December 2, 2015

Santa Claus (1959)

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Hey, guys! Guess what time it is!

Because we're all about staid and dignified advertising.
That's right! And to get things started, the guys watched 1959's Santa Claus, a Mexican film that features Santa Claus and all the other familiar Christmas tropes, such as Satan's minions, the Greek god Vulcan, demonic mechanical reindeer, Merlin the Magician, and intensely racist images of child laborers!

An actual image of  "African" children from the movie. What. The. Hell?
Anyway, it's Christmastime, which, as we all know, means Santa has to leave his castle...in...space...?

Wait a minute. That can't be right, can it? Let me check my notes...

Yep. That's what it says...Okay, whatever.

It's Christmastime, and time for Santa to get ready to leave his castle in space, so he can deliver toys to all the good little boys and girls all over the world. (Of which there are about four, according to this movie, and they all live in Mexico.)

Including the adorable, but continually terrified, Lupita.
But before he can get to terrorizing small children, Santa has to get up to speed on who has been naughty or nice. To do this, he must visit his surveillance team and their top-of-the-line equipment, which his crack team of child laborers uses to spy on the children of Earth.

KILL...ME...
There, he spies on Lupita, a poor little girl whose only wish is to have a new dolly for Christmas. Of course, being poor, her only option is theft, and while she feels that stealing is not really the way to go, she is receiving mixed signals in the form of Pitch, one of Lucifer's super-fey and wispy demons from the bowels of Hell.

Played by Scott Ian of the band Anthrax.
Pitch tries to convince Lupita to just take the doll because nobody will miss it and, he says, that's the only way she will ever own a doll because she's so poor. Pitch is kind of a dick, to be honest. And Lupita isn't going to fall for his shenanigans.

Santa also takes a few moments (by which we mean about ten or twelve minutes) to hold a jam session on his factory floor, where, in an attempt to keep costs low, he forces dozens of kidnapped children to listen to his half-assed keyboard noodling and make toys for other, better kids.

 We understand Santa's tech support department is top-notch, though.
As Santa continues to prepare (by which we mean he spends an inordinate amount of time dicking around while those kids do all the work), Pitch goes to work on three boys who are way easier to lead to the Dark Side. He gets them to break windows, set traps for Santa, and "beat each other's brains in!" (Pitch's own words.)

After a visit to Merlin the Magician to get some new tech for his mission, Santa winds up his reindeer and hits the road.

One of the kids he visits is a weird little ginger boy. All the little boy wants is for his parents, a horrible couple who regularly leave the boy at home so they can go out and party, to love him. Santa sees an opening, and things get really dark.

Mr. Claus...Are you trying to seduce me?
His lust for young boys sated, Santa moves along and eventually finds himself face-to-face with Pitch, and you, the lucky viewer, get to see the Battle Royale between the forces of Good and Evil, which is surprisingly stupid, and features attacks that reach Home Alone-levels of complexity!

But that's not the end of it! A rematch happens when Pitch manages to get Santa trapped in a tree by a medium-sized dog.

Cut me some slack! I'm allergic!
Will Santa escape to the safety and comfort of his castle in the sky? (It still sounds weird saying it.) Will the little boys fight until they are pulpy masses of bloody gunk? Will Santa's slave children escape his iron-fisted rule? Will Lupita ever get her doll?

You'll have to watch and listen to find out!

Jake is terribly disturbed by what he claims is the onscreen defiling of the ginger boy's innocence by Santa. The others aren't completely sure that this is what actually happened, but they're willing to give Jake the benefit of the doubt because, in context with the rest of this weird-ass movie, it's not that much of a stretch.

Derek is concerned about the implied theology this movie presents. God and Jesus are not mentioned, Santa is considered the highest good in the land, despite his unwarranted surveillance of innocent people for his own personal reasons. The Greek god of Fire, Vulcan, spends his retirement days making metal geegaws for Santa's breaking-and-entering adventures. And Merlin, a powerful wizard, also works for Santa, making an unlimited supply of drugs and anesthetics for whatever diabolical plans his boss feels necessary.

Larry is upset by all of it, but mostly by Pitch, whose puffy shorts and over-the-top activities seem needlessly dangerous not only to himself, but to the children he draws into his sinister web. Making it even worse, almost none of these things work. Pitch is an incompetent idiot, and it's easy to see why he is such a low-ranking demon in Lucifer's organization. Larry also finds the reindeer a bit on the creepy side.

Welcome to hell! Bow down to me! BOW DOWN TO ME!
There's also Gremlins news in The Lobby, new releases Coming Soon, weird movies in Larry's List, and super-rapey songs in Derek's Inside My Head segment!

So get a fire in the fireplace, warm up some cocoa, and tune in to this week's show!