|521 - Santa Claus|
|Air Date||December 24, 1993|
|Movie Director||Rene Cardona|
|Cast||José Elías Moreno, Cesáreo Quezadas 'Pulgarcito', José Luis Aguirre 'Trotsky'|
|Preceded by||520 - Radar Secret Service|
|Followed by||522 - Teen-Age Crime Wave|
Santa Claus, high above the North Pole in his cloud-borne castle equipped with surveillance devices, has his legion of kidnapped child labor prepare presents to deliver on Christmas Eve. Santa is especially interested in helping Lupita (Lupita Quezadas), the daughter of a poor family who wants nothing more than a doll, and a young boy whose parents are so wealthy they never spend any time with him. However, the Devil will have none of this and sends his minion, Pitch, to foil Santa's plans. Pitch, in turn, recruits three naughty boys to help him set traps for Santa. Merlin the magician provides Santa Claus with supernatural assistance: powders to keep children asleep, a golden key that opens everything, and a flower that makes him invisible. Wacky hi-jinks ensue.
This movie is public domain, so it’s played frequently in the original Spanish during the holiday season. As a result (as strange as it may seem), it has become a cherished holiday tradition for many Spanish-speaking TV viewers worldwide.
The movie is closely examined in an extra track on the Shout! Factory release by Kevin Murphy, cult film archivist Charles Kilgore, and Mexican film historian David Wilt . Some of the more salient points made:
- In the late 1950s in Mexico, 'Santa Claus' was a (literally) foreign concept. While not unknown, Santa was very much a gringo construct: children didn't get their presents at Christmas from Santa, but from the three magi of the New Testament. And speaking of...
- The idea of Santa Claus as a sort of "holy superhero" is bandied about. Here we have a character with comic book gadgets and superpowers, battling a direct minion of Satan. Does that make Santa an alliterative Christ figure? Maybe... But then why is he shown early in the movie assembling a creche?
- The movie was a very ambitious project for the time and place. Just filming in color was an extravagance (Kevin Murphy describes the effect of the garish, oversaturated color as "like being hit in the face with a clown"); the large and fairly complex sets also added to the cost. The Mexican film industry had never really done either fantasy or sci-fi up until this point, so the set designers seem to have been given a surprisingly free rein to do whatever they wanted.
Prologue: Mike and the Bots' attempt to sing carols ends in disaster when Mike knocks over the thermos full of nice, very hot chocolate.
Segment One: As the SOL crew recovers from their carolling injuries, Frank reveals has shaved his head to buy Dr. F a watch fob. Dr. F signs over an old savings bond since he forgot to get a present for Frank. On the SOL, Crow gets a Steve Alaimo album, Tom Servo gets a drug and IV handbook, Mike gets a sweater with "Joike" knitted on it (Gypsy started it for "the other guy"), and Gypsy receives underwear-in-a-candy-cane.
Segment Two: Rock band Santa Kläws performs "Whispering Christmas Warrior". The Mads respond in true rock fan fashion.
Segment Three: The Bots have arranged a Nelson family reunion via the Hexfield Viewscreen - except they got the wrong Nelson family. Turns out there are not only thousands of Nelsons on Earth, but Mike isn't from Green Bay.
Segment Four: Mike and the Bots sing an all-inclusive politically correct holiday song: "Merry Christmas...If That’s Okay".
Segment Five: Mike is clearing up the wrapping paper from opening Christmas presents, but is feeling a little sad. However, Gypsy points out the window of the SOL that it's snowing, giving the crew on the SOL a snow day! Meanwhile, back in Deep 13, the devil Pitch is having a snack with the Mad Scientists. As Pitch outlines his plans for the New Year, bells can be heard and Santa Claus himself bursts onto the scene and begins to spar with Pitch. Dr Forrester and TV's Frank happily watch the scuffle unfold.
Stinger: A maniacal mechanical reindeer laughs
- Nelson Family Members: Mary Jo Pehl, Patrick Brantseg, Timothy Scott
- Pitch: Paul Chaplin
- Santa Claus: Kevin Murphy (as Krusher Kringle)
- Unusual credits: An instrumental version of "Merry Christmas...If That's Okay" is played instead of "Mighty Science Theater".
- "What is this, Sliver?"
Said in reference to Santa's many observation devices. Sliver is a 1993 thriller in which voyeurism was a key plot element, hence the reference.
- "I think David Byrne stole this music."
A reference to Talking Heads frontman David Byrne.
