Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale

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This unique tale, imported from Finland, deals with the idea of an evil Santa Claus in an entirely original way.

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Rare Exports (2010)

Episode 14, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw

I’m Todd I’m Craig. We’re bringing you this week’s edition here just a few days before the holidays and our present to you as a tale from Finland called Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale. Uh, Craig, I think you were the one who was most interested in seeing this movie. Where did you first hear it about it? I read about it somewhere on Bloody Disgusting or, or something, um, around the time that it came out.

And I always thought that it looked interesting and I had just never gotten around to watching it and we had to pick stuff for, uh, for this. And I was kind of just looking through. Christmas themed horror stuff. And this one popped up, I read a few reviews and it got really, really positive reviews. So I thought, you know, let’s save this.

So we have something good to go out on this year. Yeah. It’s pretty appropriate. A movie about Santa Claus course. We did a movie about the anti Santa Claus last week. And this, this movie really has a lot of parallels in many ways to the Krampus story. Doesn’t it? Yeah, it really does. I mean, especially in the beginning, The way that the movie starts out is we see this kind of corporate drilling sites, I guess, on the top of a mountain and they have drilled down and they found ice down there.

And the guy who’s in charge of all that. See at first I thought we drilled into some old tree or something, but no, this level of sawdust 65 foot thick, I mean, it doesn’t that it doesn’t make sense. He does in the olden days, people used to store ice by encasing it in cell dust. Yeah. But what do you mean?

What are you trying to say? This mom is like giant eyes box for storing what drill deeper. And you will see that drill in as we speak. And these two little kids who, one of them, PhD, who ends up being our main character, they’re kind of spying and seeing what’s going on. And he immediately comes to the conclusion that what they must have found is Santa Claus now where he came to that conclusion from, I don’t really know, but he goes home and he finds this book that he looks through that kind of it’s, it’s the truth about Santa Claus and.

It’s much like the Krampus tale, you know, he opens it and he’s looking through the pictures and you see these kind of scary images of Santa Claus. He’s horned. He’s not the jolly old fat guy that, uh, we have come to know and love there’s pictures of him, uh, stealing children, boiling children and cauldrons.

And so in that regard, yes, very, very, very similar even similar in look. Yeah, it really is. Cause uh, the Santa clauses in here have horns. The, of course they’re wearing a little more of the traditional sand outfits in some pictures, but some that seem to maybe go back for, for years into the older lore, just to have him looking like of like a Crump has devil kind of like what we’re talking about.

And, uh, and this is up in Finland, uh, pretty much at the border. It looks like between Finland and Russia and, uh, the people in the mountain who were doing the excavating. Are on the Russian side and the boys had, had to cut through, it was actually Petri and his friend  yeah. Or USO you saw Ru had to cut through the fence to get through and in there.

So this is an interesting part of the world that I’m not very familiar with this lifestyle of race finished people way out in the cold, out in the middle of nowhere. You know, it’s almost like when you think of Siberia, this is where they are. Uh, and there. Profession is to basically harvest reindeer.

Right. Which is just kind of cute. It’s another Christmasy thing with this all sort of ties together. Right. I guess if, if Santa Claus is going to be frozen in a mountain somewhere, he’s going to be frozen in a mountain somewhere where there’s tons of rain. Uh, and, uh, and so this family pediatry just has his father and.

All we really see are men in this entire. It just hit me. Yeah, it is. I don’t remember if there were any women at all and it doesn’t say what happened to the mother. You get the sense that. There’s been some tragedy she’s she’s died. I presume. Uh, but you’re right. All of the characters are male. I don’t think if there’s a single woman in the film, at least there’s not even a girl.

Yeah. Recognizable. There comes a point where a Patri is. It has a list of his friends because he’s calling his. To see if his friends are okay and we’ll get to why in a second. And one of the names on the list was Elsa. So I guess, I guess there are girls or women somewhere, and one of the other main male characters talks about his wife.

So I guess there are women around, but they are not in the film at least not recognizably. So, I mean, I guess some of those extras. Yeah. And I don’t know. Well, it’s a very masculine type movie, you know, it’s a very male. Centered movie there. You’ve got these people out there in this rugged, harsh environment.

Uh, and the men are clearly the ones who were bringing the bread home. Right. Because they’re the ones who are hurting in these reindeer and hunting them. Uh, it turns out that, uh, Patrice father  is the butcher a bit basically of the clan, if you will, the village, I guess, is what it is. Yeah. It is a really interesting setting because it’s so remote and it’s so limited.

I mean, uh, poetry and his dad, I guess they’re there kind of as a little village, but they kind of live, I guess. A little bit out on the outskirts of that. Uh, and it’s just really secluded and it’s really rustic. It’s a very different scenario. It’s not something that I’ve ever seen a movie really set against a backdrop like that, unless you want it like the thing or the thing.

