Dec 21, 2020

Glyos meets The Mandalorian

Just before the season 2 finale of The Mandalorian (no spoilers!), Onell Design dropped wave 89 of their Glyos compatible figures and boy did I have to keep myself from spending all the monies!


In addition to these fine fellows, there's also some other familiar-ish faces in the forms of stormtroopers, Mandalorian commando, Greef Karga, IG-series assassin droid, and even a Mon Calamari. Head over to their page to see pics of all of them.


Meet the Glylorian! He's got a pistol, cloth cape, and his rifle slung over his back.

Or if he needs to get somewhere fast, he's also got a fashionable jet pack. Like most Onell figures, he comes with a couple of different heads too.
 

 This is Quallgru. Could be Grogu or if you slap the included lightsaber-like accessory in his hand, he's Yoda!


Lastly, I picked up Neiboto, who is inspired by the droid Q9-0 from Chapter 6: The Prisoner. I doubt they'll ever make an official figure of this character which was why I had to get this version. Plus, the metallic paint looks amazing.

While I leave the other two in their 'original' forms, I used some of the extra parts on this one to change him up. There's an extra piece on top of the torso to give it more height and I kind of get a kick out of the smaller head on the bigger body.

As of this writing, only this guy, the Mon Cal, Karga, and the Mandalorian Commando are still available from the Onell store.

Dec 13, 2020

Farewell to Creepmas

Thanks for visiting during the 9th annual Creepmas celebration! We'll be returning you to your regularly scheduled winter holiday cheer but just in case you still need a dose of wickedness, check out these Pinterest boards from yours truly.


This one is all Krampus, all the time!



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I'm a CREEP for The 13 Days of CREEPMAS

Dec 12, 2020

Krampus in Fortnite

 Hey, where do you go for two year old news? Right here!
 
I'm just dipping my toes into Fortnite since they added the Mandalorian in-game items. I had tried playing once before but on an iPad and it was not a good experience. Definitely more at home sitting down at my PC to play this and I'm having fun with it. Honestly, I'm surprised I didn't check it sooner when they had the Marvel event going on.
 
Anyway!

I was poking around the item shop when I came across this very cool (not so cool that I'm shelling out cash for it) Krampus skin originally released in 2018.

 
 I'd LOVE to see them make this into a figure. Probably be a little hard to get him to stand on those cloven feet but it'd be pretty sweet!

His back bling is a little sack with children in it. Okay, they're little doll children.


And of course, Krampus has a custom glider called Krampus' Little Helper. This thing is absolutely wicked in motion!

Not Krampus related but they've got a male and female nutcracker skin and this is one of the variations of the male one that I think is Creepmas appropriate. Actually, all the variations are appropriate, a human-sized nutcracker is pretty creepy!



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I'm a CREEP for The 13 Days of CREEPMAS

Dec 11, 2020

Creepmas Creeps - Kallikantzaroi

 Kallikantzaroi
(Greece)
 
 
Image by Nmsndr on Newgrounds

Kallikantzaroi are mischievous goblins that emerge during the winter solstice, or 12 Days of Christmas, when the sun stops its seasonal movement. This time is also known as, yule, or Yuletide. According to legend, any child born during this time may transform into a Kallikantzaroi during this time of year when they are older. This could be prevented by binding the child in tresses or straw or garlic or singeing their toenails. (WHAT?)

Their appearance varies from region to region, sometimes small, sometimes large. The common description imagines them as tall, black and hairy with burning red eyes, animalistic ears, lolling tongues, and a large head. The art above is based on their appearance in the TV show Grimm.

They are said to dwell underground where they work at sawing the World Tree to cause it, and the Earth, to collapse. Just when they are about to finish their dastardly deed, Christmas rolls around and they go above ground to torment humans. They are described as more oafish than evil.

When the sun begins moving again, January 6, they return underground only to find the World Tree has healed itself and begin sawing at it again.
 


Some ways to protect yourself

   Hang the lower jaw of a pig behind the front door or inside the chimney.

    Toss a pair of old, smelly shoes onto a burning fire. The stink of aged sweat and burning soles is said to repel the creatures. (and probably most people!)

