Holiday Horror Guide #9–Santa Claus (1959)

Enjoying a recent resurgence in popularity thanks to an appearance on MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000, this 1959 production has always had a place in the hearts of obscure-trash devotees thanks to its ludicrous premise. One of the many Mexican productions imported by K. Gordon Murray, it’s an almost psychedelic family-oriented fantasy directed by Rene Cardona (who’d go on to helm edgier genre fare like NIGHT OF THE BLOODY APES and the cannibal melodrama SURVIVE!).

Like a lot of kid flicks from the past, SANTA CLAUS is a movie no modern-day producer would ever greenlight. As if a plot involving Satan’s attempt to foil St. Nick’s Christmas Eve drop-off wasn’t enough, Cardona packs enough trippy visuals and oddball flourishes to traumatize half its target audience. (Watching Santa shoot a dart into the devil’s ass was, I’m sure, a turning point in many kids’ lives.)

Makes an excellent double bill with SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS.


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