

Moana ruled the box office for the third weekend in a row. Moana has been nominated for a Golden Globe Award, along with Moonlight, which is currently on the big screen in local theaters.

While lacking a Golden Globe nomination but with plenty marketing hype, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens tomorrow. Manchester by the Sea also opens tomorrow with much awards buzz. Already nominated for five Golden Globe nominations, Manchester by the Sea is on track to stay on the big screen until the Oscar ceremony in late February.

Stay-at-home holiday movies:

For those who seek a return to memory lane, there are always DVDs. Sitting on the shelf at your local library is the annual classic Miracle on 34th Street. Starring Maureen O’Hara and a very young Natalie Wood, this classic tale set in Manhattan feels as fresh today as it did when it was released 69 years ago. For his performance as Kris Kringle, Edmund Gwenn earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

While lacking the special effects of Disney motion picture, March of the Wooden Soldiers does feature a live action Mickey Mouse in a supporting role. Based on a Victor Herbert operetta, Babes in Toyland, March of the Wooden Soldiers stars Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy as toy makers who attempt to protect Little Bo Peep, the Three Little Pigs and the little old lady who lives in a shoe from the crooked man Barnaby Silas (Henry Brandon). This film is filled with much humor and charm that will surely put one in the Christmas spirit.

Comments Off on FLICKS: The Spirit of Krampus, Christmas movies & more

Tags: , ,

FLICKS: Cramp your Christmas with Krampus

Posted on 10 December 2015 by LeslieM

By Dave Montalbano


When I wrote my third book, “The Querulous Nights of Athena Minerva,” I sought to meld elements of a Gothic ghost story with that of contemporary horror. The feedback I received was that it was a good story, but very disturbing. The new movie Krampus also melds ancient folklore with popular culture, resulting in $16 million box office gross.

Krampus opens like a traditional Christmas movie with a Bing Crosby song and vivid cinematography featuring people entering a mall on Thanksgiving evening. Within seconds, it is chaos in slow motion as elvish displays get knocked over and people are hurting each other. The scene concludes with Max (Emjay Anthony) defending the honor of Santa Claus.

After receiving a lecture from his mom Sarah (Toni Collette) and dad Tom (Adam Scott), Max must prepare for the annual Christmas invasion by his redneck family, herded in by Uncle Howard (David Koecher) and Aunt Dorothy (Conchata Ferrell). Max’s cousins are the spawn of every negative stereotype ever written about people from rural America.

Frustrated with the antics of his family, Max gives up faith in Santa Claus, rips up his letter to the North Pole and throws pieces of the letter to the North Wind. The pieces of his shredded letter end up in the underworld and Krampus is summoned.

The set-up is good, but the execution is clichéd. The second half of this low-budget film relies on flashing lights, dark cinematography and overly fast-paced editing. The cinematography solidifies the conclusion by returning the family to the land of Currier & Ives. However, this conclusion is as open-ended as an episode of The Twilight Zone.

When I heard the voice of Bing Crosby, I had “high hopes” for Krampus. In German Alpine folklore, Saint Nicholas rewards the nice children, while his opposite, Krampus, punishes the naughty ones. If this film focused on punishing the naughty children and adults of popular culture, Krampus could have become a classic like Tim Burton’s A Nightmare before Christmas.

This is my 17th December writing this column. During this busy season, I have learned the value of seeing a movie that provides escapism from the daily grind. People will leave Krampus wishing to spend more time with Saint Nicholas instead.

Comments Off on FLICKS: Cramp your Christmas with Krampus

Advertise Here
Advertise Here