     Leave a fire burning in the fireplace, all night, so that they could not enter through it. Sometimes this would be a large piece of wood burned for all 12 days of Christmas, also known as a Yule log.

    Leave a colander on your doorstep at night. Legend has it, they cannot count above two because three is a holy number. They would rather die than say it! So they spend the entire night counting the holes until dawn.

    Mark your door with a black cross on Christmas Eve.

At the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas, priests would visit every home and bless them with holy water to drive the Kallikantzaroi away.
 

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I'm a CREEP for The 13 Days of CREEPMAS

Dec 10, 2020

Creepmas Creeps - Belsnickel

Belsnickel
(Germany) 


Belsnickel originates in Germany and was brought to America by the folks that are now know as Pennsylvania Dutch. He tends to appear a couple weeks before Christmas and is usually described as a ragged looking person wearing dirty clothes and furs, sometimes with antlers. Belsnickel is definitely one of the less scary holiday figures. While he may dole out punishment to misbehaved children with his switch, he also carries a sack with treats for the good kids.
 
 
Here is a first hand account of "Beltznickle" from Maryland from around 1830 (Wikipedia)

He was known as Kriskinkle, Beltznickle and sometimes as the Christmas woman. Children then not only saw the mysterious person, but felt him or rather his stripes upon their backs with his switch. The annual visitor would make his appearance some hours after dark, thoroughly disguised, especially the face, which would sometimes be covered with a hideously ugly phiz - generally wore a female garb - hence the name Christmas woman - sometimes it would be a veritable woman but with masculine force and action. He or she would be equipped with an ample sack about the shoulders filled with cakes, nuts, and fruits, and a long hazel switch which was supposed to have some kind of a charm in it as well as a sting. One would scatter the goodies upon the floor, and then the scramble would begin by the delighted children, and the other hand would ply the switch upon the backs of the excited youngsters - who would not show a wince, but had it been parental discipline there would have been screams to reach a long distance.

Some accounts from 1870 from New York and Philadelphia say Belsnickle was a bit more extreme with his punishments, kidnapping or drowning bad kids!

Belsnickers circa 1910

"Belsnicking" was a tradition where young people would disguise themselves and go door to door. The home owner would try to guess their identity. The Belsnicker would remove their mask with a correct guess. A wrong guess would get them invited inside for some sort of treat.

Here's a 2019 video from Inside Edition featuring Belsnickel.


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Dec 8, 2020

Creepmas Creeps - Karakoncolos

Karakoncolos
(Bulgaria, Turkey and Serbia) 
 
Image from FaithCreations
 
 The Karakoncolos is said to be a cross between a devil and a Sasquatch. It likes to stand on street corners and ask riddles of passers-by. If their answer does not include the word black, he would strike them down. I may be approaching this with a more modern mind, but that doesn't sound like a trick that would be hard to defeat.


In Serbian Christmas traditions, the Twelve Days of Christmas were known as the "unbaptized days" and evil forces were thought to be more active at night during these days so people stayed in at night. But that didn't stop Karakoncolos! It would mimic the voice of a loved one or a small child to lure people outside where it would put them in a trance so they would freeze to death!

If it found you out at night, it would jump on your back and make you his personal Uber until the rooster crowed and dawn broke. Can you imagine having to carry this huge, hairy creature around all night and having to watch whatever it got up to?


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Dec 7, 2020

Creepmas Creeps - Hans Trapp

 Hans Trapp
(France)
 

Legend tells how Trap began as a wealthy man- but greedy and evil to boot. He was so rotten that he was excommunicated by the Catholic church and sold his soul to Satan. Now beyond redemption, Trapp was exiled to the forests. But still, his evil was felt. Disguising himself as a scarecrow by stuffing straw into his clothing, he began to prey on children.

One day, or so the legend says, Hans Trapp was about to eat a small boy he had captured when God, fed up of his evil-doing, killed him with a bolt of lightning. However, this was not the end of Hans Trapp. He continued to roam the earth, dressed as a scarecrow. Like Krampus, Hans Trapp teamed up with St Nicholas- but to earn redemption. While St Nicholas awarded presents to the virtuous- Hans Trapp tries to persuade naughty children to mend their ways and be virtuous- unlike him.
 
