As the Christmas holiday season for 2011 rapidly nears its close, here’s Balladeer’s Blog’s repost of my two annual Christmas turkeys, The Christmas Martian followed by Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny.
THE CHRISTMAS MARTIAN (1971) – Category: A neglected bad movie classic that deserves a Plan 9-sized cult following. Santa Claus Conquers The Martians gets all the attention, but this almost forgotten Canadian film from the 1970′s is one joyously weird acid trip of a movie! And for that “old-school” bad movie feel the lips don’t match the dialogue, dubbed into English from the original French. (Yes it was made in that part of Canada!)
A spaceship even Ed Wood would be ashamed of, idiotic characters, a delightfully bad song and special effects that would have been outdated 10 years prior to filming highlight this movie that is perfect for Yuletide. The plot, such as it is, features loveable kids trying to help an incredibly goofy-looking alien get back home. They all fly at one point and the E.T. (as it were) binges on some sort of Canadian candy that resembles ,uh, Reese’s Pieces. I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’. (And remember, this low-budget film came out in the EARLY 1970′s)
There’s also a nice and wintry-looking nighttime chase on snowmobiles. If the Martian’s annoying voice doesn’t drive you nuts you’ll love this neglected schlock classic.
An ideal short subject to show as “dessert” after the movie would be The Energy Carol, a 1975 Canadian Government educational short encouraging energy conservation. It’s animated and yes, it’s in the style of A Christmas Carol with our Scrooge stand-in learning about energy wasting past, present and future. See it now before Jimmy Carter tries to take credit for it! The joyously bad vibe is enhanced by an ending that contradicts the whole point of the production!
SANTA AND THE ICE CREAM BUNNY – (1972) – Category: Bad enough and with a classically weird premise but not fun-bad enough for my highest rating This thoroughly bizarre little holiday-themed movie will redefine the term “low-budget” for you. Normally I cut some slack to films that are clearly targeted at children but this bomb doesn’t seem targeted at children as much as it seems targeted at morons.
The opening scene of this odd movie is set in a very cramped set that is supposed to be Santa’s North Pole workshop. Some very tall children are dressed as elves and are awkwardly pretending to be working on toys that are quite obviously already completed, lending the scene a joyously inept “grade-school Christmas play” kind of feel.
The opening credits inform us that these children/elves are players from “Ruth Foreman’s Pied Piper Playhouse” as they sing a song that has been so poorly-recorded we can only make out an occassional few words. The gist of the song seems to be that the elves are wondering where Santa is since it’s only a few days until Christmas.
A female narrator unnecessarily goes on to tell us what we can clearly see as the film switches scenes – Santa and his sleigh are stuck in the sand on a beach in Florida. In this instance “stuck in the sand” is just an expression because though the narrator and characters in this movie all act as if Santa’s sleigh is hopelessly embedded in the sand following some sort of crash landing we viewers can clearly see the sleigh (which is still in an upright position) is just sitting there with its runners covered with barely an inch or two of sand.
The reindeer are said to have been sent flying back to the North Pole for their own safety after they proved incapable of pulling the sleigh free. Anyway, Santa is stranded in balmy Florida, where this and many other films by our director Barry Mahon were made (more on this later).
It’s really hot for our poor actor playing Santa (Jay Clark) in that fur-trimmed outfit, the padding and the fake beard. He starts singing an even dumber song than the elves were singing and as he gesticulates while pitching his tune he looks ridiculous with sopping-wet sweat stains under his arms, on his chest, down his back and even all over his rear end causing his red pants to cling so tightly that his butt-crack and buttocks are clearly delineated.
God only knows what the children seeing this film in theaters thought during this scene. Santa concludes his inane song speculating on who will help him and then telepathically (Or something. The film never makes it clear) summons a bunch of children (the same Pied Piper Playhouse kids who were playing the elves earlier) to help him.
The children all run off individually to (to read more click here: https://glitternight.com/bad-movies/ )
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