I thought I was done with Christmas 2021 with my review of Satan Claus. But that turned out to be a false ending because Sister Krampus has arrived to try and stop me from escaping holiday horror hell.
It’s Christmas Eve,1943 in a snowless field somewhere in Austria. Three American deserters including Roger (Jeff Kirkendall, Noah’s Shark, Jurassic Shark 2: Aquapocalypse) argue with each other about how much trouble they might be in. Not just for deserting but for what they did to a nun at the local convent. They’re in a lot more trouble than they can imagine because they’re victim Sister Benedict (Danielle Donahue, Return to Splatter Farm, Amityville Island), having been blamed for what happened, has been cast out of her convent. Feeling as though she’s been abandoned by God, she makes a deal with Krampus to get her revenge.
A couple of deaths later we’re in the present day and a pair of American sisters, Mary (Rebecca Rinehart, Sharks of the Corn, Backwoods Bubba) and Jodi (Marie DeLorenzo, Scarecrow County, Battle Bots) find themselves in the same snowless Austrian field at Christmas. They don’t see the sinister-looking Sister Krampus watching them.
Co-directed by Mark (Virus Shark, Bride of the Werewolf) and Anthony (ZillaFoot) Polonia from a script by Mark and Ron Bonk (House Shark, She Kills), Sister Krampus is everything you’ve come to expect from the Polonias and then some.
Right from the start, trying to pass off a field in Pennsylvania during the summer as Austria in the winter and what look like they came from a clearance sale at the thrift store as uniforms. What looks like outtakes from Mdisommar with a voice saying “Krampus” dubbed over them passed off as a local festival. Sister Benedict speaking with a Russian accent for reasons unknown. A restaurant that only serves potato soup. The goofiness grows by the minute.
The difference is, unlike so many Polonia productions, Sister Krampus has a spark of life to it, it feels like it’s at least trying to be a decent movie. Whether that’s due to the addition of some new blood in the form of Anthony to the mix. The original story coming from Ron Bonk, or a combination of the two I’m not sure.
While Sister Krampus is more of an evil nun film with Krampus tacked on by way of an explanation, the Christmas demon does look pretty good when we see him. There are attempts at some practical gore effects including a decapitation and a zombie soldier who looks like a dollar store version of Dr. Freudstein from Fulci’s House by the Cemetery.
And that’s where my frustration with the films of Mark Polonia comes from. While some of his films are beyond help, many are just a little bit of effort away from being entertaining. Unlike some microbudget filmmakers, he has the technical skill to make a film look good. Adding a semi-coherent plot and some effects that aren’t horrible CGI can go a long way to making a film enjoyable. He seems to know that but rarely seems to care enough to deliver them.
While no classic, Sister Krampus is an entertaining microbudget film. It’s also better than a lot of the films out there with “Krampus” in their title regardless of their budget. If you can deal with its rough edges Sister Krampus is an acceptable way to kill an hour and a half.
Sister Krampus is currently available as a limited edition Blu-Ray from SRS Cinema and you can find more information on their website and Facebook page. I haven’t seen any word on whether or not there will be a mass-market edition, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Wild Eye release it in time for next Christmas.