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Santa Claus (1959) HD online

Santa Claus (1959) HD online
Language: English
Category: Movie / Comedy / Family / Fantasy / Horror
Original Title: Santa Claus
Director: René Cardona
Writers: Adolfo Torres Portillo,René Cardona
Released: 1959
Duration: 1h 34min
Video type: Movie
Santa Claus, high above the North Pole in his cloud-borne castle equipped with more surveillance devices than the Impossible Mission Force, prepares to deliver presents on Christmas night. Santa is especially interested in helping Lupita, the daughter of a poor family who wants nothing more than a doll; and a young boy whose parents are so wealthy they never spend any time with him (Santa fixes this by feeding them Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters). However, the Devil will have none of this and sends his minion, Pitch, to foil Santa's plans. Pitch in turn recruits three Naughty Boys to help him set traps for Santa.
Cast overview, first billed only:
José Elías Moreno José Elías Moreno - Santa Claus
Cesáreo Quezadas 'Pulgarcito' Cesáreo Quezadas 'Pulgarcito' - Pedro
José Luis Aguirre 'Trotsky' José Luis Aguirre 'Trotsky' - El Diablo (as José Luis Aguirre 'Trosky')
Armando Arriola Armando Arriola - El mago Merlín (as Armando Arriola 'Arriolita')
Lupita Quezadas Lupita Quezadas - La niña pobre (as Lupita)
Antonio Díaz Conde hijo Antonio Díaz Conde hijo - El Niño Rico (Billy)
Nora Veryán Nora Veryán - Madre de Lupita
Polo Ortín Polo Ortín - (as Leopoldo Ortín Jr.)
Manuel Calvo Manuel Calvo - (as Manolo Calvo)
José Carlos Méndez José Carlos Méndez - Niño (as niño J. Carlos Méndez)
Jesús Brook Jesús Brook - Niño (as niño Jesús Brook)
Rubén Ramírez Rubén Ramírez - Niño
Queta Lavat Queta Lavat - (as Enriqueta Lavat)
Ángel Di Stefani Ángel Di Stefani - El herrero Llavón (as Ángel D'Stefani)
Guillermo Bravo Sosa Guillermo Bravo Sosa - (as Gmo. Bravo Sosa)

The movie was chosen to be part of famous german "SchleFaZ" TV series. It was aired December 2016 on german TV station Tele5. "SchleFaZ" is a german abbreviation, means "the worst films ever".

This film did not receive a general release in the United States. The U.S. distributor, K. Gordon Murray, booked the film as a special children's matinée attraction in which the film would only be shown once or twice.

Riffed on Mystery Science Theater 3000 in the 90s(season 5; episode 20) then riffed years later by Rifftrax LIVE.

The slightly edited and dubbed version was released in the US by K.Gordon Murray in 1960. This version was also given the Mystery Science Theatre treatment.

While billed simply as "El Diablo" ("The Devil") in the credits, Pitch's character name in the original version is "Precio" ("Price").

The movie was featured on Red Letter Media's Christmas episode of Best of the Worst.

Reviews: [25]

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    This film is a Mexican Christmas classic, each December 24th it is aired on television in my country for the joy of small children, and many Mexicans like me watched it and have fond memories of it. When I looked for it at IMDb I got an enormous surprise finding out it was listed as one of the worst 100 movies in history, but my surprise turned to disappointment when I saw the reasons for its bad reputation. It turns out the rights for this movie were bought by an American producer to exhibit it on his country, for what I read this man, K. Gordon Murray, was not particularly good with the way he treated those films, he created badly done dubbed versions, edited them as he pleased without respect for the original film and took no notice about the quality of the process. This U.S. version has been seen by many persons in that country and it has a big responsibility in the bad reputation of the film, which is unfairly judged based on a different version of the original. Also and worst of all is that for everything that I've read It seems this movie has been judged based on the United States Folklore, and not on the Mexican culture in which it was born. Many reviews criticize this based on the fact that it is a version that does not conform to the U.S. version of the character, like if that version was unique and inalterable, well here is a surprise for You, it's not, and if you are watching this film first you have to understand that, the traditions it shows are from another culture and therefore, while they have similarities they also have differences. The creators of the movie made it only for Mexican children and they never thought it could be distributed to another place. Please consider this before making harsh judgments of the film.

