Sunday, December 19, 2010
Rare Exports (2010)
On the Russian side of the Russian/Finnish border stands an imposing mountain. Only the greedy American businessman, looking very Scrooge-like, knows it to be the giant tomb of a frozen Santa. He leads the excavation and subsequent robbing of earth’s most important grave. In the meantime, schoolboys Juuso and Pietari witness the explosive activities. Soon thereafter the local reindeer population, their fathers’ main source of income, is slaughtered by what Pietari knows to be the escaped Father Christmas. Juuso and the rest of the town’s children disappear leaving Pietari to fear for his life in the wake of late night study sessions on the truly sinister origins of Santa as sadistic child-boiler. A short time later, Pietari’s father captures old Kris Kringle in a punji pit designed for wolves and baited with a severed pig’s head.
The old man is like no other cinematic interpretation of Father Christmas imagined thus far. His old decrepit body is scrawny and malnourished. He is bleeding from the stomach having been pierced by a punji stake. His withered body is adorned with a wispy, dirty beard and the eyes bore deep. The most animated his body becomes is when his nostrils twitch and Pietari’s smell drifts through his nose. His hangs from a chain and is wrapped in plastic bags above the cold cement floor. His captors munch gingerbread and look on in amazement at the evil-eyed old man
The absurdity in this movie knows no end. From the epic and moving score to Pietari dangling heroically from a helicopter; there are things not even the veteran cinephile has ever seen. This genre mixing Xmas horror has an all male cast a la The Thing and a Santa logo suspiciously similar to District 9. It mixes sweeping vistas with a grizzly slaughterhouse and explosive actions sequences with midnight movie madness. It can only be presumed that this sure-to-be cult hit will find its place on the Christmas dinner table for years to come. Highly recommended for its deliciously entertaining escapist fare and critique on the hyper-commercialization of modern Santa.