Santa Claus Poster

Santa Claus (1959)

Comedy | Family | Fantasy
Rayting:   2.7/10 4.8K votes
Country: Mexico
Language: Spanish | Cantonese
Release date: November 26, 1959

With the aid of Merlin, Santa Claus must defeat the evil machinations of the devil Pitch to ruin Xmas.

Movie Trailer

User Reviews

preppy-3 25 July 2006

When I was kid back in the 1970s a local theatre had Children's Matinees every Saturday and Sunday afternoon (anybody remember those?). They showed this thing one year around Christmas time. Me and some friends went to see it. We expected a cool Santa Claus movie. We stumbled out 90 minutes later totally numb and frightened to death! This is a terribly dubbed (you can tell) and truly creepy movie.

Something about Santa Claus and Merlin the Magician (don't ask me what those two are doing in the same movie) fighting Satan (some joker in a silly devil costume complete with horns!). The images had me cringing in my seat. I always found Santa spooky to begin with so that didn't help. The guy in the Satan suit was even worse. But what REALLY horrified me were the wooden reindeers that pulled Santa's sled. When he wound them up and the creepy sound they made and the movements--I remember having nightmares about those things! All these years later I still remember walking out of that theatre more than a little disturbed by what I saw. My friends were sort of frightened by it too. I just saw an ad for it on TV and ALL those nightmares came roaring back. This is a creepy, disturbing little Christmas film that will probably scare the pants off any little kid who sees it and put them in therapy for YEARS! This gets a 1.

UPDATE: I just saw the movie again tonight. It's stupid, poorly done, childish and just plain surreal! The creepy imagery is still there too! The parts that got me (aside from those nightmare-inducing reindeers) was Santa's observatory (don't ask) which has a telescope where a big EYE comes out of and moves around! Then there's a HUGE mouth in the wall that moves and speaks! The scenes with those things sparked something deep in me and I briefly felt afraid--but I can deal with it now. Again--do NOT let your children see this film--unless you REALLY want to punish them.

wes-connors 29 December 2014

From his castle above the North Pole in outer space, jolly old "Santa Claus" (Jose Elias Moreno) plays the organ for his workers in Toyland. Santa's helpers are children of "all races and creeds." They dress, work and perform in cultural dress. Like any grade school Christmas show, this long opening segment will be enjoyed by friends and relatives of the kids. Meanwhile, there is trouble brewing in Hell. Intent on destroying Christmas, Satan devilishly orders his dancing demon "Pitch" (Jose Luis Aguirre) to Earth. The mission is to make Earth's children naughty. If kids are behaving badly, Satan believes Santa Claus will become angry and end Christmas...

"Santa's most devoted helper, Merlin the wizard," and his personal blacksmith help Santa in a plan to defeat the Devil. A poor Mexican girl resists the urge to steal a doll, but three boys behave badly. If you want to wean your children off Christmas, you could start by showing them this movie. This production is, for the most part, inept. More importantly, the Christian villain (the Devil) doesn't work in the "Santa Claus" story. A mischievous, overworked elf might have made a better antagonist. Two of the better segments occur when a rich boy and a poor girl receive their Christmas gifts. And, it was nice to see Santa poke the squealing Devil in his buttocks, in color.

** Santa Claus (11/26/59) Rene Cardona ~ Jose Elias Moreno, Jose Luis Aguirre, Cesareo Quezadas, Armando Arriola

tavm 22 December 2008

Last year about this time, I reviewed the U.S.-dubbed version of this Mexican-made holiday movie as shown and commented on by Mike and the 'bots on "Mystery Science Theater 3000". I remember thinking it was hilarious and give it 10 stars because of all the commenting by them. I've now seen the original version from its native country and I've got to say that despite the still creepy laughs from both Santa and especially his mechanical reindeer, that prancing devil, that machine with the red lips, and all those children from different countries illegally in labor under the red-suited man, this is a mostly touching tale of the wishes of a rich boy and a poor girl coming true because of Santa. With both the native language intact (and the version I saw on YouTube also had no subtitles), and no edits for commercials, this wasn't a bad movie to watch during this holiday season. I did admit, however, to laughing at some wrong places simply because of my memory of "MST3K" or doing so because some scenes were so obviously broad that you're giggling not because it's naturally funny but because you know they want you to laugh so you do. I mean, who wouldn't laugh at the devil getting his butt shot at with an arrow? So for all the reasons I cited, I'm giving this version of the Mexican Santa Claus a 6.

