Santa Claus (1959)

THE WORST CHRISTMAS movies EVER!

Tonight: Santa Claus (1959), a.k.a. Santa Claus versus the Devil

I don’t think it gets any worse than this.  Fortunately this is the last movie of this Christmas list, so I can wait a year(or most of it anyways) before I can be proven wrong.

Here’s a basic run down of the plot:  Santa Claus is a being of the 5th dimension who lives in a castle on a cloud with an army of children from all over the world.  Santa has help from Merlin and Hephaestus to battle a demon sent by Lucifer to make the children of the world do evil.

Not even kidding.  Oh, and the movie was made in Mexico before being dubbed in English.  And not modern dubbing either.  1960’s dubbing.  Weep children.  Weep.

So we begin in a castle on a cloud.  Santa is preparing for his yearly journey to Earth, and he tries motivating the children he has kidnapped and enslaved to work in his toy factory by playing them songs from their homeland.  Starting with Africa.

Santa goes through many of the more populous countries of the world, giving each of them time to sing a brief portion of a song and showing off the most colorful and iconic costumes of their culture.  Africans in tribal outfits, Mexicans in sombreros and ponchos, the Swiss in lederhosen and wooden shoes, Americans in cowboy boots and hats, and Germans in rigid discipline and efficiency.  The British are mentioned and they sing a song, but the camera decides not to zoom in on them when their song comes up.  Maybe they couldn’t afford the stereotypical British outfits.

Meanwhile in Hell,(that’s an odd jumpcut in a Christmas movie) where several demons are all dancing around having a jolly good time.  The voice of Lucifer then calls to Pitch and banishes all the other demons. Lucifer tells Pitch that it is his job to make all the children of the world do evil and turn against Santa.  Oh and it’s already December 24th.  Sort of a late game move in my opinion, but we’ll see how this plays out.  Lucifer says that if Pitch fails, Lucifer will force Pitch to eat CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM!

Yeah, apparently demons can only really eat burning hot coals, so cold food is painful to them.  In Pitch’s case, it is double torture because he is also Lactose Intolerant.

Demons aren’t the only ones that have odd dietary restrictions.  Santa apparently cannot go to Earth before sundown on Christmas Eve or else his robotic wind up Reindeer will dissolve and he will be stranded and starve because all he can eat is pastries and ice cream made from soft clouds.

Pitch goes to earth where crowds of people are standing in front of a store window display with the most HORRIFYING ANIMATRONIC SANTA.  Damn, Pitch works quickly!  Obviously if this is what he makes people think Santa is like, then EVERYONE will turn against-(whisper whisper) wait what?  (whisper whisper) This is just a normal display?  Pitch has nothing to do with it? (whisper)  Nevermind.

A little girl named Lopita is staring at the little doll in the window.  Pitch magically appears next to Lopita and he whispers that she should steal the doll.  She says no, stealing is wrong, and goes about her day.  Pitch then finds three boys and whispers into their ears.  This convinces them to grab some rocks and throw them at the shop Santa.

One of the kids has a REALLY great arm, because the rock he throws makes it all the way to the 5th Dimension and pegs the Real Santa in the FACE!  At this point Santa decides to investigate what is going on.  To this he goes to his command center.  He has a machine with giant lips, a machine with giant ears, and a machine with a giant eye.  The machine with giant lips allows him to hear what people are saying on earth.  He hears the boys plan to lay in wait, attack Santa, and steal all the toys for themselves.

Pitch then appears in a crowded marketplace where Lopita is looking at a table of dolls.  Pitch convinces her to take the doll and hide it in her jacket.  She walks about 10 feet away and her mother tells her to hurry up before the Narrator tells her it is wrong to steal.  Lopita then returns the doll to the table and goes along with her mother.  Once they are back home and Lopita decides to go to sleep, Pitch blows into her ear and gives her bad dreams.

Santa is able to watch her dreams from his device with the giant ear.  Lopita has a dream where she is surrounded by a bunch of coffin sized presents that open up to reveal the most nightmare inducing human sized dolls ever.  Annabelle can suck it.  They all keep dancing around her and chastising her for putting the doll back.

Santa then observes another boys dream.  The slave children talk about how the boy is rich and must have all the toys he wants, what could he possibly want?  Well, he dreams of entering his living room and finding two large presents(again, coffin sized) and he opens them up to find his parents and they hug him.  Holy crap, is this Batman?!?

Nope, apparently his parents just go out to parties all the time and neglect him.  Lame.

So Santa starts reading Christmas letters to him and one boy is asking for a bicycle, a baseball bat, an ATOMIC LABORATORY, AND A MACHINE GUN!  Is this Stewie Griffin?!?  Oh and to double down, they write a second letter pretending to be the “older brother” vouching that Stewie has been a good boy and should get everything.

