Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) Poster

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Lots of fun
loriwallace-937969 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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I loved this film as a child
Christmas-Reviewer30 November 2016

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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Come-On everyone this Film is Fun
laticewilliams14 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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Paging Edward D. Wood
amherst528222 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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Can something this dumb really be harmless?
mstomaso25 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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Santa Claus Conquers the Martians... and our hearts.
zmaturin11 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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An American Classic of Bad Cinema
JH_Kalashnikov27 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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Ludicrous, yet charming, Christmas-based nonsense
Red-Barracuda21 January 2015
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is a low budget kid's movie from the early 60's. It has a reputation as one of the worst movies ever made. But, similar to most such famously trashed films, it actually turns out to be nowhere near the worst of the worst. More accurately, this could be described as an enjoyable slice of cheese. Sure, its rubbish on several levels but it also happens to be memorable on several other levels.

The story, such as it is, has the Martians kidnapping Santa Claus and, in the process, abducting two Earth children as well. You see, the Martians want to enjoy Christmas as well. With a plot-line as moronic as that, there's really no point in splitting hairs over details and instead just sit back and watch what unfolds. The sets, costumes and make-up are all bargain-basement but they all work well enough within the confines of the plastic coated world that they exist in. Some of the highlights of the film as a whole include an angry Martian and friendly but stupid Martian, an impressively unconvincing and fake polar bear, a comedy punch up and last, yet surely best of all, a truly infectious theme song about Santy Claus. In the final analysis, there's enough strangeness here to qualify this as a bona fide cult item. It's poor, yet simultaneously quite good. Come on now; let's hear it for Santy Claus!
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The best worst awful awesome movie ever!
Torgo_Approves31 May 2006

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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Santa Conquers ALL
Snakeeyez1879 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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Absolute Genius!!!
XDevonousX16 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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A kind of clumsy magic, very savory; the charm and integrity of some primitive productions
Cristi_Ciopron7 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I think that the main magic of many of these endearing old camp films comes from the fact that they undoubtedly have something amiable, cordial .In these things, SANTA … excels. From this came a sort a primitive poetry that has emotional relevance and can still be enjoyed, tasted. The effects were clumsy and what not, yet the touch was light and amiable. It elicited, on the viewer's part, a complicity. SANTA … is in no way a classic; but it is a cordial amiable funny movie very aware of its limitations, humble yet confident. It was the joyfulness of the pictures made by another race of movie makers. This is what has been lost since, and is missing today.

Such films have an undeserved fame, an unmerited bad reputation; they are not bad, they are clumsy. There are thousands of worst movies; and more clumsy.

These are picturesquely clumsy. This is their specific. Only the philistines take them for being 'bad', or even 'the worst'.

SANTA … was so long ago labeled, classified, that,as a new—comer to the cult,I knew what to expect—and I was not disappointed. I suspect of hypocrisy those who pretend to be amazed (negatively) by what this film is about—or about what it looks like. Come on, we all already knew—the film but confirms us. Its cult precedes it.

Santa Claus is a funny ,serene Sci-Fi adventure for kids. I have seen for the first time as a 29 yrs. man,and liked it.I can only guess what a fun experience might this film be for a kid. It is clumsy in a way so humble, so modest, that it's endearing. It is a nice joyride, colorful and amusing. It is cheerful ,childish and clumsy. I do not understand the sour bitter compact prejudice against it. It's not much to be said about SANTA CLAUS; what can one comment about a nice joke, or about an unpretentious fairy tale?
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Love to See This Film Restored
johnblackkjr1 June 2017
It hard for me to believe that this film is now in public domain. Because there is "No Rights Holder" anybody can show this film for free . That's too bad because this film is desperately needs to be restored.

So what is with all the hate? This film in reality has a strange/weird vibe to it and it makes enjoyable.

The story is simple. Martians kidnap Santa Claus. The martians need Santa to bring joy to their children.

