Finnish flick Rare Exports is one of those dark, weird monster movies that keeps getting more hilarious - and more evil. The fact that it's about Santa Claus makes it all the more awesome.
Set in the bleak, snowy landscape at the border between Finland and Russia, the movie starts as a simple tale of poverty-stricken rural people whose sole source of income and sustenance has been destroyed. A mysterious force has killed and mostly eaten the town's entire herd of reindeer, which they were hoping to slaughter for food and export. As one character says mournfully, they've lost 85,000 dollars - plus 20% VAT. On top of that, a group of Americans are blasting holes in a mountain over on the Russian side of the border, which is driving more wolves into the Finnish town.
But one little boy, Pietari, seems immune to the bleakness. He still believes in Santa Claus, and his research into the Nordic legends of an evil, horned Santa give him a theory about that Russian mountain - and the dead reindeer. When he and a friend snoop on the blast site, they discover Pietari's crazy theories are correct: The Americans are digging up Santa from an ancient prison where he was put so that he would stop murdering little kids for fun. Now Santa and his scary, naked elves are on the loose. And they're up to some seriously twisted shit.
Luckily, the local townspeople are pretty tough and twisted themselves. This a town full of butchers who sell meat, after all, and even the little kids are so tough that they carry rifles and go pantsless in the snow.
As the movie unfolds - with equal parts dread and hilarity - the locals come up with a plan to deal with Santa. But not before there are a lot of seriously gross butcher jokes and elf nastiness. If you like your humor extra-black, and think that Santa is really Satan, this is the Christmas movie you've always wanted to see. Despite a few slow bits, the action zooms along right to the happy ending, when we get a terrific twist that's even more bizarro than the rest of this already-freaky flick.
If you need something to wash the taste of good cheer out of your mouth, you won't want to miss Rare Exports. It comes out in limited release today Stateside.