If you’re not familiar with Mystery Science Theater 3000, I seriously recommend giving it a try. That is, if you like things that are extremely campy, in that B-movie way (and hilarious).
“The series features a man and his robot sidekicks who are trapped on a space station by an evil scientist and forced to watch a selection of bad movies, initially (but not especially limited to) science fiction B-movies.” (thx wikipedia)
I’ve been an avid viewer of the show (never actually viewed it on broadcast television) since I discovered it about 6 years ago. I haven’t seen anywhere near all of them, but I’ve seen a lot. (I’ll post more about this another tiem so this Christmas post doesn’t get clogged up).
And, there are Christmas episodes of course! Really good ones, I might add. The movies themselves are really, reeeally terrible (I actually watched Santa Claus Conquers the Martians normally before seeing the episode :X What does this say about me.. haha) but the riffing is all the more hilarious for that fact.
MST3K Season 3, Episode 21 (1991): Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964)
Currently ranking at #77 on the IMDB Bottom 100 list (where it has long been a regular fixture, often ranking even higher), SCCTM is not for the faint of B-Movie heart. Martians kidnap Santa Claus to make him be Santa on Mars, since the Martian children seem down in the dumps. They don’t have any toys, and all their food comes in pill form, so why wouldn’t they be??
There’s a lot of ridiculous forced and too-long laughter from Santa and any child that ever appears onscreen. There’s a ridiculous Martian buffoon named ‘Droppo’, the “laziest man on Mars”, who eventually decides he wants to be the Martian Santa. The movie also features its own Christmas song during the beginning and end credits, the chorus of which is as follows: “You spell it S-A-N-T-A C-L-A-U-S, HOORAY FOR SANTY CLAUS!”
All in all it is extremely campy and extremely terrible, which makes for a fun watch (if you’re into that kind of thing).
MST3K Season 5, Episode 21 (1993): Santa Claus (1959, Mexico)
This one’s currently ranked at #44 in the IMDB Bottom 100, wow! But I guess that’s well-deserved, too. As a small preface, this movie hails (haha, almost typed ‘fails’, which is true too) from Mexico, where Santa Claus has never been a tradition, so this Santa story has a lot of liberties taken with the facts about SC.
In this truly bizarre film, Santa has a workshop in space (“above the North Pole”). He doesn’t have elves but rather uses children from all over the world to help him make toys (all of whom are dressed extremely ethnically, and introduce themselves and their countries one by one in a very lengthy and grueling series of songs). He has wind-up reindeer, and all kinds of gadgets for spying on the children of earth. In fact, this Santa is severely creepy (but B-movie Santas seem to possess the ability to be creepier than any other cinematic Santa).
He also gets help from Merlin. Yes, that Merlin.
Furthermore, the villain is a demon named Pitch, sent by Satan to Earth to try to corrupt children into doing evil. Seriously.
Heard enough? This is one of the truly weirdest movies I’ve ever seen, and I feel pretty confident in saying I’ve seen some weird stuff. With a particularly awesome round of MST3K riffing, it provides some pure hilarious and strange fun.
This entry caused me to think about non-MST3K’d holiday B-movies, of which there are many, but I haven’t seen a lot of them because I’m not THAT much of a glutton for punishment in that way (anymore.) Most of the ones I’m aware of are holiday-themed horror and are mainly funny because of their titles. Christmas Evil. Santa’s Slay. Silent Night, Bloody Night. I think they’re all basically the same movie, though.