SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS

1964

by Ham

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians really is a must-see holiday movie. The title alone got me hooked, it practically guarantees the viewer that this movie would contain both Santa Claus and Martians. That’s pretty much all I need in a movie. I must apologize in advance for the length of this article. This movie is so awesomely absurd it deserves a very detailed description.

Anyway, during the opening credits we’re greeted with the fantastic theme song “Hooray For Santy Claus”. We also find out that the infamous Milton Delugg (of Gong Show fame) is responsible for the music in this film and that Pia Zadora plays a Martian named Girmar. That’s her in the right side of this first picture:

Girmar and her brother are watching KID-TV, which is currently showing reporter Andy Henderson visiting Santa’s Workshop on the North Pole. You might recognize Andy (in the picture above with Santa) as TV’s Ralph The Doorman from The Jeffersons. I kept waiting for him to ask Santa for a tip. Santa, always a good influence for the kids, never puts down his pipe.

The young Martians’ father Kimar catches them watching “silly Earth programs” and tells them to go to bed, which is apparently a small kitchen table with pyramid shaped draperies over it. The kids won’t relax so Kimar has to stun them with a stick to put them to sleep. He then turns the stick on another sleeping Martian, and my favorite character in this movie, Dropo.

The adult Martians then gather and discuss the problems their kids are having – they won’t eat or sleep. I would think the solution would be to stop prodding them with sticks, but what do I know of Martian problems? They decide to go ask the great, wise Martian named Chochem who lives in the forest (who knew Mars had a forest?).

Chockum (who somehow lost his fancy Martian headgear), tells the adults that the kids have been forced to be adults for too long and they are now rebelling. He tells them the solution to this problem is to capture Santa Claus and bring him to Mars. Kimar thinks it is a good idea, while his evil mentor Voldar hates the idea and wants to destroy Santa Claus. In the picture below we see Voldar laughing at Kimar’s silly headgear.

The Martians then head down to Earth to find Santa Claus. Oh snap! There’s something wrong with their radar cloaking systems, Earth will be able to see them on their radar! What’s wrong with the radar? Well, it’s the lovable, bumbling idiot Dropo who’s hiding out in the “Radar Box”.

The Martians land on Earth and find the two most annoying kids this side of Wal-Mart, Billy and Betty Foster. Apparently not frightened by the green-faced beings at all, Betty asks a Martian, “What’s that on your head?”. “Antenna.”, the Martian replies. The whimsical Betty then asks the Martian if he’s a TV. Anyway, the Martians capture the kids and force the little brats to tell them where to find Santa Claus.

The kids tell the Martians to go to the North Pole (duh!). When they land on the North Pole, the kids make their escape from the ship and try to get away from the pursuing Martians. While they’re hiding in a cave, they are attacked by a real, live, man-shaped Polar Bear.

Unfortunately, before the bear has a chance to eat them it is scared away by something. It’s the Martian’s fierce robot Torg, who ends up capturing the kids. Torg then makes his way into Santa’s Workshop where he strangles an elf.

Oh no! How is Santa going to get away from the evil robot Torg? Well, he tells Torg he looks like a toy and Torg is apparently so humiliated that he freezes up and doesn’t move again (?). The Martians see Torg’s failure and immediately run into Santa’s Workshop. They take out their stun-guns and freeze Santa’s elves and the blue-haired Mrs. Claus.

So, Santa is captured and brought to Mars. If I had a nickel for every time I heard that sentence I’d have about $12.42. Anyway, the news makes all the Earth papers. “Extra” obviously did not have Spell-Check back in 1964:

Santa is taken to help the children on Mars. He quickly makes them grow horse teeth and laugh like ninnies.

Santa is then put to work in the Mars version of Santa’s Workshop, where he only has to press a button to make toys appear. Children on Mars are only allowed Balls, Bats, Dolls or Cars. Here we see a doll getting pooped out of the doll chute.

To make a long story short (too late now…), Santa has an extra suit that my friend Dropo tries on.

The evil Voldar and his buddies then mistake Dropo for the real Santa and capture him. They also sabotage the toy making machine.

The next day Santa, complete unaware of what has happened, does not understand why the toy machine is malfunctioning. The bear has a doll’s head and the doll has the bear’s head. Wacky! The baseball bat has a racquet on it’s end. Insane!

Voldar eventually attacks the real (smokin’) Santa, but gets stopped by the kids throwing weapons of mass destruction at him. That’s right, they used bubbles, toy arrows, slingshots, toy cars, etc. to take down the evil villain.

With the evil Voldar captured, all is well again on Mars. Dropo enters the scene still dressed as Santa and the Martians make a startling discovery. They don’t need to take Earth’s Santa Claus because they now have their own – Dropo Claus!

Now that everyone is laughing hysterically, the only thing left is the closing theme song. It’s the same as the opening theme song, “Hooray For Santy Claus”, except this time we’re treated to lyrics so we can sing along.

Am I the only one confused here? You spell it S-A-N-T-A, but sing it Santy? Did Dropo write these lyrics?

Anyway, like I wrote at the beginning of this extremely long review, this is one awesomely absurd movie and you must go watch it… now! Go ahead, you’ll thank me later.

(Posted 12/2006)

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