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Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
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Index 221 reviews in total 

The Vidiot Reviews...

Author: capone666 from Canada
9 December 2011

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

The problem with Santa vs. the Martians is that, if they win, one kid will end up getting a single-parent household for Christmas.

Fortunately, it's not someone's father being abducted in this sci-fi film, but Father Christmas himself.

When it's decided that the children of Mars (Chris Month, Pia Zadora) need to gain their own individuality, two Martian parents take it upon themselves to kidnap Santa Claus, a jovial toy-maker from Earth that their offspring watch via electromagnetic waves.

But when a Martian extremist learns of the parents plot, he fears for the future of his green- skinned race, and sets out to kill Claus.

With its subversive storyline, substandard special effects and asinine acting, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians excels at being horrendous.

Besides, it's hard to know which one to root for: the aliens, or the immortal, fat, elf that always wants to manhandle your children at the mall. (Red Light)

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Have Yourself a Kitschy Little Christmas...

Author: MetalGeek from New Jersey, USA
10 December 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" is one of those movies I've read much about and heard much about as a bad-movie enthusiast, but I never saw it for myself till last night, when I found it on DVD (digitally remastered, even!) on the shelf at the local dollar store. How could I possibly resist? 81 minutes later, I have finally seen this legendary holiday kitsch classic and I am in perfect accord with the many other reviews and articles that I have read about it. "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" is indeed the Perfect Storm of holiday craptacularity. Even measured against the low standards of other low budget 1960s movies aimed at kids, "Santa Claus..." is still hellishly bad. The story is ridiculous, the dialogue is wooden, the acting is terrible, the costumes are ugly, the sets are cheap. The one thing the film has going for it is John Call as Santa Claus, who appears to be the only person in the film with any sort of acting ability, and who makes for a convincing Santa. The rest of the film? Oy.

Our story begins on Mars. Martians are humanoid creatures with green makeup on their faces and helmets with what appears to be random plumbing parts sticking out of them. The Martian leader wonders why all of the children on his planet don't seem happy. They sit around all day moping in front of their "video devices" watching broadcasts from Earth with blank expressions on their faces. (in other words, they're exactly like Earth children!) He and the rest of the Martian council leaders consult their elder, who tells them that the children of Mars have forgotten how to have fun. Since it is Christmas time on Earth, they decide to head there and kidnap Santa Claus (oh no!!), under the assumption that he can crank out enough toys to make Martian kids happy again. Yeah, that's the whole story.

While on Earth looking for the Big Red Guy the Martians encounter two typical clean cut early '60s American kids, and take them along for the trip to the North Pole to grab Santa. When the kids try to foil the Martians' evil plot, they are chased around by a hilariously awesome looking man in a polar bear suit and are recaptured by the Martians' robot. Santa is tagged and bagged, and he and the children are taken to Mars, where Santa is provided with an automated toy workshop and told to get to work. Santa does so willingly (he's a jolly old elf, of course) and Mars' children quickly learn to laugh and smile again. This does not sit well with one of the Martian council leaders, who's totally old school and wants Mars to return to its position as "a planet of war!" Fortunately, his plans to interrupt Santa's Martian toy operation are foiled by Santa and his young Earthling helpers, who shoot a lot of bubbles and rubber balls at him. Once the bad guy has been foiled, the Martian boss eventually realizes the error of his ways and allows Santa and the children to return to Earth, since they've found a goofball Martian who fits into Santa's suit and can therefore take over as Mars' official Jolly Old Elf from now on. Everyone smiles, an annoying song called "Hooray for Santy Claus" is played, the end.

I can only imagine how kids must've reacted to this movie in 1964. Was this a big hit? I doubt it. I wonder if a lot of kids begged to leave the theatre before it was over. Playing this movie for modern-day children would be a waste of time, because the film is so plodding and slow moving that they'd be screaming at Mom to rip the DVD out of the player and put on Spongebob within ten minutes or so.

If there was ever a movie that was begging to be re-made by Tim Burton (or possibly Rob Zombie), this is it. "Santa Claus Conquers The Martians" belongs on your DVD shelf right next to "Silent Night, Deadly Night" to make the perfect Holiday Double Feature from Hell.

