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Exclusive effects photos: Santa’s reindeer gone bad in “13 SLAYS TILL X-MAS”

Friday, January 29, 2021 | Exclusives, News

By MICHAEL GINGOLD

One of the best segments of the soon-to-release holiday horror anthology 13 SLAYS TILL X-MAS is John Hale’s “The Killer Caribou,” and its effects creator Cody Ruch sent over some exclusive peeks at the title beasts, and a few words on their creation.

In “Killer Caribou,” a couple of hunters seek shelter from something frightening they’ve encountered in the forest, and discover horrific variations on Dasher, Dancer et al. These creatures were brought to life the old-fashioned way, Ruch tells us: “The design and construction of the caribou puppets was very old-school rubber monster-making. The caribou head form was sculpted in water clay, then molded in plaster and cast in latex and polyfoam. The rest of the creatures’ anatomy was fabricated from various foams. This process was repeated twice to build two separate puppets, but detailed differently from each other. The puppets had cable-controlled eye blinks and ears, while the mouth was hand-operated. After hair work, paint and fine detail, the monster puppets were ready to be taken to set.

“Being on set with them was a nice experience,” Ruch continues. “The crew was extremely professional, and they took tiptop safety measures during the pandemic to insure the safety of everyone on the shoot. It’s always wonderful working with John Hale and helping him create his vision.”

13 SLAYS TILL X-MAS is currently available for pre-order on Blu-ray here, including a free digital download of the soundtrack music. The disc is fully loaded with special features; see the details here.

Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold (RUE MORGUE's Head Writer) has been covering the world of horror cinema for over three decades, and spent 28 years as a writer and editor for FANGORIA magazine and its website. In addition to RUE MORGUE, he currently writes for BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH, SCREAM, IndieWire.com, TIME OUT, DELIRIUM and others. His book THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO MONSTER MOVIES (FAB Press) is out this fall, and he has contributed liner notes and featurettes to a number of Blu-ray and DVD releases. Among his screenplay credits are SHADOW: DEAD RIOT and LEECHES!, and he is currently working on THE DOLL with director Dante Tomaselli.