My take on Santa Claus (1959)
Picture if you will…
It’s 1959. You live in a country where the children largely don’t know Santa Claus: they have other Christmas traditions.
You are a moviemaker. Here is a marvelous opportunity for you to bring a brand new mythology to the land, and establish joyful childhood memories.
We don’t want to go too saccharine. I know, we’ll cast a guy best-known for playing gun-wielding macho types as Santa! And…um…we really need an antagonist. Hey, how about Lucifer! Yeah, he can send this weird plastic-eared red-painted demon to Earth to tempt poor little children into stealing toys…because they are never going to get any of their own! Hahahaha! Oh, and if Santa gets trapped on Earth (because we’ll put his headquarters in space, with disembodied ears and eyes and mechanical mouths so he can spy on kids and even on their dreams and he can have a bunch of little children up there from different parts of the world that sing and dance for him but we don’t know where their parents are) when the sun comes up his mechanical red-eyed reindeer will turn into dust!
If you do this just right, you can give kids nightmares and forestall the acceptance of Santa Claus in your country by decades!
(creepy Santa laugh)
Seriously, Santa Claus is one creepy (wait for it, I’ll probably say creepy a few more times) kid’s movie…it’s definitely up there with The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T and Invaders from Mars.
I didn’t even mention Merlin yet, and some half-naked guy with a red chest hair toupee who is supposed to be something like Vulcan (not a vulcan from Star Trek…the Roman blacksmith god), and Santa giving psychotropic cocktails to these rich parents who left their kid home alone on Christmas Eve so they could go party.
I’m really careful about spoilers, but you can’t spoil something like this…it’s not like the plot is particularly important.
This is available on streaming Netflix, so if you want something different today, give it a shot. Just don’t let any impressionable young children see it…or they might have nightmares about Santa’s rope ladder outside their windows and that really, really, creepy Santa laugh.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle.