I’m not certain why, but when Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale played during the one Fantastic Fest I was present at, I missed it. I was probably drunk on Peanut Butter Milkshakes and also whiskey and Rob Hunter had yet to convince me to start watching movies with subtitles. Over the recent Christmas season (it’s over now, take down your decorations), I caught up with the film in the comfort of my own home all while being mostly sober.
Rare Exports is a Finnish import about the havoc created when the truth about Santa Claus is quite literally unearthed. You think you know all about this jolly fat man, but brother, you ain’t seen nothing yet. If you watch this film though, you’ll see plenty of old man dicks, so there’s that, in addition to a pretty pleasing film.
Overall there are about nine kills in the film, but at least seven of them are off-screen. If you’ve got a bloodlust, this isn’t the film for you.
We see tons of dead reindeer, an old man is impaled, an ear is bit off, and a pick-axe finds an unlikely home in someone’s head.
My notes, verbatim: dirty old man dick, naked old men, old men dick. So yeah this film is sexy.
The real Santa Claus is a lot cooler than that chubby Coca-Cola swilling bastard.
Rare Exports is one of those rare films that scores close to zero on the normal criteria for being awesome, but it is in fact quite awesome. The film started on the right note as it illustrated the Finnish relationship with guns, which is basically give everyone over the age of five a gun. Recipe for disaster? Only to your naive liberal ears.
If there is a problem, it’s with the speed of the plot. The entire film moves fast with a run time of under 90 minutes, but our pint sized hero Pietari jumps pretty much from “what was that loud noise” to “do you think they unearthed the real Santa Claus and he is not a nice man but is actually a kidnapper of children?” It’s a bit of a stretch. Maybe the St. Nicholas mythos in Finland is very much alive and well, as even the adults are pretty much on board with this old man actually being Santa Claus after about four minutes of examination.
Overall, Rare Exports is a strange film, but that may just be some level of culture shock. To be honest, I was left wanting something a little bit bigger, but the film is constrained by a modest budget. The film starts off being fairly creepy and you almost expect a Santa Slasher, though it switches gears into full on ridiculous mode half-way through and the action kicks up a few notches. This is perhaps due to the parent’s willingness to believe the children. No one here questions the idea that Santa is real, so there is no need for Santa to hunt the children. Once everyone believes that Santa is indeed out there, they decide to take the hunt to him.
Rare Exports is a good holiday flick with the right balance of creepy imagery and childhood wonderment. It’s kind of like Super 8 but with Santa Claus and lots of penises. Go in expecting something more akin to a family adventure than a Santa’s Slay and you’ll be well rewarded. It’s also worth noting that the Blu-ray is pretty well stacked with features, including Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.