If this film gets remade it will be bad. For all the hate on this film it is not really all that bad. If you want to see a terrible film then watch "Christmas Grace" or "Salvation Street"
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People Need To Lighten Up About This Movie
sddavis6314 January 2010
This is certainly a consensus pick as one of the worst (if not the worst) movies ever made - and for that very reason I've always wanted to watch it. Now I have, and my suggestion to everyone is - lighten up. Yes, it's bad. The sets are dreadful - worse than you used to see on Saturday morning kids' shows. The special effects are weak - although to be honest I've seen worse portrayals of space flight. And the costumes are hilarious - especially the polar bear and the robot. But come on - you have to admit that there's a certain "cuteness" to the story of Martians coming to earth to kidnap Santa Claus so that he can bring happiness to their children. All the characters are pretty one- dimensional. There's good guys and bad guys and fun guys and kids from both Earth and Mars. No one gets particularly well developed. And then, of course, there's Santa. In all honesty, I thought John Call did a decent job as the jolly old man. In this age of high tech special effects and big budget movies there's no doubt that this looks pretty weak - and even by the standards of 1964 it was still pretty weak. But it's good fun, and for the fun alone I don't think it deserves its reputation as one of the worst movies ever. What's left to say, except - "Hurray for Santy Claus!" 4/10
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A Very Cute Christmas Movie!
Rainey Dawn7 December 2016
This is one of those really dorky movies - extremely geeky! Yet it's fun, cute and a bit sweet... a little bit on the freakishly cool side too. It's one of the oddest movies ever made. It's very much kid friendly so if you have youngsters and are looking for a different kind of holiday film then you might want to try this movie. It's not great at all but it is one of those "so bad it's good" type of holiday family films.

I acquired a copy of this movie through the Sci-Fi Classics 50-Films Pack put out by Mill Creek. I'm very glad they added this one - it's a refreshing change. I've just finished re-watching this film and I'm reviewing it just about 2 1/2 weeks before Christmas. It was great timing for me to get this film pack and I had no idea this movie was in the batch of films until I received it.

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Why the Hate?
Movie-Time-Everytime12 September 2017
This film is not that bad. It is weird but for what it is it works wonders. To me this film was part of the annual must see movies when it popped up on television during Christmas. Yes the plot is silly. The acting silly but you know what "I still enjoy this film" because at the end of the day it still told a story and it entertained me.

Now the lo frills special effects help makes this film charming. It is very sad that this film is in the public domain. Which means everybody can release this film on DVD also there is no money that can be made from a restoration which this film sadly needs.

If you don't know the story in a nutshell:

Martian ruler Kimar (Leonard Hicks) is upset that the children of Mars are lazy and under the influence of too much pop culture from Earth. They are obsessed with the planet's television programs and don't want to do much of anything. In an attempt to get the kids peppy again, Kimar orders the kidnapping of Santa Claus (John Call), hoping that the jolly old toy maker will know how to cheer the children up again. But two Earth children are also nabbed, and this complicates things for Kimar.
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Brilliantly Terrible, Horribly Funny
Movie_Reviewer12323 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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This thing is so bad ...
Kenneth Eagle Spirit9 January 2007
That it is hilariously good fun. With a plot simple enough for a three year old to grasp there is nothing to follow, nothing to think about, and nothing to remember. You just watch. Personally I think this is camp at its best. Some things are Cult Classics not because they're good but because they are just so bad you can't help but love the ugly puppy. This dog is about as ugly as you can get. But, hey, its for Christmas. Christmas is pretty homely too after the tree and wrappings have been thrown into the burn pile out back. Acting? Sound track? Continuity? Plot? Character development? Photography? Choreography? It is to laugh ... Ho, ho, ho. Which is exactly what makes it so much fun. Especially if you're three years old.
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Christmas Comedy Treat!
Dr Moo22 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is hilarious. Seriously. I couldn't stop watching it.

The plot is about what happens when Saint Nicholas himself is kidnapped by Martians and they also kidnap two Earth-Children to help them find him as there's too many of his impersonators for them to identify the real thing. The premise is daft but the execution is brilliant as you really do believe that you are seeing real-life Martians kidnapping Santa from the North Pole. Taking him to their base on Mars all chaos breaks loose but Santa doesn't actually conquer the Martians at all meaning that the title is a lie but if you can get past the misleading title you'll find this to be an incredible Christmas treat that is not to be missed, in fact you have no excuse to miss this as it's in the public domain and the whole thing is on YouTube for free.

