Christmas is only a few days away, and you’ve probably got some time off coming your way. So why not kick back and relax with a classic Christmas movie? White Christmas is probably a bit played out by this point, and the 24-hour marathon of A Christmas Story is just about ready to kick off. So how about something a little different?
I humbly recommend “El Santo Claus“.
Hear me out on this.
I know what you’re thinking: “Ugh, not some rip off of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians“.
Well let me reassure you: “El Santo Claus” came out five years before Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. And, on top of that, while Martians is #86 on the IMDb Bottom 100 list, El Santo Claus is currently sitting pretty at #54.
While it’s easy to look at El Santo Claus and make fun of how insane it is for Santa and Merlin to fight the devil, it’s also worthwhile to look at this film in context. At the time of its release in 1959, Santa Claus was a relatively unknown concept in Mexico It wasn’t Santa, but the Magi, who brought gifts to children on Christmas morning. The creators of this film hoped to introduce Santa to Mexico, but to do so required hitting a few notes that would make sense to the intended audience (such as fighting the devil).
If this all seems like a bit much to you, and you don’t have the energy to ironically enjoy a terrible foreign children’s Christmas movie, maybe Mystery Science Theater 3000′s riffing will help it go down a little easier.