Robin’s Weird Christmas Movies: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

Oh, where to start when talking about what’s wrong with Santa Claus Conquers the Martians? Well, how about the fact that Santa Claus doesn’t even conquer the martians?! I guess Santa Claus Chills Out with the Martians and Teaches Them Christmas Spirit just wasn’t a catchy enough title! Anyway, this drug-induced effort has become one of the most infamously bad films of all time, so even those who’ve never seen it have probably heard the title before. In case you don’t know the plot, it involves a group of denizens from Mars (i.e. a bunch of actors wearing green makeup, costumes and helmets with antennas on them) who are unsettled by the fact that all the Martian children are unhappy all the time. When they watch some Earth television and see the amount of joy that Santa Claus brings Earth children, the Martians decide to head to Earth to kidnap Santa and bring him back to Mars to spread Christmas cheer to their children.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians has built up quite a cult reputation over the years and is ranked alongside such luminaries as Plan 9 From Outer Space and Troll 2 as one of the worst films ever made. I’ve sat through it more times than any sane human being should (only three times, but that’s still WAY too many!) and while it does provide some entertainment value and unintentional laughter for awhile, your patience does start to wear REALLY thin long before it’s over! The most annoying elements are easily Dropo the dim-witted Jimmy Stewart-esque Martian who provides the so-called “comic relief”, and having to hear Santa Claus laugh jollily at EVERYTHING! If there’s anything worse than comedy that it isn’t funny, it’s having to watch other characters pretend that it’s funny and laugh hysterically! Anyway, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians really started to develop its cult reputation after it was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000, so if you have to sit through it, that’s definitely the best way to do so.

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