MoreHorror Exclusive: First Set Pics from Bill Oberst Jr. Film ‘Krampus: The Christmas Devil’; Interview with Director Jason Hull

by Michael Juvinall,

We ran an exclusive story back in December on the indie film Krampus: The Christmas Devil, starring Bill Oberst Jr. which started pre-production. Now we have another exclusive for you, we have the first on set pics from the film which has been shooting in Pennsylvania for the last two weeks, and an exclusive interview with the director, Jason Hull.

From writer/director Jason Hull (Chasing Darkness, The Four) and Snowdog Studio comes this yuletide tale of terror featuring an ancient creature whose purpose is to punish the naughty children from Santa’s list. Along with Bill Oberst Jr.(Abraham Lincoln Vs. Zombies, Children of Sorrow) the cast features Rich Goteri (Machine Gun Preacher, Circus of Dread, Goodfellas), AJ Leslie (The Four), Mike Mili (Demon Equation), Jay Dobyns, and Brad Weaver (Chasing Darkness) as the Krampus.

Based on German folklore that dates back hundreds of years, the Krampus legend tells of a devil-like creature that is the evil counterpart of Saint Nicholas. Whereas Saint Nicholas rewards good children with presents, the Krampus punishes the naughty ones by swatting them with switches and sometimes dragging them back with him to Hell.

According to legend, the Krampus resembles the mythological Satyr with a goat-like appearance including long horns, cloven hooves, and a devilishly long tongue.

Film Synopsis:
Special Agent Jeremy Duffin (AJ Leslie) leads a darkened life of memories stemming from abduction as a child, where he was dropped into a frozen lake and left to die. Now, as Jeremy recognizes a pattern in the deaths and disappearance of children resembling what could have been his ill-fated demise, he begins a personal quest to find the man terrorizing a normally peaceful Pennsylvania town. Unbeknownst to Jeremy, the man he is searching for is actually a creature of yule tide lore, a Krampus (Brad Weaver), and has begun his final Christmastime task of finding his final victim, Jeremy's daughter, Rebecca. With the aid of his Department Captain (Rich Goteri), Jeremy is able to track and find the location of the kidnapper, but this results in the death of two of his fellow officers. As the Krampus approaches his final task, Jeremy is branded with the capture of his wife and child by a newly released felon, Brian Hatt (Bill Oberst, Jr.). Can Jeremy protect his family from a vindictive ex-con and the Devil of Christmas, the Krampus? The third action-thriller from director Jason Hull is sure to keep children off the naughty list for years to come.

Look for Krampus: The Christmas Devil to premiere in November 2013. Check out our exclusive on set stills from Krampus: The Christmas Devil below.

MoreHorror recently had the opportunity to exclusively speak with director Jason Hull about how the filming has been going, the effects of an actual snowstorm during filming, Bill Oberst Jr. and much more. See the interview from our writer Michael Juvinall below.

Michael Juvinall: Jason, nice to talk with you. How has filming been going so far for you? I know that Bill (Oberst Jr.) flew in for the weekend to film his scenes, how did that all go?

Jason Hull: Everything looks great so far, the footage looks unreal. When Bill walked in, it's a whole different level. He's fantastic. We were lucky to have him. When he walks in, he brings his A game.

Michael Juvinall: So how does your Krampus look?

JH: Our monster looks great. You know, we have to keep it under wraps. You're going to see little bits of stuff in a mirror, you're going to get a one second shot of his face like you do with Michael Myers in the original Carpenter Halloween and that's what you're going to get. It's going to be very low-key. I think we have to show the monster, but I don't want to go over and above with it. This movie is taking a whole new morph. With having Rich (Goteri), Mike (Mili) and Bill here, it’s become a different film, in that it's not so much about Krampus as it is the story, which is cool.

MJ: You were filming during a real snowstorm that hit the East Coast, Did the actual snowstorm help out with production values or did it hinder your shoot?

JH: It totally helped out. The week before, we had no snow and I was the only moron in Pennsylvania that was happy it was snowing (laughing). All of our outside scenes are within the next two weeks. We are done with inside principal photography; we're outside now, so everything we're doing as of this point relies on the outside, so yes I was happy, it worked in my favor.

MJ: I'm sure it adds a lot to the production values.

JH: We have to have snow, we have to.

MJ: You were speaking of basically just have the outside locations set to film left?

JH: No, we have a little interior stuff left too, but as of this point right now, we need to focus on everything that's exterior only in that I have a hunch that during the second week of March, we're not going to have snow anywhere in Pennsylvania. We have one last "Star" coming in, his name is Jay Dobyns. He's actually an ATF agent, the part he's playing is what he plays in real life. He's coming in here within a few weeks, so we need to have the snow when he's here.

MJ: Hopefully the weather will cooperate.

JH: We have some indoor stuff we want to do, we have some reshoots we want to do inside but we can do those anytime. We're not seeing the windows or snow; we can do that in June if we have to. We have three night sets this week and three night sets next week, so six days in the next two weeks for getting some of our outdoor stuff done.

MJ: Are you still planning for an October release date?

JH: October was our original one, but I think our actual premiere is going to be November 9th in Eerie, Pennsylvania at the Playhouse. It seats 700-800 people. That's our initial premiere but nothing is set in concrete. We needed to be closer to Christmas. The Playhouse is a beautiful place; my original plan is to premiere the movie with 100% of the proceeds at the door to go to animal charities, like animal rights and non-kill shelters.

MJ: That's awesome!

JH: Yeah, that's my thing; I'm a big animal rights and animal lover. We have seven cats and all of them are strays.

MJ: What has been the most challenging part of the shoot so far?

JH: This has been probably one of the least challenging shoots that I have been on, and this is my third film. We actually had a short film called Pole Position that screened at Cannes short film fest. The most challenging thing of this is we have professional paid actors for the first time. In my time doing film, we've had other professional actors but these guys are working actors and to accommodate them has probably been my biggest challenge, and to make the script come alive.

MJ: Was this the first film of yours where you had to acquire outside financing?

JH: This is the first film I have done where I've had help other than my pocket.

MJ: What are your hopes for Krampus: The Christmas Devil?

JH: I've had a discussion with Bill's manager and he asked "Why are you doing this?" I was in a band for 20 years; I was a songwriter and musician. I'm 40 man, I'm not going to be a rock star. I worked on a set with somebody out here locally and I walked away from it thinking I might want to do this. We made Chasing Darkness and after that we thought The Four was a progression but I really feel Krampus is a good story, great cast. It's above and beyond top to bottom. I truly love the art of filmmaking.

There's a reason why Bill is the bomb right now. There's a reason why he's number one right now and we are lucky to have him. It was luck of the draw that we have him on our team.

MJ: I've been saying for a long time now that Bill is destined for greatness and I hope it happens sometime soon.

JH: Bill walked in and I think he's used to different sets than ours. He walked in and I think he thought it was going to be my way or the highway and when I told him that he had free roam, tell me what you think needs to fly here and we'll go with it. I think he's been used to director's that don't offer that much freedom. It took him a few hours to maybe see how we run our set. We're indie bro, we're indie, and I'm fine with that.

MJ: That's not a bad thing anymore.

Bill Oberst Jr Krampus

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