Front Row at the Movies
Attack of the B’s with
“Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”
Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
As we all know, a B movie is a low-budget commercial motion picture not intended for art houses. So what’s one doing at the Tropic Cinema?
Well, Saturday mornings in July have been devoted to Attack of the B’s. And what better example of a B movie than “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”?
This 1964 cult classic has it all: Kris Kringle, invaders from outer space, and a diatribe against watching mind-rotting television. (Okay, maybe we’d throw in Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum if there’s ever a remake.)
“Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” regularly finds itself on the list of the worst films ever made. Matter of fact, it was included in the book “The Fifty Worst Films of All Time.”
For those of you who like this sort of silliness, we have Mom Martian and King Martian worrying that their children watch too much Earth TV, particularly KID-TV’s interview with Santa Claus at the North Pole. An elder named Chochem (a Yiddish word meaning “genius”) advises them to provide the kids with a Santa Claus of their own … so Momar and Kimar decide to abduct Earth’s jolly old elf. Who better to play Santa Claus than Santa Claus?
Easier said than done, given the number of fake Santas standing on the street corners on this neighboring planet. And even more of a challenge when a Martian villain named Volder sets out to thwart their plan of coming up with a Martian Santa.
We admit it’s all pretty dumb. But it’s a perfect selection to top of a month-long series of B-movies. We like to call them Killer B’s.