Day 12 of my 12 Authors of the Holiday Season...It's Christmas Eve...and I have thoughts I need to share on "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians"
With many or most of us staying within our own family units and homes in this holiday season yet under the cloud of COVID-19, I figured many will be watching the ol' Boob Tube...the idiot box...the screen of escape.
There's plenty of good holiday TV-fare out there and lots of world-class Christmas cinema, but why don't we chat about something not so good? A B-movie for Christmas...and as with most B-movies, it's still fun to watch.
As it is succinctly put on IMDb, the synopsis goes thusly: The Martians kidnap Santa Claus because there is nobody on Mars to give their children presents.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is a 1964 American science fiction comedy film directed by Nicholas Webster, produced and written by Paul L. Jacobson, based on a story by Glenville Mareth. John Call as Santa Claus. You may also notice eleven-year-old Pia Zadora as one of the Martian children!
Apparently, this is also the first documented appearance of Mrs. Claus in a movie (Doris Rich). Three weeks later, the television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer then aired, showing Mrs. Claus for a second time.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians appears on many lists of the worst films ever made. The film also took on newfound fame in the 1990s after being featured on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 (as all of the very best sci-fi B-movies do!). It was also featured on Elvira's Movie Macabre.
This time we have ourselves a sci-fi comedy (and a B-movie to boot!), rather than a horror comedy, and I'll take it! The 60s were golden for sci-fi AND B-movie films and television, so this fits in nicely with the silly stuff I love best.
Not often do we get to combine Christmas themes with space and Mars, so hey! Strap into your Christmas sleigh and prepare for some super stilted acting (Martian and human alike), classic crappo costumes and set (love the control console in the Martian rocket that is somewhat reminiscent of the classic TARDIS console), plenty of stock footage time filler of rockets and other stuff launching or scanning or whatever...as well as an obligatory man in a polar bear (rather than gorilla) costume menacing young children who don't seem as frightened as they should be. Not to mention a big ol' cardboard box robot (built for battle, supposedly, who instinctively becomes nothing more than a toy in Santa's presence).
Goofy "fight" sequences (including one in Santa's new Martian toy factory), freeze gun non-effects and a scene of maniacal laughter between Santa, the children from Earth and from Mars keep the film from becoming too dull from time wasting extra footage to stretch out the movie to feature length. Not sure exactly how Santa and the Earth kids get themselves home exactly (are they suddenly able to pilot a Martian ship themselves? Perhaps, as they were given a "grand tour" on their way over to Mars in the first place), but what the hell, right? The important thing is that they DID get home, and Mars now has its own ultra-ridiculous Santa of their very own.
Watch this B-movie if you like the gentler silly cult classics that are also family friendly. Your kids may very well enjoy it, too!
Read on for info on my latest picture book, as well as my Christmas themed picture book...
Merry Myrrh, the Christmas Bat
Written by: Regan W. H. Macaulay
Illustrated by: Alex Zgud
Myrrh is a young and very merry brown bat named after one of the gifts of the Magi. He experiences the wonders of his first Christmas among the decorations of a farmhouse, as well as the kindness of the family that discovers him in their home!
Get your copy directly from the author: https://www.reganwhmacaulay.com/merry-myrrh-the-christmas-bat.html
Check out the book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgG9pKZW9ko
Libby the Lobivia Jajoiana
Written by: Regan W. H. Macaulay and Kevin Risk
Illustrated by: Gordon Bagshaw
Libby is a lonely cactus plant who has trouble believing in herself. However, when lovely, confident Violet moves in next to her on the windowsill, Libby learns that the things that make her different also make her special.
Get your copy directly from the author: www.reganwhmacaulay.com/libby-the-lobivia-jajoiana.html
Or through Mirror World Publishing: https://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/products/libby-the-lobivia-jajoiana-paperback
or Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Libby.../dp/1987976746/ref=sr_1_1