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Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
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63 out of 78 people found the following review useful:

Paging Edward D. Wood

10/10
Author: amherst5282 from United States
22 January 2005

If the fabulously awful yet admirably enthusiastic director Ed Wood had ever made a kids' holiday flick, this would have been it.

This movie is not bad, if by bad you mean boring and a waste of time. It's spectacularly appalling, the way "Plan 9" is. They obviously had a budget of about fifty bucks to make this, and it shows.

But some of us love these evidences that once upon a time in America there was such a thing as real independent cinema, and all-afternoon multi-feature holiday shows at neighborhood theaters that only had one screen, and sing-along events built into kids' movies, and fun that didn't depend on multi-billion dollar special effects.

This is one of those movies that you will laugh at and make fun of, yet long for the days when local, independent television stations aired it on a Saturday afternoon before Christmas. You'll make jokes about it, but catch yourself absentmindedly humming "Hooray for Santy Claus!" for the rest of your life. And you'll amaze your friends with -- "I know what movie Pia Zadora made her debut in, and you don't!"

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61 out of 79 people found the following review useful:

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians... and our hearts.

Author: zmaturin from Pleasant Valley
11 June 2001

I really enjoy this silly little holiday flick. A bunch of serious Martian adults are afraid that their serious Martian children are too serious, so they go to a serious Martian senior citizen. The old guy tells them that the children need to be taught how to laugh, and then he explodes for no reason. The only logical thing left to do, of course, is go to Earth and kidnap Santa Claus, who we meet as he is being interviewed by the Rip Taylor-like Andy Anderson. I liked how in the movie's universe, Santa is unquestionably real and everyone knows about him. He really does deliver toys to everyone, toys made by a dozen elves (who all look like they're suffering from mini-seasonal depression). One toy shown is a toy rocket that runs on "real rocket fuel", Santa proudly explains. I would ask, "Where do little kids get rocket fuel?" The details of Santa's amazingly speedy mass distribution methods are not brought up, but it's probably black magic-related.

The Martians nab Kris Kringle and two little Earth children, who seem to live alone in the woods with no parents or family but are clean and well fed. The Martian leader forces Santa and the children to run their soulless toy machine (Soulless Toy Machine would be a good name for a band). Despite the numerous violations of human rights, it's all in good fun and everybody is nice and happy, except for one mean Martian (with a disturbing droopy mustache and a sidekick that looks like Jamie Farr) who plots to kidnap Santa (even though he's already been kidnapped). Santa encourages the kids, even the Martian kids who have now learned to have fun, to hurl lots of heavy mid-sixties toys at the bad guy's skulls. Through this display of parental negligence and bad music the evil is thwarted, and Santa is permitted to go back to Earth, letting the mewling half-wit comic relief Martian named Droppo take over the reigns of the Martian Toy Empire. (The Martians are out-of-shape guys in tights and helmets with antenna sprouting out of them, and what looks like diarrhea smeared across their faces. Imagine a guy dressed like that mugging worse than the teacher guy in Juan Piquor Simon's "Monster Island" and that's Droppo).

How can you hate this movie? If I were a little kid in 1964 I'd be enthralled. They packed this movie with nutty stuff. Elves get shot with freeze rays. Mrs. Claus is a frantic goofball. The Martian children sleep under strange lights and eat only pills. The bad guy's hideout looks like that one King Crimson album cover. I loved the part where the villain tries to shoot Santa and the kids out of an airlock, and the part where the bad guys meddle with the toy machine and the toys come out all mixed-up. There's a guy in a goofy robot costume, and a guy in an even goofier polar bear costume. And that deliciously idiotic theme song- "You spell it S-A-N-T-A C-L-A-U-S, Hooray for Santy Claus!" Oh, it's so good!

I sincerely feel the people making this had the best intentions, and while they didn't have a huge budget they made a fun, silly kids movie. If it was the same exact movie but done in Rudolf-style stop motion animation it would be a regular holiday viewing tradition.

Oh, yeah, and Pia Zadora is in this, as if anyone cares.

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53 out of 65 people found the following review useful:

Can something this dumb really be harmless?

4/10
Author: mstomaso from Vulcan
25 April 2005

Maybe I have a soft spot somewhere in my heart for poorly written, badly conceived, silly 1960s children's movies - but I really can't understand why Santa Claus versus the Martians is in the worst 100 movies of all time here on IMDb. Sure, most viewers will breathe a sigh of relief when it ends, but this film really seems downright harmless compared to the six month old Kennel Ration Hollywood has been feeding us as commercial film for the last ten or so years. Hey, at least it's not a remake, a sequel, or a 2 hour long CGI cartoon with a few human faces tossed in for effect.

