Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Martian Conquers Santa Claus

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians was probably one of the lamest movies ever made. This, of course, explains why it has become a cult-favorite.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (also titled Santa Claus Defeats the Aliens ) is a 1964 science fiction film that regularly appears on lists of the worst films ever made. It was directed by Nicholas Webster, and it stars John Call as Santa Claus. It also includes an 8-year-old Pia Zadora playing the role of one of the Martian children.

The film attained cult status in the '90s after being featured on an episode of the comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000. It became a holiday staple on the Comedy Central cable channel in the years following its 1991 premiere, and it was one of the series' most popular episodes. Most of the new-found fans weren't even born at the time of the film's original release.


The inhabitants of Mars have been receiving the radio and television signals from the interstellar transmissions emanating from the third planet for several decades. Martian parents are worried that their children are watching too much Earth programs. Momar ("Mom Martian") and Kimar ("King Martian") become concerned when their kids, Girmar ("Girl Martian") and Bomar ("Boy Martian") see a program on Station KID which featured a live interview with Santa Claus in his North Pole workshop.

An ancient 800-year old Martian sage named Chochem, advises that the children of Mars are growing distracted due to the society's overly rigid structure. All their education is fed into their brains through machines during infancy. They are not allowed freedom of thought. The Martian children had no individuality. Chochem sadly notes that he had seen this coming "for centuries", and states that the only way to help the children is to allow them to have freedom, to be allowed to have fun.

To do this, they need a Santa Claus figure, like on Earth. The Martian leaders decide the only way to achieve this is to kidnap Santa Claus from Earth and bring him to Mars to make toys for the children of their planet. The war faction of the planet, led by the Warlord Voldar, disagreed with this idea and repeatedly tries to kill Santa Claus, as well as two kidnapped Earth children. He believes that Santa is corrupting the children of Mars and turning them away from the race's original glory.

When they arrive on Mars, Santa and the children build a factory to make toys for the Martian children. Voldar and his assistants, Stobo and Shim, sabotage the factory and change the programming so that it makes imperfect toys. Dropo, a Martian who has been acting silly ever since Santa came to Mars, puts on one of Santa's spare suits and starts talking and acting like Santa Claus. He goes to the toy factory to make toys, but Voldar and his henchmen mistake him for the real Santa Claus and kidnaps him.

When Santa and the children come back to the factory to make more toys, they discover that the machine has been tampered with. Voldar and Stobo realize that their plan failed when they come back to the factory to make a deal with Kimar and see the real Santa Claus. Dropo, who was being held hostage in a cave, escapes from his guard, Shim. Kimar then arrests Voldar, Stobo and Shim.

Santa notices that Dropo is acting like him, and says that Dropo would make a good Martian Santa Claus. Kimar agrees to make Dropo the Martian Santa Claus and sends Santa and the children back to earth.

This Blog is now being interrupted by a Blog-cast direct from the planet Mars!

Citizens of Earth, my name Marvin, direct descendant of Chochem. I am greatly disturbed by the opening lines of this post in which its author refers to the film, "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians", as lame. The citizens of Mars hold this film with great esteem as do the peoples of Earth for such works as your Holy Bible, The Koran, The Torah, The Kama Sutra, and that masterpiece,Mad Magazine.

How would you like it if we were to slander the names of your beloved heroes and heroines? We would not resort to underhanded name calling or character assassination of your great leaders such as Richard Nixon, Al Capone, Rosie O'Donnell, Al Sharpton, and the one you worship now who is called Dubya.

While I admit to having a personal vendetta with two of your citizens, namely Duck Dodgers and Bugs Bunny, I will not abase them, any more than I would your most adored God, Mickey Mouse.

We of Mars cannot comprehend why on your world Santa Claus, truly the most revered Deity in the entire universe, is not being held in the highest station of religious adoration. It is this disturbing fact that has our War Department debating whether or not our planet should attack and conquer your backward planet.

In closing, heed my words and remember - we are watching. Klattu Borado Nikto !

If you have not yet done so, why not put your knowledge of Christmas carols to task and try to name that Christmas tune? Christmas Carol IQ Test



Jack K. said...

Thank you. At last there is someone who truly understands the dangers we face from the Red Planet.

I am slightly disappointed that Marvin would place Mad Magazine last in order of most revered books. (Please, Marvin, I mean no disrespect.)

Great laughs. We need them now more than ever, O, great humor guru.

Skunkfeathers said...

Since I was only 10 years late in doing a blog review of the movie Mars Attacks (blog archives 2006), it makes sense I'd be even later on this one. But after reading your review, and hearing that it's been reviewed by THE authorities on movies of this genre (Sci-Fi Theatre 3000), what more can be said? I've always wanted to grow up to be that gumball machine. Some folks think I've succeeded, but I digress...