Friday, December 23, 2011

Xmas Week: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

Welcome to the final day of Christmas Week! I hope you have all enjoyed the shit that I've been shoveling. It's been fun catching up on classics and finding new ones. I have even MORE shit that I'll be doing next year. Who knew there was this much crap for Christmas?

Certainly nobody in the 60s

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is probably the greatest worst thing you would be watching this holiday season. It's what happens when you mix one amazing title and invest about $50 into it. You’ll walk away from this either laughing or crying (possibly both).

How best to describe this movie? I guess I should really start with a warning. Don’t let the title and general shitty premise fool you. When presented with a title like Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, your imagination might conjure up something similar to the opening scene of Scrooged, with an armed to the teeth Schwarzenegger-esque Santa Claus kicking in the front door of Mars and gunning down every green monster in sight, all while he chuckles and his belly jiggles like a bowl full of jelly. HO HO HO! How about a little Christmas FEAR!

But no. Santa conquers nothing. He barely makes it to Mars. This is, in fact, a kids movie. (with a totally bitchin’ theme song) You see, the children on Mars are depressed. It’s Christmas on Earth and they’ve been watching it on TV so they are naturally upset that they don’t get that same kind of happiness on Mars. So the King Martian (named Kimar…get it?) goes to the elder to seek advice. What follows is the single greatest display of acting in all of 60’s cinema.

They then decide that they must go to Earth and kidnap Santa Claus. Kimar rounds up his posse including Voldar (the evil Martian with the greatest pedo-stache known to Mars), Dropo (the dumbest cuddliest kid friendly Martian), and there was another one but I can’t remember. He’s just there to smash buttons. His name is probably Buttmar. (Get it? Cuz Kimar’s wife is Momar (mom martian) and his kids are Bomar (boy martian) and Girmar (girl martian). God damn this movie is genius)

Then they steal Santa and are headed back to Mars. It is Voldar that now speaks up and insists that this Santa must be disposed of. He lures them into an airlock and hits the button that starts a timer. Problem solved.

Nope. Somehow the magic of Christmas saved them. And Santa laughs in the face of Voldar. It is easily the most sinister laugh ever to ever exist. Ever. The kids join in and laugh at Voldar. It’s almost as if they are taunting him to try and kill them again. HA HA HA HA HA you can’t kill what is ETERNAL! HA HA HA HA HA.

Then they get to Mars, Santa makes some toys, kids are happy, the magic of Christmas saves another world this holiday season.


There is so much creepy laughter in this movie. Either it’s the martians or Santa or the kids, they all just ham it up as much as they can. I joined in everytime they did it. And the dialogue…just terrible. (That’s how I like it) EVERYTIME anybody did ANYTHING there was ALWAYS a throwaway line about how it worked or what it did or why they need it. “This is my gay-ray, once I switch this button, flip this lever, point it at you, and pull the trigger, a rainbow beam will shoot from it and hit you in the groinsack and you will be instantly turned into a loin-clothe-boa-wearing fancy boy!” *not in the movie*

This movie is so far down shit road that you end up in happy land. It’s probably because it’s drives you there so fast that you have gone certifiably insane and just love everything. I watched Santa Baby 2 the next day while putting up some Christmas decorations and was not fazed by that movie whatsoever. Actually enjoyed it. WHY? Because Santa Claus Conquers the Martians makes everything better by default.

Now I own this movie on DVD. I’ve watched it the last couple of Christmases but this year I discovered that it would be playing at a local theatre at midnight. This is how the decision was made that this needed to happen:

Gable: Oh shit, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians on the big screen!
Brain: We’re going.
Gable: But I already own it, and it’s not like it’s my lifelong cherished film that I think about in my dreams. I can probably let this one go.
Brain: No way man, this thing was on Mystery Science Theatre. There will be a crowd of gargantuan proportions lined up around the block to rip this thing LIVE. We’re going.
Gable: OH SHIT! That sounds amazing. We’re doing this…but it’s like $8 to get in. And another $5 to park. Is that really worth it? I mean, the DVD is right there. I could be watching this movie right now.
Brain: No. We are waiting. We need to see this on the big screen. When is the next time this will ever happen in your lifetime?
Gable: When I play it through my projector?
Brain: Fuck you, we’re going. There is no way we are missing all of this fun on the big screen.
Gable: Ok. I’ll send out a facebook invite.
Brain: Don’t tell them how terrible it is, they might not come.
Gable: Good point.

So I talked a couple buddies into going, we went, and there was a crowd of approximately 5 people, us included. Of my 2 friends, one fell asleep and the other was on his phone googling how to kill me slowly. It probably wouldn’t have been so bad if they didn’t have an HOUR of old Christmas shorts and cartoons before the movie. I loved the nostalgia and everything but a FUCKING HOUR? That’s a bit much. So our tolerance had already been hacked away by the time the movie started. And boy…did it start. I was complaining, laughing, crying, smiling, dreading, and loving every god damn minute of it. I’ll admit, I snoozed for a minute or two. (It was late!) But you know what, my brain was right. I did need to see it. It was worth everything.

So to conclude: Santa conquers nothing, creepy laughs abound, Martians have epic mustaches, and you need to see this movie. Now, if we can just talk Hollywood into remaking this masterpiece into Santa’s Slay 2: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, it’d AAALLLLLL be worth it.

Now for your Christmas viewing pleasure...


Merry Christmas Everyone! Have a safe and profitable weekend! Let me know what shitty movies you get so I can laugh at you....err nerd out with you.


  1. I guess that you've seen Santa Clause, the other MST3K christmas kids movie? The reindeer in that film were terrifying, best to my memory!

  2. The Mexican "Santa Claus" movie Chris mentions is one of the few MST3K'd films I will NOT watch unMSTed. It was so fucking scary, especially those big-ass lips.

    na na na na na na na

  3. Last night I had a dream where I was a doctor and this dude came to see me because he was always getting horny because his wife was on business trips all the time, and he wanted me to go all Frankenstein and make a reanimated woman, but only from the waist down. I told him to get a Fleshlight instead, but he insisted. I woke up and realized I had just dreamt the plot to the BEST MOVIE EVER, and I figure we should all meet up at a coffee house in Iowa and hash this out. Allegedly, I have a cousin who produces movies for SyFy (and if it's who I think it is, he's done a TON) so I estimate we'll all be millionaires by 2013.

    Merry Christmas!

  4. I'm game. We could almost make it the sequel to Frankenhooker. HAHAHA