Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Santa's packing heat

Not really. He just uses his words as weapons in a so-bad-it's-great movie I saw this weekend, "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians."

A bit of back-story: when I was little, my sister and I would always spend our weekend afternoons watching those terrible sci-fi movies on the loser channels (this was well before cable or any decent channel that wasn't one of the big 3). One of the big stand-outs in my mind was the aforementioned Santa Claus movie, which came complete with a crappy yet oddly compelling song ("Hooray for Santy [that's right, Santa-Y. not a typo] Claus!"). I distinctly remember putting up xmas decorations and singing that terrible song along with my mom.

So when G&T told me that she'd gotten a new Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie as part of her NetFlix queue, and it'd been a toss-up between that and "some Santa Claus and Martians movie," I knew that it was my DESTINY to watch it again. But this time with sarcastic robot commentary.

Saturday night, complete with pizza from Vace's and pint-sized glasses of G&Ts in hand, we fired up the DVD player and watched the MST3K version of "Santa Claus CTM". It did not disappoint.

Basic plot: Martian children are too serious, so the Martians decided to kidnap Santa Claus and cheer them up. While on Earth, they somehow collect two Earth children in addition to St. Nick. Hijinks ensue, particularly with the comic stylings of the Martian "Droppo." There is an evil Martian named Voldar who for some reason has a bug up his ass re: Santa Claus, to the point of trying to get him and the Earth kids jettisoned into space sans suits. Voldar was so evil, he even had a handle-bar moustache (as all villains must). I don't think it's any great spoiler to say that Santa and the Earth kids live to see another xmas, and Martian children learn to laugh.

I realize that we live in a CGI society, and that movies even from 10 years ago look pretty cheesy, so a movie from 1964 about space will obviously look ridiculous. But still. Damn. I've seen high school plays that clearly had bigger budgets than this movie. There was one point where the kids were "attacked" by a polar bear...except the polar bear was obviously a guy in what had to be the world's cheapest bear suit. Their space ship had writing in English on it. There were typos in the opening credits (apparently they had a "custume" designer on their staff). And the Martians still were sporting 1960s styles (the "mom" looked like Twiggy with green face makeup). Assessment? Awesome.

Just turn off the movie before the end credits roll, or else you'll get that horrid song stuck in your head. It took me all of yesterday to extricate it. Then, in pilates class this morning, I heard it again. It was off of a CD of some 1960s French chanteuse. They had taken the music and just changed the lyrics. So you can't even credit the brains behind "Santa Claus CTM" for being good song-writers: they just know how to borrow catchy music.


  • At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Fraulein N said…

    Wow, I can't believe you survived that movie without the MST3K commentary. It's truly, truly terrible. And of course by "terrible" I mean "awesome."

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