Yeah. I kept thinking of the thing actually, you know, just watching this and it’s starting to get cold now too. Get it’s like watching the thing, you know, there’s never a scene where there isn’t snow blowing around and. People wearing fur coats and breathing in the cold. It must have been a pain to shoot this thing, but yet then again, I guess a podiatry can run outside without any pants on, which I thought was hilarious.

But then I’m thinking, you know, this is the environment that they’re used to. I, I, I certainly wouldn’t want to be running around in my drawers out in the blizzard, but I guess that’s, you know, that’s the life they leave. It’s funny. And so this particular time of year, apparently when the reindeer all. I guess migrate or move in their herd, uh, towards the camp.

And, uh, what did they call it? The Roundup. Yeah. So, uh, they have a very large pen created there and they’ve gathered again, that’s like all the men and all the adult, all the young boys out to this pen where the fence is electrified and they’re basically waiting for the reindeer to come across so that they can herd them into this pan and shoot them.

And this is going to be like probably this one, Roundup is going to be. Their sustenance for the rest of the year. That’s certainly what they make it seem like. Yeah. Their export of this meat is their yearly salary. Right. And from what I understand, I mean, uh, reindeer meat is a very viable food source. So I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s realistic in that regard.

They, uh, they, you know, they have this huge pin set up and it’s electrified electrified, uh, and they’re waiting for the rain gear to show up and. It appears that they’re going to show up on cue, but instead of a large herd showing up, it’s just a couple of stragglers. And so they go try to look for the rest of the herd, which they find right at the entrance to the border.

But they’ve all been slaughtered. And at first they think that maybe it was wolves because the Russians, uh, up on the mountain have been doing a lot of blasting and they think that maybe that’s driven the wolves down. And in particular, that hole in the fence that pediatry and a USO had cut earlier, they surmise, Oh, these are Russian wolves.

These are the wolves that came through the fence. And so. They don’t know that the kids cut that hole. They assume that it’s the fault of those guys on the mountain. And so they cross into the border, which is a pretty big deal, apparently, apparently for them to do. But they cross over there anyway, to find these guys and give them a, what, what and demand about $85,000, which was there.

Rough calculation of how much money they lost. And I guess you don’t need that much money to kind of live out they’re in the Tundra where they are 85,000 probably goes a really long way. I would imagine. And then of course, when they get there, the guys are gone. There’s this giant hole in the crater and they realize, Oh, they’ve not been doing seismic testing.

They’ve been doing some kind of excavating of something here. And as you said, It seems like a pediatry for whatever reason decides that they’re excavating Santa Claus, which it turns out to be. Right. And meanwhile, pediatry has been sitting up at night watching outside of his window because he believes that Santa Claus is now on the loose.

And he has now this image of Santa clauses. As a Punisher and one morning close to Christmas, maybe even Christmas Eve, uh, he wakes up and he realizes that he’d fallen asleep on his watch and he looks out, he goes outside and looks and the Christmas lights around his room have been unplugged and there are footprints outside his window.

So he’s convinced. That Santa Claus is spying on him and the other children. And he’s not really far off. And he even sees some bloody footprints under one of the reindeer that has that kind of claw, like look and at earlier in one of the books, we’d seen a picture that said Santas footsteps in the snow, right.

Walking barefoot in the snow, they looked a little claw, like just like that. The movie did a pretty good job of setting the scene so that you got the significance of each of these events. Yes. With that what’s essentially, I think that the credit scene, isn’t it, when he’s flipping through that book more or less and, uh, looking at things.

Yeah. Yeah, I think so. It’s right. It’s right there in the beginning. So, you know, from the beginning, what you’re getting into, but the movie does a good job of kind of playing it. Clever too. You kind of think, you know, what’s going on. Uh, and then towards the end, there’s an interesting twist, but that’s right real before we get there, poetry has that interesting stick, a little bit of business with his advent calendar, as it gets closer to Christmas, he he’s taped the 24 closed and he, then he goes to the East.

Staples at closed, you get the sense. He really does not want it to happen. Right. Is that what you were thinking? He doesn’t want Santa Claus to come. He said, yeah. He’s yeah, I guess, you know, and in the mind of a child that would seem rational. We just won’t open that door. We won’t open the 24 door cause we don’t want Santa to come.

Do you think he was always that way or that it was just the, his stumbling across this book? That Santa was bad about the time that he’s. Sort of surmised that these guys in the mountain are excavating Santa. Yeah. That’s the suggestion that I got was that he has now realized the truth about Santa and that the truth is kind of dark and scary.

