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Believe it or not, I found a copy of this thing. I just watched
it. Wow. That's all I can say. I have to comment on it further now that
I've seen it again. This has got to be one of the worst movies I've seen,
and I've seen a lot of bad ones. I've seen Herschell Gordon Lewis' "Jimmy
the Boy Wonder". I've seen "Nukie", "Indian Superman", "Devil Monster",
"Return to Boggy creek", and many more. But "Santa and the Ice Cream
is really a wonder of bad, bad cinema. I can't say that enough. I can
see the producer telling everybody who questioned him during production,
"But it's a KID's movie. It doesn't MATTER." Like that's an excuse for
this sort of thing.
As I said in my previous comment, I saw this in the theater when I was ten. I think it came out in the spring, which caused some confusion about the Ice Cream Bunny. I mean, is that supposed to be the Easter Bunny or what? And why is Santa Claus in it? I didn't understand then, and 30 years later I still don't understand. Anyway, here's the story.
A skinny dimestore Santa with a large sweat stain on his butt is stuck in the sand on a Florida beach. That's a very surreal image for a kid from Minnesota who's used to seeing Santa in snow. His reindeer (shown in stock footage) got too hot and flew home without him. Santa falls asleep and sends a telepathic message to kids living in a nearby housing development. The message stops time until they respond to it. They all come help him with their pet animals - a horse, a cow, a sheep, a pig, a donkey, and a guy in a gorilla suit. Must be a pretty lax housing development to allow those kind of animals. Nothing works, so Santa tries to cheer the kids up by telling them the story of Thumbelina. The poor audience (us) doesn't just hear it; we see it, too. It's a movie within a movie! When it rolls, we see the credits and everything. That's pretty darn confusing to a kid who thought the movie already started twenty minutes ago. Soon we learn that it's also a movie within a movie, so we're seeing a movie within a movie within a movie! AHH!!!
Whew. The movie within a movie is narrated by a tinny loudspeaker at a cheap amusement park called Pirates World. When the speaker talks, we see a closeup of it. This happens way too many times to count. The young lady who plays Thumbelina is an excellent singer, and I can't help but like her. Trouble is, her story goes on forever and ever and ever. The sets look like something from a high school play. They make Santa on the beach look pretty good!
Then just when you think the movie has turned into Thumbelina and you've given up all hope of seeing Santa again, it ends. It even says "The End" on the screen. So you're getting up ready to run out of the theater and there's Santa on the beach again! After an hour plus of this business we finally get to see the Ice Cream Bunny. He's driving an antique fire engine through the woods to the beach. He's so close now. Please hurry, Mr. Bunny. Save Santa and end the movie NOW! No, wait - now he's taking a long shortcut through Pirates World! HOW'D THAT HAPPEN???
OK, now he's back on the beach. It still takes several minutes to cross those last few hundred feet. Turns out he and Santa are old friends. He gives Santa a ride on his truck, and when you're wondering why they left the sleigh behind it blinks out of sight and magically returns to the North Pole. The kids point at the sky as if they can see it flying. The end.
Wow. Did I mention the really bad singing in the Santa part of the movie? Did I mention the endless kazoos, and the talk-singing into the kazoos? I watched much of this standing up, pacing.
If you're brave - if you're really brave - there's another copy for sale on half.com. I haven't seen it on ebay or in Amazon Z Shops, and I've been looking for a while. Here's your chance.
My head hurts. Me go now.
Bad doesn't begin to explain this movie, And I use this term movie
My dad took my brother and I to see it at the theater when it opened in Houston, Texas in 1972. Apparently my Dad, brother and I are the last living humans that actually saw it, because there are no comments or voting as of this posting.
It's actually a really bad movie within another really bad movie. Come on, Santa Clause on the beach? It's a running joke in my family over the past 20 years that when we see a bad movie we always say 'yeah, but it's no Santa Clause and the Ice Cream Bunny' No joke. Of course having said this, I an currently trying to purchase this sorry excuse for entertainment. Go figure.
Wow I was shocked when I searched this movie and received a hit. I was telling my children about the worst movie I had seen as a child.Which happened to be this one. My mom had taken all six of us to a Saturday matinée at the Palace Theatre in Norwich,Conn which was a weekly tradition.It had to be later than the original date for this which was 1972. The second feature was Empire of the Ant's.My mom almost got up and left during the Santa and Ice Cream Bunny movie because it was so bad.All we remember was Santa sitting in a sled that was stuck in sand.And he kept saying hohoho.I think he told the story of Jack and the Beanstalk also while he was stuck.
