Sunday, 1 November 2015

IMDb Bottom 100 Review - Number 43 Santa Claus

Santa Claus! Always up for fun and games and being weirdly creepy around kids. Also fighting Satan apparently. Yes, this movie has that, and so much less. We’re treated to amazing cultural faux pas and dialogue so tame and infested with mental stagnation I’m surprised it wasn’t a Twilight prequel. On the plus side, they did actually manage to find and/or make a pretty decent looking Santa costume. Yes, credit where credit is due. That has been my motto all the way from the beginning of this paragraph. But besides that costume, everything else is wasting everybody’s time. I don’t know if I can get through this whole review, guys. But for what it’s worth, join me as I attempt a somewhat coherent review of…


Mindless drones in little costumes. All the kids looked dead inside. Dead from Christmas exploitation!

Santa Claus (1959)

Well this was fucking pointless. Granted, all the Christmas hoolah has just started, but it still felt stupid watching a Santa themed movie in late October. Then again, I had already seen Hulk Hogan be Santa as well as Santa fighting martians, so really what is one more? Turns out one more is incredibly dull and boring. When the end credits finally rolled, I had to check date and year, to make sure I hadn’t slipped into a coma somewhere along the way. In fact, this movie was so unbelievably boring, I sat down and tried to write the review right after, but I just couldn’t. My mind had been lulled into a near catatonic state. It took me 8 days and one school paper to bring myself back up to complete this review. Whereas most movies on here are kind of lame and drawn out (especially those indian ones), this was straight up mindnumbing. I didn’t want to stab or murder. I just wanted out. I wanted to sleep and not look at what was happening. The fucked up part is, this was almost the hardest movie to watch yet, for those very reasons. It’s like every time I think I’ve figured out how this B100 stuff will go down, they throw me a curveball, and I’m basically back to square one.


Pitch doing what Pitch does best: convince kids to stay in this career ending movie lest they be sued by the studio.

Describing what is going on in this movie seems as boring and dull as watching it. I’ll illustrate with a few more pictures than normal. The gist of it is, Santa Claus and Satan Claus are fighting. Over what? That remains somewhat diffused, but I think it’s possibly who the kids believe more? Satan is pissed at Santa anyway, and sends a smaller devil to fuck Santa’s shit up. The movie opens with this magnificent sentence: “Up in heaven, far out in space right above the North Pole.” Yes, far out in space, but still right above the North Pole. Which one is it? And why? Why space? Anyway, Santa is in his Crystal Palace getting prepared to manufacture presents for the kids. He has kids from around the world sweatshopping it up already. To illustrate just how diverse this collection of kids is, we are treated to a god damn 20 minute montage of like 30 different groups of kids singing the same shitty christmassy song in whatever language fits. It’s like unbelievably enervating to spend 20 minutes watching kids in the most tacky culturally obnoxious outfits sing while fiddling with toys. I seriously considered skipping forward, but some misplaced sense of loyalty to you, dearest reader, made me halt my actions and watch on. To feel like I had taken a stand at least, I swore a lot.


Santa and his trusty sidekick Merlin. I feel like a spin off with Merlin would've been in order here.

After the song that reduced every country on earth to its stereotype, we can finally get cracking on this stellar story. Satan wants to ruin Christmas in a next level attempt at persecuting Christians. If it isn’t this, it’s trying to stop Easter from remaining a bank holiday. Anyway, Satan, being the ruler of Hell, is far too busy to take care of Santa himself, so he dispatches Pitch, a goofy looking devil, under pain of chocolate ice cream should he fail. Pitch heads straight to Earth to start influencing kids and adults for the worse. Some kids are easily swayed, but one little girl is so pure of heart, not even the subtle manipulation of an unseen hellish minion can push her away from the glorious idolization of Santa he has spent all 3 years of her life building up. Santa, obviously, is not about Pitch fucking things up too much, and with the help of his trusted friend, Merlin, Santa embarks on an epic journey to deliver presents to kids while gifting Pitch’s ass a shiny black Santa boot. Things go awry, however, when it turns out Santa is a big worthless hunk of bovine fecal matter. He gets himself stuck in a tree, having dropped the magic flower that Merlin gave him to turn invisible. While Pitch is blasting off tricks from all canons, Santa must call upon Merlin and some of the kids from the opening montage to escape back to the Crystal Palace in the sky. Sadly, everything ends well for everybody. Save, perhaps, Pitch.


Santa with... Hephaistos possibly? I don't even remember if it was explained. Santa didn't use many weapons, so it wouldn't make sense if it was him.

This movie is from 1959. As such we can only expect it’s views on petty issues like race and gender are anachronistic in nature. All that aside, there still was a weirdly wooden quality to everything. Turns out the movie is Mexican and dubbed to English later. I don’t know why, but it showed. What also showed were super low budget props. The reindeer for instance. I can’t honestly tell if they were meant as a joke. But they look like the prop department was a 5th grade graduation project for the local elementary school’s arts and craft. The hell scenery was similarly built. Just lots of red, and people in red outfits. The costume department did slightly better, solely on the strength of that Santa costume. On fucking point. The guy looked like he actually had white hair and beard. And not like he was wearing some 2 dollar Santa outfit from Walmart. I was impressed by his size and stature too. He was just cubby enough to pull off Santa, but not so much that it looked stupid. He couldn’t act for shit, obviously, but he looked the part for sure. 


This fucking machine. It was some kind of communication device with Earth. It made little sense, obviously, but even so, whoever created it was probably high as balls.

Pitch looked like somebody had blood in their shit on costume fitting day. So stupid. Also who the fuck doesn’t like ice cream? What kind of threat is that? His horns were the single stupidest looking thing in this movie. No wait, actually I take that back. Because Merlin. Merlin was in this movie for reasons unknown. I’m no Arthurian Legend expert, but as far as I remember, neither Santa nor Pitch the Demon were mentioned as participants at the Round Table. Ever. But Merlin, apparently, lends his assistance every year around Yuletide, seeing as Santa is a big tub of lard unable to handle the one fucking thing he has been put on Earth to do. Merlin, in this movie, looks horrendously annoying and stupid. I wanted to throw a bucket of leeches at his face. The beard and his tunic, the way he’s putzing around, how he couldn’t hear anything until somebody was shouting right next to him. All of it. Just stupid. He did save Santa’s stupid ass a few times, so I guess he has that going for him, which is nice.


These... these reindeer. What the actual shit?

Then there was the girl. Lupido or Lapida or whatever her name was. She wanted some toy so badly, and still managed NOT to steal shit from the market, despite Pitch really going at her. He later invaded her dreams and tried to sway her that way. But Lulapidado withheld, and ultimately beat Pitch’s effort to shit. Not on my shift! Her dad was unable to find work, and even though it was Christmas night at like 3 am, he still was out there trying to find work. Amazing. Her mom spent time at home sewing. I don’t know why this whole thing existed, but I just know I wanted it to not. We move from scene to scene with way too much effort. The only reason I wasn’t thrown off by plotholes, was because there really wasn’t much of a plot to begin with. It was boring. And pointless. It was Santa and some red clothed guy and lots of people walking around confused and dazed. It was 90 minutes of my life I wish I had been in a coma for. Sometimes I shake my head. 

All this kid wanted was attention. His parents were at the god damn bar on Christmas night while he was, apparently, home alone. Amazing.


Bonus picture, for absurdity alone. Presumably these kids were banned from watching the movie in segregated movie theaters.

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