CHRISTMAS CINEMA: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

This is the absolute bottom of the holiday barrel, a trip through hell that one can never prepare themselves for. You think you’ve known pain? You’ve known nothing, to quote Samhain.

On Mars, Momar and Kimar are worried that their children, Girmar (Pia Zadora, who also sang the horrifying song “Hooray for Santa Claus,” but let’s forgive her because she was in The Lonely Lady) and Bomar are watching too much Earth TV. The big thing they’re all excited about is a live interview with Santa. But the kids have some pretty big issues — their education is fed directly into their brains with no individual thought.

The wise ancient Chochem has seen this coming for centuries and says that Mars also needs a Santa Claus. The Martians are all pretty much assholes, so they decide to steal Earth’s Santa instead of creating their own.

Along the way, the Martians kidnap two Earth children along with Santa. Voldar, a Martian hardliner, disagrees with this idea and keeps trying to kill Santa and the kids. Yes, in a holiday movie meant for children, Santa faces death. Sadly, this film is so painful, children very well may cheer for Santa’s doom in the hopes that this movie ends sooner.

Then there’s the wacky Martian named Dropo, who will challenge your will to live. There are all sorts of badly made toys, wacky hijinks and murder plots. The fact that parents would subject their kids to this travesty upsets me to this day.

Dell even had a comic tie-in, so kids could relive the ennui and forced humor of this film again and again.

It gets worse. There was an album version, so kids could listen to the shrill theme song until they puked! I’ll do you a horrible favor and share the song with you right now!

If you can make it through this movie, you get whatever you want for Christmas!


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