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  • Writer's pictureRob Freese

ICFH 2022 Advent Calendar- Day 22

ICFH 2022 Advent Calendar- Day 22

I get it, you get to December 22nd and you've been cramming all kinds of holiday movies into your eyeballs for three solid weeks. Everything from the classic Christmas slashers to classic TV holiday variety shows to the more contemporary Hallmark fare because, well, you'd never admit it in public, but some of those flicks aren't horrible. But by the 22nd of the month, you are entering burn out- holiday movie jetlag. You need something off the rails. A beautiful disaster. Something so completely bonkers it will hit reset and get you back on track with more traditional holiday fare.

Warning: Spoiler Alert! If you can go out back to the VHS pile and find this wonderfully crazy flick I certainly urge you to do so. It is a title that was in every vid-store at the end of the 80's. You can find it elsewhere, and if you haven't seen it you really don't want to read this before you do. You've never seen a Christmas flick like this before!

ICFH 2022 Advent Calendar December 22- Elves (1989)

Three dim-witted friends, Kirsten (Julie Austin), Brooke (Laura Lichstein) and Amy (Stacey Dye, are in the woods one evening, pretending to be witches, reading one of Kirsten's grandfather's occult books and calling themselves the "Sisters of Anti-Christmas." Kirsten even has a sketch of the "Virgin of Anti-Christmas" and has added what she calls "Art Deco boobs" to the illustration. They read some passages and talk about raising the dead. All is fun and games until Kirsten suddenly realizes she has cut her hand and blood drips to the frozen ground.

The girls leave before they can see an evil elf dig itself out of the frigid dirt and scurry off into the night.

At home grandpa (Borah Silver) yells at her for taking his books and slaps her. Her mom (Deanna Lund) is also disappointed at her and decides that in the morning she is going to clean out Kirsten's savings account and give all the money to her stupid little brother. (What?!)

Kirsten goes into full "I'm a misfit" mode and talks to her cat, the only creature in the world that can stand to be around her.

The next day, at the department store where Kirsten works in the coffee shop, down on his luck homeless ex-cop Mike McGavin (Dan Haggerty) comes looking for a job. After a jerk Santa assaults Kirsten in front of the kiddies, the Elf stabs him in the nuts while he's snorting cocaine. Mike gets the newly opened Santa gig!

Kirsten and her friends are going to stay overnight in the department store to make the sex with cute boys. They don't know that Mike is now squatting in the store and that Nazi gangsters are looking for her after learning from her Grandfather that the "Elf" has risen. (One choice piece of dialogue between Gramps and the gangsters- "When there's no more room in hell, the elves will walk the earth.")

Between the gangsters and the elf, Amy and Brooke are dead meat. Mike helps keep Kirsten alive as they hole up near the rifle display in sporting goods. (There's a sign which reads, "Holiday Gifts for Mom.")

Soon it is revealed that Kirsten's grandfather was a Nazi who was a part of a project in which the Third Reich was looking to harness the evilness of the elves and use them as perfect assassins. Another theory says the Nazis actually genetically engineered the elves for a future time when the perfect female virgin specimen would be created. The virgin and the elf would then mate and create Hitler's Master Race.

Turns out Kirsten is the pure specimen, a product of inbreeding to keep her bloodline pure (?). Her grandfather is really her father but now he doesn't want his daughter/grand daughter to serve as an incubator for evil.

Nazi gangsters and one horny killer elf are moving in on Kirsten. Big Mike takes out as many of the Nazis as possible. He punches one so many times the guy spews a weird white goo and dies. (Are these things robots like in Halloween III?) He makes sure Kirsten has the Elf Stone (?!), which is the only thing that can send the elf back to hell. (Wait. What? Did they really just introduce the only thing that can stop the elf within the last five minutes of the movie?)

Kirsten saves the world from the Master Race, or does she? Seems that she might be pregnant...

How did this even happen?

Are you exhausted? No worries. This is a very exhausting movie. And trust me, I only told you the most important parts. I took pages of notes. I could write a 5,000 word essay on this flick and still not cover all of it.

When people fondly recall the crazy shit one could walk into a video store back in the 80's and find to rent (before corporate chain stores choked the fun out of everything), Elves is the type of crazy shit they are talking about.

This straight to video Christmas hate-fest has everything from a inarticulate titular monster to a chain smoking Dan Haggerty, who even smokes during his chase scenes! This entire movie smells like second hand smoke!

None of the acting is any good but that's fine because I certainly did not land on Elves because I cared about acting. It's a weird creature-feature that also embraces the tropes of the slasher flick. (The nut stabbing of Santa early on is brutal, as is the slaying of Brooke.)

The enjoyment derived from this yule tide creep-fest will no doubt vary, but for me it immediately called up the first time I took it home from the vid store and gave it a whirl.

If you hate the holiday or just most holiday movies, you might like this one.

Surprisingly, Elves has only been released on VHS (courtesy A.I.P. Video). It has not shown up on DVD or Blu-ray. This is a perfect selection for say, Vinegar Syndrome, who has given the deluxe treatment to similar fare from the era (like Spookies, 1986), so maybe one of the companies will finally catch up with it.

Although I haven't seen any of the others, I'd bet this is a hundred times better than the other movies with the same name swimming around on Tubi.

Big Dan Haggerty disrupting Christmas dinner to talk Nazis and horny elves

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