The eighties had their fair share of Christmas themed horror movies…some are classics…and some are not. So in honor of the holidays, let’s crack open some eggnog and take a look at one of the lesser known Christmas themed horror flicks, Elves, released in 1989.
PLOT: Three girls who despise Christmas head into the woods to perform an anti-Christmas ritual. Kirsten cuts her hand and bleeds on to the ground causing an evil elf to rise. A Nazi prophecy informs us that the elf must mate with Kirsten before Midnight on Christmas Eve so she can birth the anti-Christ. A department store Santa, who also happens to be an ex-detective, is Kirsten’s only hope for survival.
“Elves” is one entertaining flick! It’s got an original, if not gonzo, plot. It was refreshing to watch for a change an 80’s horror film that didn’t revolve around a masked killer. This isn’t to say that “Elves” is a good film…nor a well-made one. It’s got a lot of that “Troll 2” spirit. It’s so bad that it’s awesome!
You’d think with a title like “Elves” that the film would be played for camp but the film is well-grounded and played straight…which only adds more hilarity to the proceedings. “Elves” wouldn’t be as entertaining if it was shot in a tongue in cheek fashion. The serious tone of the film only highlights the absurd dialogue and ludicrous premise.
What I found odd about “Elves” is that it’s supposedly PG-13. Now the violence is pretty tame and the gore is non-existent…but the film features 2 nude scenes and a lot of F-bombs…most coming from Kirsten’s little brother. The film is called “Elves” but there is actually only one elf in the entire movie. The creature isn’t convincing and inducing laughs instead of fright. He kind of reminded me of the little demons from the 1987 classic “The Gate”.
One thing I hate in Christmas themed horror movies is when there is a lack of holiday decorations or the holiday is downplayed. “Elves” features a good amount of Christmas shenanigans and it genuinely feels like the movie is taking place around the holidays. Dan Haggerty is likeable as the lead and chain smokes his way through the film. Seriously, if there was a drinking game where you took a shot every time you see Haggerty smoking…you’d be black out drunk by the halfway mark.
“Elves” features everything you want in a Christmas movie…incest, Santa getting castrated, Nazi agents, and a cat getting drowned in a toilet. Nothing says Happy Holidays like Santa beating the shit out of a bunch of Nazi’s on Christmas Eve! “Elves” features one of my favorite movie taglines and a badass VHS cover. It’s an obscure low budget B-movie that I find enjoyably bad. So if you want to see what Santa gives to naughty children when he runs out of coal, pick up a copy of “Elves”.