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Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Film-Making Plan 9 From Mars

4/10
Author: Michael (IHateTomatoJuice@aol.com) from Wales
1 January 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Dubious is the artistic integrity of any sci-fi story set in 'Septober'. Nevertheless, this no doubt seriously-intended seasonal concoction for the kiddies is a scream today.

Wacky sets, props and colours aside, a consistent facetious hilarity is maintained via the allusions between 'Martian' and middle-class American domesticity throughout the story of Mr Claus' exploits after being kidnapped by the eponymous planet, following their concern that their children are being brainwashed by exposure to festive 'Earth Programmes' on their intergalactic TVs. "Something is happening to the children of Mars" espouses the anguished Martian Mom Momar to her husband; "Kemar, as leader of the Martians, you must do something about it".

Supporting the possible sneaky allegory about the universally deleterious effects of TV on kids is none other than a prepubescent Pia Zadora, before she grew up to sing a couple of deleteriously awful 80s pop songs and star in a couple of deleteriously awful 80s movies. I'm not convinced that Mom's diet of 'dinner pills' didn't go someway to achieving the catatonic state of acting that Pia and her on-screen brother achieve, but there you go you can't lambast parents for too many things at once in an ostensible flick for kids. That would be subversive!

If, by the time the sing-a-long 'Hooray for Santy Claus!' end credits refrain rolls around, you're not convinced that at least some involved in this prodigious production were not under the influence of something, it is always interesting to note the air-lock resolution premise of Alien being trotted out for the second time (following It! The Terror From Beyond Space). I fail to see how anyone, even men with polar bear costume fetishes, could not unilaterally love this film; at the very least it is so vastly superior to 'Santa Claus The Movie'.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Despite My Rating,I Like Feeling Spaced Out

2/10
Author: happipuppi13 from Phx. Arizona ("Arizona Smells Funny"!- Homer Simpson)
27 December 2010

I saw this movie back in the early 1980s on local TV and found it once again on an old VHS copy at Goodwill. This Christmas weekend, "Elvira" did a special holiday outing and showed this movie,along with her sarcastic & funny comments along the way.

It's so clear here that....the movie is very silly,badly written & badly acted. It has sets that look like something children cut out of cardboard,has horrible make up & costumes for the martians (I like the Mother martian "for some reason"-ha,ha,ha )and I think they must have had a special effects budget of ..what? $100?

Despite all this,just like a few reviewers here,I like the movie because it's so bad,it's hilarious. I will say,I have never seen better acting from Pia Zadora (the daughter alien)...certainly better than her later singing career in the 80s with "The Clapping Song".

Santa's pretty convincing but how many elderly overweight guys with a white beard wouldn't be? The kids are okay,I never belittle the acting abilities of kids. I think they did a fair job. Lastly....you have to like that rock & roll classic," Hooray For Santa Claus" at the end.

This and the film are good enough for folks like myself & others who like a touch of the ridiculous now & then. For those who watch movies for everything this one is not,it's definitely not for you.

2 stars for the obvious reasons but... if I rated it for "being so bad,it's good" it'd be a 9 . (END)

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Totally Silly Fun

8/10
Author: dwashbur from United States
24 December 2010

This movie is so bad it's wonderful. It's one of my favorite Christmas movies because it obviously doesn't take itself seriously at all. The villain uses an old Wham-O Air Blaster toy to freeze Santa's elves, and you can't help but love Droppo. Even the cheesy theme song is just goofy and fun. Briefly, Martian children don't know how to have fun, but they watch Earth TV constantly and hence know about Santa Claus. The Martians decide they need Santa there to teach their kids how to laugh and be happy, so rather than just go ASK the big guy for help, they decide to kidnap him. Santa takes it all in stride and endears himself to everybody he meets except the bad guy Voldar. Two earth kids get taken to Mars with Santa, and hilarity ensues. The sets, the props, the acting, the lines - you name it, it screams "low budget," but it's done in such a way that you realize everybody KNOWS we're on a low budget so just go with it and laugh yourself sick. Watch it on its own or with the MST3K commentary, and if you don't try to see it as a "real" movie, you'll have a ball.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Hooray for Campy Christmas!

6/10
Author: evening1 from United States
21 December 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This charming movie was a delightful surprise…but how could it have not been, given the odd bedfellows of the title?

