The Horror Honeys: You Shouldn’t Be Getting A Sticky Duvet at Your Age!

You Shouldn’t Be Getting A Sticky Duvet at Your Age!

A Revenge Honey Holiday Horror Review by Linnie

The League of Gentlemen Christmas Special (2000)

Everyone has a Christmas special that they favor in December. For some, it might be Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, or for others it could be A Charlie Brown Christmas. For me, the holiday season hasn't really begun until I settle down with a glass of ice-cold soy nog and enjoy my yearly viewing of The League of Gentlemen Christmas Special. Because nothing says "Christmas" like vampires, British line dancing, cursed veterinarians, and gay German choir masters.

The Story: Acting as a bridge between seasons two and three, the Christmas Special introduces us to a new story, as well as provides fans with backstories for some of their favorite residents of the entirely twisted town of Royston Vasey. First, we witness the fallout of a pseudo-love triangle, a voodoo doll, and a line dancing competition. The second story, and my personal favorite, involves a handsome young orphan taken in by an obviously gay German choir director and his resentful wife, one of which may be a vampire. The final installment at last explains just why Dr. Chinnery, Royston Vasey's resident veterinarian, can't seem to keep an animal alive.

If you've never seen an episode of The League of Gentlemen, the Christmas Special might not be the place to start. While you could watch the episode without the context, it certainly helps to have a prior attachment to the psychotic nutballs that live in Royston Vasey. In the tradition of Benny Hill and Monty Python, all of the residents of Royston Vasey, man or woman, are played by Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton, and Mark Gatiss. The first and second seasons are by far the best, while the third went a little off the rails and became a touch too serious. The Christmas Special was the last episode before the third season, and while you could see the shooting style changing, the goofy tone and story-telling style was still the same. Whenever I re-watch the series from the beginning, the Christmas Special is always where I stop.

One of the main reasons The League of Gentlemen has always been a favorite is because of how deftly it combines comedy and horror without grabbing at the low-hanging fruit of typical horror-comedies. My favorite installment is a pseudo-tribute to Werner Herzog's Nosferatu, in which we meet Herr Lipp in 1975 and discover how his obsession with a choir boy named Matthew was tied to distressing case of German vampirism. Not only is this segment filled with hilariously awful German/gay puns, but it plays wonderfully with the tension of a classic vampire story.

Herr Lipp: I like you, Matthew. You are so much nicer than all the other queer boys.

Matthew: Sorry?

Herr Lipp: The other boys who sing in the queer?

And of course, there is the story of just how Dr. Chinnery became the worst vet in all of human history, but I won't spoil that surprise. However, I will leave you with the following phrase: the wrong monkey balls. That's right... because in some cases, there are right monkey balls.

Including visits from the kidnapping, Dave-loving Papa Lazarou and anchored by a Christmas-hating lady priest, The League of Gentlemen Christmas Special isn't for the faint of heart or for that matter, the easily offended. But if you like your holiday horror tinged with comedy and loaded with extra doses of awkward animal death, then it's time to add this British classic to your December rotation! 

But maybe watch the first two seasons of The League of Gentlemen in November... just to prepare yourself.

Revenge Honey Rating: 4 Traveling Circus Disasters out of 5