Since we’re still having a “dinosaur christmas” this year too (though on a smaller and more canonical scale, as previously stated) and now it’s technically december, let’s look at a couple of Christmas horror flicks, just for kicks.
After the Krampus quick “discovery” and exploitation as another spin for chrismas horror movies (often by extremely low budget productions), something else had to be done, ransacking christmas folklore around the world as a way to some kind of legitimacy, which also leads to terribly confusing – even if somehow apt- titles like “Mother Krampus”.
While that itself isn’t confusing, keep in mind we’re talking about the 2017 movie by James Klass, there also Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride, that came out in 2018, but released on DVD in the UK as just “Mother Krampus”. Not that the movies are connected in any way, but come on, this is some supreme titulatory bullshit, vintage bullshit that should have died out in the 80s.
Since the titular “demon mother” doesn’t actually exist or is featured in the movie, i like the alternate title the UK DVD version goes under, “12 Deaths Of Christmas”, still cheesy, but more catchy and it has some connections to the german urban legend of Frau Perchta, the Christmas Witch, who takes a child each night over the 12 days of Christmas. So it’s not just wanton nonsense.
As we’re told by text and narration, for the 12 days before the Christmas of 1921, children went missing near the local towns woods. A traumatized girl was found, but her mind had gone, and she later died of her horrific injuries. Just before the Christmas of 1992, yet again five children disappeared. Their bodies were found in the same woods.
Angry and seeking vengeance, the locals hung a woman they believed to be the killer. But before dying, she cursed the town that one day the Christmas Witch, Frau Perchta, would come for them to avenge her death. 25 years later, the story faded into a local legend. Until children started to go missing again, making the town wonder if Frau Perchta has really come to reap what they sow.
Yeah, despite me preferring the UK DVD title, it’s just playing favorites, since this is a variation on the Krampus story, but not quite, with enough to make it stand out a bit more, and thankfully this never goes into bullshit exploitation territory, like Krampus The Christmas Devil and its sequel did.
And it’s surprisingly more competent than i expected, decent by the standards of these low budget horror flicks (this one being an UK production, as you can tell right away by the actors and accents), it’s watchable, there are some creepy and atmospheric moments, often about how Frau Perchta tries to lures children in with candy, acting is okay (mostly), characters are decent, but the script gets so overburdened with a mess of relationships, secret identities, cheating and connections between the people of the village that partecipated in stringing up the witch decades ago.
So much i was confused about what twist the movie was building to, i was led to believe they were building another type of twist, but instead it’s just an explanation for some of the overly complicated mess of relationships, there mostly to pad up the runtime and provide more victims for the witch, quite eager to take the opportunity to up the body count (instead of going directly to get what she wanted for in the first place) and provide us with some gory, bloody scenes, like her stuffing christmas lights in the stomach and crucificing a girl, stuffing a victim with their own intestines, or delightfully gory stuff like using live skin to fill the cookie cutters so then bake them.
And to use some of their “Lady Palpatine” powers, which makes for a more entertaining film, but also is a bit disappointing because you’re never given any chance to suspect the curse isn’t real, there isn’t much attention to detail on the backstory of the witch (which evokes Freddy Krueger’s in Nightmare In Elm Street 3 more than Krampus), and at times you’d wish they had more budget, because the make-up for the witch is cheap ass and not convincing, and some of the night scenes would have benefitted from better lighting, instead of using candles and ornaments for illumination.
Still, not a bad effort, surprisingly ok low budget christmas slasher from the UK.