The acting, directing, writing, effects and sets are all superb. This didn't win any awards which is nothing short of daylight robbery, this movie is so good that it puts the likes of "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Dark Knight" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" to shame for how shoddy they are; I didn't laugh even once at any of them but every moment of this is spectacular comedy. I give this ten out of ten!
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Hooray For Santy Claus! Does It Snow On Mars? Oh Well. At Least They Have a Droppo Claus! Hooray!
johnstonjames18 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
hooray! it's Christmas time and Santa is coming! that is if he doesn't get abducted by aliens again or something.

a lot of people think the Avco Embassy retro classic 'Santy Claus Conquers the Martians' is a stupid lump of cole, or even something worse. HOW MEAN! i think it's funny. i look forward to it every Christmas and i love to drink alcoholic egg nogg and clap my hands and happily sing the Milton DeLugg theme song. oooh. did i just say that? i need to get out more.

but seriously. does anyone think that John Call is really the actual Santa Claus? either that or they got him from some mental institution because this guy acts like he's the real thing. i mean John Call doesn't just act in this, he's obviously living the FN role. i personally think he's the real Santa pretending to be an actor because nobody can be this convincing. no actor can possibly throw themselves this much into a performance. either he's the real thing or he's gone over the deep end. i kinda hope this Santa doesn't come to my house because he seems like he's lost his marbles in sugar plum land. like Christmas on hard drive. i'd hate to see what he'd do if you were naughty and made him mad.

this movie is a bargain basement 'Toyland'. it might not be as good as Disney. but it's a helluva lot funnier. the robot was funny and the guy in the stuffy polar bear suit was even funnier. m.s. Claus was a total freak.

the dialogue, even though mostly atrocious, offers some deep insights into children and humanity. upon seeing a Martian(at least i think it's a martian, that looks like plumbing fixtures on the helmets) the little earth girl asks "what R those things on yer haid?", to which the impatient Martian replies, "they are sophisticated antennae". the little girl then questions " duh, R yew a teevee set?". the disgusted Martian then scowls," is that what you want to do to the intelligent children on Mars? turn them into nimcompoops like these earth brats". how true, how true. and how very deeply insightful.

i thought Droppo was a tard and Chochum didn't seem as wise as everybody said he was. those are also the ugliest elves i've ever seen. Volder the evil bad guy was cool though. he's the only one who makes any sense. he's thinks it's a all a bad idea and wants to kill Santa. i like Santa, but he has no business on Mars and is an offense to Martian culture and tradition.

still what would Christmas be without this cheapo freak show. it's schlocky but hilarious, and that's a convincing, if not kinda scary Santa Claus. funny when i was a little kid this movie used to scare me and give me nightmares. i used to close my eyes because i was afraid of the robot. i was also kind of afraid of this Santa. shows what dunces kids are. now i think it's so funny i use it for laughs. in the immortal words of John Call, who i think might be the real thing, " Merry Christmas and AWAAAAAAAY!!!!
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Brilliant film...
whammy66620 February 2006
Here it is, one of the best B-movie scifi films I have had the pleasure of seeing...the best Christmas movie next to Jack Frost (the one with the killer snowman). This is the best film I have paid a dollar for. I had wanted to see this and I had went to the dollar store and WHAMMO! There it was...Santa Claus Conquers The Martians on beautiful DVD. I got home, watched it, and laughed my butt off. This is a truly hilarious film. SEE A polar bear aka guy in a bear costume! SEE a humungous robot aka guy in a big costume! SEE aliens aka guys with green facepaint and green helmets on! SEE Santa Claus CONQUER THE MARTIANS! Quite possibly some of the worst special effects in film history, and one of the fuinniest plots in film history, it all adds up to fun! This movie has no boobies and gore, so it is appropriate for children too! Wow...what a remarkable film! SEE SANTA CLAUS CONQUER THE MARTIANS TODAY!!!!
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Not NEARLY as bad as people make it out to be...AND a lot more fun than it has any right to be!
talisencrw5 April 2016
I still very much appreciate its spirit, both in terms of no-budget filmmaking and sense of fun. I wish that the films of today could have even a fraction of its good-natured mischievous approach. Certainly film studios could learn a thing or two, in this ridiculous era of quarter-of-a-billion-dollar blockbusters. I for one don't need the equivalent of 'having my eyes masturbated', as one cinema critic so lovingly stated.

