Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Pia Zadora's cinematic debut, was a holiday favorite at the Bilderback household during the 1970s. Channel 25 in Washington, DC played the movie every Christmas, and every year my brother and I watched it. We were too young to know anything about the camp aesthetic, and we didn't think of the movie as "bad." The idea of Santa being kidnaped by Martians then kicking some green butt may have seemed a little silly to us, but we liked it. The film's cold war subtext and imperialist implications were lost on us young Bilderbacks (I was a long way from a PhD in Cinema Studies at six).
Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is available online for free at archive.org, and I suspect at the Ocean State Job Lot for $1. And seven-year-old Pia Zadora does not get near a garden hose in this movie, so it is safe for the whole family. (Pia's interview with Joey Ramone in SPIN was a classic.) This is often cited as one of the worst movies ever made, but I have trouble calling movies as entertaining as this (or Plan 9 From Outerspace, or Glen or Glenda) "bad." In my opinion these are better movies than a lot of the ones that get the institutional recognition of being nominated for academy awards. What do you think the chances are someone is going to bother to write a blog entry about such boring fare as Seabiscuit or Million Dollar Baby in 40 years?
Here are two versions of the awesome theme song from the movie "Hooray For Santy Claus!" The first is the original version from the movie and is credited to Milton DeLugg & The Little Eskimos. In the SPIN interview Zadora claims she sings the song, but I am having trouble finding independent confirmation of that. Any info would be appreciated. The second version is a remake by Senor Tonto, which is also available for download at their website. Both are wonderful.