Every bad-movie enthusiast needs to see this movie at least once before they die. Now that I have, I don't ever want to see it again.

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Deck the Halls of Mars with Folly

Author: wes-connors from Los Angeles
21 February 2010

"Martian children are addicted to Earth's television shows featuring Santa Claus. This enrages their parents, who travel to Earth to kidnap Santa himself. On arrival, they kidnap two zealous children who lead them to 'Santa's Workshop' at the North Pole. They return to Mars with Santa and the children in tow, but are thwarted when he converts the Martian children with unstoppable Yuletide joy," according to the DVD sleeve's synopsis.

"Santa Claus, you're coming with us!" was the line that got me. See if you can watch it straight through, with a friend, and not crack a smile. This amazingly silly film was obviously intended for young kids to see during Saturday afternoons in December, first in the cinema, and later on TV (just like the Martian children glued to their set). Or, maybe the whole project was a plot designed by parents to make their children go outside to play.

Mean and mustached Vincent Beck (as Voldar) does well as the bad Martian; later, he guest-starred as the villainous "Megazor" on "Lost in Space", a show which (more often than not) accomplished much with small resources. Reputedly, Gene Lindsey is the man in the polar bear suit, but he can't bee seen; later, he guest-starred as "Randall Drew" (Roxanne's brother) on "Dark Shadows", a show sparking the imagination on a limited budget.

With a small budget, your really need a big imagination. "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" has a few good lines, a phallic set statue (as the Martian kids watch TV), and a nice view of the sky as seen from Mars (see Saturn?) - but, there isn't enough creativity aboard. John Call (as Santa Claus) and Bill McCutcheon (as Dropo) try their best with the script, and 1980s celebrity Pia Zadora (as Girmar) debuts. Milton Delugg's music is nicely done.

**** Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (11/14/64) Nicholas Webster ~ John Call, Vincent Beck, Bill McCutcheon, Pia Zadora

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Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) *

Author: JoeKarlosi from U.S.A.
13 December 2009

Nobody expects a film with a title like this to be serious, and certainly this one wasn't - which helped a little, despite it being terrible. Here, cheesy Martians travel to Earth with a clunky robot to kidnap Santa and two Earth children, and take them back to Mars in the hope of bringing some good cheer to their own planet and their depressed Martian offspring. But there is one villainous Martian who thinks Santa is nothing but a troublesome fat man in a red suit, and tries to put a stop to him. A bad film to be sure, but I must confess I found the title song "Hooray for Santa Claus" fun in a definitely offbeat sort of way. * out of ****

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A Crazy Christmas Movie!!!

Author: Pumpkin_Man from United States
15 November 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was like a Christmas movie on drugs! There are aliens, robots, cheesy special effects, and Santa Claus. There are quite a few laughs at the silly dialog and fake battle sequences. In the end, this is a pretty good movie. When all the children of Mars become sad that they don't have anyone to spread holiday cheer, Kimar and his group travel to Earth to kidnap Santa. Along the way, they also kidnap two children named Betty & Bill. When they get to Mars, everybody loves that Santa is there, except Voldar who tries to get rid of him before Christmas, because he thinks Santa is corrupting the minds of the children of Mars. Will Santa, Betty, Bill, Kimar, and the children of Mars be able to stop Voldar? I'd definitely recommend SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS!!!

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Good kiddie film only

Author: oscar-35 from working in Movieland
13 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*Spoiler/plot- 1964, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Martian children are addicted to Earth's TV shows showing Santa Claus and Christmas matters. The enrages their parents who travel to Earth to kidnap Santa himself back to Mars. On arriving on Earth, the martians grab two Earth kids who lead them to the North pole workshop of St Nick. All leave for Mars. But the plan is thwarted when Snata converts all the Martian kids with unstoppable Yuletide joy and love. *Special stars- Pia Zadora as a martian. John Call is a recognized TV actor from the 60's. He usually play baddies with foreign accents. *Theme- Galactic themes with childish views will often win the day. *Based on- Santa Claus story. *Trivia/location/goofs- A strange melding of seasonal novelty film and science fiction. Pia Zadora first film role. Several known kiddie show comedy actors fill out the martian cast. Be sure to see the martian pistols in the film. They are over-the-counter Whammo "air blasters" of the day. *Emotion- Good kiddie film only for very small children, over that age the acting is abysmal 101 and sickening sweet like a Saturday morning kid show.

