Friday, 7 December 2012

Krampus in the Rue Morgue

Last night I watched the 1932 Universal 'Murders in the Rue Morgue', followed by 'The Raven', both starring Bela Lugosi. I don't think i've seen these before - they were somehow eclipsed by later Vincent Price / Poe schlockers and by Universal's own more famous monsterfests. But these are two wonderful movies. Lugosi is fabulous in them - twisty, grotesque, scheming, and madly wicked throughout. The scenes with the crazed gorilla dragging his love interest across the rooftops of Paris are wonderful.

I thought, it's a bit late for Hallowe'en Double Bills - though I never need an excuse to watch spooky old movies. But then I was reminded that last night was Krampus night - a hangover from Germanic custom - in which Santa's devilish counterpart comes to take the bad children away. It's just the hellish fall-out from the naughty-or-nice Christmas equation... and this year in particular I can think of one of two folk I'd be asking the Krampus to drag screaming and kicking into the filthy night.

I love these Krampus cards. Just imagine sending people Christmas cards telling them to bugger off to hell, with bells on.

Coincidentally, my friend Gillian sent me a copy of this card yesterday, that she had found online. A Christmas card with ghastly greetings from Bela Lugosi himself...!

I find that thought very cheering. Dracula himself hunched over his kitchen table, scribbling out his cards on Krampus night... and donning his cloak against the stinging rain as he goes out to pop them in the box.

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