We’ve passed Christmas in July, so what about Claus in August? Holiday horror films are gaining momentum all around the world; quickly establishing themselves as an up and coming subgenre. Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride is one such entry in the catalog that’s hitting DVD retailers on November 13, 2018 courtesy of ITN Distribution. Following a screening at Cannes, people are going to be talking about this punch in the sack (Santa’s sack… dirty), so I jumped at the chance to give this one a ho-ho-go. Written by Eddie Lengyel, Roger Conners and Kris Smith, Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride follows three young women and one drag queen as they fulfill their court ordered community service on Christmas Eve. Going door to door to spread holiday cheer, the almost jail birds find themselves at the home of a pleasant but peculiar old woman. As their time with her drags on, it becomes painfully and violently obvious that there’s more to her than meets the eye. Also produced by Lengyel, Conners and Smith, this upcoming title stars tons of local horror talent including KateLynn E. Newberry (New Blood: Awakening), Tiffani Hilton (Where Are You), Robbie Barnes (Beyond Repair), Roger Conners (Fighting the Sky), Rachel Anderson (The Colours of Desire), Kris Smith, George Tutie (The Rapture) and the librarian from Chill: The Killing Games… sorry, Janine Sarnowski!
Eddie Lengyel, who served as director on this feature, has several films on the market including Hellweek, Scarred and Voodoo Rising. If you’ve seen any Eddie Lengyel movie, then you know he panders to his audience, and his audience is definitely the crowd that adores independent horror movies. Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride is far from a B-movie. It has scenes that are decorated well beyond their means to capture the holiday vibe. There’s a ton of interesting angles, and the lighting at night – especially during the outdoor shots – are impeccably lit. And, best yet, this film’s special effects are all done by practical means and I can applaud the Hell out of that. I think the reason this is stylized so well and cohesive with Lengyel’s previous bodies of work is due in part to cinematographer and editor Noelle Bye. She has a keen eye for the camera and after several projects with the director in the past, they were able to work in tandem to create a movie that is slightly above normal independent standards and well worth the distribution deal in November 2018 through ITN. My only real complaint while examining this movie as a production is the audio. Two times I grimaced and thought, “that could use a little more work.” That and the slow points, but I’ll get to that below.
I have no complaints when looking at Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride in regards to the actors performances. Out of the bunch, Rachel Anderson was my favorite. Her character was the perfect mix of beauty, brains and brawn, and she played it up well. Roger Conners is known in the horror world as “The Scream Queer,” due to his real life personality and the roles he takes in movies (starring roles not bot– nevermind). As an avid supporter of the LGBT community, it’s safe to say that he stultifies his nickname by playing Lady Athena Slay, a problematic drag queen, in this movie. Athena, thus Conners as well, brings a level of comedy to that movie that breaks up all the slower moments in the screen. This allows the audiences to be less focused on the dull moments of character development and plot progression, and instead they can focus in on whatever hilarity Athena is getting in to. It was a wise choice by the film’s other writers to add Conners to the cast, as he helps bridge the gap between horror cinema lovers and LGBT cinema lovers, thus making Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride all the more profitable to investors. Now, this isn’t to say that the rest of the cast lacked star power; because they definitely didn’t. Anderson and Conners were just the two performers that stood out to me.
And as far as horror goes, well, when you’ve been watching scary movies as long as I have – nothing really scares you anymore. So, I have to say that this title is average in that field, too. However, if you’re not a casual viewer, there are certain moments that you’ll find frighteningly outrageous, especially near the end when Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride nears its climax. It’s bloody, sexy, and unforgiving, but it’s not going to be for everyone. Again, this movie will be embraced by holiday horror lovers who enjoy a good independent movie. Don’t expect any pyrotechnic effects (wait…) or theater picture quality. If that speaks to you, then I’d suggest sitting back, relaxing with a beer or five, and watching this silly little story with a lot of love and effort put into it. And just be happy that you have another addition to your holiday horror collection. Mother Krampus 2: Slay Ride isn’t going to end up on my naughty list, but I can’t say it was a perfect movie by any means. Final Score: 6.5 out of 10.