And so that he’s very much on, on the watch now, anyway, what happens is later is that his father has set up this Wolf trap earlier. Outside of the window, which apparently is illegal to do. Uh, but it’s a big hole in the ground with a bunch of spikes in it and a suspended, a Boar’s head over it with an Apple in its mouth.

One of those really cute moments. There’s, there’s a lot of interesting humor. I think it probably. Maybe there was more humor in this movie than we got because of the trends. I have a feeling that’s the case. Uh, I mean, I, the subtitles were fine and you could definitely keep up with the, what was going on, but there would be, of course, I don’t know anything about the intricacies of the finished language.

I don’t know, but I noticed that there were some times when the dad. Or, or any other character would say something and the subtitle would be very brief. It seemed like they were saying more than what we were actually given. And I don’t know if that’s the case or not, but there still was some cute little humor, particularly towards the end.

Um, but, uh, I read. On a comment board somewhere, somebody had posted that they had watched this with their Finnish girlfriend and the finished girlfriend really kind of delighted in a lot of the Finnish humor. So maybe we missed out on a little bit of it, but there’s some there probably did. I think there’s probably a lot that just got lost in translation, just because of the, and not even just the words, just maybe the, a quirkier sense of humor, a different sense of humor than what we’re used to here, but it was kind of funny, you know, he’s eating the Apple, then he sticks the rest of it in this Hogshead.

Suspended over for the bait. Uh, and, uh, lo and behold the catch something, but it’s not a Wolf. Right. And, uh, you know, the, the young boy, Pete Petri is very curious because he’s convinced that it is probably Santa Claus, but the dad tries to keep him away. He doesn’t want him to see what’s in there, but soon the dad’s friend arrives and they go out and pull out.

Something in a tarp, they take it into the dad’s butcher shop and lay it out on the table. And they at first think that it must be one of the people from the dig site or maybe one of them says one of those crazy folks from the mountains. I don’t know. They’ve just got like crazy, you know, mallet, hobos, I guess.

I don’t know, but. From the USA no less. So there was an American passport that didn’t look anything like the guy, right. For all intents and purposes, it appears that they’ve captured Santa Claus. I mean, aside from the fact that he’s, he’s a scrawny old man, he looks like the traditional Santa Claus. He’s got the long white beard kind of the Haggard face.

Uh, and that’s what I’m thinking is they got him here. He is. But what I thought was interesting was that. As scary as he had been played up to be, this guy didn’t seem all that threatening. They didn’t have, you know, he, they thought he was dead at first and their solution too, because putting out the Wolf traps is illegal.

Um, you know, they’ve got all that butcher stuff here. It’s kind of a sinister moment in time. Uh, their plan, apparently it’s just to dispose of this and, and, and pretend like nothing has happened. But when the dad goes to Saul, Santa Claus, his arm off, uh, he jerks his arm away.

And they, they check his, his breathing, they put a knife up under his nose and he is in fact breathing and he’s awake. Okay. And he’s smelling, smelling the children every time poetry comes up to the window and he kind of gets a sniff and his eyes open up a little bit. And there’s, there’s a lot of that interesting that he smells the ch almost like the child catcher from, uh, Chitty Chitty, bang, bang, bang, and sinister.

But again, not particularly threatening. I mean, they’ve, they’ve got him, uh, contained and you know, he kind of gives them, they try to speak to him in Russian and they try to speak to him in English. Eventually he doesn’t appear to understand anybody and he gives some threatening side looks and whatnot, but they’re able to keep him contained and eventually they tie them up.

But before they do that, Petrie is looking in the window. His dad turns around and sees him and he’s in trouble. So Patri goes running off, down the street and his dad goes after him in the car. But before his dad gets to them, a police car pulls up and Patri gets into the car and that, so the dad follows the police car into the town where the dad.

Says to the cop. Oh, everything’s fine. There’s nothing to worry about. And the cop says something like, well, if that’s the case, you’re the only ones because I’d been out in the village all night long. And apparently there has been a crime spree of sorts, uh, in the village. They’re great. Uh, everything that can produce heat, basically radiators stoves, hairdryers have all been taken and been missing and they kind of write that off, except that, uh, USOs dad finds, I guess he’s a potato farmer or at least that’s part of his deal finds that.

His whole storehouse of potatoes that was kept in sacks. Nobody’s taken the potatoes, but they’ve dumped them all out of the sacks and all the sacks are gone. So you’re getting this sort of funny, you know, as your mind puts it together a little bit. Okay. We know that somebody is going to warm something up and we know that the sacks are gone and you think of Sachs and Santa, and you’re still not quite sure what’s going on, but it is a little funny in and of itself.

