Monday, January 12, 2015

Review: Elves (1989)

Oh fuuuuck, this movie. So, here's the thing, I am a huge fan of another writer named Matt who runs a nice little website you might've heard of. And, as such, I've heard (or rather seen) him mention a little 1980s Christmas horror film called Elves. I thought to myself, "Hey, I like horror! I talk about old movies! Why don't I go watch this and talk about it?", which was followed by me getting a copy of said film. I had actually intended to watch it way back in early December, but seasonal depression is a bitch, thus leaving it untouched until now.

I sometimes wonder who has been untouched longer...me or the movie.
Now I'm finally back to work, grinding out this schlock for shits and giggles and that means finally getting to this movie. But what is this movie, really? I knew almost nothing about it going into it, just something about it only really having one elf in it, despite the title implying multiple tinseled terrors. Ultimately, that's probably for the best though, as it guarantees a fresh perspective and a much more honest reaction. Without further bullshitting around, here's a movie about a really ugly elf that probably murders a lot of people.

Although, the cover makes me think it's about Jerry Dandridge becoming a holiday themed stripper.

The movie opens with some strange imagery involving a ballet dancing mannequin and I find myself wondering what that has to do with a killer elf, which then leads to shots of a Santa toy, a Christmas tree, and a snowglobe before an ornament is smashed as tinsel falls dramatically. Well, I don't know if it's scary, but it does feel like a student art film so far, which is scary in its own way. But yeah, weird opening now being over, we finally get introduced to our lead. Her name is Kirsten and she's a teenager who looks around my age, because all the actresses in their 20s who resembled teenagers were busy being killed off in more popular horror films. Kirsten and her two generic 80s girl friends are in the woods practicing a Anti-Christmas ritual that would probably make Kirk Cameron's head explode, because the three of them hate Christmas. Why do they hate Christmas? Oh, you know, the commercialism...and the lack of good presents. Well, at least they know what really matters, right?

Drawings of a naked woman from her dream, of course!
They keep talking about girl power and how girls are the master race...wait...what? Um..Kirsten, you do know that sounds really bad, right? I mean, you're already rather Aryan, do you really need to start saying things like that? Anyway, she fucks around some more, shows off her naked goddess drawing, and they end up breaking a candle and gashing her hand open. I wonder if that blood all over the ground in this dark creepy forest that her grandfather told her to stay out of will somehow come back to bite her in the ass? Nah. It happens right after they leave actually, meaning we don't have to spend the entire movie wondering what might come of it. Her pure virgin blood has awakened the evil Christmas elf and it...well, it's awake. I mean, it doesn't seem very angry. Actually, it kinda seems like it might have brain damage.

Who knew having a stroke and being buried in a forest could lead you on a holiday themed killing spree?
We then get introduced to Kirsten's family, which includes a possibly crazy German grandfather, a mother who makes Joan Crawford seem tame, and a little brother who runs around in his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pajamas while peeking at his naked sister. Something tells me that this one scene with him doing that is to blame for the entire Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film we got last year. But let's get back to the plot. Her gramps slaps her for taking his book but then shows concern for her hand wound, which is much more that her mother can manage. Nope, instead she thinks getting slapped around isn't a good enough punishment, so she takes away her savings account. That's kinda extreme, don't you think? It's not like she raised a killer elf who will murder lots of people...oops. But yeah, the mother sucks and will get a lot worse as this goes on, trust me. After her brother peeks at her, she wrestles around with him, as siblings actually tend to do, as the creepy elf watches through the window. She then cuddles with her cat and laments how no one really cares about her besides the cat.

As a former cat owner, I somehow doubt her cat really cares that much. But it is cute.
Finally, after everyone's gone to bed the elf makes his move and crawls into bed with...her little brother. Bloody hell, I'm not I like where this is going. We've had bipolar parents, sibling peeping, and strangely inappropriate mixed messages about girl power. We do not need an elf molesting a little boy, which oddly is what I expected to happen throughout the entirety of the Munchie film. But no, he doesn't actually do anything to the kid except for startle the ever-loving shit out of him. Not that I can blame the kid, because that is not a face you want to wake up to.

