Saturday, September 11, 2010

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

Director: Nicholas Webster

Starring: John Call, Leonard Hicks, Pia Zadora

More info: IMDB

Tagline: Blast off for Mars... with Santa and a pair of Earth kids! Blast off for Mars... with Santa and a pair of Earth kids! Science-Fun-Fiction at its height!

Plot: Martians, upset that their children have become obsessed with TV shows from Earth which extol the virtues of Santa Claus, start an expedition to Earth to kidnap the one and only Santa. While on Earth, they kidnap two lively children that lead the group of Martians to the North Pole and Santa. The Martians then take Santa and the two children back to Mars with them. Voldar, a particularly grumpy Martian, attempts to do away with the children and Santa before they get to Mars, but their leader Lomas stops him. When they arrive on Mars, Santa, with the help of the two Earth children and a rather simple-minded Martian lackey, overcomes the Martians by bringing fun, happiness and Christmas cheer to the children of Mars.

My rating: 2/10

Will I watch it again? Fuck, no.

If you go into this like I did, expecting Santa Claus to conquer the martians with guns and weapons of warfare, you'll be terribly disappointed. Instead, Santa conquers their hearts and minds. Seriously? It's so light-hearted and stupid it will melt your face clean off. Not a single Martian is slain! FUCK! It's taken me nearly two years to get around to writing about this and I was half-tempted just now to wait another two because I've been dreading having to think about it again. Woof.

The highlight for me was seeing what looks like the exact stock footage of the refueling of a plane that was later used in DR. STRANGELOVE (1964). Just thinking about that movie while watching this one elevated it just a bit.

Even watching this with an enthusiastic group of friends and liquor will only get you a half hour into it before everyone tunes out and starts talking about the price of gasoline in the 1960s and how much you could buy for a quarter which was enough to set a family of four on fire. This is clearly aimed at kids but I'm not sure even a zygote would find this entertaining. Don't be fooled by the trailer, this is dumb. The music is awful and silly, the humor is as base as it gets, the sound effects are annoying, the works. It's like the STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL (1978) in that no matter how many people that tell you to avoid it, you'll watch it anyway because 'it seemed like a good idea at the time'. Well, it isn't.

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