Yeah, it is. And so they’re, they’re talking to the Kopan pitcher. He asks. One of the dad’s friends, you know, where is your son? You know, this other little boy that Patri is friends with. And he says, Oh, it must not be up yet. So Patrick goes upstairs and in the bed where the boys should be. There’s this creepy.

Kind of similarly have a child, like, I want to say doll, but it’s creepier than that. It seems kind of more natural. Like it’s made out of earth and twigs or something. I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s a little bit creepy. And, uh, the, the, the kid’s dad is not particularly concerned. He said, Oh, he’ll show up, you know, by, by nightfall or whatever, but that.

Shows to Peachtree that he is right. That the kids have been snatched up by Santa Claus. Yeah. But he goes home to, to confirm this. He gets on the phone and he makes a list of his friends. It’s so cute. Now this little boy is, is really cute and he really carries a lot of the movie. I mean, he’s the central character, the, the grown men.

Certainly play an integral role and, and, uh, their performance is perfectly fine too, but I, this little kid is just really precocious and, uh, you’re kind of on the, you know, you kind of suspend that disbelief and you are kind of in the mindset of the kid too. And it’s, it’s nice in that way. It’s, it’s a sweet kind of nostalgic kinda, he’s one of these sort of quiet kids.

That’s quietly taking in what’s going on and always seems to be able to say the right things at the right time, just because. He’s almost got it all figured out in his head or at least you think he does. It’s so neat. How early on he in preparation for the 20 for the Christmas day has armored himself with all of the armor type things he can find.

So he’s wearing like a life vest or something. He has his helmet on, like he’s going to play hockey and he’s even, uh, duct tape, some cardboard to was, but I mean, he’s just sort of walking around. Like this goofball and his dad even asked him, he was like, what is, what are you doing here? And he’s like, Oh, it’s just a game that my friend and I play upstairs.

Yeah, it is cute. And he’s he’s and he’s packing heat too. You know, his, his dad has given him a small rifle. I presume to protect himself from wolves. Should any wolves up here, but it’s, it’s a cute little image of this little boy. He’s. I mean, what would you say? Like nine, maybe nine and he, you know, he’s all decked out in what he imagines would protect him in his time of need.

And he’s got this, this rifle strapped to his back. It’s a funny, cute, cute image. It is cute. Once he confirms that the kids are gone, he tries to get the adults attention. And they’re sort of distracted by this idea. And vague sort of come to this notion that this is Santa Claus. He’s the one who con who suggests it pretty much right.

And says, Oh, they were digging. That’s who they were excavating up here. So these guys, well, the kid basically comes in and suggest that at Santa Claus. And they’re also willing to go along with that. Initially they say, no, that’s just fairy tale stuff. But this, this guy, Santa that they have captured when they captured him, he was wearing.

A coat and it, it was one of the workman’s coat from the site. And so they just discarded at first, which is another funny thing. You’ve got Santa Claus running around naked for a good while. Uh, interesting image, this, you know, kind of frail old guy, totally nude. And they’re just poking him and stuff.

Who’s your

What did you dig inside the mountain? But eventually from this code, they hear something, a noise and they find a walkie talkie in there. And on the other end of the walkie talkie is the American who seems to be the boss. You know, the guy who’s funded this project or whatever. And he’s saying is Santa’s sleigh ready or, or something along those lines is the cargo ready.

Um, and so they figure, well, It must be. Uh, and the plan that they hatch is, you know, these people were responsible for us losing our income for the year. So we’ll sell Santa’s back to them to cover our losses. Uh, and that’s, that’s what they plan to do. And you know, this is the point what I’m expecting.

Okay, there’s going to be, he’s going to escape. There’s going to be, you know, he’s going to grow phase is going to bite these people or whatever. Nope. The next shot is this totally cornball shot of him and a giant cage in the back of this truck. They’ve dressed him in a Santa suit and everything, and they’re driving them out to meet a helicopter at the storage location of this, uh, company in order to make an exchange for $85,000.

Right. And one of, one of the guys. Wants to demand much more money. He says, you know, if this is the real original Santa Claus, somebody is going to be getting rich off this, but a PhD, his dad is just satisfied to get, you know, to recover their losses. So they meet this American guy there who he was in the opening scene and he was the one that was so excited at what they had found.

And he had said something back then. Always believe always, he kind of said that to himself and then he’s talking to the man and he says, my wildest dream since childhood is about to come true, we’re standing on a sacred grave. So apparently this has kind of been his life mission to find Santa Claus. And now he has.

And so he meets them there and he wants to know who they are, but, you know, they’re like, it doesn’t matter, you know, we’ve got what you want, just give us the money. And it seems like he’s pretty agreeable to it. Like he doesn’t really object. Uh, who knows he may have had to pay more to the other guys. I don’t know.

