This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Despite many warnings to stay away, the crazy-sounding setup of Jeffrey Mandel's Elves made it one of those shit cinema titles I'd wanted to see forever. Twentysomething teenager Kirsten (Julie Austin) engages in a half-assed anti-Christmas ceremony in the woods and unwittingly unleashes one of the title beasties, played by an immobile rubber statue. For some reason, everyone creeps on this girl, from store Santas to her little brother. Turns out Kirsten is the result of her scowling, thieving, cat-drowning mother (Deanna Lund) being knocked up by her ex-Nazi grandfather (the clearly-not-elderly Borah Silver). Her virginal body is intended as part of some larger occult plot where she's supposed to mate with the Nazi-bred elf. Yes, there is only one. Good thing there's a chain-smoking, recovering alcoholic ex-detective department store Claus (Dan "Grizzly Adams" Haggerty) with nothing better to do than interrupt professors' Christmas Eve dinners to figure out this Nazi elf business.

Sure, it sounds like a laugh, but Elves doesn't seem to know how preposterous it is, and the cheap, workmanlike DTV presentation does it no favors. Some of the dialog is endearingly stupid, but the creature's shoddy construction is only funny the first couple of times it pops up, and of the human performers, only Haggerty's drowsy action man earns any derisive chuckles. I loathed Lund's character, as you're clearly supposed to, but her radio-in-the-bathtub demise is wholly unsatisfying thanks to the obvious double. You see the stunt body's face and everything... I mean EVERYTHING. Oh, and by the way, Elves is rated PG-13. Normally, sneaking crotch shots into a PG-13 movie would earn my respect, but this thing is so devoid of entertainment that getting away with it only made me dislike the movie more. If you're into weird old stuff, I'm sure you'll ignore the warnings just like I did. Go ahead, find out for yourself: vintage Christmas horror doesn't get worse than Elves.

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