Sunday, July 13, 2014

Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (1971)

How bad is it? It just might be the worst movie I've ever seen.
Should you see it? You won't believe it until you see it - but it's going to be painful!

As if "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" wasn't bad enough...

This started off looking like a typical cheap children's holiday flick, and then I saw the name "Barry Mahon" in the credits; he's credited for part of it, but I think he directed the whole thing under an assumed name (R. Kiner). Santa's sleigh gets stuck in a tiny amount of sand in Florida and his reindeer run away (as seen in stock footage of tundra, not Florida). He calls out to children, including inexplicably Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, who get stuck in stop-motion and then come to his rescue. They try all sorts of animals to pull the sleigh, including a worse gorilla-suit than the one from Mahon's "The Beast that Killed Women."

Then Santa starts telling the story of Thumbelina. With full credits!! It goes on for an hour!!! It just jumps to the unrelated one hour "Thumbelina" film Mahon directed. There's the usual effects one would see in a Bert I. Gordon film (whose films have littered this blog) of huge props to make a woman look small. There's a truly terrible frog puppet and a couple of mole and rat costumes.

Finally, we're back to Santa, who's given up, though his whole story of Thumbelina was about not giving up (actually, that's not the moral of the story, but at this point I was just happy that Hans Christian Andersen was dead and didn't have to know about this). And the Ice Cream Bunny comes to the rescue in his truck. No back story for the Ice Cream Bunny. No ice cream, for that matter. The sleigh just gets pulled and then magically, Santa and the sleigh disappear to end the film.

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