Um, but you’re absolutely right. This is the part where I thought, okay, now Santa is going to show his true colors. He’s going to bust out of this thing. He’s going to be crazy, powerful, and scary, but the guy goes up right up to the cage and looks at him. And Santa kind of gets this flash in his eye,

put down your lemons and smile. That’s nice as your can move slowly and do exactly as I say, can you guys just get the Haley? Yeah. Okay. This is not Sant work. It’s one of Santa’s little helpers and that is when. For me up to that point, I enjoyed the movie overall, but I felt like up to that point, the bill had been pretty slow and it was, you know, interesting, but I felt like it was a little bit drawn out at sea.

I was wishing that we would get some more action a little bit quicker. And then here, when this twist came, I thought, well, that’s it. You know, this is at least really interesting. I didn’t expect it. I didn’t see it coming at all. And, uh, what happens is, you know, they kind of look around all of a sudden, they see these figures darting around in the shadows and the dark, the guy who was flying the helicopter that delivered the American guy, he gets dispatched kind of off screen.

You just kind of see his hat come flying into screen screen, and you hear him screaming. And then it becomes clear that all of these shadowy guys around. Are just like the guy that they’ve captured. They’re these scrawny decrepit, old men. And apparently these are the elves, which begs the question. If these are sand as little elves, how big is Santa?

Right. Exactly. And this is the point where it gets totally sort of screw ball in that it would be a screwball comedy. If it wasn’t still such a more subdued finish kind of realm, you know, maybe this is as close as we get to screwball comedy in the film world. But, uh, the kid walks up to even. It looks like a giant hangar and the hangar doors on it on the hanger door is painted 24.

Right. And it’s virtually identical to the 24 on his advent calendar that he has been stapled. He’s had stapled up hilarious little. It is hilarious. And you know, it was really kind of a cool set piece. You know, then you’ve got this little tiny kids standing in front of these huge doors and he just says, The last door and, uh, they go in there and, uh, they see that all of the stolen appliances, the heaters, the stoves, all of that has been set up in a circle and the little boy says.

The elves made a nest for Santa Claus and it pans up and you see that within the circle of all these appliances are sacks moving sacks. So obviously the children have been gathered around and it’s this huge, enormous block of ice with two enormous horns protruding from the top. And apparently this is Santa Claus and the elves.

You know, what they were doing was they’re, they’re throwing him out so he can do his thing. And, and they’ve gathered all the children from around in front of him. And this is funny because this is the point where the adults they’re all barricaded, barricaded themselves into this building because the elves have approached him from all direction or outside.

They know they’re pretty screwed. There’s no way they’re going to get out with those elves surrounding them. And they all have like pick axes and things like that. I mean, it’s, it’s kind of, even though these are old men, they clearly can hold their own. Sure. And there’s a lot of them. Oh, it sounds like, you know, it’s like a horse.

And so do you think they were frozen with Santa or do you think they were just sort of, no, I debated that, that part. Doesn’t never really get to explain it’s I guess it’s kind of a plot hole. I have no idea if they were also excavated or if they, you know, they just didn’t have anything to do because Santa Claus.

Was trapped that could, I don’t know. That could be that they just sprung into action when, when needed, well, at any rate, the kids, the one who comes up with the whole plan and he just sort of jumps into high gear and he’s like, trust me, listen to me, those ELLs, aren’t going to leave the hanger while the kids are still here.

So we need to get the kids out. It’s hilarious. You know, the guys are all kind of panicking and they’re, they’re, you know, they’re trying to stack up the ovens and stuff to barricade and keep the elves out. And the kids shouting, listen to me, listen to me. And they walk right. So he takes his shot gun and fires it into the air and gets their attention.

And then he just totally takes charge. Well, that, that part itself is hilarious. Cause he sh he fires a shot gun and they all turn and look at him and it’s just sort of this slow motion zoom in on him. Where it kind of turns he looks and he, and of course it’s not smoke coming out of his mouth, but it’s a condensation from his breath or whatever, but he’s just got that.

Bad-ass sort of diehard look to them. Yeah. And it is hilarious because at that point he just takes charge and the guy, the men listen to him, they’re going to follow his plan. And he’s got as not plausible as this whole thing really is. It’s funny and it’s fun to watch it is. So, I mean, to make a long story short, the guy breaks out.

Uh, one of the guys, uh, gets out and gets past the L’s by dropping gingerbread read along the way there’s been a running gingerbread, gag her out, gingerbread coming out of their pockets apparently. And then he gets into a helicopter, pulls the kids out in the giant sacks with, with a giant sack and a giant net, which, uh, then Pietro is actually riding.