    With this points clarified here's a quick summary of the film, the original Mexican film which is the one that should be reviewed as it is not fair that this is trashed on the grounds of a crappy edition made by an irresponsible distributor. The plot is rather simple, it is Christmas Eve and Santa Claus is getting ready to fulfill his yearly mission of delivering presents to the good kids in the world. But at the same time in Hell, Satan himself sends a devil called "Precio" to stop him. Once in earth the story focuses on five Mexican children: a poor girl that wishes to have a rag doll, a rich boy that wishes to have his parents alongside him because he is lonely and a group of three spoiled boys that think they can get away with having presents despite being bad all year; while the stories of these children develop we see Santa struggling to overcome the attempts of Precio to stop him and, while for a moment it seems that the envoy of hell will beat Santa, like in every Christmas film we have a happy ending.

    Now allow me to explain a few important things that have been said about this film based on the misguided ideas I mentioned above. The Devil against Santa Claus? Yes, this comes from a Mexican tradition called Pastorela which has its origins on the colonial epoch and it still exists today; pastorelas are simple plays whose ultimate end is evangelization, they show Satan trying to stop small groups of shepherds that are on their way to worship the newborn Jesus at Betlehem. In modern times different cultural elements like Santa himself have been added to the original tradition, but the root of the pastorela is religious and hence the important part of the devil. Christmas is a religious celebration and that is still very important in catholic latinoamerican countries.

    Santa is a friend of Jesus? Why,of course. I thought this to be common knowledge but apparently it isn't so You just have to watch a documentary, read a book Or simply visit Wikipedia and you'll learn that the origin of Santa Claus is in Christianity and in the figure of Saint Nicholas. It wasn't útil the XIX century when the world famous version of the character started to take form and it didn't do it in a massive way until Coca-Cola used the character as part of an advertising campaign when it became the marketing figure it is today. In the United States you may have a very defined idea of how this character must be, but can't you accept that in other places it evolved in a different way closer to it's religious roots? Well that's what happened in Mexico and the film itself says in the introduction that Santa is no other than Saint Nicholas, that means a Christian saint. Now in catholic countries saints are very important figures, they serve as intermediaries between God and men, in this case rewarding kids that are good and punishing those that aren't. So as a Christian saint it makes perfect sense that Santa prays to Jesus and it makes much more sense that the devil is trying to stop him; he does this not just because he can, but because making Santa fail will prevent that he spreads his Christian message. Anyway these are the most important points I wanted to write about, because it is completely unfair that you trash this film because you don't understand its context or its message: judge it in base of its cinematographic merits and considering the audience it is aimed for, those are small children.

    Considering this I can say Santa Claus is not a specially good film, it has bad acting, bad costumes, bad scenarios and it is very naive. But it achieves its goal to entertain kids and give them a nice moral message. Is it a bad film? Yes. Does it deserve to be at the bottom 100? Absolutely no.
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    How to explain the unusual 1959 feature from Mexico, wherein the Merriest Man on the Planet teams up with Merlin the Magician to defend the magic of Christmas against Ol' Sparky, a/k/a the Devil --- or, to be more accurate, his agent Pitch?

    Well, for some reason, this film has its share of defenders. Recently, the website was developed just for them, paying tribute as it does to the Miami-based entrepreneur who somehow acquired the U.S. rights to this strangely bizarre Santa Claus film from its Mexican-based producers. One would surmise that the all-Mexican cast and crew wanted to stress all the tenets associated with Mexico's perceptions of good versus evil; God (personified here by Santa) versus Satan (or, as the English-language version calls him, Lucifer, King of Hades), again in the person of Pitch --- Well, really, the whole thing was put together by people who simply had no clue as to Santa's primary concepts!

