Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Rifftrax presents: Santa Claus

OK, this is the third "live" Rifftrax I've seen—though never live live, which would be cool, just to see it at the same time, to say nothing of being in the audience—and I was literally in tears by the time it was over.

And! Super-bonus! I'm pretty sure you'll actually buy this one over at Rifftrax in a couple months!

The film being riffed this time was the 1959 Mexican "classic" Santa Claus which, you know, if you're going to make a Christmas Movie, maybe don't put "Santa Claus" in the title, because as far as I know, that's never been anything but disastrous.

In this mess of a flick, Santa watches Earth from his castle in space through his giant telescope (next to which is a giant mouth that's '70s porn-style nightmare fuel), as we see a variety of kids suffering through the holiday season. The two main kids are a girl so poor she can't afford a doll, and a boy who's super-rich but who never sees his parents.

There are also some hooligans tempted into evil shenanigans by ol' Pitch himself! Well, okay, not the Pitch, but some manner of lesser demon who's sent by Satan (in the form of a giant bonfire) to Earth in order to stop Santa from making his Christmas rounds, after which Satan will take over the world!

Yeah, I'm a little murky on the theology, too. I'm guessing it's some sort of Mexican variant on Catholicism. Fortunately, Santa has Merlin on his side, some invisibility dust and a bag of roofie—er, sleeping powder.

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 tradition was to riff bad movies. In most cases, not just bad, but so bad as to be virtually disowned by its creators. This made them cheap to license—when MST3K actually did that, and when they weren't actually in the public domain. And while I've often thought Citizen Kane would be a ripe target, I have to admit this is so wonderful in part because it barely resembles a movie.

It gives you just enough to hang on to, but puzzles you enough with its various twists and turns, that when the guys say something to capture the sheer insanity of the moment, I haven't even mentioned the whole "It's A Small World" sweat shop musical number featuring children from around the world that makes up the opening.

And the cherry on top is it's dubbed, which is hilarious in all but the best circumstances.

So, by all means, check this one out for Craig's sake! It's for sale, even!

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