Santa Claus Conquers the Martians – RiffTrax Live Trip Report
Maybe I should explain…
This is the third time the Mystery Science Theater crews have tackled Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Besides the adventure on the original show, the Cinematic Titanic crew has also plunged deep into the SCCTM waters. This latest RiffTrax Live show has made me realize just how often I’ve seen this ridiculous film. Despite it’s terribleness, the film grows on you. I now sort of like it. It’s weird! Man in suit polar bear, cardboard box robot, green face paint Martians, it’s all amazing. Droppo the insane Martian childman, Volmar the evil Martian who longs to drag the planet back to its warlike state. Let us not forget Santa Claus, who alternates between laughing and insulting his wife.
The RiffTrax Live performance came with an accompanying short, Santa and the Fairy Snow Queen, a piece of maddening insanity. A prancing androgynous pixie named Snoopy (despite being named Snoopy, Snoopy is given her name later in the film!) tells us a tale while constantly gyrating, doing various exercise stretches, and randomly laughing shrilly. The Fairy Snow Queen comes to visit Santa Claus, but Santa is in a drunken stupor, so she brings various toys to life as a joke. The Fairy Snow Queen speaks in a very thick German accent, the size rivaled only by her inability to act. The various toys dance around, notably there is a Rag Doll, a Soldier, several generic dolls, and the two most memorable characters. First is a lion, that when he is animated, his first sentence is “I can eat candy!” No wonder he is dubbed Candy Lion in the credits. The other is a hideous Jack-in-the-Box, who pops out of his box periodically to remind us all of Hell. This feature got a well-deserved slamming, though fans will be scared to know that there is a longer version of Santa and the Fairy Snow Queen out there. Perhaps a longer separate short?
The main film begins and the Riffs fly. Of particular amusement is the intense staring while one of the Martians slowly lowers the landing knobs. Volmar’s constant comparison to Daniel Plainview was also amusing. The biggest laughs in the theater came from jokes about the Alex Trebek funeral march, and Santa’s very tired and disturbing finger. Several parts of SCCTM is just so out there that no commentary is needed to enhance the fun. The befuddling slapfights between the Martians, with moves even Captain Kirk could never dream of, are moments of bizarre that require watching. I rather enjoyed this RiffTrax Live outing.
The infectious “Hooray for Santa Claus” song has been stuck in my head since the film, one of those unfortunate side effects from a SCCTM viewing. I’ll need to watch copious amounts of Cold War stock footage to get that song out of my mind.
Until the next RiffTrax Live show…