Friday, November 26, 2010

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Santa Claus (1959)

We had barely recovered from Santa Claus (1959) the first time, when we went back in to watch MST3K go at it.  It was highly therapeutic watching others hate that stupid surreal film. 

Read Erin's post about the original movie before going on, because I am not subjecting you to another full writeup of the plot.

Some notable thoughts and quotes:

During the hideous imitation of "It's a Small World" that opens the film: the sad and bored looking children are funny for the first 3 minutes or so, then they're just depressing.

“If there is a soundtrack to Seasonal Affective Disorder, this is it”

The ethnic stereotypes joked about by the robots aren't nearly so offensive as the ones in the movie.

“Santa's laughter mocks the poor.”

The interstitial puppet segments are cute but forgettable, which is pretty common for MST3K.

FYI: This version cuts both the horrid nightmarish nutcracker rip-off dream sequence and the endless Merlin scenes.

Because it's dubbed, and completely insane, I found that I often had trouble telling movie dialogue from parody comments.  The film is full of over-explanatory narration and dialogue, in the grand tradition of bad translation and poor dubbing.

The wind-up reindeer are TERRIFYING.

“Uh Oh, Santa got drunk and delivered all the gifts to the moon again.”

Watching the actor playing Santa get into and out of the sleigh is painful. It takes an embarrassingly long time.

The only bright spot (besides the commentary) is that at least it looks like the guy playing the devil is  enjoying himself. I almost enjoy his parts on the same level as cheesy old movie musicals. He has a dancer-y (if usually corny) way of moving.

With the humorous commentary, this movie might be worth seeing, for the reason one ever watches MST3K: to laugh at bad filmmaking. But considering that Santa is quite scary and only managed to visit three kids in the whole night, I can't say that it's done much for my level of holiday cheer.


Mystery Science Theater 3000: Santa Claus is available streaming on Netflix Instant.
Also Available On Demand at Amazon.com

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