Uh, as it swings through the air and of course draws the elves away and eventually into that pen, right. The reindeer pen, which was a great idea. Right. And meanwhile, uh, the other adults are back at the warehouse or hanger or whatever it is. Coincidentally, there happened to be a large stockpile of explosives in there also.

So they are setting up explosives all around the big block of ice and drilling explosives into the ice. And, uh, once they’ve got that all set up. They saw off the Santa Claus’s horns, which are enormous. I mean, they’re so big. Like they, there is like as big as the truck they put in, they put them in the back of a bed of a truck and they’re just these huge, enormous horns.

Um, and, uh, what happens is. While, uh, poetry is gathering. Of course he has to, when they get there to it’s his idea to go to the pen. But when they get there, he realizes that the gate is closed. And so he calls on his walkie-talkie the guy who’s flying the plane and says the Gates closed. And the guy says, well, it was a good plan, too bad.

It’s not going to work out. And the kid says, no, I’m going down there. I’m gonna open it. And, uh, the guy says, but you can’t, I won’t be able to land to pick you up. And he just in a very, you know, Bruce Willis diehard moment used, I’m not coming back and drops down into the pin, very heroically. And he opens the gate and this huge hoard of zombie, like Santa clauses are approaching and he just gets on the walkie one more time and says, Tell my dad, what I did so good.

It’s silly. But at the same time, it’s cute. It’s cute. This kid, you know, the whole time he’s been preoccupied with, you know, he’s asked his dad blatantly, am I a good boy? You know, am I a good boy? Am I a bad boy? You know, would it, would it be better if I just. Disappeared and went away. It seems like he’s really wanted to prove himself to his dad and as corny as it is, he gets his chance.

And it’s a sweet little moment there at the end. It really is. Uh, and then they blow up Santa and just sort of like killing the boss or killing Dracula or something like that. Once sand has completely exploded. The elves stop doing what they’re doing is broken, right? Yeah. For existence. So they just kind of stumble around and they’re just standing there in the pen.

And these guys do a quick calculation, like, so, uh, how much for one 83,000. So how much for all these? And it was like 16 point something million, right. And the next scene, I’m sorry. I was totally not expecting it. I see it coming at all either. And it’s hilarious. And it tied back into the title. So, well, I thought that the ending was really clever, kind of dark and weird, but it might as well be how this movie’s gone.

Yeah, they just, uh, they train these guys to be Santa clauses and ship them all around the world. They train them like on an assembly line. It’s really hilarious. They give them dolls and like a, a wrapped box. And Beatrice dad sits in a chair in front of them. With poetry on his lap and like models, the behavior, and, you know, they’re trying to learn.

And, um, sometimes they mess up and have to be corrected, but if they do a good job, they get their Santa hat and then it cuts to the end where they are just boxing up these Santa clauses and these big wooden crates. Like literally that are stamped with the words, rare exports, uh, live contents from the original land plan of Santa or something.

I mean, what a great marketing deal. Apparently the guy who flew the helicopter before is clearly, you know, an excellent pilot because now he’s, he’s piloting this big cargo plane and I, you know, It’s their happy ending, you know, not only did they recover their losses, but they’re making tons of money now instead of exporting reindeer meat exporting.

I guess

as far as Tanzania and beyond, that’s really funny. It was, it was very much a monsters incorporated kind of ending where it now, instead of scaring the children, they’re going out and giving joy to children, you know, I, uh, it, it was an interesting ending, I guess, you know, I was looking up a little bit about this movie and.

The movie was spurred on by a short yeah. Apparently it was popular on the web. I didn’t see it. I haven’t seen it 8,003. Yeah. I guess there was, there was an original short, and then it was pretty successful and then they made kind of a CQL short. Um, and then somebody proposed the idea of doing a feature film and then they ran with it.

Yeah. So, I mean, you can kind of tell that. I get something this goofy would come from origins like that, you know, something a little shorter, a little, probably something that set a tone right in this movie just then took that tone and expanded it across a whole. Right. And the runtime at 80 some minutes, I mean, it’s a, it’s a short movie, but it almost, and I don’t want to be critical cause I did like it, but it almost felt like it would have maybe been more suited for an hour.

The beginning, especially just seemed to kind of. Be a little bit drawn out. Not that things weren’t happening, not that we weren’t getting more information. Um, it was just kind of slow. I was kind of waiting for the action to pick up, but overall I think that I had really high expectations because this got really, really good reviews.

I mean, around the world, it got really good reviews and Roger Ebert gave it four and a half. Out of five stars. I think it won lots of awards internationally. So I think that I, and you know, we’ve been putting this off to save it for the last one. My hopes are really high. Uh, and I, I think I was a little bit disappointed, but only because.

