A Christmas Sausage Fest
Rare Exports (2010): 4 out of 10: A kid and his dad discover the true meaning of Christmas and it is a scary monster and a bunch of naked homeless men.
The Good: Rare Exports is well directed with some good acting. The scenery is a bit plain (It is Lapland) but the story has potential (Which the movie screws up in the third act). Rare Exports also got a lot of good reviews and “Cult Status” notices from the reviewing masses. Like Donnie Darko and Rushmore, I have to admit I am at a loss. Now with Donnie Darko, I at least can understand why people of a certain age and mindset love it. As misguided as they may be. Darko has that Catcher in the Rye quality (Or The Fountainhead) that appeals to a certain young mind. I have no idea why people praised Rare Exports the way they did. Was it because it was foreign?
The Bad: Part of the praise was the old, and by this time needs to be retired, chestnut “you have never seen a Christmas movie like this.” And while certainly technically true, the gist is this is not your Hallmark Christmas movie. Which is also true. Hallmark Christmas movies are a lot scarier. Your finance going to her hometown to take care of her aging father and meeting a man who runs a vegan bakery and is taking care of his four-year-old son on his own. Then he teachers her how to bake bread and the true meaning of Christmas. meanwhile you are working eighty hours a week to afford the destination wedding she insisted on. That is a lot more freighting than a Santa kaiju.
Of course, as I touched upon in my Black Christmas review, Christmas tales with a touch of horror are almost as old as Christmas movies themselves. Heck, It’s a Wonderful Life is pretty scary when you think about. And the less said about the Abominable Snow Monster in Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, the better. (And I am not even bringing up Gremlins, which scared a generation of children).
Rare Exports introduces some interesting ideas and seems to be going somewhere. But it simply never seems to get there. The solution the film comes up with for the “problem” introduced earlier simply does not satisfy.
The Ugly: There are no women in Rare Exports. Not one. Think about that for a second. When was the last time you saw a movie with zero women in it? I mean maybe Das Boot? Moon? Swimming to Cambodia? (Which is a one man show). And unlike a movie that takes place in a german submarine or the moon, there is zero rhyme or reason for this. There are kids in the movie, plenty of men running households. Is there some apocalypse unsaid that has happened offscreen? It is bizarre.
You know what else is bizarre? Two dozen elderly men; buck naked and bearded; skinny to the point of looking like a bunch of concentration camp victims, and with thier dicks swinging free. If that is your thing, mind you, welcome home. Cause the camera is not shy. Me? I prefer my Christmas movies (yes, even the horror ones) to have fewer naked homeless men. Just a choice.
When and where does this take place again?
I usually don’t call these things out but the movie takes place in Lapland during Christmastime. Rare Exports has a lot of daylight for a film that takes place in Lapland during the winter solstice.