I have 395 movies in my Netflix Instant queue. I tend to watch one thing for every five that I add, but now my library is close to being full and I have to make room. So, every Monday I’m going to pick a random movie out of my queue and review the shit out of it. But (like Jesus), I’m also thinking of you and your unwieldy queue and all the movies in it you want to watch but no longer have the time to now that you’ve become so awesome and popular. Let me know what has been gathering digital dust in your Netflix Instant library and I’ll watch that, too. One Monday for you and the next for me and so on. Let’s get to it.

Howdy folks!  I’m Michael Rabattino, and you might remember me from such film websites as CHUD.com, and….CHUD.com.  I’ll be sitting in for Jared again this week, and maybe some other weeks in the future.  The far-off future, when there will be flying cars and hoverboards and such.  2015, in other words!

What’s the movie?  Rare Exports (2010)

What’s it rated?  R for plentiful old man penis and wholesale reindeer destruction

Did people make it?   Written and Directed by Jalmari Helander (from a story by him and Juuso Helander), Acted by Tommi Korpela, Per Christian Ellefsen, Jorma Tommila, Jonathan Hutchings, Onni Tommila, Risto Salmi, Peeter Jakobi, Rauno Juvonen, and Ilmari Järvenpää

What’s it like in one sentence?  It’s The Thing meets A Christmas Story meets The Santa Clause.  Ok, it isn’t like those last 2 at all.

Hey kid, go put some pants on. No, seriously…put some fucking pants on!

Why did you watch it?  I felt that my life was severely lacking in murderous mythical Santas massacring people in Finland.

What’s it about in one paragraph?  A group of reindeer herders live below a mountain which is currently being excavated by a scientist who believes that Santa Claus is buried there.  The excavation does more than disturb the reindeer herders; it takes away their livelihood when something escapes the excavation and slaughters all of the reindeer.  Pietari, son of Rauno (one of the herders) can see that something evil is present and suspects that it is indeed Santa Claus.  Through research and investigation he deduces that his worst fears are coming true and Santa himself may have escaped the excavation site intent on kidnapping all the naughty little children.  SPOILERS to follow

Play or remove from my queue?   I would say it’s definitely worth your time, but you might walk away wondering what it was that you actually watched.  It seems like it wants to be a horror film but to me, it ends up coming off as something far sillier, certainly venturing into parody (which is probably what was intended anyway) territory.

“I tried out to be the old man next door to Kevin McAllister in Home Alone. Fuck Chris Columbus.”

I would say it’s about 25 minutes of great after 59 of ho-hum build-up.  The sheer absurdity of those last 25 minutes will have you staring at your television in slack-jawed amazement.  It has to be seen to be believed, unless 198 naked old men (Santa’s “elves”)  being corralled into a reindeer pen by a helicopter carrying a bunch of kids in potato sacks is something you’re totally familiar with in your everyday film-watching life.

I was a little disappointed by the very end, since everything leading up to it had in a way promised a big reveal of Santa himself.  Unfortunately the promise never really came to fruition except for a glimpse of his massive horns poking through the ice he was frozen in.  Staying true to the title, in the film’s epilogue the reindeer herders, having no other way to make a living for their families, form the company “Rare Exports”.  They’re shipping the elves (now powerless and uncontrolled since their master was blown to hell by the herders) around the world as authentic Santas, all dressed up and clean-cut and ready to creep people out.  I like to think that they end up becoming actual Santas who slaughter all the kids on Twitter who were complaining about the lousy cars or iPads they got and didn’t want for Christmas.

“Look, I don’t know why we’re primarily using walkie talkies in the 21st century either!”

It’s a film that I’d definitely watch again, but I just feel like it had a lot of squandered potential.  We needed a film with a badass murderous Santa that could actually be seen.

Do you have a favorite line?  Before blowing him to hell:  “If you ever wondered how Santa could be in a zillion places all at once, now you know.”

Do you have an interesting fun-fact?  It was based on a 2003 short film by the Helanders themselves titled Rare Exports Inc.

What does Netflix say I’d like if I like this?  The Host (great), Trollhunter (greater), and Shaun of the Dead (greatest…and on a side note, I think Netflix thinks you’d like that film no matter what you watch…and damn it, they’re right).

What does Michael say I’d like if I like this?  Trollhunter, The Thing, Ernest Saves Christmas

What is Netflix’s best guess for Michael?  4.5

What is Michael’s best guess for Michael?  3.5

Can you link to the movie?  Merry Christmas to all!

Any last thoughts?  Again, it’s totally worth watching, but just don’t expect horror.  The department store Santa from A Christmas Story– 500 times scarier than anything in this film.

Did you watch anything else this week?  Back to the Future, which just gets better with age.  Back to the Future: Part 2, which doesn’t.  And The Beaver, with Mel Gibson, which proves he’s still great and you need to forget about his off-screen shit once in awhile.

Any spoilerish thoughts about last week’s film, Battle Royale?  Not much, just that I need to watch it again and again.

Next week?  Jared will be back reviewing the actual pants off of something!

If you stand in the middle of a bunch of crazed Santa’s elves and don’t have a weapon, you’re gonna have a bad time.