Christmas isn’t exactly my favourite time of the year. Like many people, I find it intensely stressful. Christmas this year has been particularly awful as I swam through hordes of equally stressed people in an attempt to grab last minute presents (I know, my own fault) and my ears feel sufficiently abused from the endless squawking seasonal songs bursting through tinny supermarket speakers. There are some things I like about Christmas. I enjoy hanging out with my extended family, and I like stuffing my face with Christmas-themed food. And I also love Christmas horror movies. This year I skipped my traditional viewing of Silent Night, Deadly Night for a screening of the fantastically rotten Elves.
USA, 1989, Jeffrey Mandel
To call the story of Elves outrageous would be entirely correct, albeit somewhat of an understatement. After a night out in the woods with her pals, Kirsten (Julie Austin), morose teenager and sadsack waitress, finds herself being stalked by a “troll”, or as her brother puts it, “a fucking little ninja troll”.
Kirsten’s brother Willy (Christopher Graham) is quite the creep. When he’s not swearing his guts out, he’s trying to take a peek at his sister’s “fucking big tits”; a foreshadowing of the incestuous themes to follow.
Kirsten’s mother (Julie Austin) is a huge bitch. After the fucking little ninja troll attacks Willy, she blames it on Kirsten’s cat and drowns it in the toilet. Kirsten’s grandpa (Borah Silver) is also a reasonably unpleasant guy with his late night visits from ex-Nazis and wild ramblings about elves. It’s no wonder Kirsten hates her life.
The little fucking ninja troll follows Kirsten to the shopping mall she works in and proceeds to murder the recently fired store Santa by hacking off his balls. In a desperate attempt to replace the store Santa, management hires Mike McGavin (Grizzly Adams himself: Dan Haggerty), a police detective turned shopping mall detective turned bum. Supposedly, McGavin has a drinking problem, though we never see any evidence of this. McGavin is a total bad ass and befriends Kirsten after consoling her about the death of her cat.
As the film plods along, it is revealed that Kirsten’s creepy grandpa is responsible for the fucking little ninja trolls, which we now find out are actually elves. These elves aren’t your typical cutesy-green-outfit-wearing, toy-making fucks. Nope, these are ugly gooey bastards. The elves were created by Nazis through inbreeding experiments… or they were summoned from hell. Characters repetitively tell us, “When there’s no room left in Hell, elves will walk the earth.” Either way, gramps is a fucking Nazi.
Gramps also turns out to be Kirsten’s father as well as her grandfather (gross) – no wonder her mum is such a bitch – and Kirsten was bred to be the virginal receiver of elf sperm in order to be impregnated with a new race of half-elf half-human supermen. The Fourth Reich! Luckily, Gramps regrets his Nazi past and helps Kirsten and Grizzly Adams fight back against the Nazi bastards who are attempting to force her into elf-coitus.
It’s also rather lucky there’s only one elf to contend with. Despite the confusion it would create with the Will Ferrel vehicle, this film should be retitled Elf. While the Nazis refer to elves in a plural form, as far as I could tell, there was only one elf stalking Kirsten. It even confuses other characters leading to the dumbest question ever asked by a human being.
I was watching Elves with my partner, and she commented, “It’s actually alright.” And it is, actually. It’s wildly stupid, of course, but it’s also wildly entertaining. I laughed my bum bum off pretty much start to finish. As you might have noticed from the videos, the dialogue is rather amazing, especially anything spewed out of Haggerty’s beardy lips.
So, beloved readers of Mondo Exploito, if you’re struggling to find a movie to watch this Christmas, ditch all the usual schmaltzy garbage and grab yourself a copy of Elves. I can almost guarantee it’s the only film in existence that culminates with an elf attempting to rape the leading lady. And on that note, Merry Christmas, jerks!
Unbelievably, Elves is yet to see a DVD release. So until Criterion digs it out of the vault, you’ll have to hunt down a copy on VHS.