Friday, December 4, 2015

K.A.C. 2015 - T - 21 ...

     *Sniff* - Today's post just makes me so proud. It seems like only yesterday that our K.A.C. mascot, Krampus, was starting out in this blog. He's been featured many times in Conjure Cinema's past, with write-ups on his annual parade and his slow but sure rise as a holiday pop culture icon around the world. And now look at him - today he debuts in his first Hollywood film! 

     From Legendary Pictures and Universal Studios, KRAMPUS is the perfect Christmas movie ... for those who HATE Christmas movies! :) The story (from the official website):

     "Legendary Pictures’ Krampus, a darkly festive tale of a yuletide ghoul, reveals an irreverently twisted side to the holiday.
When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers.
All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family’s home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive." 

     The film stars Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner,
Allison Tolman, Conchata Ferrell, Stefania Lavie Owen and Krista Stadler. It's PG-13 (which means you can take the kids, ESPECIALLY the bad ones!) and promises to be a fun time - I plan on seeing it next Tuesday and will get back to you with my thoughts on it. It's being billed as a 'horror-comedy', but it could just as easily be billed as a mystery, namely how on Earth did Toni Collette end up in this? That's a real head-scratcher!

     Take a gander at the trailer:

     Also, hats off to the distributors of the film for releasing it today - I hope someone actually did their homework and this wasn't just a happy coincidence. Today is the BEST day of the year to release this movie - why? Not because it's December and any movie with a holiday theme comes out sometime this month ... no, because today (December 4th) is one day away from Krampus' official day (or night, to be more specific): December 5th is Krampusnacht (Krampus Night) on the eve of the Feast of Saint Nicholas, December 6th. Think of it as sort of a Christmas version of Halloween (All Hallow's Eve). Confused? Maybe this Wikipedia entry will explain it better:

     "The Feast of St. Nicholas is celebrated in parts of Europe on 6 December. In Alpine countries, Saint Nicholas has a devilish companion named Krampus   On the preceding evening of December 5th, Krampus Night or Krampusnacht, the wicked hairy devil appears on the streets. Sometimes accompanying St Nicholas and sometimes on his own, Krampus visits homes and businesses.The Saint usually appears in the Eastern Rite vestments of a bishop, and he carries a ceremonial staff. Unlike North American versions of Santa Claus, in these celebrations Saint Nicholas concerns himself only with the good children, while Krampus is responsible for the bad. Nicholas dispenses gifts, while Krampus supplies coal and the ruten bundles."

     If you're wondering what a 'ruten bundle' is, that's the "pole, rod, staff, stick, shaft, stick or bundle of twigs used for whipping." 

     Laura and I were just talking yesterday about our desire to actually go some year and see a Krampus parade (or Krampuslauf, as they are known) in person - should you go and want to protect yourself from the Hairy One, we've got you covered there, as well - read on!


     "A Krampuslauf is a run of celebrants dressed as the beast, often fueled by alcohol. It is customary to offer a Krampus schnapps, a strong distilled fruit brandy." 

     Hmmm, if they're already 'fueled by alcohol', offering Krampus MORE schnapps is probably not the best idea ... this may go a LONG way towards explaining the popularity of these parades! 

     While this is our mascot's first BIG Hollywood release, he has been popping up more and more as of late, both on TV and film (in shorts and independent features), as well as in a number of holiday items ranging from books to wrapping paper, ornaments to sweaters. The latest in Krampus-wear is this TRULY stylin' scarf, courtesy of the good folks at Archie McPhee - and yes, I have one (seriously, did you even have to ASK that?) - if you'd like to get one of your very own, here's how! 

     My hat's off to the copywriter who came up with the description for this fellow:  "More than a scarf, a veiled threat to your children. If your kids are good, they get a visit from Santa. If they're not good, it means Krampus is coming to town! Demonic looking Krampus kidnaps bad children and beats them with switches. That means this is the perfect scarf for a Christmas grump. ​Not only does this soft-knit acrylic 71" long scarf let​ ​​everyone know exactly how ​little Christmas spirit you have​, it also​ ​encourages the children around you to behave." 

     Well, I know what I'M wearing when I head out to see the movie! Make some time in the next few weeks to see it yourself, won't you? It's the least you can do for the old fellow, especially after all his service to the K.A.C. for lo, these many years. Besides, you REALLY don't want to explain to him why you DIDN'T come to see his film, do you? No, I thought not.

      Speaking of the K-man, he was recently in the news (again). This report from a few days ago (courtesy of NBC news) tells about a village in Mainz, Germany, where the residents had to explain to recent Syrian and Iraqi refugees all about their annual Krampus parade and why they didn't need to Fear the Krampus - read the full story here!




     Coming tomorrow: Another frolicking historical entry as we take you leaping and bounding over some Very Strange variations of the Yule Goat!

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