SANTA AND THE ICE CREAM BUNNY - first thought: What the
Found this video for rental at Family Video at 76th & National in Milwaukee this week and it sounded so atrociously awful and ridiculous I just HAD to rent it. Never heard of this movie before... It indeed was interesting viewing of one of the worst movies EVER.
For those who are seeking this video, the copy I picked up says: copyright United Entertainment, Inc. United Home Video - 1987. Product #4006
So apparently this company acquired the rights to release this on tape.
Now the video box description mentions that Santa tells the children the story of Thumbelina, and segues into that movie...
But in the video on the tape, the structure of the film has been changed.
This video does contain THUMBELINA, but not as a "movie within a movie" as in the original version. Instead THUMBELINA and all the theme-park sequences that go with it are tacked on to the end of the "Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny" story.
So in this video, Santa begins to tell the story, and the picture fades to black. Then comes back from black and now Santa has finished telling the story... wrapping up with a an incoherent moral that sounds quite nonsensical considering the Thumbelina story had been excised from the body of the SICB film. Incidentally, the Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny portion of the film clocks in at about 30 minutes.
In watching the THUMBELINA film on the video at the end of the SICB story I was interested in finding out more about the Pirate's World Amusement Park in Dania, Florida. There is considerable footage of the theme park rides in the film, and this movie could be looked at as a historical film/video document of one of Florida's Lost Roadside Attractions. Perhaps it is one of the only motion-picture visual records remaining of what that park was like. I thought the Steeplechase Ride looked cool but would not pass muster today considering safety regulations.
Pirate's World was successful enough in its early days, but the opening of Walt Disney World in 1971 was the beginning of the end for that theme park. By 1973 it was in bankruptcy and in 1975 it was closed.
I would not be surprised if SANTA AND THE ICE CREAM BUNNY, released in 1972, in some way contributed to the demise of Pirate's World.
This movie is so awful, it probably scared potential theme-park visitors away!!!
I saw this awful movie with my house mates in 2001 or 2002. It was so horrible it was hysterical!!! We laughed for hours after seeing this film. It is incredibly disjointed and makes no sense. The movie is VERY cheaply made. In one scene you could tell how many times they had to shoot the scene because the firetruck left wet tracks every time they re-did it. Also, at one point the back of Santa's pants look like he had an accident in them! Who the heck is the Ice Cream Bunny anyway??? If you enjoy watching bad movies because they are so bad, this is one to see! I will always remember this movie and hope I can buy it to share it with my friends and family.
I had heard a lot about this movie before. I heard more about this movie than anyone deserves to hear. Still, I had no idea what I was in for when I finally got to see Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny. (Sitting here, I realize it's hard to articulate my true reaction to this movie). Obviously, from the comments above, it's an awful movie. Yet it has a strange draw. Like a really, really bad car accident, you can't quite turn away. And just when you think it can't get any worse, the Ice Cream Bunny actually reaches up to hold the head of his costume on while nodding vigorously at Santa's ramblings. Sad thing is, that's just a SMALL problem with this movie. My friend loves this movie. He actually recites the lines along with Santa and the gang. When I first left my initial viewing, I thought about calling the cops on him...but the more I think about it, there is a strange appeal to SICB. If you have any appreciation of the absurd and surreal then you really must see this movie. (Assuming you head doesn't explode during one of the musical numbers.)
Yes, this is among the very worst films ever made--even worse than
MANOS HANDS OF FATE and light-years worse than anything made by Ed
Wood, Jr.--it's that bad! Incompetent, stupid and saccharine--you just
can't imagine how terrible this film is! It only avoids mention on
IMDb's bottom 100 because so far there aren't enough votes to make the
minimum needed for this infamous list.
The film begins with Santa and his sleigh (minus the reindeer) stuck in the sand in Florida and Christmas is just around the corner. Some kids discover him and try to help--at which point, you notice just how creepy and untalented this Santa is--and you wonder what kids would be fooled into thinking this is the genuine Saint Nick. Plus, he talks and talks and talks--he simply won't shut up--yet amazingly the kids don't run home and call the cops or walk away in boredom. Instead, they do what any kids would do--get some guy in a gorilla suit to try to dislodge the sleigh. They also try using sheep and several other half-hearted ideas. When these don't work, Santa decides to take his anger out on the kids and tells them an irrelevant story. This becomes the film "Thumbelina" (1970) and this prior film (made by the same director) consists of most of the film! Talk about a crappy way to reuse old footage. There's more to it than this, but frankly after a while I simply didn't care.
