It’s Christmas, the time of the year when most people commit suicide. Some of them just after having seen this movie.
Santa Claus Conquers The Martians is a movie from 1964. That it’s still known right now is for two reasons:
1) It’s awfully bad and now enjoys a cult status.
2) It stars a very young Pia Zadora.
If the name rings a bell, but you’re not entirely sure which bell… the picture on your right will freshen up your memory. With apologies for any trauma I may have caused by re-exposing you to that song.
A couple of years ago I commented on this movie. It’s a comment rather than a review, but I’m sure it expresses all I could say in a review, so here we go again.
“What’s Christmas?” asks a man with weird paint on his face and a cross between a large tea cup and a flower pot on his head. Well, he’s a Martian and over there Santa Claus doesn’t exist. This depresses their kids (including Pia Zadora) so much that the Martians decide to kidnap the little fat man in a red coat. Being much more intelligent than people from planet Earth, they kidnap some kids first to tell them where Santa can be found. “What’s that on your head?” asks the girl. “An antenna”, replies the Martian. Then the girl asks: “Are you a television set?” This aggravates the Martian version of Grumpy, who thinks television and Santa Claus turn the kids into nincompoops.
Anne Robinson (the cruel host from The Weakest Link) once said she hated children’s tv because the presenters always shouted and treat the kids like morons. The same can be said for this movie. It’s not because it’s a movie for kids that it can get away with a stupid plot. A movie where children’s footprints are only noticed after the Martians discovered the children have escaped. A movie where Mrs. Claus is portrayed as a brainless plant. A movie where the dwarfs are paralyzed by the Martian’s guns (it’s a pity the actors can’t stand still). A movie where Santa Claus is kidnapped by Martians. And a movie where, due to financial restrictions, the part of the polar bear is played by a man in a suit. Need I say more? Yes, I might end with a joke from the movie: what’s green, sticky and roasted over a fire? A martianmellow. I think that says it all. “Oh dear, oh dear.”
For some reason lots of people adore this film. I honestly don’t know why. It’s an exercise in inept filmmaking, it goes for the cheapest way of touching your buttons. An often heard excuse is that it’s a kids movie. So since when should movies for kids be made in a sucky way?
Nevertheless, if you’re in a schlocky mood you’ll enjoy how badly this is made, how crappy this film is, how awful a script can be.
And best of all, you can DOWNLOAD this for free. It’s LEGALLY available at the Internet Archive. Just follow this link.
P.S. All images come from Amazon.com, which also offers the film on DVD.