To continue the subgenre of, er, classic(?) film, and without further ado…Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
Martians kidnap Santa! Because…their children need to enjoy childhood more?
The Uncondensed Version:
The Martians are facing a real but probably not instantly resolved problem—their children spend too much time watching TV and not enough time enjoying childhood. These Earth TV programs are corrupting the youth, turning their minds to mush…you’ve heard it before. This is in a society in which it’s considered totally appropriate to use sleep spray to send children to sleep (that’s a euphemism for chloroform, isn’t it?!?!?!). Martians seem to be extremely open to the power of persuasion, so when they hear a news program suggesting Mars needs its own Santa, they decide to kidnap Santa. Obviously.
Throwing a wrench in this ingenious plan are (1) logic and (2) Voldar. Logical gaps come in the form of the Martians turning on their radar shields only AFTER being detected, as well as kidnapping 2 Earth children…so they won’t tell the authorities and so no one will suspect Martians kidnapped Santa Claus. WHAT.
Voldar is definitely the main antagonist here and honestly a bit of a hero. He tells the children to their faces their theories are stupid, and is against the whole concept of children having fun, playing, enjoying life, etc.
Although the children escape to warn Santa (even braving a fierce polar bear and, inexplicably, a robot Voldar tries to program to destroy them), it’s too late. The Martians use their freeze rays to kidnap Santa and bring him back to Mars. This, of course, begs the question of why the fuck you even need Santa when you have freeze rays.
Once aboard the ship, Santa comforts the children with a mix of dad jokes and rather sinister laughter. What will happen next??? You know. Believe me, you already know.
3/5 Pink Panther Heads
This one regularly makes worst movie lists…with good reason. It’s like watching one of the cheesier episodes of Star Trek: TOS (like that one where the costume designer wrapped a dog in a shaggy rug and called it an alien)–complete with horrible special effects, cheesy fight scenes, awful one-liners, a lead male putting odd emphasis on the word “sabotage,” and a simplistic message about morality that hits you over the head with a mallet. Also like some of the worst Star Trek eps, this is bearable for only about half of its run time. The first half is admittedly entertaining in an utterly cheesy, campy, and cringe-worthy kind of way.
It does get darker than I expected, as Voldar tries to throw Santa and the children out of the airlock. Maybe this is just who I am, but I was totally rooting for the villain here. The children are ANNOYING, and Santa’s blind faith in humanity is grating. Was also hoping for some kind of horrible Santa vs. aliens fight scene.