    Adding Merlin the Magician (direct from King Arthur's Court) and giving him a special place in Santa's heavenly castle might have worked wonders for the screenwriters, but purists of Camelot and its ilk will certainly ask what in thunder Merlin's doing in a movie about Santa Claus. And what is all this business with magical flowers, and even magic cocktails anyway? The idea of getting drunk to be with the ones you love sounds a bit twisted in my book --- but, as they say, to each his own.

    Then we turn to Lupita, the little girl who seems obsessed with being good. OK, it's good to want to be good, but even behaving positively can at times be taken to extremes, as we obviously see here. Pitch makes every effort to seduce her into doing bad things, but at this point it becomes clear that she will not be moved. One has to wonder why. Lucifer has, after all, threatened Pitch that if he fails in his mission against St. Nick, he'll be fed chocolate ice cream (which is fun, but it doesn't exactly classify as a so-called 'punishment'.

    Look, the bottom lime here is that this silly film is a laugh riot. How we giggle and guffaw at this film each time we view it is beyond analysis. Just enjoy the darn movie, and laugh yourself a merry (albeit bizarre) little Christmas. Now.
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    Put this on the VCR on Christmas day, and let people gather round the boob tube. Have them gawk at the crazy, silly wonder at this Mexican produced version of St. Nick, and fun will seep in like vodka spiced egg-nog!

    Santa lives in space with little kids and a senile magician (Mrs. Claus probably filed for divorce decades ago!) He uses listening devices (made up of applainces and human organs. I am not kidding!!!) to spy on children on earth. he also pauses to watch a frightening puppet show, a Mexican glamour gal go shopping, etc. etc. Then we meet Santa's enemy- Pitch. Pitch is a prissy devil who dances alot, complains of stomach cramps, and uses wild hand gestures when he talks. Pitch has to destroy Christmas or Satan will make his ulcer worse!

    The plot gets crazier when Santa moonlights as a bartender, children have dreams that look like cheaply rendered LSD trips (with nagging dolls, parents that arrive in coffin-like boxes) I am not making any

    of this up. This is possibly the strangest Christmas movie ever made. Box up that CD of old Chrsitmas caroles. This Christmas, this loopy wonder should be on your TV.
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    My mother took me to see this film as a child and I long to see it every year as I do all of my other Christmas favorites. What I remember most was the silly Devil and Santa looking through his telescope. I waited and looked through the T.V. Guide each year after that to see when it would be shown. I would usually find it playing on a Saturday afternoon. I only found the movie in English which took something special away from the film and have longed to find a copy of it in Spanish. I hold this film dear to my heart and have never suffered from nightmares as others might suggest. Yes, it is a different film about Santa Claus and that is what makes it special and unique. I can't wait to get a copy of this film and watch it with my children as I explain to them my favorite parts and memories!!
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    Every once and again, a producer takes a simple, appealing little idea and runs amok with it. The middle-1970s were largely the official stumbling block for "childrens movies" designed to offer gentle, non-hip entertainment. Now, even Disney-produced films can have touches of low humor and things that parents of the 1950s would take exception to.

    However, in 1959, there was still time for an unsophisticated storyline. The best years of Rankin-Bass lay ahead, and -- down in Mexico -- work was being completed on a slightly outre' Christmas film.

    SANTA CLAUS emerges in the 1990s as a "party film," simply on the merits of some of the more bizarre elements, which include the fabled Jolly Old Elf spying on unaware children with a sophisticated, wiggly telescope eye, a minor demon tormenting Santa with a toy missile launcher, and far more elfin magic than is good for you.

    In his castle (literally) in the clouds, Santa and a gaggle of "typical" children (a Mexican boy, a somewhat Germanic girl and an all-American cowboy Norte Americano) are busily getting the good on the unwary children of the world. In spite of a minor flaw with his mobile spy eye, Santo deftly homes in on a little girl who has no means to get that doll she's been wanting.

