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Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

USA 1964
produced by
Paul L. Jacobson, Joseph E. Levine (executive) for Jalor Productions
directed by Nicholas Webster
starring John Call, Leonard Hicks, Vincent Beck, Bill McCutcheon, Victor Stiles, Donna Conforti, Chris Month, Pia Zadora, Leila Martin, Charles Renn, James Cahill, Ned Wertimer, Doris Rich, Carl Don, Ivor Bodin, Al Nesor, Josip Elic, Jim Bishop, Lin Thurmond, Don Blair, Tony Ross, Scott Aronesty, Ronnie Rotholz, Glenn Schaffer, Gene Lindsey
story by Paul L.Jacobson, screenplay by Glenville Mareth, music by Milton Delugg, special effects by Haberstroh Studios

Santa Claus

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The Martian kids, especially those (Chris Month, Pia Zadora) of council member Kimar (Leonard Hicks) are sad - because it's early December and Mars has no Santa Claus. So the council decides to go to earth and kidnap Santa Claus (John Call) so he can make the Martian kids as happy as the earth kids. To this end, Kimar and several others - including evil Voldar (Vincent Beck) and clumsy Droppo (Bill McCutcheon) go to earth and abduct Santa, and two kids, Billy (Victor Stiles) and Betty (Donna Conforti), even if these efforts are constantly sabotaged by evil Voldar.

On Mars, Santa soon enough gets his own fully automatized assembly line workshop and starts working - but he and especially Billy and Betty soon get homesick. Droppo meanwhile has taken to Santa Claus and likes to dress up as him and do his owrk ... but dressed up as Santa he is kidnapped by Voldar and his henchmen, who want to put an end to the Santa business for good. Ultimately though, Voldar and company are defeated by Santa and the kids using toys, and Billy, Betty and Santa are allowed to go back to earth after Santa makes Droppo his official successor on Mars ...

 

Today, this film is mainly known because it stars a very young (10 years old) Pia Zadora, even if she plays only a supporting character and is painted green throughout. But of course, the title of this film sounds great, like having entered a new level of exploitation, santaploitation I'd call it, and even my synopsis sounds kind of (childish) fun. Unfortunately, the film as a whole is not, it's boring, its direction is stagey at best, the sets and props are a tad too cheap to still be charming, john Call as Santa quickly gets on everybody's nerves with his constant Ho-Ho-ing and Bill McCutcheon as clumsy comic relief is simply annoying and not at all funny.

A waste of time, really.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD