Elf-Man (2012)

I think I’ve made it fairly clear by now that I watch some absolute garbage. I see a premise that sounds stupid as shit and think to myself, “Oh, I can’t not watch that.” Most of the time such trash is amusing in some way. Maybe it’s actually sometimes funny like House Shark. Maybe it’s so awful in every way that you can’t help but laugh like A Talking Cat!?!. But sometimes, when fate is feeling spiteful, I watch something that’s just so aggressively bland, it hurts my soul. Welcome to me talking about Elf-Man, a movie where Hornswoggle from WWE Wee Man from Jackass plays a Christmas elf superhero.

Wee Man–real name Mr. Jason Acuña–is an elf whose job is to clean up poop left by Santa’s reindeer. Sure, that answers a question, but not one I ever asked. He falls out of the sleigh and is found by two kids who want their scientist dad to come home. But dad’s been abducted by… oh. Oh no. Jeffrey Combs, what are you doing here. The half-brother of Sean Astin? Sure, why not. The old woman who gets crushed by a house in Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice? That fits with the overall quality. But Jeffrey… you deserve so much better than this. You were in Reanimator! The Frightners! Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated! Beethoven’s Treasure Tail! Okay, that last one is a bad example, but still. You deserve better than this movie, than playing a Home Alone-style thug whose gimmick is simply that he’s crazy and/or ex-military. At least in fucking Treasure Tail you gave the tiniest of shits and had a ridiculous fake German accent!

…where was I? The plot, right. Criminals kidnap scientist dad because blah blah technology blah, so it’s up to his kids, his elderly mother, and his sort of girlfriend to rescue him since the elf is useless. Does said elf even have a name beyond “Elf-Man?” It doesn’t matter. The kids believe him to be a superhero–because being a magical Christmas elf isn’t enough, apparently–and the power of belief or Christmas or some shit turns him into one. Elf-Man, ladies and gentlemen. Something about cursed mistletoe, the day is saved, and Elf-Man flies off to the North Pole.

I could blame a lot of people for this film being aggressively mediocre, but I’m going to blame writer/director Ethan Wiley. But wait, you might say, he wrote House and you just said you loved that movie! Ah, I would say, I see your confusion. I love 1977’s House, a film I exclusively refer to in real life as Hausu. Wiley wrote 1985’s House. And its sequel, House II: The Second Story (which admittedly gets a single point for its title). And Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror, which only stands out in my mind because it has two of Frank Zappa’s lesser known kids in it (and also Alexis Arquette [RIP] and the film debut of Eva Mendes, but still). In fact, Elf-Man is the first non-horror film Wiley wrote and directed, which… is certainly a decision. You’re no David DeCoteau, who is known for making hilariously bad horror movies, softcore gay porn pretending to be a movie, and random kids’ film like… A Talking Cat!?!. See, full circle!

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