Calm down, kid. He's probably just cold and wants to cuddle. Without pants.
The kid screams, the elf bolts, and the mother blames the entire thing on Kirsten's cat. Yeah, I know when I wake up to a fuzzy purring cat I always scream and think it's a troll too. Which brings up a good point, what exactly is elf-like about this elf? It really does look more like a troll and they keep calling it one throughout a lot of the movie. Was this the true Troll 2 rewritten to be about elves? Who knows? Someone get Michael Stephenson on the line! I have questions that demand answers! The next day we see Kirsten and her friends at the local...mall? I'm not sure. Honestly, it looks more like a really big department store, but I have no idea. We also see our other hero, Mike. He's a former cop who lost his job due to alcoholism and is looking for work at this place, ultimately being rebuffed by the semi-effeminate manager/owner/whatever. The girls decide to go sit on Santa's lap, because that's a great idea, and when the guy acts like a giant pervert, Kirsten responds as one would expect. The Santa storms off to his dressing room where he gets to meet the elf, who promptly stabs him in his balls.

I'm not saying I condone stabbing rapists and molesters in the balls...but I do.
It looks like the place might need a new Santa. Luckily, our leading man, Mike, is around and still needs a job. But not before he offers some comforting words to Kirsten. But while all this has happened, other things also happened! Like a sub-plot about Nazis who know something about the elf. Oh yeah, you heard me. Fucking Nazis. Merry Christmas! Here's a nice big box full of the Fuhrer! But you know what? I can deal with that, it's a weird movie so why not throw Nazis in. Kirsten already made that comment earlier about the master race, so yeah. The movie does get my ire up with something else though as the crazy bitch of a mother takes Kirsten's cat and drowns it in the fucking toilet. I already didn't like this woman, but now I desperately want her to die. Killing innocent animals is never alright with me. Moving on, all that happened and Kirsten (and her friends) decide to party in the store with boys after hours. They better watch out though, as I hear that new security system is a killer.

She should know better than to break the "no shoes" rule. Time to die.
No, that's not a shot from this movie. It's a shot from another movie I'll talk about next month. The girls aren't alone in this place though as Mike seems to be living in the place, as he lost his place. He agrees to let them have their fun as long as they don't steal anything, but their innocent horny teenager fun is interrupted when Nazis kill their dates and shoot one of the girls. The other friend runs afoul of the elf, who stabs her to death rather slowly. Really, she probably could've gotten away but she suffered from the dreaded 'can't run' syndrome that many girls in horror films suffer from. Mike and Kirsten find themselves facing off against the Nazis and both see the elf, which doesn't help them much when they try to explain it all to the cops the next day. They get fired, Mike brings her home, regrets doing so after meeting her mom, and he does some detective work to unearth the truth about the elf. It turns out that the Nazis wanted use elves to breed with a genetically pure virgin so their master race could be born into the world to rule it.


How does this involve our heroine? Well, it turns out that grandpa is a former Nazi...and he's also her dad. Yes, that's right, he fucked his daughter. I wish this could explain why she's horrible, but it still really doesn't. She goes nuts, putting on a bit too much lipstick, and the elf kills her while she takes a bath. The Nazis show up and Mike fights them. Gramps gets killed, the kids run, and the lead Nazi pursues them after shooting Mike. The kids run into the elf as the Nazi catches up, getting saved by the elf when it shoots the Nazi. Who gave the elf a gun?

Perhaps an even better question is who taught him how to use it?

And if the elf is protecting her, why are we supposed to be scared right now? I don't know but this cues Kirsten to send her brother back to get the mysterious crystal that will supposedly kill the elf, which he does and she stabs the hole it came out of, resulting it it bursting into flames for some reason. The two siblings awake the next day in the now burned out forest and the credits roll as we see some kind elf fetus? Did she get pregnant? When did the elf rape her? All we really saw was it awkwardly touching the outside of her thigh before it actually walked her over to the hole, like it was worried she might get hurt on her way to kill the thing. I honestly kinda feel bad for the elf now, as it only killed terrible examples of humanity throughout this entire film. Why is it villain again? Because the Nazis want elf babies? I don't really think that babies are born being Nazis, so it seems kinda silly. But really, this is a movie a killer elf and Nazis who worship it, so silly should be expected.

Maybe the elf baby will be the next space baby.
Final verdict? Well, it was confusing, strange, silly, and I kinda think I loved it. It's definitely not a great film, even pushing it when compared to some of the worst horror movies of the 1980s. But yeah, I liked it. it was a really odd movie to sit through, but it won in the end with its strange story and the charming Dan Haggerty's portrayal of Mike. Even the really bad elf puppet makes me smile. Overall, it's not the movie I would recommend to many people. You have to really like these sorts of movies...well, assuming this movie can truly be compared to any other movie. I can't really think of any movie to compare it to, honestly. But yeah, I liked it and maybe you'll like it too? There's only one way to find out, I suppose. So, until we get a sequel where Kirsten's elvish son saves Christmas from Nazis (starring Orlando Bloom as the son), I'll be here trying to figure out what I just watched. Later days, bleeders.

May our lord, Dan Haggerty, bless you. Amen.


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