A seriously demented Christmas story for folks looking for something very different!
by Martin Hafer
I love Christmas and now that the holiday season is upon us, folks start thinking about great old holiday movies. However, I also hate how television stations here in the US drive us crazy by playing the same old Christmas movies year after year after year–until you start to hate them. Movies like It’s a Wonderful Life (which they used to air umpteen times a year until recently) have practically been ruined because of this. So, in the spirit of being sick and tired of the same old re-runs, I might suggest if you feel the same way you try Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale. It sure is NOT It’s a Wonderful Life and it’s nothing like Miracle on 34th Street! It’s actually sort of an anti-Christmas movie for folks who are looking for a film a billion times stranger than A Christmas Story! And, because of that, it’s my latest entry in my “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet!” series.
The film begins in the Finnish wilderness. Three men who are trying to figure out what just attacked. Hundreds of caribou are dead and they are heavily armed just in case it attacks once more. Even one of the guy’s little boy is armed with a shotgun. I guess life can be hard that close to the Arctic Circle. As the film progresses, the film becomes more and more and more tense, as apparently the thing or things that killed the animals also wiped out the folks excavating the frozen tundra…apparently someone or something is really, really mad and really dangerous! I would love to say more about this sick and rather inappropriate film, but I don’t want to spoil the film. Suffice to say that ‘Santa’ is not their only worry–herds of his crazed, naked helpers are! And you better pray you haven’t been naughty!!
Overall, I liked this sick film because it is highly creative. It also had an amazing sense of suspense. Using exceptional direction and great background music, the film is tense beyond belief. However, the story is not perfect. The part where the kid suddenly knew exactly what to do and the adults followed his lead was bad because it was a cliché. Fortunately, what followed in the final scene after they listened to the kid was great–and the ending made me laugh. One final note: there is lots of graphic, male nudity. I wasn’t offended by it as it was not the least bit sexual in nature and worked the way it was used in the film. And, since parents shouldn’t let their kids see this because of the subject matter, then kids seeing all this naked flesh really isn’t a serious concern. Worth seeing…but it is one sick and twisted holiday film. I just hope I don’t start seeing it every year on the television…though I seriously doubt it.
By the way, the idea for this full-length film originated from two short films by the same Finnish filmmaker, Jalmari Helander. I saw the first one years ago and loved it–and fortunately both shorts are included on the disc as special features if you buy the DVD. It makes the perfect Christmas present for that super-strange person on your holiday shopping list!!