1989. Santa Claus Conquers The Martians (1964)

3.0 Why
  • Acting 3.0
  • Directing 2.9
  • Story 3.0
  • User Ratings (0 Votes) 0

Starring: John Call, Leonard Hicks, Vincent Beck

Director: Nicholas Webster

Running Time: 81 mins

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians is an American film about the plot of some Martians to kidnap Santa Claus at Christmas, because there is nobody on Mars to deliver presents to the Martian children.

Not only do I not have the faintest clue as to why this film exists, but I’m still utterly bewildered as to how anybody could have come up with the premise. Predictably, Santa Claus Conquers The Martians is an appallingly bad film, with a collection of horrific acting, dialogue, special effects and all round incompetence on display from beginning to end.

But, as with all these ultra B-movies, there’s still always an opportunity to look for some positives. While this film is undoubtedly an atrocity, and one you should stay away from, there is an element of the movie that’s entertaining, in the old so-bad-it’s-good fashion.

The majority of the movie is so bad that it’s just plain bad, however the sheer ridiculousness of the premise on display, that Martians somehow have Christmas and yet no Santa to give presents to the kids, and then decide to travel to Earth and just kidnap a guy dressed like him, is pretty good fun to watch and laugh at. It’s an idea that’s almost bewildering to think how it got through any pitch meeting, but it’s one that you can still call unique and imaginative, even if it’s just utterly bonkers.

Beyond that, however, there’s not much to praise about the film. Above all, it’s a movie with the lowest of low production qualities, complete with costumes and makeup that belong in a school play, sets that look like they’ve come from a shopping mall, painful sound quality, and the odd terrifyingly awful special effect, to the point where it’s not even funny to see just how badly made this film is.

What’s more is that there’s not much else to look for in the performances. Although all of the roles are totally lacking in any basic form of character depth and development, the actors don’t do much to bring them any more to life. The Martian performers are scary and robotic (and not in the way that you may think be intended), whilst the kids are annoying and Santa Claus himself offers absolutely no joy or intrigue to proceedings.

In short, this film is as awful as its title suggests. Yes, there’s that uniquely weird premise, and the odd moment of so-bad-it’s-good comedy, but in general, Santa Claus Conquers The Martians is a simply shoddy movie, with awful production values across the board, worsened by terrifyingly bad performances from beginning to end, and that’s why I’m giving it a 3.0.


About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com

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