I would prefer watching this in a second over any of the ham-fisted, cash-soaked holiday atrocities made in the past three decades (I believe 'A Christmas Story', and perhaps 'Elf' and 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' to be the last decently-made Yuletide films).

But don't take MY word for it...see it for yourself (without the stupid and condescending MST3K commentary) and make your OWN conclusion.
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Not terrible if you think a bit
Pete6 November 2011
Warning: Spoilers
This film is regarded as a "turkey" and one of those films that's "so bad it's good." There are several things to consider when reviewing this film, but the most important considerations are the time it was made and the intended audience.

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians was made in 1964. Anyone who was a child around 1964 can tell you it was a very innocent time compared to today. Kids genuinely believed in Santa Claus then. One must also consider a child's concept of Martians, robots, and space travel in 1964. The cheesy Martian makeup and the clunky robot may evoke laughter from a modern audience, but a child's toy collection in 1964 might have had a Marx tin robot toy that looked very much like the one featured in this film. In fact, Marx Toy Company created the toys used in this film.

I was born in 1968, and I remember watching this movie on commercial television in the early 70s with my mother. Adult viewers see the story, set design, and effects as cheap and silly, but to a child in the 60s and 70s, this film was perfect Christmas viewing.

It's important to remember that this film was intended for children, and more specifically, children from a specific time in history. Not all films are timeless, and this one can be regarded more as a time capsule, showing just how innocent kids were 50 years ago.

The premise that Santa was real and had adventures beyond his annual duties was just fun for kids. I can't imagine this film having the bad reputation it has if it were done as one of the Rankin-Bass animated Christmas specials.

A look at the cast also reveals that all of the adult actors were professionals from stage and other film productions. I found the line delivery and acting to be sincere, and it's obvious that the cast did this because they loved their children. If this were done as a stage production, the audience would laugh along with the silliness, but kids would be mesmerized. And that's another thing to consider: the movie's costumes and set design actually seem more suited to a stage play rather than a film.

I'd say if you watch this film expecting some kind of sci-fi classic, you'll be disappointed. But if you look at it from a historical point of view, and consider that it's a play made with love for children who believed Santa Claus would visit them soon, you might see it in a different light.
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Do not open 'til Christmas...or any other time.
Mister-613 July 1999
I remember seeing this movie a long time ago, way back before they installed the cup holders on the theater seat arm rests. You know, the good old days. All I could remember was the bright lights and colors, the green Martians, Santa was in it, and that "song" (S-A-N-T-A, C-L-A-U-S....)

The next time I saw it, I was a freshman in college and it was playing at the local pub's Bad Flick Night.

Time was not kind.

It's a kid's movie, provided the kid is mentally deficient, a hostile brat and/or has short-term attention disorder. Either way, this one will appeal to them.

For the rest of us, there's the issues of Santa-kidnapping Martians in BRIGHT green makeup and helmets that resemble Yul Brynner's headgear in "The Ten Commandments"; other Martians that you either want to punch out (Dropo) or try and talk out of future acting opportunities (a young Pia Zadora-???); Santas that walk around saying "Merry Christmas", despite the fact that Christmas is not even close; pop guns that immobilize people; polar bears that have extremely long hind legs; and blah, and blah, and blah...

But DOES Santa Claus actually conquer the Martians of the title, like it says? Yep, but he doesn't hit, punch, kick, bite, scratch, claw or anything. Sorry kids, green blood does not flow here. You see, Santa puts in a Martian North Pole workshop and wins over the Martians with peace and good will towards men...and Martians too, I guess. He even makes lazy good-for-nothing Dropo a Martian Santa. GOOD; anything that will keep that nutcase on his own planet....

Two stars for SCCTM; one star for the Christmas spirit and another for the fact that it was half-price beer night when I went in that pub to see it again.

Maybe they should do that for "The Horse Whisperer"....
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Totally Silly Fun
dwashbur24 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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