I first read about this Finnish movie in Fangoria, back in 2010. It went right on my IMDB “Watch List”. In fact, the Watch List feature on the IMDB was fairly new at the time, so it was one of the first five movies, maybe even the first three, that I added. So, I waited. And waited. And waited. Last year, when I was poking around On Demand to see if any movies on my must-see list had popped up under “Digital Premieres,”, “Just In”, or “IFC Midnight”, I saw a movie listing for Saint stating that the Finnish title was Rare Exports. Ha-HA! Gotcha, Rare Exports! Was it subtitled, not dubbed? Yes, by God, it was!
The menu screen has an image of a scary, scrawny elderly man with a white beard and yellow eyes that look like high-beams, so I’m sold on that alone.
Not really. The opening scene was promising, though I got nervous when a holiday song sung by kids was in English. Uh-oh. Then I started to get really pissed off. Not only was it dubbed, the dubbing job was one of the ones so shitty that it can actually ruin a top-tier movie. You know the kind I mean. The ones where you wonder if the voice “talent” was even actually paid, or to save money they just grabbed a few people looking to break into voice-over work, and offered them their start, working for scale. Possibly even for free. The kind where it doesn’t sound like they had more than three people; all the female voices, from teenage girls to women in their sixties, sound like one woman in her 30s (because she sure as hell doesn’t sound like a teenager) did all the voices. The one or two men are equally un-listenable. They all sound like the voice a black comedian uses to imitate how white guys talk (at best). Funny when Pryor or Murphy does it, but not an actual white guy in a movie you paid the price of admission to see does it for 90 minutes. Even though the movie had a great opening, I just shut down before the halfway point and could barely finish it. I honestly couldn’t tell you how it was resolved, even if I racked my brain. I ended up getting the charge taken off our Comcast bill on the grounds that the listing had stated “Finnish with English Subtitles”, but the movie contained no such thing. I put it on the mental back-burner until I found a DVD. Finally, I saw it pop up on Netflix. I had it in my queue, it didn’t show, I filled out the form and they sent me a new copy that showed up today. I’m sitting down to watch it now, but the Red Band trailer was so fun, I had to include it before I viewed the DVD tonight. Merry fucking Christmas! (actual line of dialogue from the trailer below).
Oh, and this should be interesting – for one thing, I noticed trivia on the IMDB page that said there were no women in the movie. Wait, what? Are there TWO Finnish horror movie based on Santa Claus being real, but in fact an evil demon of some kind? In both he is skinny, his Santa suit is filthy and just makes him look creepier, he’s mute …and I have no clue.* I do know that, in that movie, after the cool opening the plot seemed to center on a group of really unlikable students (all evidently voiced by the same three people) and that’s when my brain started to power down–though I did perk up a little when there was a good kill, or something shocking happened. Since I can’t read English subtitles and research this online at the same time, it’ll have to wait. The review should be coming up soon, though. The menu screen has an image of a scary, scrawny elderly man with a white beard and yellow eyes that look like high-beams, so I’m sold on that alone. I still don’t know what the hell that Finnish movie I saw On Demand was, and I distinctly recall reading somewhere trustworthy that the movie had been re-titled Saint for the English release. I guess I’ll need to figure it out later. Oh, and here’s a short teaser (that doesn’t really indicate this is a horror movie, but is still cool and worth a look).
*I do remember seeing an American horror-comedy movie in 2009 on Fearnet that was actually pretty entertaining, considering that it starred a WWF pro-wrestler as a murderous Santa Claus. That and the fact that watching a movie on Fearnet (On Demand, anyway) you’re unfamiliar with is a gamble. I only discover one good movie out of ten atrocious, boring ones. I will give them credit, though, for introducing me to Memories of Murder. Anyway, the US Evil Santa-movie got off to a roaring start in a pre-credits sequence filled with celebrity cameos like James Caan and Fran Dresher, during which ‘Satan Claus’ crashes down a chimney and slaughters an entire family sitting down to Christmas dinner in various creative holiday-themed ways. My husband even watched it with me (the rum-soaked eggnog we’d downed earlier didn’t hurt ,and enhanced the movie …though I watched it the next Christmas sober, and it was still entertaining). I’m thinking it might have been titled something along the lines of, “Santa’s Slay”. I’ll figure it out…