Tuesday, April 27, 2010

0321: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

MST3k, Experiment #0321

Blast off for Mars...with Santa and a pair of Earth kids! Science-Fun-Fiction at its height!  Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

Martians, upset that their children have become obsessed with TV shows from Earth which extoll the virtues of Santa Claus, start an expedition to Earth to kidnap the one and only Santa. While on Earth, they kidnap two lively children that lead the group of Martians to the North Pole and Santa. The Martians then take Santa and the two children back to Mars with them. Voldar, a particularly grumpy Martian, attempts to do away with the children and Santa before they get to Mars, but their leader Lomas stops him. When they arrive on Mars, Santa, with the help of the two Earth children and a rather simple-minded Martian lackey, overcomes the Martians by bringing fun, happiness and Christmas cheer to the children of Mars.

This movie would make more sense if it had been made by the Japanese.  Instead, we have here an American-made movie, proving that yes, we did in fact make movies just as bad as our friends across the Pacific.  We make so much fun of Japanes movies from this era; we forget that our movies really weren't that much better.

This episode falls in with "Manos: The Hands of Fate" as being apparently one of two "essential" episodes.  Yeah, I'd say that fits pretty well.  This is a must-see and graces my holiday viewing each and every year.  The film starts off with a bang, in the form of a horrid little song... children singing "Hooray for Santy Claus!" ...the same song that ends the movie.  Joel and the bots stay upbeat through the entire thing, and the excitement shows from the very start.  They even stay behind to sing along at the end.  "But we'd miss THIS!"

As for host segments, the best comes (of course) in the form of a song: "Let's Have A Patrick Swayze Christmas."  This song has become a holiday standard, and the Road House references make it quite apparent that Mike Nelson was the creator of this one.  I've learned over the years that basically any and every Swayze or Road House reference comes from the mind of Mike.

Also of note is Crow's holiday essay.  First of all, I must say that I really love when Crow writes and reads essays.  His lack of literate learning adds a nice dimension to the character, and it never fails to make me laugh.  I really think this bit is one of Trace's best moments as Crow.  I usually tend to prefer Bill's Crow most often, as it's just more my style of biting humour, but it's times like this one that remind me of just how great Trace's Crow was as well.  I think I just really love a good Crow rant.

Great episode, DEFINITELY one of the "essentials" and you should go buy this one immediately... or wait until Christmas.

Favourite line:  "Santa Claus was killed in Vietnam."

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