Quick Note from RD: As is the tradition ’round these parts this time of year, I take time away from WrestleCrap and delve into the equally amusing and absurd world of HolidayMovieCrap. Enjoy!
Ah yes, the holidays are upon us once again. For many, the highlight is waiting to see what’s waiting for themselves under the tree. For others, the fun is in hanging out with family and friends. But for RD Reynolds, it’s about the movies…it’s always about the movies.
When you really think about it, most Christmas movies are either really good or really, really bad. You have classics like It’s a Wonderful Life, White Christmas, Holiday Inn, and the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol. These movies are timeless pieces, ones that fifty years from now will be just as loved then as they are today.
The flip side of that coin, of course, is that there are also a lot of horrible Christmas flicks, a yuletide junkpile that Hollywood seemingly adds to every year (Surviving Christmas, anyone?). In fact, we’ve covered a lot of them on this here site. Well, it’s time to add another log to the fire with the long-overdue induction of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, a 1964 stinkbomb that was filmed, believe it or not (and trust me, if you ever witness this thing, you will completely believe it) in a warehouse.
Now before you email me, yes yes – this movie does, in fact, exist. It basically languished in obscurity for years until our friends at Mystery Science Theater 3000 took a crack at it sometime in the mid 90’s. That’s actually where I first saw it, and since having seen it aboard the Satellite of Love, not a Christmas passes when I don’t take 81 minutes out of my post-Thanksgiving/pre-New Year’s schedule to take it all in once again, especially the insanely annoying theme song.
Be forewarned, fellow Crapper. Once you hear it, you will never, EVER in a gadzillion years get it out of your head.
Our story begins the same place all good Martian Christmas flicks do – right on the red planet itself. It seems the kids of Mars do nothing all day but sit arounjd depressed in front of the videoset watching, and I’m just quoting here, “Earth Progrems.” Now I’m not exactly sure what a “progrem” is, but honest to God, to this day, whenever I need to say the word “program” I pronounce it “progrem.” That’s how deeply ingrained this movie is in my very soul.
The more perceptive of you might note that the little girl martian in this flick is actually Pia Zadora. Remember her? Don’t feel bad, no one else does either. She was a minor celeb in the mid 80’s, posing in Penthouse and hitting the charts with a couple of mindless pop numbers that are so forgetable that even 80’s stations don’t play them. I guess that would cut into their alloted time to play Karma Chameleon 14 times a day.
And just what are the kiddies watching? Well, this being the month of Septober on Mars, they’d be watching special after special featuring the jolly old fat man himself, Santa Claus!
This bothers the kid’s papa, who just happens to be the leader of Mars, Kimar (spelling accoding to our pals over at IMDB).
You know, I’ve watched this film about 15 times, and I swear I always thought his name was K-Mar. Since I believed this to be his name, I often wondered why he didn’t have a big blue light atop his head.
Kimar’s right hand man is…nah, screw that. He’s always been K-Mar to me, and that’s the way I likes it!
As I was saying, K-MAR’s right hand man is, of course, WalMar.
Ok, I just made that up.
Actually, it’s Voldar, who you know is one bad apple due to the fact that he is very greasy. And I mean GREASY.
I dare say if you slept with your face on the grill at the local White Castle you wouldn’t be as greasy as this dude.
So very, very greasy.
And then, of course, there’s the “comic relief” provided by Dropo, the laziest man on Mars.
He’s not just wacky, kids – he’s WACKAY!
*snaps fingers three times*
Well, to be honest, he’s actually just kind of stupid and annoying.
K-Mar decides that the leaders of Mars need to consultant some old coot to tell them what they should do. This wisened sage informs them they need to bring Christmas to the children. He then promptly disentigrates.
So he held off on self-destructing for like 500 years just to tell them that?
Sucks to be him.
K-Mar decides if the children are to have Christmas on Mars, they need the big guy – Kris Kringle himself.
So they all head to earth in their ROCKETSHIP, a rocketship which looks EXACTLY like something George Lucas would come up with…if he had a $10 budget and half of that was spent on leftover erector set pieces at a yard sale.
Off they go to earth and their attempt to hunt down Santa Claus.
Right away, they find him – on a street corner ringing a bell.
But then they see another one in a department store.
Now I can’t say quite why, but for some reason, this reminded me of this past summer’s War of the Worlds. The premise of that film was that aliens had this elaborate plan, one thousands of years in the making, in which they would take over the earth. And how would they do this? By killing us ONE AT A TIME.
Those aliens almost make these Martians look like brain surgeons in comparison.
Having decided that they can’t capture all the Santa Clauses around the globe, they corner Billy and Betty, two earth kids, and ask them what the deal is.
The kids rat out Santa’s location (all the while being insulted in a hilarious manner by Voldar), and lead our green pals to the North Pole.
Once aboard the ship, Billy and Betty hear of the Martians’ vile plan to kidnap Santa, and quickly make a dash to warn the jolly fat man. However, they are thwarted in their attempts by the WORST BEAR COSTUME EVER. Seriously, I’ve seen pee wee football team mascots that look more realistic.
The real highlight of the “North Pole Showdown” is when Voldar zaps the elves with his freeze ray. See, instead of doing a freeze frame, the elves just stand there in place, trying – and failing – not to move. And I thought the special effects involving the bear were bad.
So anyway, the martians load Santa in their space ship, and head back to Mars. On the way there, however, some of the martians begin to fall in love with the old guy. No, not THAT kind of love, you pervs. More the way you love a crazy, senile old geezer who tells horrible jokes.
Finally, we get back to Mars and Kmar presents Santa to the little green kids, and they all laugh.
And laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh.
It’s really rather bothersome, actually.
They set Santa up in a workshop that looks EXACTLY like something Tim Burton would come up with…if he had a $10 budget and half of that was spent on plastic laundry baskets.
This all leads up to a big war in the workshop in which children beat Voldar with badmitten rackets and blow bubbles at him.
Hooray for Santy Claus!
Finally, it’s time for Santa to go home and for Mars to get their own Santa – DROPO.
Yeah, like getting that doofus as Santa isn’t going to make those Mars kids even MORE depressed.
In the end, I don’t know really that Santa actually conquered the martians…it was more like he just went to mars, hung out, and then left.
But I guess “Santa Claus Goes To Mars and Then Leaves” just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.