Kevin Smith’s KillRoy Was Here features a militaristic swamp monster

Last Updated on July 31, 2021


When David Shapiro of Semkhor Networks invited filmmaker Kevin Smith (RED STATE, TUSK, YOGA HOSERS) down to Sarasota, Florida to shoot something with students from the Ringling Film School, Smith's first instinct was to make a web series involving a proctologist and a talking anus (actually an alien that has latched on to someone's anus) with the ability to predict the future. While that certainly seems like an idea worth revisiting in the future, Smith ultimately decided to put that aside and revive a project that had been sitting on the shelf for a few years, the horror anthology COMES THE KRAMPUS, a.k.a. ANTI-CLAUS, which he had written with Andy McElfresh, his co-host on the Edumacation podcast.

COMES THE KRAMPUS had been abandoned when Michael Dougherty's film KRAMPUS was announced, beating Smith to the Krampus character. But looking back on the script, Smith realized that the creature at the center of his anthology didn't need to be the Krampus, as he and McElfresh hadn't really stuck to the legend of the Christmas devil. As Smith puts it, their use of Krampus was "liberal at best and sacrilegious at most" – Krampus was basically just another name for the Boogeyman in what they wrote. Thus, Krampus could be replaced with a new character without stories having to be altered too much.

When the original script was completed, Smith shared the titles of the stories within it. At the time, the idea was that he was going to co-direct the anthology with a team of collaborators: 

Andy McElfresh will direct the “The Krampus vs. The 3rd Grade” episode (SO f*cked up), Jason Mewes (yes – THAT Jason Mewes) will direct the “Hitler’s Krampus” episode (twisted period piece), I will direct the “Mask Maker” episode (the Gothic horror piece), Carol Banker will direct the “The Proposal” episode (which is f*cking nuts), and Jennifer Schwalbach will direct “The Bad Babysitter” – which is the framing device that holds the whole mess together. 

As we reported last month, the anthology is now known as KILLROY WAS HERE, with Krampus having been replaced by a character called KillRoy, inspired by the "Kilroy Was Here" graffiti of a bald man with a large nose peeking over a wall – graffiti that is associated with World War II era United States servicemen.

On the latest episode of the Edumacation podcast, Smith and McElfresh share some details on the changes that were made to the film's boogeyman character. Given the military history of the graffiti, they decided to give their monster a military background, with McElfresh drawing on conversations he had with APOCALYPSE NOW screenwriter John Milius for inspiration. It seems KillRoy was a soldier working special ops deep in the jungle during the Vietnam War when something went terribly wrong.

SMITH: Dude just got lost, and the next time they find him he's just sitting there, eating babies.

McELFRESH: And he becomes transformed. Before he loses all of his humanity, they try to rehabilitate him, and instead that drives him out into the wilderness, where he's transformed into this monster.

SMITH: And he's all melted in the face, that's what creates the nose, the long nose effect.

KillRoy is now a baby-eating monster that lives in the swamps of Florida. This creature is brought to the screen through the performance of actor Justin Kucsulain, wearing prosthetics created by Robert Kurtzman. Not only does KillRoy have a long nose, he also has no ears and no eyeballs, his eye sockets filled with moss… I can't wait to see this guy.

Smith shot one segment of the anthology with Ringling students last month and will be returning to Sarasota to complete the film with them in December. Not all of the original COMES THE KRAMPUS stories will be making the cut for KILLROY WAS HERE, though. One that has gotten dropped is "Hitler's Krampus", which was going to be the shortest KRAMPUS segment and apparently would have involved Hitler being anally violated by the titular monster. That one just didn't work for KillRoy.

One segment is down, the others will be in production by the end of the year. After a long delay and a swapping of monsters, Kevin Smith's horror anthology is officially happening, and we'll keep you updated on KILLROY WAS HERE as we hear more news and information.

Source: Edumacation

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.