 I've seen some tellings where Trapp is just another Christmas heavy that goes with Santa and is the evil one you threaten bad kids with. But I like this version of the tale where Trapp tries to get bad kids to go straight without using fear.

Interestingly, the legend is based on an actual person, Hans von Trotha, who was a German knight, that was nothing like the flesh eating scarecrow.
 

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I'm a CREEP for The 13 Days of CREEPMAS

Dec 6, 2020

Creepmas Creeps - Lussi

Lussi
(Norway)
 
Lussi by Rynan5 via DeviantArt
 
 Some tales say Lussi is a Nordic sorceress that rides with her followers, an assortment of gnomes, trolls and other beasts, on December 13th looking to cause trouble and scare humans. Should you cross paths with them outside, you might be abducted to the underworld. Worse, it was thought they could pull your spirit from your sleeping body! This created the tradition known as Lussivaka where people would not go to sleep that night, which has naturally now become an excuse to party all night.

Lussi herself may even come down your chimney to claim you if you were a misbehaved child or even an adult that was slacking on their Yule time chores. It was also important to take good care of your animals this time of year as on this night, they could talk to each other...and to Lussi! If you didn't treat your animals well, they might rat you out to Lussi and her spirits who would not look kindly on any mistreatment.


On the Christian flip side, Saint Lucy (or St. Lucia) is the bearer of light during the dark winter. She was a young woman that was martyred in 304CE. She helped persecuted Christians living in the Roman catacombs by bringing them food and water. She wore a wreath of candles on her head to be able to carry more supplies while making her way through the dark passages. This symbolism has been included in modern celebrations as young ladies will wear similar head gear.

St Lucy's day is celebrated in many Nordic countries, Italy, Croatia, and even the US. 


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I'm a CREEP for The 13 Days of CREEPMAS

Dec 5, 2020

Happy Krampusnacht

 December 5th is traditionally Krampusnacht so what better day to talk about Krampus? I feel like he's gotten enough exposure in recent years that people know his deal so I'm going to show off a few cool Krampus things around the internets.

First, is this FYE exclusive Krampus on the Mantle set.


It comes with a 15" tall stuffed Krampus (naturally), a mini demon teddy bear and an insane gingerbread man. The product page says this is a Deluxe version and it looks like last year FYE released just the Krampus figure on his own. Don't know how I missed that last year!

You can pre-order this box of joy from FYE. I did! 
 
Speaking of the movie version of Krampus...
 
 
Fright Rags has a 20 page activity book with coloring pages, puzzles, and even a recipe for evil gingerbread man cookies. As of this writing, the book is sold out but they should get more in stock if you keep an eye on it. I grabbed this and the Trick R Treat activity book and I think any fan of the films would enjoy these.
 

From seller HangEmUpSigns on Etsy, you can find this wooden sign. I really like the art style on this one and it's not someone just reusing art they found online to make a product to sell.

This video is from last year's "Krampus Run"in Welzenegg, Austria. It's not an athletic run but a parade of Krampus swatting the crowd with sticks. It's more fun than it sounds!


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I'm a CREEP for The 13 Days of CREEPMAS

Dec 4, 2020

Now Hear This - Creepmas 2020

 What better way to get in the 13 Days of Creepmas groove than with some appropriately spooky seasonal songs? These first four are on Bandcamp so if you'd like to get them, please do so today (12/4) when Bandcamp gives 100% of revenue directly to the artists.


Freshly unleashed yesterday, Jacob Marley's XMas Party from Dr. Snik is sure to add a little electronic cheer to your holiday celebration.

Come join the ghost of Jacob Marley at his annual Xmas haunt party at the stroke of midnight where all the Pagan rites of Yule and Midwinter are celebrated!


Just released this November is Justin Burning's To Hell for the Holidays.
The perfect gift for another dreary holiday season. Five songs and 14 minutes of bleak yuletide melancholy to utterly ruin Christmas.
 

From last year, but new to me, is Home for the Horror Days by Jacob Renfield Boston.
Home for the Horror Days is perfect for those cozy nights roasting chestnuts, sipping hot chocolate and summoning evil spirits to do your bidding. How ever you celebrate the holidays, let Home for the Horror Days be the perfect backdrop for your merry making.
 

