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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Santa Clause Conquers The Martians: 1964

   Why did I have to pick this one for my first science fiction review?  Well, I'll tell you why.  It's because I'm too curious to see how bad this film was going to turn out.  And you know what?  I'm going to embrace the possibility that this might be the worst film I've ever seen.  With that said, let’s get started!  "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians" was directed by Nicholas Webster and stars John Call as Santa Clause.  It is also in fact listed annually on the bottom 100 list on Internet Movie Database.  The link will be posted at the bottom of this review.

   We start our film off with a song that, I'm sure if you showed your kids (if you have any) they would make it an additional Christmas carol…but hopefully not.  And it's strange because this is supposed to be a science fiction film, right?  Then why are they incorporating whimsical music and Santa Clause?!  Well I'll tell you..... It's because it’s a trap, that's why!  But I guess if you weren't confused beyond repair, you might find the song catchy.  After the opening credits role, we get a shot of a TV, that's being watched by...... kids in Halloween costumes?  I'm confused.  

   So, these kids who think its Halloween, instead of Christmas, watch a reporter taking a look inside of Santa's Workshop.  Wait a second!!  Is Santa allowing this? Doesn't he need to hide his gift making secrets or magic or something like that?  I didn't know Santa went public in 64'.  Wow, somebody's been keeping something from me.  

   So anyway, they do make a clever transition into how Mars doesn't have Santa to bring presents to all the Martian children.  So, I guess everything is tied up in neat bow.  We take a look at life on mars, and get a quick back story on how Martians live their lifestyle.  I never thought I would be writing a review that had that sentence in it.  We also have a number of characters with uncreative names and everything!  We have Kimar, the king Martian, Momar, the mom Martian, Bomar, the boy Martian, and Girmar, the girl Martian.  I'm beginning to see a pattern.  

To understand this confused nature of this movie, allow me to quote Kimar, "It's no wonder.  They sit in front of their video set all day watching those ridiculous earth programs.  It confuses them!"  Well you know what Kimar, I'm confused too, and I don't blame your kids who think it's Halloween!  Nothing is making sense!  And another thing, they must have an incredible antenna.  I didn't even know that television signals could reach that far.  You know a film is messing with you when you question your grasp on reality.  
   We find out that all the children on mars are having trouble sleeping, but Kimar can’t figure out what the reason behind it is.  So they call a meeting somewhere where Kimar talks with some people.... scratch that, Martians about how to fix the dilemma.  For 1964 the color isn't half bad.  They seek the help of Chochem, the wise and ask for advice.  He explains that, somehow, because it is Christmas on earth, all the children on mars are eager with anticipation for Santa Clause to come and give gifts.  He also says that since new technology has come out that teaches everything to children until they are adults.... everything except how to have fun.  
   After all this nonsense, I believe that the only way to view this is to give into the madness and embrace the nonsensical nature of this film.  So, long story short, the Martians need a Santa Clause on mars, so they leave that very night to capture Santa Clause and bring him to mars.  There is one character, Voldar, who disagrees with Santa being at mars.  Disagreeing with something regarding Santa Clause?!  He must be the villain!  So, the Martians go down to earth and come across two children, Billy and Betty Foster.  You have to love the creativity with these names.  So, the Martians kidnap Billy General and Betty Generic, and take them to the North Pole, because you need to have a couple of kidnappings in a kids movie.

  I wonder what the demographic was for people that said, "You know what I'd like to see?  A science fiction film about Santa.  That sure would make me happy!"  I don't know what they were thinking, but I hope Nicholas Webster didn't intend this to be taken seriously, as far as science fiction films go.  However, they are incorporating thinks like The Soviet Union, and the Air Force.  So, one of the Martians takes the kids to the ship and shows them around. The kids hide in a box while the rest of the Martians come aboard to say that they’re going to capture Santa.  So, this was, you guessed it, completely pointless.  

   After the Martians leave, the children come out.... and dismantle the ships power (or something like that) because they don't want the government after them?!  WWWHHHAAATTT!?  How does that work!?  None of that made any sense!  If they stay, the Martians will have a greater chance of getting caught and analyzed!  But if they leave, they might be spotted, but they'll be out of reach by the time they take off!  Billy, you misinformed idiot!  Why did you have to go and mess everything up?!  