Let's face it, this film looks like a production by a local community theater--a very bad one at that. To save money, they filmed this anywhere they could locally--on the beach and at a now defunct amusement park (perhaps this film killed it). The acting, direction, production values and every aspect of the film is as poor as you can find. To make it all much worse, the film is filled with original songs--the most god-awful and annoying songs as sung by people who often couldn't carry a tune. The total effect is to make what is probably the worst Santa movie ever made--much, much worse than "Santa Claus vs. the Martians" and it's craptastic tunes. I am not exaggerating with this comparison! Aside from showing closeup footage of roadkill being eaten by vultures, I can't think of anything less entertaining for the kids. This film is likely to make parents to commit self-harm or beat the kiddies, so avoid it at all costs unless you are a genuine bad film junkie!
By the way, schlock-meister Barry Mahon made a ton of porno films before switching to saccharine kids' films late in his career. Perhaps that is why I got such creepy vibes from his Santa.
I remember seeing this film on TV once (I think it was on AMC, Why, WHY?)
and oh god, it is horrible enough to make "Santa Claus Conquers the
Martians" look like "The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus".
It basically deals with Santa being stranded in Florida and his so-called struggle to go back to the north pole. He does not make too much effort, since all he seems to do is sing corny songs,dance corny jigs with a bunch of kids (whom all must be traumatized for all of these years!) and deal with a bunch of whacked out losers, including a storyteller who looks like the chubby Anna Nichole Smith and married (yes, its true) an anthropomorphic mole that would make even Sid and Marty Krofft scream in rage and disgust.Oh and don't forget the other title character, who looks like a rejected baseball/football mascot.
If you run across this film, AVOID IT LIKE A MAD VIRUS!
I just watched this movie online... Wow!! It's so hideously bad it
makes some notoriously bad movies by Edward D. Wood look like Citizen
Kane, the only motivation I could think that this abomination was
produced in the first place was simply because some guys had a couple
of tacky-looking fancy dress outfits laying around in the loft and
decided to make a movie with them.
The plot (or lack of) consists of a particularly creepy Santa stranded on a beach in Florida because his sleigh is trapped beneath two grains of sand (we learn that his reindeer have already flown back to the North Pole courtesy of some grainy-looking stock footage). Santa sings a song and waves his hand around a lot and telepathically enlists the help of some neighbourhood kids to bring their household pets to help him out of this pickle. One girl turns up with a guy in a Gorilla suit, while others with a variety of farmyard animals. Even Huck Finn & Tom Sawyer join Santa's helpers, but this is all to no avail, so he decides to tell the story of Thumbelina to some REALLY bored looking children...
Now, the version I watched didn't have the story of Thumbelina at this point (like the original release) and it simply fades to black and then back to Santa being creepy.
For no reason whatsoever, some other guy in a white rabbit costume drives a Fire Truck with an awful lot of children passengers towards the beach only to detour through an amusement park and finally get to the beach while the children sing songs. Santa and the rabbit character mumble to each other and then they take off. The kids run back to Santa's sleigh and it mysteriously vanishes.
Then comes the Thumbelina adaptation, which, in a nutshell is a fairly pretty girl singing songs around the same amusement park Mr. Rabbit took an inane detour through. The narration of the story sounds like it's coming through a PA system and the sets look like something in the average 4th graders Christmas nativity. However, this is the best part of SC&TICB simply because the girl who plays Thumbelina can carry a tune when she sings.
I can only imagine that the intention of this movie was to advertise "Pirate World", the amusement park where most of it is based, quite the way Santa Claus (1985) advertised a certain fast food restaurant and soft drink brand.
As a movie, this is the poorest you could ever find. Everything about it is amateur, from the acting to the set design to the photography, editing and direction. Even the songs are akin to the type a 6-year-old could come up with. The kazoo-heavy score is also inferior. This could surpass for entertainment as a movie, and if it's intended to be a 90-minute advert, it fails at that too. Pirate World shut down around 1975. With this movie to advertise it... I'm expecting Santa's wake very soon...
I'm one of the few who saw this thing in the theaters. That was in Minneapolis, MN. I never remembered the title until I found it here, but I remember the movie. I was just about ten years old. I attended with my younger sister and my older cousin. I was very confused by this movie. Maybe someone will put it out on DVD so I can relive the confusion. Wow.
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