You won’t get burned by writer/director Casper Kelly’s brain-shattering Adult Swim Yule Log. Kelly plays with the fireplace on TV phenomenon that started years ago and still makes a ton of money. Later someone dubbed Christmas music into the background of the taped fire and made a ton more money. For the Adult Swim version of a cozy holiday video fire, the filmmaker has weaved in a feature-length horror movie called The Fireplace. It’s the kind of high-concept nuttiness that proves again what fantastic taste our planet has.
Adult Swim Yule Log opens with a crackling fire and tinkly holiday tunes playing in the background. After a minute, a car pulls up, and we hear cabin owner Diane (Megan Hayes) bitching on the phone that the cleaner didn’t show up, so she has to get the place ready for the renters. Hilariously, the cozy fire is disrupted by Diane vacuuming. The crackling of the fire interrupted by loud sucking noises is the opposite of relaxing.
“…Diane crawling on the floor in front of the fireplace, being chased by Pleatherface.”
Then there is a knock on the door. A mother (Tordy Clark) says her car broke down and asks to use the phone. We hear her introducing her son. Then there is screaming, and we see Diane crawling on the floor in front of the fireplace, being chased by Pleatherface (Brendan Patrick Connor). This deranged killer is a mutant hillbilly in overalls and a Ken doll face mask. Terrible things happen, and the mother starts using Diane’s supplies to clean up. Suddenly a car pulls up. Mother and Pleatherface hide the body.
Keep in mind this whole time, we still are fixed close up on the fire. We hear Alex (Justin Miles) and Zoe (Andrea Laing) come in. Alex makes cozy fireplace videos for YouTube and was filming this year’s holiday fire. He adjusts the camera angle wide, so the whole cabin comes into frame. While trying to get something important done on the bearskin rug, they are interrupted by a sheriff (Mark Costello) and his deputy (Jonathan Pawlowski). They are warned to be on the lookout due to a murder on the other side of the mountain. The deputy mentions the mountains have a long history of strange happenings. The sheriff is alarmed to see that one of the logs in the fireplace came from a cursed demon tree that slaves used to be hung from. He puts out the fire and directs Alex and Zoe to bury the log the next day and say a prayer over it. After the cops leave, Alex and Zoe bicker about whether to relight the log anyway.
"…delivers a new dimension in seasonal insanity..."
Casper’s best work yet