‘Elves’: The bizarre Christmas movie about neo-Nazi creatures
(Credits: Far Out / Action International Pictures / Press)
By their very nature, Christmas movies are supposed to be whimsical and heartwarming tales that leave the viewer full of holiday cheer and festive spirit by the time the credits come up. Then again, some deranged minds have taken things in the complete opposite direction, none more so than Elves.
Christmastime horror has become a staple subgenre in and of itself over the years, with plenty of filmmakers having opted to deck the halls with blood and guts at the expense of boughs of holly. However, writer and director Jeffrey Mandel’s contribution proved to be both an affront to the good name of cinema and brazen in its approach to sensitive subject matter all at once.
It goes without saying that even without the shoestring budget that renders the effects unconvincing and many of the deaths laughable, Elves was never intended to be viewed as prestige drama. And yet, it doesn’t even fall into “so bad it’s actually kind of entertaining” territory; it’s just awful.
In a screenplay that was genuinely written and then funded, Julie Austin’s Kirsten accidentally spills blood while taking part in the ‘Anti-Christmas’ ritual with her friends, which awakens an ancient and vengeful elf with a thirst for vengeance. Not just any old run-of-the-mill demonic elf, though, a Nazi demonic elf.
Obviously, the creatures who entered folklore for building the toys in Santa’s workshop were actually key to fulfilling Adolf Hitler’s dream of creating a master race. History had become confused as a result, with Aryans never being at the forefront of his mind. Instead, he dreamed of a half-human/half-elf hybrid that’s also tied directly to a secret cult observed by the Nazis that sought to achieve this goal.
As it turns out, not only is Kirsten’s grandfather a reformed Nazi who was fully aware of the scheme, but she herself is designated as the last pure-blood Aryan virgin on the planet. Oh, and he reveals that he’s actually her father as well, having been an active participant in inbreeding during his time serving under Hitler’s elf-assisted regime. Her stepmother also drowns the family cat, but that’s beside the point.
This is a movie that also features the immortal line of dialogue: “When there is no more room left in hell, the elves will walk the earth,” although it’s impossible to decipher whether it’s supposed to be ominous or hilarious. That’s not even the best line in the script, either, which takes some doing, considering there’s a moment where a college professor suggests that Noah brought two elves onto his Ark.
No, in an exposition dump that nobody would believe had it not been spoken out loud in a real movie, a secondary professor – yep, there are two of them – lays out the plan: “They use their magical powers combined with a super-enhanced sperm to mate with a virgin on Christmas Eve to create the master race.” Just like that, Elves enters an entirely new stratosphere of insanity.
That factors directly into the final scene, too, which is harrowing in its suggested depravity. Having successfully murdered the elf that sought to mate with her, Elves unbelievably ends on a shot of a foetus with a beating heart, hinting the scheme was successful. Either that or it was teasing a sequel that mercifully never came.