You better not pout, you better not cry, I’m telling you why…Krampus will drag you to hell in his basket and eat you.
I just discovered this lovely legend from the Alpine regions of Europe. Krampus is the enforcement side of the St. Nicholas story. Coal in your stocking? No presents? Kids don’t believe those threats. Try telling them that a demonic figure with horns and a long red tongue will beat them with switches or chains, or even take them to hell never to be seen again.
In Europe, St. Nicholas comes on the eve of December 6th, not Christmas Eve. But just as Santa Claus made the leap over the Atlantic Ocean and changed his schedule, I think we should invite Krampus to do the same. Our Christmas is so nice, so sugary sweet, so boring. It needs a little horror to make it interesting. Can you imagine if every mall Santa had a Krampus nearby? If the Macy’s parade featured a devil coming behind Santa Claus and threatening children with physical harm? Now that’s something that would make every child as nice as possible.
In fact, Krampus has his own parades all over Europe, and it seems he is gaining some traction in the U.S. Sometimes there are hundreds of Krampuses in these parades. Yes, what Christmas in America needs is fear.
It is early morning on Thanksgiving 2011. All over America people are traveling to see their loved ones and preparing to stuff their faces with turkey and all the fixins. This holiday is all about family, love and happiness. But I have always felt it was incomplete. What Thanksgiving really needs is a horror movie with a killer turkey that can’t be stopped.
Fortunately THANKSKILLING steps up to the plate. Plate, get it? It is actually, by most standards, a really bad movie. It was made for $3,500 and the actors seem to have been chosen for their inability to act. It doesn’t make much sense and the special effects are ridiculous. But dude, it’s about a killer turkey. The hand puppet of the turkey looks good and the voice is suitably evil.
I saw it on Netflix streaming, and a DVD is also available. You can find out more at thankskillingmovie.com. An effort is underway to raise money for a sequel with a higher budget and even higher ambitions, to make a comedy horror classic on the level of Evil Dead. They have a long way to go, but if they do make the sequel, you will hear about it here.
Horror author Red Tash is offering a Kindle 3G + wifi as a prize in his Trick or Treat Bash! Visit his blog at http://redtash.com/bash to check it out! Second and third prizes are Amazon gift cards. PLUS – a long list of Kindle horror authors will give a free book to the winner. This includes my own Halloween Sky and Other Nightmares.
All you have to do is comment on Red’s blog and visit the blogs of the other fine authors!
Sunlight kills vampires. Right? That’s the assumption of many modern vampire stories. However, this notion seems to have been created for the convenience of movie makers. Nosferatu, an unauthorized German adaptation of Dracula, seems to be the source of this common assumption.
In the book Dracula, the count can walk about during the day but is less strong and fast. There is one other thing about him in the book that is never shown in movies. In addition to not having a reflection, he does not cast a shadow. Try showing that in a movie, at least before the age of CGI. It would be impossible to light. Movie makers needed a dramatic way to kill the vamp at the end and mere exposure to sunlight became the conventional way to do it.
Vampires come from the legends of many countries, and when candles and oil lamps were the only way to have any light at night, the hours of darkness between dusk and dawn could be very scary. Anything could be out there, waiting to catch you and have its way with you. It was better to stay inside and bar your doors. If something seemed to be able to creep inside and attack you no matter how tight your doors were locked, like a disease, then you imagined creatures that could slip through tiny cracks to get you.
If there was a recent death in your village, you might well dig up the corpse and chop off its head to make sure it was dead. It was the only thing people could do, they had no concept of germs and viruses. No one don digs up corpses at night, they wait for daylight hours. Then you find the sinister fiend has returned to the grave after creeping out at night to attack you! Hey, we’re talking superstitious peasants here, logic wasn’t their strong suit.
Now the sunlight kills vampires idea is so standard that writing a story with vampires playing beach volleyball at noon would take some explaining. I understand that the “vampires” in Twilight do carry on in daylight, and that’s when they sparkle. I suppose you really can’t sparkle when there is no light. I don’t know that for sure because I would only read Twilight if I had a gun to my head the whole time.
So writers of horror fiction, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and any other story that contains a vamp or two, remember that there is nothing that can’t be changed. Vampires are fictional and each writer can pick and choose which classic details to use or ignore them all. Early movie makers created a new convention just because it was easier to show, and you can do what you want with your vampires also.