Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

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Santa Claus Conquers the Martians: Directed by Nicholas Webster. With John Call, Leonard Hicks, Vincent Beck, Bill McCutcheon. The Martians kidnap Santa Claus because there is nobody on Mars to give their children presents.

“I really enjoy this silly little holiday flick. A bunch of serious Martian adults are afraid that their serious Martian children are too serious, so they go to a serious Martian senior citizen. The old guy tells them that the children need to be taught how to laugh, and then he explodes for no reason. The only logical thing left to do, of course, is go to Earth and kidnap Santa Claus, who we meet as he is being interviewed by the Rip Taylor-like Andy Anderson. I liked how in the movieu0026#39;s universe, Santa is unquestionably real and everyone knows about him. He really does deliver toys to everyone, toys made by a dozen elves (who all look like theyu0026#39;re suffering from mini-seasonal depression). One toy shown is a toy rocket that runs on u0026quot;real rocket fuelu0026quot;, Santa proudly explains. I would ask, u0026quot;Where do little kids get rocket fuel?u0026quot; The details of Santau0026#39;s amazingly speedy mass distribution methods are not brought up, but itu0026#39;s probably black magic-related.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe Martians nab Kris Kringle and two little Earth children, who seem to live alone in the woods with no parents or family but are clean and well fed. The Martian leader forces Santa and the children to run their soulless toy machine (Soulless Toy Machine would be a good name for a band). Despite the numerous violations of human rights, itu0026#39;s all in good fun and everybody is nice and happy, except for one mean Martian (with a disturbing droopy mustache and a sidekick that looks like Jamie Farr) who plots to kidnap Santa (even though heu0026#39;s already been kidnapped). Santa encourages the kids, even the Martian kids who have now learned to have fun, to hurl lots of heavy mid-sixties toys at the bad guyu0026#39;s skulls. Through this display of parental negligence and bad music the evil is thwarted, and Santa is permitted to go back to Earth, letting the mewling half-wit comic relief Martian named Droppo take over the reigns of the Martian Toy Empire. (The Martians are out-of-shape guys in tights and helmets with antenna sprouting out of them, and what looks like diarrhea smeared across their faces. Imagine a guy dressed like that mugging worse than the teacher guy in Juan Piquor Simonu0026#39;s u0026quot;Monster Islandu0026quot; and thatu0026#39;s Droppo).u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eHow can you hate this movie? If I were a little kid in 1964 Iu0026#39;d be enthralled. They packed this movie with nutty stuff. Elves get shot with freeze rays. Mrs. Claus is a frantic goofball. The Martian children sleep under strange lights and eat only pills. The bad guyu0026#39;s hideout looks like that one King Crimson album cover. I loved the part where the villain tries to shoot Santa and the kids out of an airlock, and the part where the bad guys meddle with the toy machine and the toys come out all mixed-up. Thereu0026#39;s a guy in a goofy robot costume, and a guy in an even goofier polar bear costume. And that deliciously idiotic theme song- u0026quot;You spell it S-A-N-T-A C-L-A-U-S, Hooray for Santy Claus!u0026quot; Oh, itu0026#39;s so good!u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eI sincerely feel the people making this had the best intentions, and while they didnu0026#39;t have a huge budget they made a fun, silly kids movie. If it was the same exact movie but done in Rudolf-style stop motion animation it would be a regular holiday viewing tradition.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eOh, yeah, and Pia Zadora is in this, as if anyone cares.”

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