'A stupid Mexican kids movie!' is how Frank describes it, though at the time he was upset because he shaved his head to get Dr. F a watch fob and all he got was a $25 savings bond. The movie mish-mashes the mythology of St. Nick, putting him in a cloud city above the North Pole and instead of elves, little kids from all over the world build his toys. A seemingly heavily medicated Merlin helps out (Tom: 'This guy trained the King of England?') and he goes down to deliver the toys, opposed by Pitch, Satan's chief demon(though Tom says that Jm J. Bullock is more frightening). Santa thwarts three young boys who want to kidnap him, eludes the children who want to see him, and gives the aggressively cute Lupita a huge doll(Crow: 'That's not a doll, that's a sister!') before making it home before his wind-up reindeer melt from the sun. The crew tries caroling, but Mike gets too into it and winds up hurting the 'bots. They try to find Mike's family but get the wrong Nelsons. They also get musical, first as the rock group Santa Klaws, then with the politcally correct Christmas song 'Merry Christmas-If That's OK.' Mike gets homesick for snow, but it starts snowing out the window. Finally, Pitch vists the SOL, and Santa comes down to 'eat candy canes and kick ass.' If you ever want to find a cure for the holiday blues, find yourself a copy of this episode, yank the Yule log tape out of the VCR and pop this in; you'll be fa-la-la-la'ing in no time.
This movie is unusual for MST3K; it's not the standard, low production values turkey that Mike and the 'bots routinely feast upon. This time, we are given a fantasy film with good sets and something that resembles a working plot. What we also get is a very strange movie, and it's interesting enough to detract from the riffing (although the crew does manage to get a few good ones in--there are plenty of funny observations about things that we have been conditioned to perceive as "politically incorrect", as well as several amusing lines about Santa's strange devices).
It's nothing unusual for children's films to be "weird"--even a classic like "The Wizard of Oz" has plenty of weirdness that is easily rationalized and accepted by a child. But this movie seems to be an ancient mix between "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" and "The X Files". Add in a God-like Santa to battle a straight-from-hell demon that's presented in an unusual, carefree way (it's a Mexican film), and I fail to understand why this film isn't a global classic to be watched at every Christmas. This is one of the few MST3K film presentations that made me wish I could find the movie in a restored version on DVD by itself.
Absolutely, this is one of the top episodes of MST3K--but for once, we have a movie actually worth seeing to go along with normal chaos that keeps us watching these episodes over and over again.
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