    You realize, of course, that she'll get it...

    In the meantime, down in suburban Heck, the devil sends wicked, somewhat able Pitch to Earth to stonewall Santa's Christmas dealings. Pitch is essentially warned that he'd better not screw this job up. At this point, I think we all see where all this is heading.

    Santo arrives on Earth in a vaguely sci-fi sleigh. He bedevils a couple of nasty boys who heckle the waif, and we see her tormented with guilt as Pitch tries to engineer her stealing of a doll.

    Of course, she instinctively does the right thing, which leaves Pitch at loose ends. Having been a wee bit short of the task of corrupting a 5 year-old child, he turns on Santa. There follow a few extremely humiliating scenes of the demon trying to do something significant.

    Santa wins, Pitch loses.

    How do you analyze a film like this? It plays exclusively on a "feel good" emotional level, with no sophistication in plot or execution. For the very young, it will probably play well (a public domain video version was market in the U.S. some years ago). For the older viewers, I'd suggest the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version, which mercilessly homes in on each and every bizarre or particularly weak point.
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    Some might say something like "Baby Geniuses" with its giant robot infants or "Dumbo" with its psychedelic drug-addled nightmare sequence would win the award for the most disturbing movie ever made for children. You might say that too, but you'd be wrong. Lo and behold, for I bring to you: Santa Claus, the most helplessly messed up family film since ... well, ever.

    From the opening scenes showing children from different parts of the world singing their insipid theme songs (seriously, this segment is nearly 20 freakin' minutes long and has nothing to do with the plot!) to the thrilling conclusion in which Merlin pops up from outta nowhere and saves the day (don't mind him, he's from Barcelona), this is childhood trauma at its finest. And no matter how hard I try, no matter how many different therapists I visit, I just... can't... get... those... reindeer's...laughter...out... of... my ... head!

    Avoid this mind-bending piece of trash like you'd avoid a sex-starved whale during mating season. Still, if flaming gay demons with a serious case of the overacting flu are something for you, I guess you should give it a try. But really, this movie isn't worth your time and mental health.
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    Brilliant use of overstated technicolor illustrates the optimistic extremes of present day Christmas ceremonies. The voyeuristic element during the scenes (Santa & Pedro summarize society's behavior peering through a telescope) is unique (and obviously Jean-Luc Godard, although he was subtle, stole this theme in his film "Pierrot le-fou"). Highly recommended!
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    All right I recently got a chance to rent this and watch Santa Claus conquers the martains. Although the children were much more sadistic in SCCTM, I would have to say that Santa Claus was a much worse movie. As a spanish assignment in Spanish 5 we all had to watch it. I'll tell you, usually when we watch a movie we are all just talking and eating food, but not for this movie. Everyone just kept there jaw open wondering what the evil Mr. Pitch was going to do next. Would Merlin help Santa Claus!?! or would his robot reindeer come and save the day? I would suggest renting it because it is the biggest piece of rubbish I have ever seen and I love it for that. :D
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    This has to be creepiest, most twisted holiday film that I've ever clapped eyes on, and that's saying something. I know that the Mexican people have some odd ideas about religion, mixing up ancient Aztec beliefs with traditional Christian theology. But their Day of the Dead isn't half as scary as their take on Santa Claus.

    So..Santa isn't some jolly, fat red-suited alcoholic(take a look at those rosy cheeks sometime!). Rather, he's a skinny sociopathic pedophile living in Heaven(or the heavens, whichever), with a bunch of kids who work harder than the one's in Kathy Lee Gifford's sweat shops. They sing oh-so-cute traditional songs of their homelands while wearing clothing so stereotypical that i was surprised there wasn't a little African-American boy in black face singing 'Mammy'. This Santa is a Peeping Tom pervert who watches and listens to everything that everybody does from his 'eye in the sky'. This is so he can tell who's been naughty or nice(with an emphasis on those who are naughty, I'd bet).

