Santa's Cool Holiday Film Festival
December 17 - December 18, 2011
Some holiday movies are just plain fun. A bunch of the very rarest (and sometimes weird) Christmas filmic moments have been gathered together in Santa’s Cool Holiday Film Festival for what has to be the funkiest, silliest, and least emotional movie experience you’ll have this holiday season. Well, unless you count hysterical laughter as an emotion.
There are two vintage Technicolor cartoons from the brilliant Fleischer Brothers, Max and Dave–Christmas Comes But Once a Year (1936) and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1948), the first animated version of this classic tale about the outcast little deer who saves Christmas. But there's more!…including Christmas fun with Howdy Doody, Ozzie and Harriet, ventriloquist Shari Lewis and her hand puppet Lambchop, as well as a wonderful bunch of "Greetings From The Theater Management" trailers made for movie theatres. It’s all sure to inspire a kind of unsettling nostalgia among Baby Boomers who'll surely remember this when they were kids. For their kids and grandkids these mind-boggling artifacts will seem either surreal or cheesy–or both. But that's the real fun of this show.
The biggest, most brightly-wrapped gift under this gaudy and colorful Christmas tree is the unforgettable (even if you try) 1964 feature film, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. Kids will love it. Of course, connoisseurs of bad B-movies consider this one of the worst, which means it’s one of the funniest. Best known as the screen debut of famously inadequate actress/singer Pia Zadora, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is a baffling mixture of sci-fi, Christmas cheer, and childish slapstick, all filmed in garish (or as the poster says, "Space-Blazing") color. And you’ll see how important that color is when you find out that Pia plays the entire role with a bright green face.
Everything in Santa’s Cool Holiday Film Festival was mastered from the best surviving prints. These films haven't been seen on the big screen in decades and the pictorial and sound quality are first rate.