Happy Holidays 2017!

Thanks for visiting our Holiday 2017 card's bonus content page. There's a story behind a story for many promotional pieces, and this one is no different.

If you didn't know much about (or were blissfully unaware of even the existence of) the sci fi bad effects cult classic Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" before you received this year's holiday card, now's your chance to brush up on tons of fun and weird facts to amaze and probably irritate your friends over the holidays.

The Trailer

First up, the trailer, in all its cognitive dissonant glory. Is this a horror movie? A swingin bachelor flick? Maybe even a heist picture? A movie for little kids? There's no telling from this trailer, with disconnected scenes, chunks of inaudible dialog, robots, kids with green makeup, fight scenes, and a vintage voiceover straight out of Fallout 4.

You can check it out in HD here:


The Film

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians was released in the US in November of 1964. Lucky for all of us, but unfortunately for those associated with the film, it was released without a proper copyright notice, and for various reasons including its underperforming box office, the copyright was never formally reinstated; As a result it has been designated public domain in the US. As such, it is readily available in complete form online, and despite being a terrible movie by any standard of measure, it has enjoyed a new and vibrant second life, first in video and then even more widely on the internet.

Thanks to the team at Mystery Science Theatre 3000 and their spin-off groups Rifftrax and Cinematic Titanic, three versions of the movie with additional professional comedic commentary have been released as well, creating a new generation of fans.

Original MST3K (Mystery Science Theatre 3000) version: Find it on Netflix™. Excerpt on Youtube:
Cinematic Titanic Excerpt:

The best print of the bunch is used in the Rifftrax Live! version of the movie. The cleanest and most vibrant print was used for this event held in December of 2013. Check the trailer for the event below, and get the full version at https://www.rifftrax.com/rifftrax-live-santa-claus-conquers-the-martians

Fun Facts

  • The Plot of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is remarkably similar to the far more widely known and loved Nightmare Before Christmas in that the plot centers around kidnapping Santa, and the story follows the ineffective attempts by the kidnappers to recreate Christmas their own way.
  • Footage from Santa Claus Conquers the Martians shows up in all sorts of places, like the Epic Birthday Song videos on Youtube. Thanks to its public domain status, the footage has been freely reused and recut in all manner of creative ways.
  • The movie is remembered, when it's remembered at all, as the first onscreen perfomance of Pia Zadora. She was only 8 years old at the time, and her performance borders on middle school christmas pageant bad, but to be fair there was no real way for her to turn in an outstanding effort considering the lines she was given, and the ridiculous outfit.
  • One fascinating aspect of the film is that the effects and costumes are painfully cheap, but the Martian home furnishings are stylish and expensive. It's not an accident - in the opening credits, the Martian Furniture gets its own screen credit - Fritz Hansen, a posh furniture design studio still doing a smart business today, with items ranging from $800 to more than $10,000 USD. The photography has certainly improved but the swooping lines and minimalist flair are immediately recognizable. Visit their official website here.
  • It uses some of the identical stock footage as seen in Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned to Love the Bomb". While in that film the integration is fairly seamless, in Santa Claus Conquers the Martians we see the footage of stratobombers fueling while hearing the newscaster breathlessly describe the disappearance of the two children, leading us to wonder exactly what the normal response was to kidnapping in 1964, or for that matter why the first thought when rumors circulate about Martians is to get ready to drop carpet bombs--on America? Or are the planes expected to fly to Mars?