SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS
There are many laughable parts to Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. The costumes for the polar bear and the robot are hilariously unconvincing. The Martian costumes consist of ill-fitting green tights, green painted helmets with corrugated tubes attached and what looks like boot polish on the actors faces. All the model shots are badly out of focus a shot of the North Pole as seen through a telescope is represented by a static Christmas diorama of a house with toy reindeer and a sled parked outside. The plot is slackly thrown together at one point, Earth launches a rocketship to pursue the Martian abductors but we never hear anything of it again.
Although what much of the bad movie cult do not seem to appreciate is that Santa Claus Conquers the Martians appears to have been made tongue-in-cheek. It tries to crack incredibly corny jokes eg. What is green and toasted on a stick? Martian-mellows. Certainly, the title collusion is one of those where you wonder what kind of substances the writer must have been under the influence of. It gets by with a certain amiability, while John Call makes a surprisingly convincing looking Santa.
The subtext taps into the undertow of many 1950s science-fiction films in some interesting ways. As is often the case, the alien civilization is a mirror distortion of things gone wrong in our society in this case, the old chestnut of the Martians having become so advanced they have lost their humanity. In its wonderfully banal way, the film has them rediscover humanity by getting in touch with the spirit of Christmas.
Around 2000, bizarrely enough, a remake was announced to be written by comic-book writer Ben Edlund, creator of the great superhero spoof The Tick, although this has yet to emerge.
Full film available online here:-