December 13, 2011

Eyes on Christmas: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

Well, I was on a roll, albeit a limited two day run. Much like my Halloween marathon, no sooner do I start to get on a roll of quality movies, I shoot myself in the foot and watch something such questionable quality that it would make you question one's sanity.that someone would be me, of course. I seem to have made a good habit of being inextricable drawn to the low grade oddball titles of pretty much any genre. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it does help point out the distinctly higher quality of other films that I subject myself to.

Over the weekend, I watched the funny creepy holiday classic Gremlins and then I introduced myself to the wonderful oddity that is Rare Exports. These two are simply great, so what do I do? I turn to my Netflix queue and watch Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Yes, that's right, one of the worst movies ever made turned camp classic. Actually, I think it would make a great double feature with the 1959 movie Santa Claus. Now, if you haven't seem that one, you are missing out.

The plot of this film, err, movie is pretty simple. On Earth the kids are getting ready for Christmas, watching a special report live from Santa's workshop. Meanwhile, on Mars, we find that the Martian children have gotten hooked on Earth television to the point they are not sleeping or eating. So, the Martian adults get it in their heads to go to Earth, kidnap Santa Claus and use him to bring some joy to their children who seem to grow up too fast. Interestingly enough, the Martians have lost their humanity to advancements in technology (sounds a bit like today, doesn't it? Perhaps they were on to something and were just way ahead of their time).

On Earth the Martians stumble across a couple of children who point them towards the real Santa and become prisoners of the visiting aliens. They head to the North Pole where, with some unwitting help from a dopey Martian, the kids get away and hide. The Martians, including one particularly mean one, go searching, encounter an awful costume of a polar bear and use an awful costume of a robot to help the kidnapping.

The kids and Santa end up back on Mars where the intention is to imprison him and use him to spread joy to Martian children. If you read the title, you know who wins this battle. It is not a deep movie, it is a silly movie made for kids, although I am not sure how much actual thought went into planning it out. It really is a terrible production from start to finish. Still, it is oddly compelling.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is a movie I would like to see remade. I think the right minds could bring some inspired lunacy to a movie such as this. Make it animated, that could work to. The bottomline is, if you want a strange wacky Christmas movie, this will fit the bill.

Not Really Recommended, Unless you like that sort of thing...

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