 
Also from last year, but worth mentioning again because it's just that good is Sam Haynes' The Gift of Christmas Fear. And the best part? You can get it for as low as $1!

There is no scarier time than Christmas. This album is a orchestral collection of dark horror music for the Horror-days. celebrate the coming of Krampus with this dark soundtrack album from award winning producer Sam Haynes. Thrilling and Chilling sounds for the darkest of winter nights.
 

From Spirits and Ghosts (Score For A Dark Christmas) is a fresh release from former Nightwish singer Tarja. Dark orchestral tracks with a killer ethereal voice. The kind of songs you'd play in front of the fireplace while telling ghost stories.


While the title Gothic Christmas may lead your brain one way, the cover sort of gives a clue that this is a bit less dark and more fun. It's like a Christmas album imbued with the spirit (and sounds!) of a vintage Halloween record. Perfect for Creepmas!
 
Even vampires like to celebrate the Holidays! Count Bachula (666-?) is the not-so great-great-great...great grand-uncle of the famous composer J.S. Bach--on the Transylvania side of the family. Count Bachula and his music have recently been unearthed. William Zeitler traveled to Transylvania to record the Count performing some of his holiday favorites on the mighty pipe organ at Castle Bachula, accompanied by the Transylvania Vampire Choir (directed by Dr. Van Helsing), Quasimodo on bells, and a dread host of others. This is a Holiday album that is sure to have you and yours howling for more!

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I'm a CREEP for The 13 Days of CREEPMAS

Dec 3, 2020

Creepmas Creeps - Mari Lwyd

Mari Lwyd
(Wales)


Mari Lwyd is not so much a figure of winter terror but a fun tradition!

From Wikipedia:
The Mari Lwyd itself consists of a horse's skull that is decorated with ribbons and affixed to a pole; to the back of the skull is attached a white sheet, which drapes down to conceal both the pole and the individual carrying this device. On occasion, the horse's head was represented not by a skull but was instead made from wood or even paper. In some instances, the horse's jaw was able to open and close as a result of string or lever attached to it, and there are accounts of pieces of glass being affixed into the eye sockets of some examples, representing eyes. An observer of the tradition as it was performed at Llangynwyd during the nineteenth century noted that preparation for the activity was a communal event, with many locals involving themselves in the decorating of the Mari Lwyd.
 
 
Groups of men would form into teams to accompany the horse on its travels around the local area, and although the makeup of such groups varied, they typically included an individual to carry the horse, a leader, and individuals dressed as stock characters such as Punch and Judy. The team would carry the Mari Lwyd to local houses, where they would request entry through the medium of song. 
 
Mari Lwyd card from 1918
 
 From the National Museum Wales:
The attendant ritual began with the singing of traditional stanzas by the Mari Lwyd group at the door, soliciting both permission to sing and entry into the house, and issuing a challenge to a versifying contest.

Next followed the pwnco, the debate conducted to the same music in a combination of traditional and impromptu stanzas) between a member of the group and an opponent within the house.  This usually amounted to heavy leg-pulling in which the contestants mocked each other's singing, drunkenness, etc.

Victory in the debate would ensure admission into the house for the Mari Lwyd group, to partake of cakes and ale and perhaps collect a money gift as well.  In at least some cases, after the end of the debate, the group would sing additional stanzas introducing its individual members and finally, after entertaining the occupants of the house, it would deliver a farewell song.
 

Basically, Mari Lwyd sounds like Trick or Treating except you have to win a rap battle to get your treats!

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Dec 2, 2020

Creepmas Creeps - The Christmas Cat & Gryla

You may think a Christmas Cat doesn't sound particularly frightening.

 Jólakötturinn or The Christmas Cat
  (Iceland)
 

Jólakötturinn, also known as the Yule Cat, eats children (and sometimes adults) who don’t receive any new clothes before Christmas night. Back then, all family members were tasked with chores related to wool production. Since the only thing a family could afford for Christmas was woolen clothes as gifts, it was only possible if everyone completed their tasks in time. Thus the legend of Jólakötturinn was born, to scare children and lazy adults into completing their work.



Some versions of the folklore have the Cat only eating the food of people that don't have new clothes. But let's be honest, a little human food isn't going to satisfy an enormous feline!

