Come on now, and cozy up by the crackling fire roaring on the television screen. You know the drill. And then the drill goes off the rails and comes in hard with a sneak attack. If you happened to be tuned into Adult Swim for the Rick and Morty season six finale, you may have caught the traditional fireplace video that mysteriously followed, rather out of character. Out of character, that is, until said video unfolds into Adult Swim’s first-ever live-action feature, which just so happens to be a whole-ass surreal horror movie. The Yule Log rolls us into elements of The Strangers, Barbarian, and even a bit of Twin Peaks territory for good measure — and it just keeps rolling. Adult Swim aired a censored version of this madness, but an uncensored version is now available on HBO Max and for digital purchase.
“At this time of year, it’s nice to recognize the people important to you, and for us, that’s Adult Swim fans,” said Michael Ouweleen, president of Adult Swim and Cartoon Network. “We hope they enjoyed this gift that literally no one knew they wanted.”
Described only as a “cozy crackling fire,” viewers were forewarned that the TV-MA yule log contained “violence, adult language, and brief nudity.” After beginning with festive fireplace visual and holiday music, “Adult Swim Yule Log” gives way to unfolding a pulse-pounding story set within a remote cabin in which a mysterious and deadly fireplace constantly burns. Filled with mind-bending twists and a bizarre cast of characters, “Adult Swim Yule Log” welcomes viewers into a surreal, genre-defying thriller.
Yule Log creator Casper Kelly is also the mind behind the "Cheddar Goblin" sequence in Mandy and has delivered some debauchery to Adult Swim back in 2014 in the form of "Too Many Cooks." If you know that going in, it makes all the sense in the world that this Yule Log has been birthed from the same brain.
Kelly explains: “Last year during the holidays I was watching a yule log video and suddenly I had an image of legs walking past the fire, just slightly out of focus, and hearing dialogue off screen. I loved the mysteriousness of that, and a story started to form. I’m so grateful to Adult Swim for taking the plunge with me, and I’m so proud to have made their first live-action film!”
Check out our full interview with Casper Kelly right here.
You can stream Adult Swim Yule Log in all its uncensored glory right now on HBO Max.
In the tradition of "Too Many Cooks," Kelly’s micro-budget horror feature was also filmed entirely in Adult Swim’s hometown of Atlanta with local talent. Written and directed by Kelly (Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell), Adult Swim Yule Log stars Andrea Laing (The Game) and Justin Miles (Half Baked 2). The end credits song “The Fireplace” was performed by Puddles Pity Party and composed by “Too Many Cooks” scribe Shawn Coleman with lyrics by Kelly. It will be released by WaterTower Music and will be available on Spotify, Apple Music, and all digital streaming services this week.