I had had such great expectations. It’s not a bad movie. No, and it’s not really a horror movie either. I mean, it is, but it’s, it’s really taint. It’s very tame and it has that sort of adventure element to it as well. And I think the slow build also is not something that you normally get. You didn’t have a scare at the beginning.

You didn’t have it set up immediately that people were dying or there was this horrible thing out there going on. It took a while. And I think I would have had. Less patience for that slow build if the environment and the characters and their situation. Wasn’t so interesting. Yeah, I agree. A hundred percent cause it was foreign, but other parts of it, I really felt for this group of people whose livelihood for the year, over the course of a couple hours, slightly out the window and they do a really good job.

I think of setting up that relationship between, uh, Pietro pediatry and his dad Rono when they’re at that point, he burns the meat, you know, in, for Christmas dinner. Uh, and all, he really has a gingerbread that he’s made and they have a little bit about it was his mom’s, but Raul was very distracted. He’s looking out the window.

There are tears in his eyes and yeah. Pediatry is trying to kind of get through to him and trying to say some things. And he’s basically telling him, just go to bed, just go to bed and in a very loving way. Right. But it’s, you know, I guess you have to attribute it to the performance and the direction because it did, you really got.

You did feel for the people and you sense the gravity of this situation for them. You know, the dad is trying to keep his cool, but that’s their yearly income, you know, what are they going to do? You know, it’s, it’s a very serious situation they’re in. And I agree that, uh, the characters were very engaging.

There was so many good things about it. You know, I don’t want to be, again, I don’t want to be critical because there are so many good things about it. I loved the score. I thought the score was beautiful. There were some times, you know, you’re, you’re in this. Set setting with these beautiful picturesque mountains and some really cool shots, some aerial shots.

And, uh, you’ve got kind of this sweeping score, uh, against that setting that I thought was really effective. The cinematography seemed really good. This did not feel like a cheapy movie at all. Not at all. I mean, it felt. You know, like something that people would really put time and effort and probably quite a bit of money into.

So there are a lot of strong points, I think maybe had my expectations and maybe had I gone in with no expectations if I had known nothing about it. Um, maybe I would have, uh, felt a little bit differently. Well, and too, I think the ending does. Fizzle out just a little bit. I was bummed. I was bummed that we didn’t get to see the Santa Claus monster to see the monster it’s in the ice.

And I’m sure that was a deliberate choice on their part, but in the same sense, you didn’t have that level of the final battle against the really supernatural, big, bad guy that you often get. Well in horror movies, but just in general, it’s usually a lot tougher for people in the end. Usually plans kind of go awry pretty much.

This kid’s plans. Worked out, right. He knew what to do. They executed it. They had no trouble executing it and it worked out right. And that’s, you know, that’s all well and good, you know, I don’t need for it to be contrived. You know, I’m fine with that. It’s just, I think that the reveal of the Sante monster was.

Such a cool reveal. I mean, it, it was so massive. Um, but you don’t get, all you get to see is the horns and the horns are very impressive and scary, but then I was thinking, Oh, I can’t wait to see what’s under that ice. I can’t wait to when it cracks out. And there was one moment where the ice does kind of crack and you think, Oh, here it comes here.

It comes. It just doesn’t. And that’s okay. I get it. I understand it as a choice, but a little bit of a letdown, bad guy, you know, it’s a bad guy that we’ve been building up to all this time. Who is just stuck in ice until he’s blown up. And then it turns out that the bad guys that they really have to deal with are just these elf helpers, which as you said before, aside from the fact that there’s so many of them, you get one by itself without a weapon in his hand, you know, a couple people around it doesn’t seem to be that much of a threat.

So. It’s not a super threatening situation that they were in, which, which kind of brings it a little bit more out of the realm of horror maybe. And I wouldn’t say it’s a family film, but it’s pretty darn close. Maybe in the same sense that Krampus was maybe in the same sense that even, even more so than like gremlins or something.

Right. I would say that it’s even less dark than, than those films, you know, we’ve talked before, you know, could you let your kids see this? I think probably a lot of American children would be. Put off by the fact that it’s subtitled, but beyond that, I think that you could show small children this movie.

I mean, there are, and I say small children, you know, like the age of the kid in the movie, eight, nine, 10, there are casualties, but they’re all anonymous characters that you don’t care about. And they there’s nothing really graphic or violent. They’re pretty much all in that always happens off screen.

Right. And, uh, the only Gore of any kind is, you know, when. The original elf falls into the Wolf trap. He’s kind of gored by one of the steaks in there and you see the blood on his skin, but it’s, I mean, it’s, it’s not terribly graphic. There is a fair amount of full frontal nudity, um, with the old Santa clauses.

