Regular readers of Dread Central may have read our recent series of interviews with the writer/director and female lead of the Christmas-themed horror movie Slay Belles, Spooky Dan Walker and Kristina Klebe respectively. We talked about the production, the Los Angeles horror community, and what makes Christmas such a natural backdrop for supernatural and/or gory horror.
Obviously, I’m a big fan of the film, which blends Old World Krampus mythologies with New World Christmas stories to create something completely unique—and totally irreverent. If our interviews weren’t enough to convince you to give Slay Belles a spin, below are the top five reasons why you should consider checking it out this holiday season.
The Cult Icon
Slay Belles stars Barry Bostwick as a foul-mouthed Santa who looks more like a Hell’s Angeles that Kris Kringle. The actor is best-known for his portrayal of Brad in the seminal cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In our interview, Walker likened Bostwick to a secret weapon, one capable of elevating any production lucky enough to nab him. Indeed, Bostwick’s Santa is a consummate scene-stealer—and that’s saying a lot in a film that features a trio of buxom babes.
The Girl Power
In a nutshell, Slay Belles is about a trio of YouTubers who team up with Santa to battle Krampus in an abandoned amusement park. The “Adventure Girls” are a fierce pack of empowered woman; sexy to be certain, but also intelligent, resourceful, and brave enough to face down the demon Krampus. Alexi (Klebe), Dahlia (Susan Slaughter), and Sadie (Hannah Wagner) have incredible, infectious chemistry and the posse could easily carry future feature films. Of course, before the Adventure Girls can reunite, they’ll have to solve the real-life “Missing Cast Member Caper”. [Link Below]
We’ve seen a lot of Krampus since Michael Dougherty essentially gave Americans a crash course on the centuries-old Christmas demon in 2015. Still, Slay Belles’ Krampus is bad ass; much more primal and animalistic than the hooded monster we met in Dougherty’s Krampus. I’m not saying one iteration is better than the other, but this isn’t the same old recycled Anti-Santa we’ve seen so often in recent years. Slay Belles makes Krampus unique and terrifying—almost lycanthropic.
Krampus unleashes some serious violence in Slay Belles and the Adventure Girls never back down, resulting in an epic, bloody conflict. The film uses bells and whistles sparingly, but when the script calls for gore, the effects team delivers in buckets. This is a good time to remind readers that Slay Belles is an R-rated affair and definitely not for the kiddies.
Listen, Slay Belles is all about having a good time for 90 minutes. There’s no deep subtext or moral message being shoved down anyone’s throat, but that doesn’t mean it’s a fluff piece. Slay Belles is nothing if not creative and inventive at every turn, and the 3rd Act, final sequence twist blows the entire story wide opened for future installments. Sure, there were some clues, but it still came as a surprise, which is refreshing at a time when horror fans seem to think “it’s all been done before”.
Slay Belles is now available on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD; you can purchase your physical copy, HERE. Check out the synopsis and trailer below.
It’s Christmas Eve, and three cosplaying women are breaking into Santa Land for some partying and fun! What they didn’t expect was to come across the malevolent Christmas demon Krampus! The girls must team up with Santa Claus himself to battle the creature and save the world!