Santa Claus gets kidnapped by distraught martians (white guys with bad green makeup and a few dishwasher parts glued to their heads, as well as inexplicable capes), who want to rescue their depressive, antisocial children from the doldrums by giving them all toys and a big red-suited guy with a beard to laugh at... err... with. Santa adapts to life on Mars very well and starts cranking out the toys with the help of Martian machines, but political controversies surrounding his activities soon threaten the fabric of Martian Society.

I'm not kidding.... really.... this is the plot.

Aside from the ludicrous plot and mediocre acting (Bill McCutcheon gives the only really enjoyable performance in this film, though Pia Zadora and Vincent Beck are not too bad), this is no worse than many of the kid films of its time. In the age of ADD and general impatience, however, this film is more than a little dated. The only modern kid I can imagine enjoying this film is one with an extraordinarily great attention span and a penchant for B-films. In terms of production, this film has the feel of a 2 hour, 1960s low budget TV show, and is almost as clever.

I would recommend avoiding this film unless you're compelled to watch films which go to extremes. I found it cute, funny, and more than a tad ridiculous. To most people, it's a film version of your great Aunt's wallpaper - it's just there on the TV, while far more interesting things are happening in the carpet below your feet.

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46 out of 64 people found the following review useful:

The best worst awful awesome movie ever!

1/10
Author: Torgo_Approves from El Paso!
31 May 2006

(r#30)

Basically everything is wrong about this film, and that's what makes it so great. It's hysterical, but even as you're laughing yourself breathless you can't help but feel bad inside that you're actually chewing down this rotten junk food. Because that's what Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is: a case of food poisoning. There are layers and layers of awfulness in this movie, and it really is an unforgettable experience. The actors are all stoned out of their minds and extremely ugly. The title pretty much explains the plot, although there's not really a lot of "conquering". Maybe a better title would have been "Santa Claus Laughs at Inappropriate Times while Hanging Out with Bad Actors in Silly Outfits"? Just saying. I know it isn't as catchy, but at least it's not deceiving.

It would be impossible to sum up all the stuff that sucks about this film, so I'll break it down into what I remember most strongly: a man in an ingeniously fake-looking polar bear costume (funnier than the "bear" from Hercules in New York); an extra with the most unnatural laugh you're ever likely to hear; an ex-dope addict martian with tics; kid actors who make sure every syllable of their lines are slowly and caaarreee-fulll-yyy prrooo-noun-ceeed; a newspaper headline stating that Santa's been "kidnaped", and a giant robot. Yes, you read that right. A giant robot.

The worst acting job in here must be when Mother Claus and her elves have been "frozen" by the "Martians'" weapons. Could they be *more* trembling? I know this was the sixties and everyone was doped up, but still.

This wins the Dung Beetle Award of the year. Destined to become a Christmas classic for me!

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27 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

An American Classic of Bad Cinema

10/10
Author: JH_Kalashnikov from United States
27 January 2007

First I saw "Reefer Madness." It was bad, but great.

Then I saw "Plan 9 From Outer Space." Horrible, but enjoyable.

After that I saw "Robot Monster." Awful and yet spectacular.

Finally, I saw "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" Wow, how can you make a lame plot for a screenplay worse? By making a low budget film out of it. And that's just what Joseph Levine thought when he released this film onto an unsuspecting Earth. Now I ask you, is this indeed the WORST film of all time? My opinion: NO. In my translation of the meaning "bad film" means "unbearable, unwatchable and disposable." Not "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians." This film is a landmark in the American motion picture industry. The makers of this film actually had the guts to create and release this film. Now that takes some serious talent! Let's not forget the actors either. Surprisingly the acting isn't nearly as bad as it's made out to be (people confuse the 'acting' with the 'plot.'). The children, the Martians and even Santa Claus make one heck of an impression on a shoe-string budget film like this (don't forget that weird professor Albert Einstein wannabe). Above all, clever a production design really create a fine sense of cheesiness. Now, how about a brand new DVD 'Special Cheesy Edition' of "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians?"

"Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" is a rare and satisfying little gem of a film that broke, no, shattered all the rules of making a "good and enjoyable" movie. Now if only the bad films we get nowadays would be as bad as this one. Then they would actually be deemed "enjoyable."

I give "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" 5 frozen-stiff elves zapped by Voldar, out of 5.

A true cinematic cult classic.

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35 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

Absolute Genius!!!

1/10
Author: XDevonousX from United States
16 June 2006

This is truly the worst movie I have ever seen, but it really goes beyond that. Something this stunningly terrible simply had to be done on purpose. Every joke, every "special effect" every background, every costume is done without any kind of thought as to not looking like it was done in under fifty seconds. This film brings artistry to sub-mediocrity. Something so basely horrible defies the physics of cinematography. I could not make a worse movie if I spent absolutely no time at all making it. Someone really, really tried to make this piece of gold stink like a thousand dead scatologists. If you have a dollar on you the next time you pass by your local dollar store, do yourself a favor and revel in the worst thing you can imagine.

