By Dave Campbell | January 1, 2012
Director: Jalmari Helander
Writer: Jalmari Helander
Starring: Tommi Korpela, Per Christian Ellefsen, Jorma Tommila, Jonathan Hutchings, Onni Tommila, Risto Salmi, Peeter Jakobi, Rauno Juvonen, Ilmari Järvenpää
Based on the 2003 short film Rare Exports Inc. by Jalmari and Juuso Helander, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale takes us deep into the legend of Korvatunturi Mountain in Lapland, Finland on the guarded border of Russia. When a drilling team lead by a determined scientist fulfills his life long dream of excavating the “sacred grave” of the mountain, Christmas in the small reindeer herding community in the valley below becomes haunted by it’s legendary past. It is believed that 486 meters deep (or 1594 feet to us non-metric Americans) lies the burial place of of the one and only Santa Claus. This isn’t the Coca-Cola Santa that we’ve come to cherish, but rather Joulupukki (Yule Goat), the dark original source material of the evolved jolly fat man.
As Christmas nears, mysterious mass slaughters of reindeer start popping up near the foothills of the mountain and almost all of the towns children go missing. One little lad named Pietari has done his research on the folklore and along with his father Rauno and fellow his fellow scruffy looking deer herders, they trap what they believe to be the mythological Santa and attempt to sell him to the corporate interest responsible for digging him up and destroying their herd. Eager to make his dad proud of him, Pietari soon realizes the full scope of their findings and hatches a plan to save the rest of the children and restore the holiday.
Pretty much all fairy tales and folklore legends, began as sinister stories to teach lessons and create fear in children to guide them away from being naughty or making bad choices, and Santa Claus is no exception. It’s extremely refreshing to have this kind of film to throw in the holiday bag of goodies. The cable networks and Hollywood attack us with onslaughts of syrupy movies every year that follow the same sappy formulas and reuse the same characters season after season. Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, however, is virtually saccharine free and reinvents what a holiday film can be.
Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale was released on Blu Ray/DVD combo disc on October 25, 2011 by OSCILLOSCOPE LABORATORIES.