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"Santa Brings Christmas Fun to Mars"—Tagline.
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (also titled Santa Claus Defeats the Aliens) is a 1964 science fiction film (originally a children's book) in which Martians, trying to cure the malaise of their children, kidnap THE Santa Claus (and a couple of earth kids that got mixed up in the plot) and take him to Mars to create the first Martian Christmas. Santa takes the whole thing surprisingly well and is only too happy to help. However, a small band of Martians rebel against the idea of Christmas or children being happy and try to kill Santa Claus. By the end of the movie, the Martians discover that they can just get a really annoying Martian named Dropo to stuff a pillow down his shirt and DRESS as Santa, thus allowing Santa and the earth kids to go home.
A No Budget kids film with cheap sets, awful costumes, cheesy acting, and a laughably bad script, the film regularly appears on lists of the worst films ever made. It is regularly featured in the "bottom 100" list on the Internet Movie Database, and was also featured in an episode of the Elvira hosted Movie Macabre, the 1986 syndicated series Canned Film Festival and numerous other venues for bad movies over the years. It was directed by Nicholas Webster, and it stars John Call as Santa Claus. It also includes an 8-year-old Pia Zadora playing the role of one of the Martian children.
It also had a comic book adaptation that was mocked on Atop The Fourth Wall.
- Action Santa
- Air Vent Passageway: Santa escapes being Thrown Out the Airlock this way. Given that this is Santa Claus, shimmying through vents should be a given.
- Aliens Steal Cable: The alien children learn about Santa Claus through the reception of Earth
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Betty Foster
- Arch Enemy: Voldar
- Badass Santa: Santa doesn't ever fight anyone, but it should be noted how easily he shrugs and laughs at the numerous attempts on his life.
- Christmas Elves: Unfortunately, they don't stand a chance against the Martians' Whamo Air Blasters.
- Comic Book Adaptation: Dell published it as part of their "Movie Classics" line in the 1960s!
- Covers Always Lie: the film is called Santa Claus Conquers The Martians, although there's not really a lot of "conquering" going on.
- Enclosed Space: The air lock where Santa Claus and the earth kids where trapped.
- Evil Laugh: Voldar delivers these with increasing gusto as Santa's influence gets to him.
- Fail O'Suckyname: Dropo.
- Food Pills: The Martian cuisine of choice
- The Fool: Dropo
- The Grinch: Voldar
- Hermit Guru: Chochem, the Troll doll.
- Hey, It's That Girl!: Pia Zadora.
- Jerkass: Voldar
- Killer Robot: Torg
- Ludd Was Right: Hinted at after the toy-making machine is sabotaged.
- Mrs. Claus: this is the first time she appears as a character in an audio-visual medium.
- Mundane Fantastic: In a refreshing departure from many a Christmas Special, Santa Claus is acknowledged as real and the army is dispatched when he gets kidnapped.
- Neutral Female: Momar
- Nice Hat: The hats that every Martian wears. The only one that doesn't wear one is Chochem.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Wernher
von Braunvon Green
- Off-the-Shelf FX: The Whammo air guns.
- The Pollyanna: Santa.
- Planetville: Mars apparently consists of a house, a factory, and a cave.
- Portmanteau: Kimar (king Martian), Momar (mom Martian), Bomar (boy Martian), Girmar (girl Martian) etc. Not sure if Dropo means anything.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Kimar
- The Red Planet: Mars
- Screen to Stage Adaptation: A small theater in CA has adapted this to stage and performs it every holiday season. It is snarkerific. I'm seriously amazed that this hasn't found its way into bigger theaters yet... The tickets for every seat of the season typically sell out within a few weeks of going on sale and the competition grows every year since people who've gone once want to see it again the next year. Much of the humor comes from the improvisation that the actors produce, so it's worth seeing every year even if you've already seen it.
- Shout-Out The robot "Torg" was likely a reference to "Gort" from The Day the Earth Stood Still.
- Voldar mentions being able to destroy a city with a blast of the Martian Q-Ray.
- Single Biome Planet: Justified, as it is, well, Mars.
- The Slacker: Dropo
- Spelling Song: "You spell it S-A-N-T-A C-L-A-U-S, hooray for Santy Claus!"
- Stock Footage: Used to show how "much" the armed forces are defending the Earth.
- Some of which appears to be from World War II.
- Stupid Statement Dance Mix: This film inspired a lo-fi techno group called "The Laziest Men on Mars"; they named themselves & their title track after what the "Chief" called Dropo. If you've never heard of them, they did the song that powered All Your Base.
- That Makes Me Feel Angry: "I'm cold! I'm tired!"
- ~This! Is! SPARTA!~: "Torg! COME. Out. Of. The. Spaceship."
- Toys: Check – Sanat makes ‘em on Mars.
- Thrown Out the Airlock: Voldar tries to pull this on Santa and the kids, as the first and last stop on a tour of the ship.
- True Meaning of Christmas: The movie's theme is teaching the Martians the meaning of Christmas.