Category Archives: Holiday Horror

(More) VILE VALENTINES!

Happy Valentine’s Day, you sick freaks!

When I started Camera Viscera two years ago (time flies when you’re droning on about horror movie memories from your childhood, huh?), I designed a few Valentine’s Day cards (“Vile Valentines”, I dubbed them) and posted them to the site, free to share, email, or print out and trade. That first run only consisted of 11 “cards”. They were neat, but unfortunately I made them very small in size. You can find them all HERE.

The next year, I decided to do it again even though the first batch barely made a blip on anyone’s radar (let alone, CV’s SEO). This subsequent collection proved to be much more successful, thanks mostly to several popular horror sites posting about them and sharing them. I made 16 of ’em that go ’round, and made them 2.5″ x 3.5″ – the size of actual valentines you could buy at the store. You can find those HERE.

And now, here we are, two years later – and I’ve done it again! The designs are similar to what I did last year, with a few minor tweaks. I’ve included all new horror icons – no repeats from any of the prior years – and I’ve upped the stack to the arbitrary number of 22! They’re big, they’re colorful, and they’re dumb – the perfect way to tell someone “I kind of tolerate you”! So share ’em, email ’em, line your bird cage with ’em — just enjoy them!

Camera Viscera’s Vile Valentines!

Aloha, mutants! It’s that time of year once again when couples are forced to spend lots of money on each other while the single folk get to laugh manically whilst eating alone in their dark, empty studio apartments. (More of a laugh-cry, really.) In either case, Valentine’s Day is clearly a holiday for losers.

To help make the day a little more bearable, I’ve whipped up some free valentines for you to share, email, print out, burn, and curse.

I made 11 of these last year (find ’em here), but they ended up being very small in size. This year I upped it to 16 and they’re all much bigger – that way it’s easier to see all the terrible details. Enjoy and share with the one you love hate!

“Krampus” (2015) REVIEW

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If I don’t see a new release within a week of it hitting the theater, it usually finds its way into my “I’ll get to it…eventually” pile, only to really be seen when it hits DVD or VOD. With this in mind, I decided Sunday was the day to see Krampus, come hell or high water. And while high water didn’t come, rain sure did — while I was biking to the theater, no less. Damp but not deterred, I got in a line that wrapped around the block (“Must be for The Good Dinosaur.” I thought to myself, naively.) My friends were already inside saving me a seat, so I wasn’t worried about that. But as I approached the ticket window I was greeted with a sign no moviegoer wants to see: “SOLD OUT”, slapped above the 2:30pm showtime of Krampus. Goddamn. So there I was, wet and out a movie, with two hours to kill until the next showtime. Thankfully, the theater was directly across the street from one of those massive liquor outlets so I headed over and killed time by perusing their endless aisles of stock. I eventually left with several of those little booze bottles you get on airplanes (“snooters”, as I’ve so lovingly nicknamed them.) Specifically, they were Peppermint Schnapps — to help get me in the holiday mood. And let me say: Krampus was a blast on a belly full of mint liqueur!

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While the movie revolves around an entire family, the main protagonist is young Max (Emjay Anthony), a kid who is at the age where he knows Santa isn’t real…but he still kinda believes in him. Keeping the faith (and mostly just wanting to keep the tradition alive) Max pens a letter to Santa — not asking for toys, but asking for the type of Christmas he remembers growing up; one where the family gets along.

Soon after penning the letter, Max’s relatives and in-laws show up and we see why Max wants a normal Christmas so badly: country-friend gun nut Howard (Dave Koechner) belittles Max’s dad, Tom (Adam Scott); drunken Aunt Dorothy (Conchata Ferrell) complains about the food prepared by Max’s mom, Sarah (Toni Collette). And then there are Howard and Linda’s (Allison Tolman) kids: two of them are fine, but the other two — sporty sisters — find Max’s letter and read it aloud at the dinner table. Max, embarrassed and angry and hurt, snatches the letter and runs off to his room where he tears it up and tosses it out the window. What he doesn’t realize is this act summons Krampus, an evil Christmas spirit who punishes those who lose their love of the holiday. Soon, the power is out and there’s clomping up on the rooftop, and well…the family is in for a long night.