lee_eisenberg 28 December 2015

I recently saw "Puss 'N Boots" a bizarre 1961 Mexican adaptation of Charles Perrault's story. Miami-based entrepreneur K. Gordon Murray distributed a dubbed version in the United States. Murray distributed a number of Mexican B movies in the US, including the arch-cheesy "Santa Claus". Although from Mexico, it seems as though the movie got made with US audiences in mind. You see, St. Nick was not historically part of Mexico's culture; they emphasized the religious aspect of Christmas, and so instead of Santa they have the Magi. I bet that most people across Mexico saw this movie as an example of US influence in Mexico's affairs.

So it comes as no surprise that "Mystery Science Theater 3000" riffed the movie. Since the opening scene stereotypes of pretty much every ethnic group, Mike, Servo and Crow play along with the stereotyping. They proceed to have a field day with the rest of the movie, mentioning Vincent van Gogh, Leon Russell and Peggy Fleming in the process. They even reference "Summer of My German Soldier" and "Devil with the Blue Dress"! They also form a Spinal Tap-style rock band, while Santa and Pitch make an appearance in the lab with Dr. Forrester and TV's Frank; Santa references John Carpenter's "They Live".

The point is, "Santa Claus" is one of the hokeyest movies ever made. It may have been the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema, but this movie proves that all that glitters isn't gold. Basically, it was the perfect movie to appear on MST3K. I don't even know if it's available elsewhere.

gavin6942 21 December 2012

With the aid of Merlin, Santa Claus must defeat the evil machinations of the devil Pitch to ruin Christmas.

Why is this film in the Bottom 100? I wonder these things, having seen numerous Bottom 100 films -- many simply do not deserve to be there, and although it is an honor of sorts, it is one that should be earned. This film is no great feat, but it is far from the worst. Is "Hell's Threshold" in the Bottom 100? No. But it darn well should be!

The worst part of this film is the first ten minutes. I really did not need to see every country represented by talentless little toddlers. I got the point after two or three. How many groups were there? Maybe twenty? Oh my!

But after that, not a bad film. Pitch is a funny villain, Santa is a good hero. And Merlin, while an odd addition to Christmas, actually makes some level of sense. (Santa has to get his magic somewhere, does he not?)

TheLittleSongbird 1 March 2011

Santa Claus is not as bad a film as its reputation suggests, in fact I quite enjoyed it despite the obvious flaws. Is it a good movie? Not really. Is it entertaining? I think so. And I think it is better than Santa Claus Conquers the Martians which was hysterically bad but somewhat a must-see just to revel in its awfulness.

To say that Santa Claus is strange is an understatement. The story is pretty much a shambles, with incoherent and disconnected scenes, and the writing is awful but makes me laugh, one of the few times when writing as bad as it is brings a smile to my face. The Devil himself looks very, very fake, while they do bastardise Santa Claus a bit. There are also some very night-marish images, as a child I got night-mares from the reindeer alone, as an adult I am not so scared any more but I do get the shivers even looking at them.

That said, it is better paced than Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, it has better effects I think(they're not great but they aren't appalling either) and sets and colours wise it is quite lavish. The film is a good length, it starts off quite well with some interesting songs, the climax is thrilling and while they are not great by any stretch of the imagination the actors look as though they are having a ball.

All in all, this is a very creepy and strange movie, but I was entertained. 5/10 Bethany Cox

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