What’s up, weirdos? Welcome to the final Awfully Good of 2020! In keeping with this month’s End of Days theme, tonight’s feature presentation is a holiday horror schlockfest where a mall Santa has to stop a nazi plot to usher in a new master race and an eternal Fourth Reich. For Christmas! We’ll get to that in a second, but first let’s cover a couple of ground rules. Rule one: we’re not just here to dump on bad movies. Every Awfully Good pick is a movie that I think is fun and worth watching. Rule two: don’t sneak out into the woods to conduct a magic ceremony unless you really know your stuff. Now that we’ve covered that, let’s jump into Elves from 1989!
Elves stars Dan Haggerty, who you might also know as Grizzly Adams. His name in Elves is like Mike or something but he looks and acts more like his name should be Dan Haggerty. He’s really good in this movie, probably too good to be starring alongside a rubber puppet. Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself. Elves starts with a Christmas ornament shattering, which sets the tone for a movie that will shatter your expectations of what a Christmas movie should be! Then we cut to a completely unrelated scene where a three amateur witches, who call themselves the Sisters of Anti-Christmas, perform a ritual to ruin the most magical night of the year. When the glass bowl holding their ceremonial candle breaks, it cuts one girl’s hand open. She sprays her blood on the ground and the witches all decide that the ritual is dumb and they don’t wanna do it anymore. When they leave, a little rubber hand reaches out from the ground!
When the girl with the cut hand, Kirsten, gets home, her grandfather smacks her for being in his room. Also, her mom is going to give Kirsten‘s savings account to her pervert little brother for the crime of… being outside? Kirsten‘s home life is so rough that you’d expect Elves to be a story of how her real family is Elf royalty, and she gets pulled into their magical realm to learn to be a princess. Instead, an elf breaks into her house and starts to choke out her nasty little brother. You might be thinking, “just one elf? Isn’t the title plural?” To which I would respond, “yep, there’s just the one elf.” Also, the elf in question doesn’t look like your traditional toymaker: this thing is a disgusting little freak!
“Elves stars Dan Haggerty, who you might also know as Grizzly Adams. His name […] is like Mike or something but he looks and acts more like his name should be Dan Haggerty.”
The elf from Elves is like three feet tall, nude as hell, and his face is locked permanently in a “duhh?” expression. Also, he carries a switchblade to stab and slice his victims! They could’ve given him claws, or even fangs, but no: dude’s got a knife. It’s one of the cheaper monster puppets to make an appearance in a low budget horror movie, and you have to believe the bar is low. I love the elf and want a Christmas ornament of it.
Anyway, Dan Haggerty shows up as an out-of-work recovering alcoholic who can’t catch a break. He wants to work at the jewelry store in the mall, but he gets turned down. Meanwhile, in the same mall, Kirsten and the rest of the Sisters of Anti-Christmas go to visit the mall Santa. The mall Santa’s a huge creep who propositions Kirsten, which gets him fired. He goes to his office, which is just like a corner of a maintenance room, and cuts up some lines of cocaine. He gets some stuck in his beard, which is a pretty good bit, but before he can sniff it the elf from Elves shows up and stabs him in the dick like fifty times!
The next day, Dan Haggerty gets hired on to replace the dead former mall Santa. He gets the same office, which still has the police outline of the last guy on the floor. Dan Haggerty talks to himself a lot, which is how we learn he used to be a detective. Meanwhile, back at Kirsten‘s house, a menacing German guy visits Kirsten‘s jerk grandfather. The German guy tells das grampa that “when there’s no more room in hell, the Elves will walk the Earth!” and also that Kirsten it the herald of a new master race. If the elf from Elves impregnates her, the offspring will be the first member of the Fourth Reich. Then the nazis leave to look for Kirsten.
The Sisters of Anti-Christmas are going to stay in the mall overnight to hook up with their boyfriends, because this is an 80s horror movie, and Dan Haggerty is going to stay in the mall after his Santa gig is up because he got evicted from his trailer. It’s not all fun and games, though, when the bad guys show up and crash the party! Before long, Santa’s in a gun battle with the nazis and the elf from Elves is stabbing one of the girls with his little switchblade. The cops show up too late and are looking for answers, because the story that the girls tell them is too outlandish to be true. They give Dan Haggerty 24 hours to crack the case and clear his name.
“[The elf is] one of the cheaper monster puppets to make an appearance in a low budget horror movie, and you have to believe the bar is low.”
Dan Haggerty meets with Kirsten‘s family, and then decides to seek out a giant nerd. The nerd’s a professor of occult runology or whatever, and Dan Haggerty really wishes this longwinded geek would cut to the chase. The short version is that the elves are a race of monsters dating back to biblical times, the nazis wanted to resurrect the elves, and that pretty much brings us to 1989. It also brings us to Act III, which I wouldn’t dare spoil, so if you wanna know the rest you’ll have to watch Elves for yourself! And you should, because this movie rules!
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