Saturday, February 6, 2010
Day 322: MST3K: Santa Claus (1959) - Rank 5/5
From “Return to Oz” to “The Neverending Story,” I had ample nightmare material to fuel my childhood mind. Still, “Santa Claus” takes the cake when it comes to disturbing children’s films. It also presents Santa’s workshop and his personal plight in a manner far more bizarre than “Santa Claus: the Movie.” Yes, while the 1985 box office failure had a semi-sober Dudley Moore in tights, John Lithgow flying through the air while madly chomping candy canes and more product placement than you could shake a stick at, “Santa Claus” has child enslavement and the devil.
A devil by the name of Pitch is the main foil for Kris Kringle, and he does his best to taint the consciences of Mexican children everywhere. His goal is to destroy the Christmas spirit…or something. Santa has a workshop devoid of elves, but populated by children dressed in full stereotypical attire, from Spanish children in sombreros to Cuban children in guerrilla fatigues, guns in hand – I shit you not. There’s also a talking orifice that looks like Santa’s personal pleasure hole. It’s function seems rather vague. There’s also maniacally-laughing reindeer – a sight that would be more appropriate in an “Evil Dead” film and not a Christmas story. If you fear that Santa might not defeat the devil, then clearly you’re unfamiliar with the format of Christmas films. If you fear that you might suffer weird, fever dreams after watching this, you’re probably right. As for the MST3K crew, this is one of those episodes that’s a perfect hit. A somewhat entertaining B-movie mixed with a fantastic series of rejoinders makes this a holiday season must-see.
Watch the Trailer