  And he does it again, because they get trapped in a cave with a man in a polar bear suit..... I mean a polar bear corners them, away from the entrance.  I'm serious, the animatronics lion in the car from, "The Hangover” looked more realistic than this makeshift costume!  So, after Betty and Billy's trick or treater attack, they get attacked by another one!  This time a man in a robot costume...... I mean a robot shows up!  Oh no!  I hope they brought enough candy to satisfy his robotic needs.  But sadly this robot came to trick and not for treats, and captures the children while we find out that Voldar was behind it all.  

   However, Kimar shows up to explain that the robot will only obey his commands.  So I guess Kimar was just being a jerk, and sent the robot after the children to mess with them.  What's that movie?  You can’t explain what happened ether?  Okay I'll move on.  I've just made up the perfect analogy for this film.  Have you ever watched a really bad school play that one of your kids is in.  You didn't really want to go but you knew that you had to because your child was performing in it, and he or she was the lead something or other.  And so you go to this play and it's really bad.  But you clap because your kid is up there trying his/her best.  Imagine they made one that lasted 1 hour and 20 minutes, only your kid doesn't star in it, and it’s worse than any other play you've been to.  

   Okay, let’s see where we are now.... oh!  So their getting tor, the robot, to tear down the door of the workshop.  Apparently Santa's doors are hinge-less.  Many ridiculous things happen in the next few seconds, but in the end Santa is captured.  So, remember how I thought that the Martians would be long gone with Santa before the Soviet Union found out?  Well they did and now we get to watch a thrilling spaceship chase.  Oh boy, action?  But that doesn't stop Voldar from trying to murder our hero's in the air lock chamber, which they fall for quite comically. All this is going on while Voldar and Kimar are having a Star Trek influenced fight, only it's much more boring because I don't care about any of the characters!  

   They start laughing after they find out everything is okay.  Awwwww.... this film has such light hearted.........and confusing moments, such as the fact that y over 5 pi r squared determines the correct orbit from the planet Mars to Jupiter.  Because that makes sense, right?  Billy and Betty finally meet Bomar and Girmar.  And then Santa comes in and..... they all start laughing..........what the heck?  That's...just...creepy.  

   To continue on, Dropo, the comedic effect Martian, dresses up like Santa and goes down to the workshop to make more toys, but Voldar and his goons broke into the workshop before him, and seem to be the three stooges of this film, although they aren't as funny or likable or talented...the list goes on.  They capture, "Santa", and bring him to their hide out.  I'm not going to divulge the climax, so I guess I'll conclude this review.  

In Conclusion:  Oh man, do I have allot to say about this film.  Let me start this off by saying that this was incredibly boring....if you’re not 6 years old.  I mean this is for really young children.  The story is pretty primitive, the villain has no motives, the movie feels like a play, the names are uncreative, and it dragged on in a few places.  But, what was I expecting from a film titled, "Santa Clause Concurs the Martians"?  To be honest, I had no idea.  The one thing that was decent was the ending, because this is when you realize that you’re watching a harmless movie.  A movie that just wanted to have fun, to clumsily execute a child's laugh.  I'm actually kind of glad that this was made, because no studio today would ever dream of Okaying this to be made.  We will never see this side of film again, and that's pretty upsetting.  I actually liked John Call as Santa Clause. Was it the worst film I’ve seen.... it actually might have been, and I'm not going to rate this any higher after saying this, but I want you to see this film.  I want you to watch, "Santa Clause Concurs the Martians" because I want you to know what you missed out on in 64'.  I want you to watch this because there will never be a film as light hearted as aliens meet Santa Clause.  In fact, I challenge you, dear reader, to make this a practice.  Every Christmas, I want you to watch this movie to see the horrible and carefree world of film that is no more.  Thank you for reading, and please follow, +1, and comment.  Don't forget to watch this film after reading my review at the bottom of this review, because to believe a film can be this bad, you have to see it.

I give this film 2 rocket sleds out of 5

Thank you,
   Albert Dubin

        Next Review:  Phantom From Space 1953


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