Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

“All this trouble for a fat man in a red suit.”

When the ruler of Mars (Leonard Hicks) discovers that Martian children are depressed because they’d like to experience Christmas, he kidnaps Santa Claus (John Call) and two Earthling children, Billy (Victor Stiles) and Betty (Donna Conforti).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Aliens
  • Christmas
  • Kidnapping
  • Science Fiction

Frequently voted as one of the worst “bad” movies ever made, this corny holiday flick boasts laughably cliched alien costumes, unimaginative set design, wooden acting, and Pia Zadora in her screen debut as a Martian child:

— in other words, just about everything necessary to merit its status as a campy cult classic. With that said, I didn’t enjoy Santa Claus… nearly as much as I wanted to; despite its clever premise, the film’s execution lacks bite. Bad movies are a dime a dozen, and the best thing about this one is its promising title. Surprisingly, it got a decent review in the New York Times upon its release.

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Occasionally amusing low-budget costumes and sets

Must See?
No, though it’s worth a look for its value as a camp classic.


3 thoughts on “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)

  1. Good title and a catchy theme song, but not a must, not even once. I saw this as a kid, but kids’ll sponge up just about anything. Didn’t cross paths with it until last Christmas when my poor innocent partner made it a ‘stocking stuffer’ for me. I’ve endured it twice since, and it works on no level at all — it’s godawful; no, that’s kind, it’s painnnnnful! If anyone, film fanatic or otherwise, told me they wanted to see this soporific, I’d have to act like a police officer at the site of a tragedy and say, “Move along, folks, there’s nothing to see here.”

  2. As bad and uninteresting (indeed, painful!) as this flick is, though, don’t you think film fanatics should at least be familiar with it, given that it has a minor cult following?

  3. Hmm…considering that, even on a camp level, the fun factor is at zero, all I can say is 1) don’t say I didn’t warn you; 2) where was Ed Wood when we needed him?

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