I watched his little gem with my eight-year-old son and it captivated us equally. The movie harks to a far more innocent time when space thinking was dominated by make-believe and naiveté. It was fun watching Martians talk dismissively about Earthlings and see that the little green men have the same quirks as us -- along with nasty bad guys, silly idiots, idealistic leaders, and all the rest.

"Santy" was portrayed perfectly as a cheerful soul who never let a quandary get to him -- even if the problem happened to be getting shanghaied to Mars. I loved his cheerful good-naturedness. If the movie had a bit of a flaw it was the tiresome chatter of the preternaturally well-behaved and well-spoken Earth kids who get kidnapped along with our roly-poly hero. But the climactic scene of a battle waged by toys in the Martian workshop was perfect.

We caught this film on the TV channel of the City University of New York. I don't know how else I ever would have stumbled upon this obscure oddity. But I'm glad I did. And that catchy theme music is still floating through my head a few weeks later.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

It's brought a lot of pleasure to people

4/10
Author: epa101 from United Kingdom
6 January 2010

This has been ridiculed on "The Canned Film Festival", "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and "Cinematic Titanic": the only three to be mocked on all three bad-film programmes. Everything about it is so tacky that you can't help but laugh: a Santa Claus with a pipe who says "No Sirreee", a melodramatic Martian ruler, a polar bear that would be unconvincing in a pantomine. Still, the fact it makes you laugh means that it's not that bad. It wouldn't been on all three of those programmes if there were not a lot of fun to be had from laughing at it. I'd rather own something like this than, say, Richard Harris's first film "This Sporting Life", which is so boring that there is no way of getting any enjoyment from watching it. This is a bad film with a bad plot and it does get boring in parts, but it'll cheer you up on a bad day.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

5/10
Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
24 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Classic among bad movie enthusiasts, it is, after all, geared towards children and is innocuous, with it's heart in the right place. Martians kidnap Santa Claus and two Earth kids, hoping they can bring a smile to the frowning faces of their little green children. With a title like "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians", it's certain to draw ridicule..it's just so easy to mock the costumes, sets, effects, and dialogue, but it's all directed at kids at Christmas time, so adults would find such silly dross as this a perfect target for scorn.

The scene with the giant robot or North Pole polar bear, the martians' head gear, face paint, and costumes, Santa ho-ho-ho-ing at situations which simply aren't funny(..and few are laughing, and even here it's strained and forced), newspaper front pages proclaiming in horror of Ole Saint Nick's capture at the hands of the Martians, zap guns which "freeze" victims in a temporary state which will soon wear off(..Santa is quite disappointed that his wife and elves have been zapped, but his cheery resolve is rather amazing), the "radar box", Bill McCutcheon's clumsy oafish martian Dropo (..always bumbling, stumbling about and getting in trouble), the escape from certain death(..when it appears that Santa, Billy, and Betty are doomed to be sucked out in space, somehow miraculously finding their way out through a small access tunnel), the red cave on mars where Dropo is kidnapped after villainous Voldor(Vincent Beck)mistakes him for Santa, and a broom closet in the dwelling of King Kimar. The Martian kids have their own television sets which broadcast to them specials telecast on Earth, and a live interview in Santa's workshop instigated by a jovial reporter. The machine which makes toys for the Martian children is sabotaged by Voldor who believes Santa is making his "warrior race" weak through Holiday cheer.

I could go on and on, but, again, the movie's crowd was supposed to be children, and it's spirit is aimed at this particular demographic so we as adults are gonna respond with embarrassment at it. The dressed up sets and Martian costumes instantly tickle the funny bone, and the plot is bizarre, there's just no disputing this, but I find the motives behind this admirable.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

"Santa, you will never return to Earth, you belong to Mars now."

3/10
Author: bensonmum2 from Tennessee
14 May 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The leaders of Mars are worried about their constantly melancholy children. They've seen enough earth TV to know that Santa Claus brings much joy and happiness to the children of Earth. What if Santa were to come to Mars? Could he make the Martian children happy? So, the leaders of Mars decide to kidnap Santa and bring him to their planet. Will it work?