But beyond that, it does feel pretty family-friendly. I would imagine that. People could let their kids see this. Oh yeah. I’m going to have to look up this one. Legend sometime, you know, and see, we’ve seen several films now that present different takes on the Santa Claus legend and make certain claims about offshoots of that legend and ciliary characters like the Krampus.

Well, this is the true story of Santa and how he came to be. Then now I’m kind of all confused. Yeah. You know, now I really want to get back and see, okay. Do I, is there more than the St Nick that we kind of know? And then of course, you know, the Coca-Cola Santa, right. And, and that’s, I, I would like to as well, you know, I feel like I’ve read some things, you know, I’ve read some of the Krampus lore and I know that, uh, the.

Idea of Santa Claus is relatively universal, but each culture kind of puts their own spin on it. And it really comes as no surprise to me that the origins were almost certainly darker or at least had a darker edge to them. Um, in our culture. You know, we kind of, it’s just like with, you know, the original Grimm fairytales, we have kind of Disney fied Santa to a certain degree, which is, which is fine.

You know, it’s, it’s sweet. It’s, it’s a fun thing for kids. It doesn’t necessarily have to have that dark edge, but it’s still interesting and you’re right. I would be interested to learn more about it too well, and I’m filming. We’re not going to get to, but if you are interested in seeing another dark Santa Claus movie before a Christmas comes.

St Nick, which I don’t think you said you had seen that. That’s a pretty interesting take. And in that you get another European cultural view where not only is there Santa Claus or the Saint Nick kind of Santa Claus, but there’s also a character that he is his helper. Who’s black, who’s like a North African or something helper.

I’ve read about that. And they dress up. I mean, that is a whole. Cultural interpretation of Christmas. It’s been going on for hundreds of years. Lou, we are totally oblivious to, that’s not really that far off right now. So, uh, there’s a lot of Santa Claus Lord to explore out there. There’s a lot to play with.

I wouldn’t be surprised, especially after this Christmas to start seeing a little more of the horror film, Santa or horror Christmas films coming next year. Yeah. Either that. Or people will be totally burned out on it. I feel like we’ve been really inundated with it this year. I don’t know why it’s like, it’s come to a head, you know?

I mean, this is a 2010 movie, right. Um, you know, so there’ve been some others, you know, there’s the really goof ball. Santa’s sleigh that came out. I don’t know. Four or five years ago, I think Santa was played by a professional wrestler. Um, he, you know, he was going around slaughtering people and stuff. So it’s not like it’s, it’s a new concept, but it really feels like we’ve been inundated with it recently.

We’re getting higher quality movies. Let’s put it that way. That’s true. Far beyond the direct to DVD fair Santa’s sleigh and Jack Frost and those right. That was one of the other things that I kept thinking as we were watching this movie, one of the things that I really appreciated about it. Was that it didn’t seem like a cookie cutter copycat of some of those other movies we’ve gotten.

It is unique. It’s, it’s different. Yeah. It takes the spin on the bad Santa kind of thing, which we’ve seen before and we’ll continue to see I’m sure. But beyond that, it doesn’t make me think, Oh, this is just like this movie or, Oh, it’s just like that movie. No, I mean, it stands alone, really different, super different.

And, and I even thought when I saw the horns, I was getting shades of Krampus, but only in the visuals. Right. Absolutely not in the plot. Absolutely not in the lore, anything like that? Yeah. I liked it overall. I liked it. I didn’t think it was amazing, but it was enjoyable. And you know, if, if you like scary movies, but you’re feeling more kind of on the warm fuzzy side of Christmas, you know, as we get closer, you know, You kind of want to embrace the, the cheer and the happiness of it.

I think this would be, you know, an appropriate film for, you know, just, just a laid back, relaxing. You know, it’s not a big think piece. It’s not, you know, super violent or gory really more than anything. I’d say it’s kind of a sweet movie. It is. It’s kind of a child’s adventure film. We’ve focused around that child the whole time.

And just like in these films, it’s the kid who. Saves the adults from themselves and who can think like a child does, which is what you have to do to save yourself in the situation. He’s the one with the advanced knowledge. He’s the one that knows what’s going on all along and as a kid. As long as you’re cool with reading subtitles, right?

This is the kind of movie you would enjoy it. I think so. I think it’s a cute movie. Merry Christmas to everybody. Thank you for listening to us during this month of Christmas themed horror films. We’ve sure. Enjoyed exploring just a little bit of that corner of the horror market really has been fun. It’s kind of put me in the mood in a weird way.

If you enjoyed this podcast, please share it with a friend. Check us out on Facebook, share our pages there as well. You can also now find us on Stitcher and on iTunes. So please subscribe to us there and have a Merry Christmas Merry Christmas. That is from Todd and Craig with Two Guys and a Chainsaw.

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