Santa then goes off to visit Merlin and Hephaestus. Merlin gives Santa sleeping powder and a flower that makes him disappear. They go into great detail about how these work and comment on how their memory sucks so they have to rehash this every year. At least the movie covers its bases on its nonsense.

Hephaestus makes Santa a key that opens every door. It is a giant key that doesn’t fit into any lock, it just strikes lock frame and after it fries the locking mechanism, Santa just walks right through. He tests the key by walking through the hall of a Thousand Magic Portals.

It’s just a name, there are really only 967 portals.

We then cut to Santa’s jerking wildly and him laughing. Before we can get too many unseemly ideas, the narrator suggests he’s “dancing” before it pans up and realize he’s using one of those ab shaker machines to slim up for the chimneys. All the chimneys that appear in this film are roughly 5×5, which I guess that the average Mexican household puts out about as much smoke as your average coal factory to justify that chimney size.

As he’s about to set off, one of the Russian children asks why Santa doesn’t use an interstellar space ship. Santa scoffs at this and says his robotic reindeer work fine. Even though it is pointed out that they dissolve at daylight. Oh and when you crank them up, they give creepy laughter like the nightmare abominations they are.

Oh and then Santa and the children have the most disjointed torturous song I’ve heard since Santa meets the Ice Cream Bunny.

Santa finally sets off to Earth. Almost crashing into the moon which is roughly the same size as Santa and his sleigh.

So Pitch tries to thwart Santa by pushing the chimneys aside, so santa can’t go down them. Even though this still leaves a giant hole in the roof that Santa could go down, Santa is thwarted briefly. Until he remembers he has a key to every door and just uses the front door. But first he must use the magic parasol to float down.

Mary Poppins is gonna sue somebody.

So At the next house, Pitch prevents Santa from using the chimney by lighting a fire in the fireplace. And then to thwart him using the front door, Pitch goes Macaulay Culkin and heats up the doorknob using his demon breath. To test it is hot enough, he holds paper above the knob and it instantly catches fire. Pitch casually tosses the paper into the living room.

Can’t deliver presents to a burned down house!

Nope, Santa decides to come in the window instead. Pitch is so enthralled to see Santa burn his hands, he doesn’t notice Santa come in and set up a Cannon behind him until Santa Blows his ass off!

Okay, it was a toy cannon that only shot Pitch in the ass with a dart. Still incredibly dangerous, but it was 1959 and we had kids to spare.

Santa goes to the rich boy, speaks to him in his dream, then makes the parents drink a highly volatile drink that makes them realize they miss their son and go home. End of his story. Until his parents get shot dead in an alley and he fights crime dressed up as a flying rodent.

PIGEON MAN!

Ahem. So the three young criminals are plotting with Pitch to take down Santa with a trip wire. Santa thwarts them by FLYING THROUGH LIKE A BURNING FIREBALL! Santa leaves the boys coal in their shoes and Pitch makes the boys turn on each other. End of their story.

Pitch then tries to steal the sleigh, but the robo reindeer don’t obey him. So Pitch simply cuts the bag holding Santa’s sleep powder and invisible flower.

Santa then goes to a house with a dog outside. Without the powder to make the dog go to sleep, Santa gets chased up a tree. Pitch then convinces the family inside that their is an intruder outside and to bring the guns and call the police. Pitch also calls the fire department and using his demon breath, makes fire burst out the other end of the phone!

The fire department says its a five alarm fire. I think when flames start bursting through the phone lines, you have to change your ranking of fires to the One Punch Threat Levels. This is Threat Level Dragon fire level at least.

So with the police, fire department, an angry family with guns, and a Single dog about to bear down on Santa, all appears lost. Merlin pulls a Jeff Goldblum and starts linking words together and suggests Santa use a toy cat to chase the dog away. It works and Santa gets away. Pitch gets blasted with the fire hose and is thwarted.

Santa is out of time, but manages to make one last run to give Lupita the doll she wanted. Santa then flies back to his castle in the sky. Oh, Lupita’s father came home lamenting that he couldn’t find a job, but hey, Lupita has a doll.

This is just an insane movie. Santa Claus isn’t a very popular figure in Mexico, so the basics that we have here in the States just aren’t that well known. As a result, instead of the North Pole and Elves, you have floating castles in space and enslaved children from across the globe. Instead of the power of non-belief and corrupt business men trying to destroy Santa, you have the literal Devil.

There is just some unrestrained Nightmare Fuel in this film, but I would recommend checking it out with Rifftrax. Might be a good time.

Next Time: Well, This Christmas is finally over. And I managed to finish it all in the allotted time frame, just like the Spirits in A Christmas Carol.

Unless the time stamps screw up and say that I posted this in February or some nonsense. Mark Zuckerberg would certainly send a personal letter of apology detailing why such a thing was allowed to happen.

In 2019, I don’t know how often I’ll do the bad pictures thing. I have some big plans for October, but I don’t have anything planned for the interim. I’ll keep you posted.

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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