When it comes to cult classic Christmas films, this is the film that always show up on these lists. We all know it as one of the most memorable MST3K episodes and appears on many list of “worst movies of all time”, but have you ever watched it without Joel and the Bots? Well, here it is. My first time watching this film without any riffers. And guess what? I don’t think it’s THAT bad! Just look at reputation it gets, on iMDb it’s got only 2.5 stars (just like Laserblast which gets 2.6 stars), while disastrous piece of ass like Transformers 3 got 6.3 stars! WTF?! Do these people actually watch the film before they vote?
I didn’t say these lines just to troll you guys. I genuinely find the film entertaining and serves its purpose. But first, let’s take a look at the plot.
Kids on Mars are become more and more addicting to watching TV, so they ask Chochem, 800 years old Martian sage, what should they do. It turns out that they have to capture Santa Claus from Earth and bring him to the Mars because, according to Chochem…
“They [Children of Mars] never learn to have fun [..] Children must be allowed to be children again”
So they go to Earth and bring back not only Santa Clause, but also two kids. Unfortunately, some of martians think this will pussify martians, so they try to stop Santa and the kids from making toys on Mars.
Yep. This is almost the whole plot from the movie. Some people might call it as a really trippy plot, but I find nothing wrong with that since…
It’s a kids’ film!
Yeah, what do you expect? A Christmas version of Vertigo or Lawrence of Arabia? This is just a film for kids from 60’s. It’s SUPPOSED to look stupid and have light-hearted plot for sure. Plus, this was the time before pretentious era of “shoving message in movies without caring about plot”. Back then, we actually have films that teach us nothing, but instead they make us laugh so hard an enjoy watching them. I find nothing wrong with films like that because it these film finished their purpose, to make us laugh. Sometime it’s better to make film like these instead of trying to create message and miserably fail at delivering it to audience.
Sure, there are cheesy elements there and there (We’ll get in to that in a minute), but keep in mind that it’s just a low-budget film from early 60’s. And, hey, I don’t say that “kids film can be made without caring about quality”. All I’m saying is that Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is just a low-budget film that probably made to release around Christmas on Saturday matinee’ or something like that.
A time-machine to American Dreams (seriously)
In this film, Mars need Santa Claus to bring kids happiness because martian kids have to study hard and parents not allow them to have fun. In my opinion, this somehow reflects another side of American Dream era. We always depict life in 50’s-60’s as a great time for everyone (well, white people, mostly). We have father who goes to work everyday while mother cook foods in kitchen and little Timmy just doing his homework. Well, it didn’t happen like that everyday, but this film reflects us a problem that probably emerged around that time: pressure from adults. We all know that our parents love us, but sometimes they want us to study more and more in order to pass tests and get a good job. Kids become more and more square and basically turn into George McFly. There’s nothing wrong with being a nerd guy like that. Hell, lots of people call me as a “nerd” guy since I was in Grade 8-9. But I want to remind you that sometimes you need to relax yourself and find happiness in your own life in responsible way. You don’t have to bring Santa to your own home.
Here it is, a controversial topic. Lots of people find this film stupid and ridiculous due to these things…
– Santa Claus
To tell you the truth, this Santa fits better for a pro-marijuana legislation since he ALWAYS laugh. No matter how terrible his joke is, he always laugh. I mean, we know that he’s the one who brings happiness to the people, but there’s a difference between getting high and being happy.
As story goes by, there’s a scene in which our ganja Santa uses his magical power to make Martian kids laugh by….*drumroll* constantly laughing! His laugh is so powerful, it makes everybody laughs. Did he just give them a joint?
– That polar bear costume
There’s a scene in which a polar bear tries to attack young kids. The costume looks stupid mainly because it’s a low budget film. In fact, special effects and sets in this film look pretty stupid due to that factor.
– News anchor
The film uses clever tactic to avoid showing martians UFO by using either US Army stock footage or shows news anchor talking to us about UFO that just flies somewhere else. Seriously, this use this technique pretty frequently in early parts of film, it makes me laugh every time whenever this cheap trick appears.
I still have no idea why many people hate it. This is fun movie that you can enjoy. At least it has a nice theme song that you can sing along with.