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It’s a Crappy Christmas at Movies on a Big Screen

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Disclaimer: the contributor of this and his wife run Movies on a Big Screen (MOBS), Sacramento’s weekly screening series of documentaries, general independent film, classics and cult titles. The following is blatant self-promotion of a MOBS event.

According to Andy Williams’ 1963 carol, "It’s the most wonderful time of the year."  Well this year, Movies on a Big Screen has decided to restore some balance to the equation by offering two Crappy Christmas shows!

On Sunday, December 20, Movies on a Big Screen will "present" the 1964 anti-classic, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, also known by the far more thrilling title, Santa Defeats the Aliens.  Briefly, this "fun-filled romp" involves Martians (and their cardboard robot, Torg) kidnapping Santa and two Earth children and taking them on a cross-planetary trip back to their home base on Mars.  When they (finally) arrive, Santa, with the help of the other abductees and a rather simple-minded Martian lackey, overcomes the Martians by bringing fun, happiness and Christmas cheer to the children of Mars.  The "film" also features a young Pia Zadora playing a blank-faced Martian child, along with the most realistic (ahem) polar bear you’ll ever see.  You know you’re in trouble when "Costume" is misspelled in the opening credits.

                                                                                    It's a Crappy Christmas at Movies on a Big Screen

The following week, on Sunday, December 27, things just get crappier when MOBS takes any remaining good will you may have left and kicks it to the gutter by showing the 1959 Mexican film, Santa vs. Satan.  This was shown at MOBS last year, and in a baffling development, is actually back by popular demand (?).  The English language version will be shown (that should be read as, "with bad dubbing").  This year, the "motion picture" will be hosted by nationally syndicated late night horror host, Cinema Insomnia‘s Mr. Lobo.  Crappy Christmas presents will be handed out to an unlucky few; there won’t be presents for everyone just to make it even crappier.

About Santa vs. Satan:
Santa lives on a cloud floating over the North Pole where, rather than elves, children from all over the world help make toys — and they’re really more like enslaved laborers. Is this a Santa that you would want coming down your chimney?  Not so much. He’s pretty creepy with an overly sweet voice paired with a disturbing (and decidedly unjolly) laugh with insincere and sometimes vacant eyes staring at children through odd Sid and Marty Krofft-like devices.  However, Satan is determined to undermine Santa so sends his minion, Pitch (a skinny guy in a cheap, red suit), to the surface to make the kids of the world hate Santa and engage in vandalism.  Did I mention the vampiric mechanized reindeer? No? Or the interpretive dance in Hell? Hmm…

You know, it’s not really a Christmas movie without dialog like, "There’s a prowler out there — he’s come to kill your wife. And your children. He’s going to murder you!"

It’s best summed up by the following online review:
"How can a movie get everything so very, very wrong and yet be so very, very right? If you aren’t the least bit familiar with this surreal trip into an extremely non-traditional view of jolly ol’ St. Nick, perhaps the less known the better, as half the fun of this colossal mess is staring in dumbfounded awe at what is transpiring on the screen. It’s a hoot. A damned scary hoot, granted, but certainly a hoot." – dvdinmypants.com

Details about the Crappy Christmas shows:

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
Sunday, December 20, 2009
7:30 PM
Movies on a Big Screen at The Guild
2828 35th St, Sacramento (at the corner of 35th & Broadway)
Admission: $5.00

Santa vs. Satan, hosted by Cinema Insomnia‘s Mr. Lobo
Sunday, December 27, 2009
7:30 PM
Movies on a Big Screen at The Guild
2828 35th St, Sacramento (at the corner of 35th & Broadway)
Admission: $5.00

"All this trouble over a fat little man in a red suit" – Voldar, in Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.


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