Sunday, July 13, 2014

Santa Claus (1959)

How bad is it? It's a travesty of a children's film.
Should you see it? Yes. It's too weird to miss.

The same people who made the bizarre "The Brainiac" decided to make a children's film in Mexico and export it to the U.S. Here, Santa doesn't live at the North Pole, but on a cloud in outer space and his helpers aren't elves, but children from around the world. A full 20 minutes of film is used showing stereotyped kids (the U.S. kid is a cowboy) singing. The Devil's henchman, Pitch, is trying to ruin Christmas and his acting is so over-the-top that it's too much for silent film or stage, seems effete if not intentionally gay and is matched only by his red paint makeup that looks wet and running. Santa spies on children with an electronic device with an actual eyeball attached; the creepiness is at its height as he follows a woman shopping. Oh, and for reasons never explained, Merlin the Magician works for Santa and is needed to vanquish Pitch. It's very surreal and not really suitable for young children.

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