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Brilliantly Terrible, Horribly Funny

Author: Movie_Reviewer123
23 July 2009

Why did I, a very critical reviewer, give this movie 10/10? Because it is the best comedy I have ever seen.

The plot is set in Cold War-era United States and Mars. Santa Claus is accepted as real by the world, with TV interviewers flocking to make a report on this years' Christmas. However, elsewhere on Mars, the Martians see how cheerful children on Earth act compared to the Mars children, and after discussion with the Martian leader, they decide to go to Earth to kidnap Santa.

Is that it? Yes, but this film is a comedy and nothing but.

The obviously bad acting, obviously fake effects and props, the ridiculous plot: all are evidence of an intentional parody.

Looking at this movie from the perspective that it is a Sci-fi movie, it's an atrociously bad movie. Looking at it from a perspective that it is a comedy movie, it's brilliant.

The directors intentionally made every mistake possible while making the movie, used as low of a budget as possible, and basically did everything to make it so bad, it's funny.

Cinematic Titanic recently made a rather funny parody of this movie, but this movie was nothing but a hilarious comedy at the start.

It's brilliantly terrible, horribly funny.

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Cult classic...

Author: americayay from United States
8 October 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It's not a serious movie. The production value is awful. The lines are cheesy. The plot is utterly ridiculous. The robot is made of cardboard, and visibly so. The children have the acting abilities of a Life cereal commercial. Wait. That's the adults too. It's even mildly racist by making near every alien a person of Hispanic decent with green paint smeared on their faces, but all of the humans are pretty little blue eyed white children. But this is a CULT CLASSIC! If you go in with a sense of humor, this movie is just awesome! If you're expecting a movie that's actually GOOD, then you'll be sorely disappointed. This is truly the WEIRDEST Christmas movie you'll ever see, but it is hilarious!

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Good for Laughs, with Catchy Theme Song

Author: mrb1980
15 June 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Those who have seen "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" can certainly understand why this is a perennial favorite of the bad-movie crowd. The script is ridiculous, the acting generally pathetically bad, and the "special effects" could have been created by a second-grader. However, I do think it's better than a lot of junk that we're exposed to nowadays, at least on an entertainment level.

The Martian king (Kimar), his wife, the mom (Momar), and their two kids (Bomar and Girmar) start off the movie with the kids unhappy and listless with their Martian existence. So, Kimar decides that the best solution is to kidnap Santa Claus and bring him to Mars in order to cheer things up. So, Santa Claus and a couple of earth kids are abducted and brought to Mars (despite the Martian bad guy Voldar's attempt to rub out Santa), where all sorts of "hilarity" ensues. Santa makes everyone happy, so he and the kids return to earth as the catchy song "Hooray for Santa Claus" plays on the soundtrack.

I like this movie for the laughs it provides, even though its juvenile plot moves like molasses sometimes. As most folks know, Girmar is played by a very young Pia Zadora, though the rest of the cast is mostly unknown actors. There's atrocious dialogue to spare, and once you've heard "Hooray for Santa Claus" you may never get the song out of your head. Depending on your sense of humor, "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" can become an annual holiday tradition at your house. Of course, you may end up throwing it in the trash instead.

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Author: Bleeding-Skull from Review Land
14 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Martians, upset that their children have become obsessed with TV shows from Earth which extoll the virtues of Santa Claus, start an expedition to Earth to kidnap the one and only Santa. While on Earth, they kidnap two lively children that lead the group of Martians to the North Pole and Santa. The Martians then take Santa and the two children back to Mars with them. Voldar, a particularly grumpy Martian, attempts to do away with the children and Santa before they get to Mars, but their leader Lomas stops him. When they arrive on Mars, Santa, with the help of the two Earth children and a rather simple-minded Martian lackey, overcomes the Martians by bringing fun, happiness and Christmas cheer to the children of Mars.

This is the non-Mystery Science Theater version of this film. This film is a so bad, it's good. Just pour an egg nog on this one.

Awesomely Bad Scale: * * * * out of 4.

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