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There’s a lot to love about Krampus. Right off the bat, the movie opens with a hilarious montage that takes a stab at the modern state of consumerism. It’s a simple yet clever opening, and it immediately reassured me that I was going to be in good hands for the next 90 minutes. And while the characters may seem stock (redneck cousins, alcoholic aunt), they’re all played in ways that make them feel fresh. Everyone’s individual performances are spot-on, especially Dave Koechner and his rightwing clan (especially his sporty daughters, perhaps the most brilliant casting of 2015.)

In addition to the great performances the movie is visually stunning. From the massive snowstorm outside to the collection of evil toys that spring to life to the character design of Krampus himself (itself?), everything looks spectacular and is exciting to watch. Krampus does a stellar job of blending CGI and live action stuff almost flawlessly.  They did a great job of making sure Krampus looked real in all the close-ups, and used the CGI to their advantage when creating lifelike environments. Your senses won’t be assaulted like with most modern CGI trash — here it’s artfully handled and executed with the perfect amount of restraint.

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Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the sound design in Krampus. I read a positive review of the sound design somewhere online, and about halfway into the movie I realized exactly why. Krampus is a big, hoofed, noisy beast, covered in chains and bells. Whether he’s thudding around on the roof or trying to make his way down the chimney, the dude makes a lot of noise. The sound designers for Krampus totally killed it; they were able to make the titular character’s presence sound scary.

There are a glut of really bad Christmas horror movies out there, but thankfully Krampus isn’t one of them. Give it some time and it could become a classic. Check it out!

The Camera Viscera XMAS LIST!

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Ah, Christmas: that time of year for long lines at the store, fistfights over parking spots, and crowds of a-holes blocking your path. Thankfully, the internet was invented and online shopping helped change the way we do our holiday purchasing. But somewhere along the way, when we no longer had to set foot in a brick-and-mortar store, we forgot an important aspect of spending money on stuff: supporting local businesses.

So with the big day less than a month away, I thought I’d offer up a few suggestions of hardworking artists — regular Joes and Janes like you and I — people who I’m friends with, have purchased stuff from, or just whose work I just flat out admire. So maybe skip Amazon and give one of these talented folks a shot. Just click them tabs to go to their sites! Continue reading The Camera Viscera XMAS LIST!

“Kristy” (2014) REVIEW

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As someone who reviews horror movies on the reg (that’s ‘regular’ for you lame-os out there) it’s really important that I see as many horror movies as I can, whether it be at home or in the theater. However, like most normal civilized human beings I have the typical 40 hour work week with the occasional hobby and scant social interaction tossed into the mix. This means I have to be particularly selective about the movies I do see when I get the chance. I know that doesn’t sound very impartial or objective, but it’s all about logic: I stick to stuff I have a specific interest in (crime, suspense, psychological stuff) and I avoid the shit I hate (hauntings, found footage, mumblegore), and for the most part it works out in my favor; I end up seeing movies that I end up liking. Occasionally I’m thrown a wildcard, like a movie I should like but have reservations about (Cooties, for example), but trusting my gut has never failed me me once and my batting average for “think it looked like crap and, surprise, it ended up being crap” is near flawless. (For those wondering, yes, I ended up watching Cooties despite my better judgment and, of course, I ended up disliking it.) Continue reading “Kristy” (2014) REVIEW

5 Things I Love About HALLOWEEN!

For obvious reasons, Halloween is the quintessential October horror film. Come this time of year, sites will be flooded with articles and lists praising the film and its enduring legacy, and some will even promise to tell you 15 things you never knew about the movie. They’ll be wrong, of course, but hey.

As a horror fan and horror-website-runner-person myself, it is my duty to contribute a Halloween-related listicle during the month of October lest I want my gorehound card revoked. But instead of pointing out things everyone knows already (we get it, it’s a William Shatner mask) or attempting to write a thesis on the ‘sin equals death’ puritanical aspects of the movie, I thought I’d simply point out a few things I dig about it. Feelings that you the reader may also share. No need to over-analyze this sucker!

In the end, when it comes down to it, there’s not much to say about John Carpenter’s Halloween that hasn’t already been said a thousand times already, but here are a few moments I personally enjoy from the movie. Continue reading 5 Things I Love About HALLOWEEN!