Friday, October 12, 2007

Santa Claus Conquers the Marians the Martians

Santa Claus Conquers the Marians

Downloaded via GET STUFF option for BitTorrent 6.0 from "free movies" selection. Downloaded file is "santa claus conquers the martians.mpg," and its size is 540 MB.

Credits. Jaunty Santa music. Cartoon of Santa seen in background as credits roll. "Hang up that mistletoe, / Soon you'll hear 'ho-ho-ho" / Hurray for Santy Claus."

"Special Toys by Louis Marx & Co."

We see a TV. The TV reporter is at the North Pole at Santa Claus's workshop for an interview. Reporter is at the North Pole in furs. But his hands are bare: no gloves. Verisimilitude breaks down at this point.

Santa's workshop. A couple of bearded dwarfs in the background. Santa looks like a pipe-smoking alky. He nixes the rocket sled idea, says he's going with the retro reindeer. Santa has a CRS stuff problem. He can't reliably remember stuff, such as the names of his reindeer.

Mrs Santa shows up, proclaims that her hair is a mess, didn't know she was going to be on TV.

Winky the dwarf has made a weird doll. What is it supposed to be? A Martian. Santa seems to be a bit of a bully. He workers obviously need a union organiser. No, wrong. The bossy guy is a Martian, and he's chewing out a guy called Droppo. Martian kids spend all day blobbed out in front of the TV watching "ridiculous Earth programs."

We see Martian kids watching Earth programs. They don't know what a "doll" is or what "tender loving care" is. Martians look exactly like us but seem to have a somewhat stronger sense of hierarchy.

Keema, the leader of the Martians, says something strange is happening to the children of Mars. We, being faster on the uptake than him, pick up on the fact that the probable cause is the noxious influence of the Santa Claus stuff that the Martian kids are being exposed to courtesy of Martian TV.

Keema goes to the forest to meet one of the old ones. "Chochum is eight hundred years old. You can't dismiss the wisdom of centuries."

"Chocum, are you here? Ancient one of Mars, I call upon you."

Blurred guy looking like King Lear in the days of his decreptitude shows up. Chochum knows what the problem is: "What is a Christmas?" "It is an occasion for peace and great joy on planet Earth?"

Chochum has seen this disaster coming for centuries. The kids are electronically tutored from birth so have adult minds once they can walk, so have never played, have never learnt how to have fun, so now they are rebelling. Solution: the kids must be allowed to have fun, to be children again.

"We need a Santa Claus on Mars!"

The Martian leader decides to snatch Santa Claus from Earth and bring him to Mars. A confrontation, obviously, is in the offing.

Note on Martian technology: launch of a Martian spacecraft involves a trumpet fanfare.

We are not going to destroy anyone. "Our purpose is to bring Santa Claus back to Mars."

They think they see a Santa Claus, but what they are seeing is the begging-for-charity Santas who infest American streets at Christmas time, ringing "please give for charity" bells.

The Martian space ship has been spotted by the defenders of Yankland, who are cranking up their Star Wars stuff to confront the menace.

The President of the Unite d States orders the Strategic Air Command into action.

The movie has now been running for 22 minutes with a body count of zero. A bit slow by our standards, I think.

At this stage I abandon the mission. Sorry, free is not good enough. If I'm going to watch any more of this stuff, I'm going to have to be paid. Seriously good money.

Most obvious retro note: a computer, which I presume we're supposed to perceive as being "powerful," which is so huge that it takes up a number of sizeable rooms. The one surprisingly modern touch: when the Martians view one of Earth's cities from near Earth orbit, they immediately pick up on how stunningly vulnerable it is to attack from the air.

Stupid Earthlings, they should have built the sucker underground!

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