If you scour the internet, you'll undoubtedly run across a number of Worst Movie Ever lists. But until you've seen the atrocity that is Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, I'm not sure you're qualified to make such a list. There are a lot of bad movies out there, but there's only one Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. It's bad in every conceivable way – incompetently bad acting on the part of most of the cast (Billy and Betty anyone?), some of the lamest special effects imaginable (What about that crazy polar bear?), more mugging for the camera than any one movie should be allowed (Did you catch Dropo's act?), Martian-green grease paint that comes and goes with each scene, and one of the most utterly ridiculous plots ever put to paper. Did anyone involved in the making of this thing think they were actually making a movie that was good? If so, add brain damaged cast and crew to that list of negatives. Yes, I'm fully aware that Santa Claus Conquers the Martians was intended to be a children's movie, but I'm sorry, I can't imagine a single child alive (then or now) that would sit down for more than five minutes with this abomination of a movie. In a word, it's pathetic. This is the perfect example of a movie that probably does deserve to be on a Worst Movie Ever list.

Okay, I know what you're asking yourself right now – "B2 – if the movie's as bad as you say, why have you rated it a 3/10 instead of a 1/10?" Glad you asked - as much as I hate the phrase "so bad it's good", in this case it applies in spades. I simply cannot turn away if it's on – Mystery Science Theater 3000 version or not (which, by the way, I rate a 4/5 on my MST3K rating scale). The sheer volume of craptitude draws me in like a moth to a flame. And if I'll sit and watch regardless of how much it hurts, that's got to be worth a couple of points, doesn't it?

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Abysmal

2/10
Author: John Whitehead (jwwhiteh@yahoo.com) from Washington, D.C.
15 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Immortalized on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" is sometimes included in lists of the worst movies of all time. Does it deserve this dubious distinction? I would say "no"; compared to the bombs skewered on MST3K such as "Manos: The Hands of Fate" or "Monster A Go-Go," "Santa Claus" comes off relatively well. For one thing, those responsible for this movie appear to have been able to operate a camera and microphones in a reasonably competent way, which already places it on a higher plane than some movies. So, this is definitely not one of the worst ever.

That said, "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" is nevertheless a abysmally bad movie. How bad? Well, let me put it this way: imagine the corniest, cheesiest, most broadly overacted and painfully unfunny '60s-era sitcom you might have had the misfortune to catch on Nick at Nite or TV Land some evening (I am talking "Gilligan's Island"-level bad). Now imagine a movie that makes that sitcom look like "The Wire" in comparison. This should give you some idea of how tediously stupid "Santa Claus" is.

Of the various players in this monstrosity, probably the one who escapes with at least a shred of dignity is Victor Stiles, who plays one of the two kids from Earth. Stiles brings at least a little conviction and naturalness to his role (although he also probably benefits from being one of the few cast members who does not have to wear a ridiculous costume of some kind).

By contrast, the worst player in "Santa Claus" is, without a doubt, Bill McCutcheon as the Martian Dropo (although John Call's creepy Santa Claus gives him a run for his money). The "comic relief" in this mess, Dropo will make you long for the charm and wit of Jar Jar Binks.

Do not even think about watching this without the MST3K (or Cinematic Titanic) commentary. Trust me, you will regret it.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

This movie is absolutely amazing in it's terribleness

10/10
Author: marabear-1 from United States
16 May 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I hear about this movie through an astronomy assignment at my high school. My teacher mentioned Santa Claus Conquers the Martians as the "third worst movie of all time" (I forgot to ask what the first two were). Anyways, I immediately went "Must. Watch. Movie!!!" I took it home, and watched it with a friend. We laughed so hard I had a sore throat for the next three days.

Now, the plot is absolutely terrible, the budget was about $50, and the actors were horrific, but the terribleness of it all is what makes me truly love this movie. The quality is so bad, i think my eyes started to bleed, and at one point I couldn't make out the spaceship from the background. That made me laugh pretty hard, but the best was the scene when they arrive at the North poll - I won't say much, but it involves a robot made out of an old box spray painted silver, and a man in a polar bear suit. If that won't make you laugh, what will?

All I can say is, this is a classic. Never will I spend another Christmas without the martians.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Cinematic Masterpiece

Author: Ian Smith from United States
25 January 2007

It was a cinematic masterpiece from a whole other world. I have yet to see another movie with such a caliber in aliens and Santa Claus. With the poor little martian needing presents and kidnapping Santa I mean it rocked my world. I love the directors work with symbolism and the director of photography must have been a genius. It may not have the best in make-up and special effects but once you get past that it is a movie for the whole family to enjoy. I have watched this movie over a dozen times and it gets better every time (maybe because I have memorized all the dialog). On a serious note I would recommend this to you and you should go out to your video store and rent this movie, sit down with the kids and enjoy. Bottom 100 is inappropriate for this film.

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