    There's no Mrs. Claus, no elves(what does he need elves for when he's got child labor?) and the reindeer are mechanical wind-up toys! This floating freak show hovers on a cloud, presumably held up by its silver lining.

    Santa's nemesis is...the Devil?! What is this, Santa our Lord and Savior? Weird. Anyhoo, Satan sends one of his minions, a mincing, prancing devil named Pitch, to try to screw up Christmas. Let me get this straight-the forces of purest evil are trying to ruin a completely commercial and greed driven holiday? Seems kind of redundant, doesn't it?

    Pitch is totally ineffectual. He tries to talk some children into being bad, but doesn't have much luck. I was strongly struck by the storyline of the saintly little girl Lupe, who's family is very poor. All that she wants is a doll for Christmas, but he parents can't afford to buy her one(they spent all of their money on the cardboard that they built their house out of). So Pitch tries to encourage her to steal a doll. In reality, that's the only way that a girl that poor would ever get a doll, because being saintly and praying to God and holy Santa doesn't really work. But Lupe resists temptation and tells Pitch to get thee behind her, and so is rewarded by being given a doll so creepy looking that you just know that it's Chucky's sister.

    Along the way Pitch manages to get Santa stuck in a tree(uh-huh) from whence he's rescued by Merlin! Merlin? You have got to be kidding me! Since when do mythical Druidic figures appear in Christmas tales, or have anything to do with a Christian religion? And doesn't God disapprove of magic? They'd have been burning Merlin at the stake a few hundred years ago, not asking him to come to the rescue of one of God's Aspects(or that's what I assume Santa must be, to be going up against Satan). This movie is one long HUH? from start to finish, and it'll make you wonder if that eggnog you drank wasn't spiked or something. Probably it was, since this movie is like one long giant DT.
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    This film is awful. Give me the dentist anytime! Can you believe that one of the main TV stations here in Arabia had this as their Christmas film! I can only assume they expected to entertain the crowds with Dudley Moore rather than this. The last time I looked at my hot water bottle it had more acting, better plot, more drama and a lot more interest than this waste of celluloid. Don't even watch it if you're drunk!
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    If you are a huge fan of watching bad films then put this on your list of films to see. This film is available in multi-pack dvds. These are a group of films that are sold in a set for around $10 and most of the time you get around 6 movies.

    That is how I discovered this film. The opening has children from around the world singing Christmas Songs. These scene goes on & on. We finally get to see see the American Children and the "Christmas Song" they are singing is Mary Had a Little Lamb".

    As for the major plot On December 24, Santa prepares for his yearly journey at his Toyland castle in space. He plays the organ while his children helpers from all over the world sing. Meanwhile, in Hell, Lucifer instructs his chief demon Pitch to travel to Earth and turn the children of the world against Santa.

    In a busy marketplace, Pitch attempts to convince five children to "make Santa Claus angry": Lupita, a poor girl; Billy, the son of wealthy but negligent parents; and three trouble making brothers. Pitch fails at convincing Lupita to steal a doll from a vendor but succeeds in convincing the brothers to break a shop window. Santa's child workers alert him to these events.

    Unable to travel to Earth before nightfall on Christmas Eve, he instead uses equipment to watch Pitch and the children. One device allows him to view Lupita's dream, induced by Pitch, in which she is tormented by life-sized dancing dolls who entice her to steal. He also listens as the three brothers plot to break into Billy's home and steal his presents. They also attempt to write a letter to Santa claiming they have been good, but Santa's voice informs them that he can see all they do.

    I don't want to tell much more except WATCH IT and have fun.
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    I saw this movie when I was a little girl. And I have enjoyed it every time. Sure the graphics are a little cheesy, compared to now, but back in the 70's it was great. I saw it in the original Spanish version only and thought it was wonderful. That was how I remember my Christmases were with my family - magical. Santa Claus was amazing and I couldn't wait for him to come back each year.

