Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

It does not seem right to go through the holidays writing a movie review blog and not feature a Christmas movie or two. Why I chose Santa Claus Conquers the Martians to start with is beyond me. It is not like I have imbibed any eggnog to inhibit my judgment. Perhaps I am simply a masochist. I did not even use the MST3000 Dvd release, so I did not even have the gang’s mockery to amuse me.

If you have not seen Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, let me assure you it is every bit as bad as you have heard. The plot, the acting, the cheap budget--they are all stinkeroos. Nevertheless, there is a certain notion your pop culture education is not complete until you have seen it. As I loathe to have any education incomplete, I felt compelled to sit through it.

The story takes place mostly on Mars. Parents fear their children are watching too much Earth television. The wise elder says the children are becoming distracted because their society is too rigid and strict for the kids. It is not so strict the kids cannot watch t far too much television, but I shall bow to the superior wisdom of the elder. His name is Chochem, a Yiddish word for genius. Who would argue with such a person? Chochem says the kids need to have fun and apparently Dr. Phil and soap operas do not count.

The Martian leaders decide the best solution to their lack of fun problem is too kidnap Santa Claus, whom they saw on television, and bring him to Mars in order to make toys for Martian children. They successfully kidnap Santa and two children. They build a toy factory and get to work.

Not everyone on Mars is happy with the arrangement. Voldar thinks santa is corrupting the children of Mars, so he sets out to kill Santa. Failing that, he sabotages the toy factory. Just to prove there is a counterpoint to every point, a Martian named Dropo takes a liking to Santa and wants to play him himself. Voldar, proving what a sharp cookie he is, kidnaps Dropo thinking he is Santa. Voldar needs LASIK for Christmas.

Voldar plans to hold Dropo as a hostage for the ransom of ending this silly Christmas on Mars plan. But Dropo escapes. Santa realizes Dropo would make a good martian Santa, so he arranges for it on the condition he and the kids can return to Earth. Everything works out swell, except that Mars is a completely lifeless planet, so something terrible must have happened after Santa left.

I put on my goofy, non-discerning childhood hat for watching Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, but I am afraid watching this thing even with the eyes of a child is not enough to make it enjoyable. I suppose its heart is in the right place, but the very idea of the movie is dumb. It goes without saying that it is executed poorly, too. If you decide to see it in order to complete your pop culture education, do not say I did not warn you. In this case, ignorance is truly bliss.

Rating: * (out of 5)

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