“Herbs from beyond 10 fells, besides 10 streams, some graveyard soil, … the balls of 10 bull moose, the strength of 10 bull moose. Tsalkku-Nilla the Wizard can bring back lost reindeer. Tsalkku-Nilla the Great Wizard can raise the dead!” You never can tell when you’ll need to bring back a lost reindeer or raise the dead. Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Chad Hunt, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, Doc Rotten, and Jeff Mohr – as they take a trip north of the Arctic Circle in search of The White Reindeer (1952).
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 151 – The White Reindeer (1952)
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A newlywed woman goes to the local shaman to get some help with her love life, but instead discovers she is a witch and can now shapeshift into a white reindeer vampire.
- Director: Erik Blomberg
- Writers: Erik Blomberg, Mirjami Kuosmanen
- Music by: Einar Englund
- Cinematography by: Erik Blomberg
- Film Editing by: Erik Blomberg (uncredited)
- Makeup Department: Mirjami Kuosmanen (makeup artist, uncredited)
- Costume & Wardrobe Dept: Mirjami Kuosmanen (wardrobe, uncredited)
- Selected Cast:
- Mirjami Kuosmanen as Pirita and as Maarita, Pirita’s mother
- Kalervo Nissilä as Aslak
- Åke Lindman as Metsänhoitaja, forest ranger
- Arvo Lehesmaa as Tsalkku-Nilla, shaman
- Jouni Tapiola as Niila, reindeer herder
- Tyyne Haarla as older woman (uncredited)
- Pentti Irjala as the speaker (uncredited)
- Edvin Kajanne as reindeer herder (uncredited)
- Kauko Laurikainen as man in Laplander’s hut (uncredited)
- Heimo Lepistö as wealthy man (uncredited)
- Osmo Osva as reindeer herder (uncredited)
- Aarne Tarkas as the groom (uncredited)
- Inke Tarkas as the bride (uncredited)
- Evald Terho as Pirita’s father (uncredited)
- Kaarlo Wilska as reindeer herder (uncredited)
The Grue Crew explores the little-known, yet highly effective, 1952 Finnish horror classic, The White Reindeer. This film is worth seeking out for the cinematography alone. The horror and the “creatures” are Lewtonesque, more implied than shown, but without a doubt, the film includes witches, vampires, and changelings. Oh my! A must-see, The White Reindeer is a lost treasure that horror fans, especially horror historians, should re-discover. Check out what the Grue Crew has to share.
In the U.S., current streaming options for The White Reindeer are limited to YouTube and archive.org. The White Reindeer is available on physical media as a Eureka Entertainment Region 2 Blu-ray from the UK and as a Region A/B/C Import Blu-ray from Finland.
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. Up next in their very flexible schedule, as chosen by Daphne, is Il Demonio (1963). Ready for some Italian folk horror? The Classic Era Grue Crew is! You won’t want to miss this one!
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