Splitsider

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

The 20 Specials of Christmas: Mystery Science Theater 3000: Santa Claus Conquers The Martians

Let's first talk about Santa Claus Conquers The Martians. It's a bad movie. The acting's bad. The story's bad. The effects are bad. Even the Christmas spirit in it is bad. It's a horrible, horrible movie about selfish aliens and a creepy Santa.

Which is why it works so well for Mystery Science Theater 3000.

In fact, it features my favorite MST3K joke ever:

Reporter: "Is it true you're going to use a rocket sled?"
Santa Claus: "Oh no, siree! We're going out the old fashioned way -"
Joel: "Guns a-blazing."

Because the one-true Joel and the robots are making fun of a Christmas movie, they can make jokes about the cliches without being too self-referential. They're mocking a movie — they don't have to learn a lesson about giving or charity or jazz or whatever old people teach young people at Christmas. They get to soar above it and drop bombs on the cheesiest holiday of the year.

Of course, not all the jokes hit. As with any MST3K episode, there are a few puns or pop-culture references that have turned to dust since the '90s. And the interstitial segments are as painful as ever.

Still, if you like Christmas specials (oh, you know you do, you rascal), you can see it here before SOPA gets us all thrown in jail!

Mike Drucker is a lovely man with many positive characteristics. He has written for Saturday Night Live, The Onion, McSweeney's, and Nintendo. He's also a stand-up or something, I guess.

  • JenW

    "Droppo!" "Drop 'em!"

    I have this on DVD and I watch it every year. Head-butt!

  • Bill Haverchuck

    really fun episode, but i prefer season 5's "santa claus". i mean, come on, santa lives on a cloud, has dozens of child slaves, creepy wind-up reindeer, tons of surveillance equipment AND DOES BATTLE WITH THE DEVIL.

    also, i'll never understand people who complain that the host segments dropped in quality after joel left – they were always incredibly hit-or-miss. i actually find most of the mike & robots segments funny in the later years, but they're overshadowed by the astonishing awfulness of the pearl, brain guy & bobo segments.

  • Obi-Wan

    Santa: We've never disappointed the kids yet!
    Joel: Except for the poor ones.

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