Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever: Santa’s Christmas Elf (Named Calvin)

Hello folks. Welcome back to Dyl’s Worst Christmas Ever. For those of you who haven’t been following along at home, I’m watching and reviewing some of the worst Christmas movies of all time. Why? Because it’s 2020. That’s why. This is the fourth entry on our journey and it’s definitely one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. So, without further ado, let’s load the sleigh and get to it. 

I’ve said a lot of mean things about a lot of movies. I’ve called them absolute failures at storytelling. I’ve criticized the acting, the visuals, the camerawork. Heck, there are a handful of movies that I said didn’t work on almost any level. As it turns out, I was too harsh on those movies. Because at least they moved. At least they were MOTION pictures. I can not say the same about Santa’s Christmas Elf (Named Calvin). This “movie” is in fact just a compilation of still images with a narrator. It’s basically a freaking powerpoint presentation. This could be tolerable as a ten minute segment of an otherwise animated program. But, this thing is 70 minutes long. It’s feature length. It showed in theaters. People paid to see this. And, then, after its run, it sold on VHS. Multiple poor children had to sit through this snooze fest. 

And, let me tell you. That’s exactly what this is. Santa’s Christmas Elf (Named Calvin) is maybe one of the most boring movies I’ve ever seen. It was harder to pay attention to this than many of the college lectures I sat through. I constantly felt my mind wandering. But, don’t worry. When I came back, I almost was always assured that I hadn’t missed anything. There might be ten minutes of actual plot in this thing. Calvin is a bad elf. He’s just super bad at his job. He’s slow and he messes things up. On Christmas Eve night, he sneaks into Santa’s sleigh and is mistaken for a toy. He’s given to a little girl who loves him. But, everyone makes fun of him because they think he’s ugly. Santa comes to save him, but spends about half of the runtime watching him be tortured instead. Finally, Santa steps in and asks for his worker back. That’s it. Happily ever after. 

If you manage to get over the relatively simple plot and the lack of movement, I can almost guarantee that you still won’t have a good time with this one. Why? Because even taking that stuff out of consideration, this is still not good. If you’re going to do it, at least do it well. Over half the photographs look like they were stills taken from The Shining or the tape from The Ring. If you watched this with the sound down, you’d probably think it was a horror flick. Also, the movie repeats images and lines a lot. It’s almost like they knew people wouldn’t be able to pay attention and wanted to make sure they caught things at least once. Even the action sequences, which should feel intense and exciting, just come across as boring when we see the same three images over and over and over again. Then, there’s the acting. God damn. I wanted to punch Calvin. His voice was the worst. You know Mr. Bill from Saturday Night Live? Now imagine watching a whole 70 minute movie about him. Shoot me now please. Other than the narrator, all of the other actors sounded extremely bored and monotone too. It sounded like when the teacher would call on different students to read over the chapters in elementary school. Plus, there’s no good copy of this that exists on the internet. You can’t legally stream it anywhere. I watched it on YouTube and the quality looked about as good as you’d expect a 30 year old VHS copy of a 70 year old movie to look. That’s not the movie’s fault per se but it didn’t help. 

All of this led to an incredibly painful experience. It’s probably the worst I’ve had so far in this challenge. This 70 minutes felt like at least three hours. I’d rather sit through all four of the other movies I’ve watched than Santa’s Christmas Elf (Named Calvin) again. Heck, even the title feels too long. Don’t watch this movie. It’s not worth it. It’s extremely boring. It’ll ruin your Christmas joy and cheer. But, then again, it might make you appreciate every other movie you’ve seen just a little bit more. Because at least THEY FREAKING MOVE.

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