It's Monday the 22nd of December and the weather outside is thirty-seven minutes late, so whatever you're doing this morning be sure to leave plenty of time.
Apparently the Dungeons received a memo from "top office" to "tone down" SATAN'S GROTTO this year, and replace the line "I've killed Santa" with "I've kidnapped Santa", which we've done. And the displays team have set him just to the left of Satan's throne. Only he's a bit rotty. And nailed to a cross.
Still could be worse... I honestly don't think the sight of Santa's gnawed, eyeless, crucified carcass is going to be as traumatic as any actual Santa. I really do. "What's he doing in Bentalls?" I seem to remember asking myself as a six-year-old. Surely part of the mythos is you never actually get to see him, like 'Er Indoors or Doctor Claw or Humphrey Lyttelton.
That's a medley of money shots from Benjamin Christensen's enlightening 1922 expose "Haxan", re-released in the sixties as "Witchcraft Through the Ages" with narration by William Burroughs (the Haxan blooper reel's also up on youtube, featuring at 1 minute and 40 seconds in four takes of a nun "trying out a variety of ungodly titters"). And that's the director himself playing the devil, top off and tongue out, which must have made for an interesting set. (Warning: contains bumbums.) Anyway coming up next, as requested by Mr. James McQuillan, a short yuletide run of an old cartoon strip of mine "Persona Non Grata" as soon as I work out how to scan A3. Meantime here's more Santa.