Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

"Terrible"

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians Review


The year is 1964 and the space race is underway. It's not unusual for producers of would-be "entertainments" of the time to make a quick buck by exploiting the public's fascination with whatever lies beyond the Earth's atmosphere - we have this same impulse to thank, in a roundabout way, for Plan 9 from Outer Space, a sterling example of crass, fly-by-night "filmmaking" that evolved into real entertainment in the decades thereafter. What makes Santa Claus Conquers the Martians unique is its marriage of the one surefire marketing hook - outer space - with that other, timeless one: Christmas. How could it miss?

Well, with whimsy this soulless, a better question becomes how could it hit? Santa Claus Conquers the Martians not only bombed in its day, it remains too grindingly stupid even to function as camp. (And it's a perennial entry in the Internet Movie Database's bottom 100 films as determined by its users.) Turns out you'll need more than Pia Zadora in her screen debut to guarantee an audience with the Mystery Science Theater crowd. (She plays a Martian child named Girmar, short for "girl Martian"; her brother is of course named Bomar, with Momar as Mommy Martian and Kimar for King.) The fact is that Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is just too stupid - not stupid in the Ed Wood way, but exasperatingly, tediously stupid - to view in a single sitting.

The film tells the story of a group of Martians who decide to kidnap Santa Claus as a way of entertaining their unhappy children. In the event, no one is entertained, but I'm getting ahead of myself here. In the movie the Martians successfully haul the jolly old elf to their planet, where an evil-doer among them sabotages his toy-making equipment. This evil Martian tries also to kidnap Santa himself, but instead abducts another Martian poorly disguised as him. The film goes on like this until the end, when a really ghastly holiday song, entitled, I believe, "Hooray for Santy Claus," is introduced.

The plot is deadly, but it's the filmmaking that really eviscerates Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. It's shot in that hopeless, bad filmmaking style in which nothing flows naturally or at any time feels organic or unplanned. In Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, characters walk into scenes and stand, deliver their lines, wait, and then exit or maybe give another line. While not speaking they stand stock still or woodenly "interact," and conversations are punctuated by little pauses between speech that give the action the delayed, artificial rhythm of a trans-Atlantic phone call.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians has now, for some unknowable reason, been made available on DVD. In my opinion this Santa is strictly for the over-medicated, but if that's you, strap in, blast off, and enjoy!

Aka Santa Claus Defeats the Aliens.



Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

Facts and Figures

Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy

Run time: 81 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 14th November 1964

Budget: $200 thousand

Distributed by: Independent Pictures

Production compaines: Embassy Pictures Corporation

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 25%
Fresh: 5 Rotten: 15

IMDB: 2.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Nicholas Webster

Producer: Paul L. Jackson

Starring: as Santa Claus, Leonard Hicks as Kimar, Vincent Beck as Voldar, Bill McCutcheon as Dropo, Victor Stiles as Billy, Donna Conforti as Betty, Chris Month as Bomar, as Girmar, Leila Martin as Momar, Charles Renn as Hargo, James Cahill as Rigna, Ned Wertimer as Andy Henderson, Doris Rich as Mrs. Claus, Carl Don as Chochem / Von Green, Ivor Bodin as Winky, Al Nesor as Stobo, Josip Elic as Shim, Jim Bishop as Lomas, Lin Thurmond as Children TV Announcer, Don Blair as TV News Announcer, Tony Ross as Santa's Helper, Scott Aronesty as Santa's Helper, Ronnie Rotholz as Santa's Helper, Glenn Schaffer as Santa's Helper, Gene Lindsey as Polar Bear (uncredited)

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Since its true story is still so timely after some 150 years, we can forgive...

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

This reunion of actor Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg feels like a natural successor...

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Ransom Riggs' bestselling novel is appropriately adapted into a movie by Tim Burton, the gothic...

Get Back Movie Review

Get Back Movie Review

Roger Appleton's documentary 'Get Back' looks into the music scene that come out of Liverpool....

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Advertisement
Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.