    If you have a child/children and speak Spanish, bring them up watching this old fashioned version of "Santa Claus". It's a different version than we are used to today, but who says there is one way?

    It's a fun movie to watch. It teaches children good vs. bad. I don't know how the English subtitled version is or if there is an English one of this, but the Spanish is the best. Enjoy and Happy Holidays! Feliz Navidad!
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    Beautiful festival of holiday cheer can be found in this film! Ranks right up there with Christmas gems like "Miracle on 34th Street" and "Mr. Magoo's Christmas!" Santa shows that love, joy, and mechanical reindeer can best deliver the message of 20th century Holidays!
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    Perfect for families with small children who are looking for lighthearted films that contain no violence and are enthralling for the child and amusing, albeit, completely corny, to adults. Not a bad film for a low-budget job. Children will be amazed with Santa's workshop and the "magic" that enables him to enter homes through chimneys that appear too small, or homes that have no chimneys at all!

    Kids will thrill over the Santa's success at thwarting the nasty devil named Pitch (complete in classic red outfit with horns and tail!). They will sympathize with the poor little girl who's greatest wish is to have a little doll to love. And the poor little rich boy who only wishes to spend time with his forever absent parents. And what child does not know someone at school who are just like the nasty boys that are enlisted by Pitch to help capture Santa and ruin Christmas? In the end, everyone, including the nasty boys, get just what they deserve for Christmas!

    The film will endear children to both Santa and the message of love he delivers to people throughout the world.
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    Skunk Black

    It's the most unbelievably nonsensical movie I've ever seen. I have only watched this ripped apart by MST3K, so I can't talk about it 'clean' so to speak.

    However, I get the impression it would be just as funny, and possibly even more disturbing. If this film doesn't put your kids off Santa, I don't know what will, as he appears to hold to slave labour and has spying equipment the CIA would kill for.

    The entire film is a weird Christian centred movie, with a very creepy Santa (who thinks people on Earth eat smoke. Incidentally where the hell is he supposed to live, exactly?) fighting a devil called Pitch, who is the most unbelievably camp villain I think I've ever seen. After Santa makes some weird wishy-washy comment about Jesus (seriously, what the hell?) he takes off for earth after his child slaves load up the sleigh. The kids are, by the way, the most horrifically stereotyped examples from various countries and continents, including some which I'm sure aren't huge on the whole Christmas thing...

    The rest of the film makes even less sense. There's some really disturbing giant dolls and a horrifically saccharine little girl who is really just....horrible. She's not cute, she's sugary vileness of the highest degree.

    A truly disturbing film in many ways, but absolutely hilarious from start to finish.
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    Before I'd seen this, I had seen some pretty bad Christmas films. But once I saw this, "Jingle All the Way" looked better than "The Godfather". "Santa Claus" is a jolly film about Santa helping out some kids, but it almost feels demonic watching it. Santa's jolly ho-ho-ho is replaces by an evil, devilish laugh that I'm sure has turned many kids off of Christmas. The plot of this massacre is very strange, which fits along with all of the performances and dialog. Santa lives high above Earth in the North Pole where he, and kids from all around the world get ready for Christmas. But Santa has an enemy named Pitch, or Satan. Pitch tries to ruin Santa's Christmas by making three boys naughty, and by creating diversions, like moving the chimney and making the doorknob hot. When Pitch causes Santa to be attacked by a dog, it's up to Santa's helper Pedro and Merlin the wizard to get Santa out of this pickle.

    Everything about this film, along with being downright bad, is so bizarre. Satan dances a lot and he actually seems much more merry than Santa. Santa talks about delivering presents to all the boys and girls, yet he seems to only deliver to 5 houses of kids in Mexico. The reindeer are wind up toys, and when the reindeer laughs, I'm amazed it doesn't bring tears to kid's's frightening. Everything is terrible. The first 10 minutes are simply Santa playing the organ while kids sing to it. Probably one of the strangest scenes is Santa shooting Pitch in the butt with a mini-cannon and uproariously laughing about it while Pitch dances around in pain. I think parents are better off telling their little kids about where babies come from, than showing them this. The only positive is it will have you laughing hysterically if you can appreciate bad cinema.