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18 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

I loved this film as a child

10/10
Author: Christmas-Reviewer from United States
30 November 2016

BEWARE OF FALSE REVIEWS & REVIEWERS. SOME REVIEWERS HAVE ONLY ONE REVIEW TO THEIR NAME. NOW WHEN ITS A POSITIVE REVIEW THAT TELLS ME THEY WERE INVOLVED WITH THE MOVIE. IF ITS A NEGATIVE REVIEW THEN THEY MIGHT HAVE A GRUDGE AGAINST THE FILM . NOW I HAVE REVIEWED OVER 200 HOLIDAY FILMS. I HAVE NO AGENDA. I AM HONEST

Growing up in Oxnard Ca this film always played on KTTV Channel 11 around Christmas time. It later moved to KTLA Channel 5 and Pia Zadora even did a fireside chat with television movie host Tom Hatten.

Even today watching this film is a huge part of my "Christmas traditions". It was a "Must See" when I was a child and today I still watch it (Around Christmas)". I also still watch "Rudolph" "Charlie Brown" "Frosty the Snowman" and MGM's "A Christmas Carol". One of the main reasons why I love this film is because I loved John Call as "Santa Claus". He is a huge delight. He is a terrific Santa.

In this film "Santa" gets kidnapped by Martians. The reason is that the children of Mars do not have a "Santa". They also do not know how to have "fun". So the leader of Mars goes to Earth and kidnaps Santa as well as 2 earth children. "Santa" then slowly wins over the Adult Martians even though there are certain forces against him.

Now if you are an adult (and you have never seen this) you will think this movie is terrible. Children (Who still believe in Santa) will be entertained. It is harmless fun! Even the theme song "Hooray For Santa Claus" is "Cute & Catchy".

The films low budget is all too apparent here however if this film did have a bigger budget then it might not have the weird charm.

I beg all of you to watch this film. Have a viewing party. It is a film that many people have seen and actually are afraid to admit that they enjoy it.

I am not afraid to admit that I even bought this film on Blu-Ray.

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24 out of 34 people found the following review useful:

Santa Conquers ALL

10/10
Author: Snakeeyez187 from United Kingdom
9 April 2007

Every year on Christmas Eve me and my friend exchange strange gifts with each other. Last Christmas I gave him a bike with no wheels and he gave me a video which his grand-dad gave to him once upon a time. The video was called, "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians", I instantly thought "omdays I so have to watch this!", and I did. I was hooked. SANTA VS. ET = $$$. This movie would be the wet dream for any movie watching fanboy, as I reiterate, this is SANTA VS MARTIANS for God sake! How can you NOT want to watch this and NOT like it?

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is a brilliant film made for the brilliant mind. Simple brains can't comprehend the beauty and raw voice that it embodies. People who say "I don't get it" or "it was boring" just wouldn't know a good film if it came and whacked them upside the a**.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Lots of fun

10/10
Author: loriwallace-93796
9 April 2017

Made in 1964 this film is a cult classic. Is it a great film? No! Is it fun to watch? Absolutely. Should you see? Of course. Is it safe for children? Yes.

The plot of this film is that the children of Mars are in some sort of stupor. When a father goes to the supreme leader about the problems his children are having the leader tell s them that "Children are no longer Children on Mars". Eventually the Martians are told about how on earth they have Christmas and Santa Claus.

The Martians then set out to kidnap Santa and they do along with 2 children.

Santa however is facing a problem when he gets on Mars because one the Martians does not approve of his arrival.

If your a child of the 1970's then chances are you have seen this film. It is fun to watch. You can't help but to laugh at the cheap looking "Saturday Morning Television" special effects.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Come-On everyone this Film is Fun

10/10
Author: laticewilliams from Atlanta
14 May 2017

There is plenty of films that get made that turn out bad. Hollywood has given us lots of mega turds. Every Adam Sandler movie is terrible. Also most films that featured a Saturday Night Live Character are most of the time laugh free. All of them cost millions and most of them could not ring a laugh out of me. Not to mention none of them have one moment that was worth remembering. This is not the case with "Sana Claus Conquers the Martians". It is campy but it is fun. There is plenty of memorable moments. My favorite is when the toy manufacturing machine goes haywire.

In this movie the people of Mars kidnap Santa Claus so he can bring the "Child Out" in the children of Mars. Yes its not great cinema but it is entertaining

Adults if you don't like it fine but children will. It is made for children that believe in Santa.

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