I wrote in a post earlier this month how I like to write about cheesy movies and was afraid people would hate on me if I wrote that way about Christmas movies. I tried to solve the problem with a cheesy Christmas movie: Mystery Science Theatre 3000: Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.
I first heard of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians many long years ago in high school. I was writing a piece for Speech Club making fun of Milton’s “Paradise Lost” (I hated that poem), and my speech coach suggested I have one character ask another who claimed to be a great Actor (pronounced Ac-tore) if he wasn’t in Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.
In answer to the question I feel sure at least one of you just asked, yes, in fact, I could have been more of a geek. If I had studied more I would have been a great deal more geeky. I will, however, admit to a certain misfit quality, that I retain to this day.
But I digress.
I finally got to watch the silly movie when TCM showed it in, I believe, 2001. We videotaped it on our VCR, just to put it in historical context. We were charmed.
Is it cheesy, you ask. It’s like a Velveeta factory exploded onscreen! The martians’ make-up is in unevenly applied. Their killer robot looks like a homemade Halloween costume. The North Pole looks like a set from Lost In Space. When a polar bear chases the two earthling kids, you can see where the head piece is separate from the rest of the guy’s costume!
In short, this movie was begging for the robot head treatment.
It was actually just a few years ago that Steven discovered the MST3K version of the flick. We used to watch MST3K every Saturday on the SciFi Channel. However, these were in the later seasons, when Mike Nelson had replaced Joel on the space ship. They never showed the Santa Claus movie, and Steven always lamented that there was no Christmas episode of MST3K.
Imagine our delight to discover that there was so a Christmas episode and it featured a movie we already loved.
Well, now I’m getting all mushy and misty-eyed, thinking of my beloved MST3K, a truly delightful cheesy movie and, of course, Christmas. I warned you this might happen. Perhaps I should return to my DVR, where I have a fairly rancid movie involving Bela Lugosi and a baboon. I assure you, if I write about that one, no mush or mist will be involved. I hope you are all enjoying the latter part of your Christmas holidays.