    My rating: BOMB/****. 85 mins.
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    Just get it. The DVD is cheap and easy to come by, the length is now standard and you've gone long enough without it. (When home video started, there were at LEAST three versions with parts missing..) Everything you've read is true. There is no defending it, and no living without it. The color is lush and wonderful to look at, and the production values are pretty good for a Saturday afternoon kiddie epic. But no question..the whole Santa Vs. Satan angle is so jaw dropping STRANGE it made the movie a hit at the time and a cult fave once home video really got underway. How good/bad/strange/ is it? I only saw the TRAILER as a kid,and remembered IT for nearly 30 years..including Murray's over the top voice over..I told my older sister, and she called me a liar and could not believe it was POSSIBLE for ANYONE to make a movie where Santa vs.Satan.. Add to it stuff like Santa asking for the Virgin Mary's blessing before setting off on Christmas eve, kids wanting to capture him and make him their SLAVE..and an international kiddie sweat shop..and it probably comes close to a lot of nightmares kids had in the 60's.. Like others here, I watch the thing every holiday season now. (My version of choice is The Mystery Science Theatre 3000 edition). But any old way you choose it, the movie is a demented masterpiece and a total must (along with Brianiac, by the way..).It never fails to make me laugh. Better, I think, then SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS. Parts of it can still make you cringe or just creep you out.(How many parents do YOU know go out for cocktails on Christmas Eve? "If you get bored, just go downstairs and play the piano." DANG..) Freaky, boring, disturbing, funny, childish, strange..hey, what more can you want?
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    This movie is being added to my list of Things That Have to Be Viewed to make the Christmas season true and pure and real every year. This list includes It's a Wonderful Life, Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer, Miracle on 34th Street, and House Party II. This is GENIUS. This is the very best bad movie ever made, as is confirmed by the the child slave labor in the North Pole - a scene apparently sponsored and endorsed by the NRA and the fine folks of Asia Minor. From the opening dance scene in Hell I was hooked. From Merlin's sleep dust, the martini of rememberence and the people to poor for Santa to think to visit, this is a classic. This is truly the stuff of Christmas memories. In short, Santa Conquers the Martians should stand up and say Ole! to neighbors to the south. Dance, Lupita! Dance!
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    When I was kid back in the 1970s a local theatre had Children's Matinees every Saturday and Sunday afternoon (anybody remember those?). They showed this thing one year around Christmas time. Me and some friends went to see it. We expected a cool Santa Claus movie. We stumbled out 90 minutes later totally numb and frightened to death! This is a terribly dubbed (you can tell) and truly creepy movie.

    Something about Santa Claus and Merlin the Magician (don't ask me what those two are doing in the same movie) fighting Satan (some joker in a silly devil costume complete with horns!). The images had me cringing in my seat. I always found Santa spooky to begin with so that didn't help. The guy in the Satan suit was even worse. But what REALLY horrified me were the wooden reindeers that pulled Santa's sled. When he wound them up and the creepy sound they made and the movements--I remember having nightmares about those things! All these years later I still remember walking out of that theatre more than a little disturbed by what I saw. My friends were sort of frightened by it too. I just saw an ad for it on TV and ALL those nightmares came roaring back. This is a creepy, disturbing little Christmas film that will probably scare the pants off any little kid who sees it and put them in therapy for YEARS! This gets a 1.