 The Cat is the house pet of giantess Gryla. Similar to Krampus, Gryla goes on the hunt for misbehaved children and collects them in a sack which she then takes back to her cave for a feast. Her favorite dish is a stew made from the children.


Figures of Leppalúði and his wife Grýla.


Dec 1, 2020

Creepmas Creeps - Frau Perchta

 I am, for the most part, having a lazy Creepmas this year. I'm taking the topics for the #MakingCreepmas daily drawing challenge and posting a bit about them. Mostly from other sources. I told you I was going to be lazy! Note they will not always line up day to day.

A whole lot more people are now aware of Krampus but there are still so many terrifying characters around the world that need to be shared!

Frau Perchta - The Belly Slitter 
(Austria, parts of Germany and Italy)
 
 
This image was found on d20radio.com where they have D&D stats for her!
 
 

Frau Perchta will reward good children and punish the bad.  She also punishes women for unkempt households and unspun flax. For those she deems good, a silver coin is left for them.  If she deems you unworthy, if you forget to leave out a bowl of porridge for her, if your flax is half spun and unfinished, she slits open your abdomen, removes your organs, and replaces them with straw.  She was also associated with the Wild Hunt, flying through the night sky while accompanied by her demonic Perchten — Krampus-looking creatures — and elves and unbaptized babies. During the last three Thursdays before Christmas, you will hear the sounds of thunder and wind roaring, however it is really Frau Perchta leading her Wild Hunt.
 
Suddenly a lump of coal in the ol' stocking doesn't sound so bad, eh?
 

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I'm a CREEP for The 13 Days of CREEPMAS

Nov 30, 2020

Monthly Media Recap - November 2020

As usual, November's recap is going up on the last day of the month because December 1-13 is Creepmas when we inject a little spooky into the winter holiday season.

I think I got a little movied-out after last month and ended up going a bit lighter for November. I'm sure December will have its fill of holiday horror flicks!

 
Streaming
 
The Haunting of Bly Manor (Netflix) - I enjoyed it but not as much as Hill House. I like that they sort of American Horror Story'd it and have some of the actors from the previous series coming back in new roles. Towards the end where they get into the story of the haunting, I was a little bored.
 
Marvel 6161 (Disney+) - Blew through this in a couple of days. Some really enjoyable, and sometimes moving, looks at different areas of Marvel including cosplayers, Spanish creators, women creators (Ann Nocenti & Louise Simonson!), and my favorite: Japanese Spider-Man!

LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special (Disney+) - If you've never watched a Lego SW show before, you're really missing out. They're always fun, have some good jokes, and the occasional Easter egg wink at the audience.

Movies



One Cut of the Dead (2017, Shudder)
This was a good time and a great example of why I urge people to check out foreign horror films. It's definitely not something you've seen in a zombie flick before. It's a little slow in the middle but that's really a minor gripe considering how much fun the rest of it is.

Rating: 7/10


Prospect (2018, Netflix)
If someone hadn't mentioned this in r/movies I probably would never have glanced at it. Despite the fact that it's sci-fi and stars The Mandalorian's Pedro Pascal it was the person's appreciation of the movie that convinced me to check it out and I'm so glad I did. It's sci-fi but more the grounded/ "real world"  kind that with a few small changes could easily take place in the Old West. There's just something about this it that hits the right spot for me. Kudos to the people that designed the space suits.

Rating: 8/10


Murder Bury Win (2020)
This was a cool little indie comedy/horror, especially if you're a board game player. It's one of those dark comedies where one thing goes wrong and things just keep getting worse, fun right? There are a few spots where it feels like the characters are talking just for the sake of passing time but really, I was on board with them so I didn't mind "hanging out" with them a little more.

Rating: 6/10


Your standard "movie theater working teens screen a forgotten film and unleash a succubus" movie. It's a good time and I think it'd be a great one to do a watch party with friends. It's a little weird (which I like!) and has some good gore. There is one scene that will have men squirming in their seats, and that's all I'm going to say about that!

Rating: 7/10

Did you catch anything interesting this month? 
Let me know in the comments.

Month
New: 4   Rewatch: 0

Year to Date
New: 71  Rewatch:3
Didn't Finish: