Saturday, December 10, 2011

Creepmas - Rankin Bass Krampus Night

Krampus Night is almost impossible to find with  Rankin Bass disavowing any knowledge of the 25 minute cartoon's existence. I have been searching for years to find an actual copy and the closest I can come is this DVD mock up for the unreleased title.

From information collected from various sources the special focused on a modern (early 80's) toy company exec Filmore Clutch, that used his fortune to release the hot toy of the year and to release it for free but only to kids who could prove themselves naughty and therefore would not be receiving presents from Santa. Since kids all over the world want the toy, thanks to subliminal advertising, they all behave as naughty as possible to receive it from "Uncle Clutch". The influx of naughty ratings of children into the north pole results in the weakening of Santa Claus who travels to New York to confront "Uncle Clutch". The weakened Santa is easy prey for Clutch who locks the Christmas Icon away in his own private jail. With Santa gone and the naughty list set to go critical an ancient fail safe is activated and, as Mrs Claus states, the List Keeper is being unleashed.

From a cavern under Santa's Castle comes, according to the back story we are given, the last of the Kringle Elves - Krampus Kringle - who toiled for years with the task of keeping the list of naughty or nice and doling out the punishments to the naughty until his body twisted into a red skinned coal eating abomination that lives only to punish. Santa had him locked away centuries ago to protect the children of the world from his overzealous actions. It is alluded to that Krampus played Judge, Jury and Executioner to the naughtiest of children, one of the reasons the special aired only once. Mrs Claus pleads with Krampus about what has happened and with great flourish and a fantastic musical number set to Alice Cooper's "No More Mister Nice Guy" the Krampus leaps into action. In the end Santa is saved, the children released from the spell of Clutch's subliminal advertising return to being good and the Krampus drags off an unrepentant Clutch into the caverns under the castle. It can be surmised this is the Rankin Bass version of naughty children being dragged to Hell by the Krampus.

There are several factors as to why this special aired only once and has never seen a release on home video or DVD. First is the a fore mentioned scene depicting Krampus appearing to execute children he deemed naughty, second was an unfavorable reaction to injecting the Devil like Krampus into the very happy world of Rankin Bass Christmas specials by the Parent/Teacher Decency League who also took offense to the use of Alice Cooper music and the Krampus being voice by KISS bassist Gene Simmons. Most however feel that the special has been buried due to the threat of legal action by Donald Trump, who took great offense to the character of Clutch and his appearance closely matching the real estate tycoon's own image. As fans of the many holiday specials of Rankin Bass continue to hope that one day Krampus Night will be released to the public those with inside knowledge remain steadfast in their belief this day will never come.


  1. You've outdone yourself with this one!

  2. Dude... if this were actually real? I'd buy 15 copies!! Wicked awesome concept, Tom! :D

  3. Being the huge stop motion fan I am, I still have to say that I've always had a warm spot in my heart for Rankin Bass' 2D animation style, there was just never enought of it. Now I find out they actually with-held a title from the public? Outrageous! Release this film, Rankin Bass!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...