    UPDATE: I just saw the movie again tonight. It's stupid, poorly done, childish and just plain surreal! The creepy imagery is still there too! The parts that got me (aside from those nightmare-inducing reindeers) was Santa's observatory (don't ask) which has a telescope where a big EYE comes out of and moves around! Then there's a HUGE mouth in the wall that moves and speaks! The scenes with those things sparked something deep in me and I briefly felt afraid--but I can deal with it now. Again--do NOT let your children see this film--unless you REALLY want to punish them.
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    Last year about this time, I reviewed the U.S.-dubbed version of this Mexican-made holiday movie as shown and commented on by Mike and the 'bots on "Mystery Science Theater 3000". I remember thinking it was hilarious and give it 10 stars because of all the commenting by them. I've now seen the original version from its native country and I've got to say that despite the still creepy laughs from both Santa and especially his mechanical reindeer, that prancing devil, that machine with the red lips, and all those children from different countries illegally in labor under the red-suited man, this is a mostly touching tale of the wishes of a rich boy and a poor girl coming true because of Santa. With both the native language intact (and the version I saw on YouTube also had no subtitles), and no edits for commercials, this wasn't a bad movie to watch during this holiday season. I did admit, however, to laughing at some wrong places simply because of my memory of "MST3K" or doing so because some scenes were so obviously broad that you're giggling not because it's naturally funny but because you know they want you to laugh so you do. I mean, who wouldn't laugh at the devil getting his butt shot at with an arrow? So for all the reasons I cited, I'm giving this version of the Mexican Santa Claus a 6.
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    There are some things I will never understand; why underwear comes in packs of threes when clearly thats not enough is an example. Similarly, I will never understand this film, and that is brilliant. If you approach this film expecting an actual movie, you might as well be approaching Satan expecting a hug; although that may well be possible if you greet this film's Satanic figures. Take Pitch for instance; the most ineffectual, camp, unhellish portrayal of a devil since Freddy Mercury and Wayne Sleep joined forces to create a ten foot Satan costume from red body paint and horns covered with condoms. However, it does create some of the most hilarious moments of any film ever. Seriously, this is no understatement. The same can be applied to every other character, bar the little girl who acts so sickly innocent she's probably overcompensating for some serious crime she's part of. Then again, if Santa's inter-space recon station is real, there is no chance she could have avoided him this long. Put simply, if you haven't seen this movie, you cannot consider yourself a serious buff. The achingly funny characterisation, acting, concept, and almost-under-the-radar racism makes this a must see above any film to date (if you're after pure laughter that is).
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    While "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" is usually cited as one of the worse films ever made, this Mexican-made film from 1959 is so bad it makes "SCCM" look like "It's a Wonderful Life." You have to wonder what the people who made this film were thinking; perhaps they meant it as a third-world allegory about capitalist greed and conspicuous consumption. Nah . . . They just weren't very good. The same production company made an even more disturbing version of "Little Red Riding Hood" in which the wolf's obsession with our heroine has unmistakable hints of pedophilia. (Perhaps this was the inspiration for "Freeway.") Back to "Santa Claus": instead of the North Pole, Jolly Old Saint Nicholas resides in a satellite in geosynchronous earth orbit (shades of "MST3K"); instead of elves his toys are made by children chosen from around the world; and he had sophisticated spy equipment to check just which kids are naughty and nice. The result is like an Orwellian outer space sweat shop. It's enough to turn you off Christmas forever. This and other low-rent Mexican children's' films were dubbed in English and widely distributed in the U.S. in the early 1960s; no wonder the sixties became such a turbulent period in American history. The baby boomers who were forced to endure these "family" films as children would be all too eager to turn revolutionary.
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    This movie is not all that bad if you compare it to Santa Claus Conquers The Martians. It has to be the most colourful movie to be shown on MST3K. The director wanted to make a fantasy movie and thats what he did but it is still a bad movie. A lot of the movies on the bottom 100 were just made for the money but this one was not. This film actually a very expensive to make seeing how it was made in colour. So how can a movie that is not that bad end up on lists of worst films ever? It still feels like a normal, run of the mill Christmas movie despite all it's bizarre moments. The strangest thing about this film is the inclusion of the devil and the fact that he wants to kill Santa and ruin Christmas. Its very much like The Grinch in that regard. Again if you think about it, it's not that bad of a movie.