- The segment of Frank and Forrester exchanging gifts is a parody of O. Henry's Gift of the Magi. The story was earlier parodied by the Mads in Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.
- "A Steve Alaimo album?!"
- "Children on the verge of a nervous breakdown!"
A reference to the 1988 Spanish film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.
- "Bertolucci is brought in to direct this scene."
- "Okay, back to cram school!"
Cram schools, a common phenomenon in Japan, are a type of private school that offers intensive tutoring for standardized tests and examinations.
- "Don't say anything to upset them!"
- "Get up, stand up...stand up for your rights!"
- "Puppet Master III!"
Puppet Master III was a 1991 direct-to-video horror movie about evil living puppets.
- "It's the 'Trilogy of Terror' dolls!"
- "The J. Paul Getty, Jr.-scope!"
A reference to oil heir John Paul Getty III, who was kidnapped in 1973 by captors who eventually cut off one of his ears.
- "The minute Yossarian..."
The opening line from Catch-22.
- "Did he say 'Blessed are the cheesemakers'?"
- "I'm more popular than Jesus!"
- "Jim J. Bullock is more frightening than that devil!"
- "All he has to do is use the magic dreaming powder made by Mr. Merlin!" "And Mr. Owsley!"
Chemist Owsley Stanley was San Francisco's largest producer of LSD during the late 1960s.
- "Red Adair is brought in to extinguish the fire!"
Red Adair was a famous oil-field firefighter.
- "Summer of My German Stormtrooper!"
The Summer of My German Soldier is a novel about an American girl who befriends an escaped German POW during World War II.
- "A young Barton Fink!"
- "What is this- 'Home Alone 3: The Quickening'?"
The Quickening was the subtitle of the second "Highlander" movie.
- "Flaming Moe's!"
Flaming Moe's was a Simpsons episode in which Moe the bartender takes credit for a flaming cocktail invented by Homer.
- "Moms Mabley!"
- "Hosni Mubarak!"
Hosni Mubarak was president of Egypt from 1981 to 2011.
- "It's the last episode of 'A.K.A. Pablo'."
A.K.A. Pablo was a short-lived sitcom from the mid-1980s.
- "I'm here to eat candy canes and kick ass, and I'm all out of candy canes!"
A parody of a line from the 1988 movie They Live.
- "I've written a letter to Daddy..."
The signature song of former child star "Baby" Jane Hudson from the film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
- "and when you awaken... You'll be Rick Wakeman"
- "Theres a man outside....""His name is Jim, he asked if I could marry him."
- "I want to live in America, Cadillacs zoom in America...", lyrics from the song America from the show "West Side Story".
- "The only thing this child wants..." "Is fear itself!" parody of famous speech by FDR .
- "Clap on, Clap off"- parody of commercial for The Clapper
- "I love him, I love him, and where he goes I'll follow..."- lyrics from the song, I will Follow Him
- "Cop killer, c-c-c-cop killer..." parody of the song Cop Killer by Ice-T's band Body Count
- "Next up in the Jr. vocal category...Thailand"- Parody of the late Ed_McMahon and his show Star_Search
- "I'm Martha Raye!"- doll during Lupita's dream sequence resembles the late comedy actress Martha_Raye
- "It's a Rue McClanahan doll!"- Lupita's huge dolly looks like the late actress Rue_McClanahan from Mama's Family and the Golden Girls
- "Relax, it's just Keith Magnuson!!", former NHL player, tough guy Keith_Magnuson
- "Jamie Farr!", the devil resembles the actor from M*A*S*H Jamie_Farr
- "I suppose hell got an NEA grant?"- National Endowments for the Arts has been known to give funding to sometimes controversial projects.
- "Hey look! The ghost of Ross Perot"- Ross_Perot ran for president in 1992.
- "Think I'll go have a Rumple minze", santa wants a peppermint flavored liquor. Rumple_Minze
- "Ma Barker's Killer Brood"- was a low budget crime film released in 1960. Killer_Brood
- "Would you shut the bloody organ grinder up!?" - a reference to Monty Python's Cheese Shop Sketch
- "It's Rob and Laura!" - the bedroom is reminiscent of the Dick van Dyke Show
|preceded by: Season 4||MST3K Season 5||followed by: Season 6|
|1993 - 1994|
|501||Warrior of the Lost World||1993-07-24||509||The Girl in Lovers Lane||1993-09-18||517||Beginning of the End||1993-11-25|
|502||Hercules||1993-07-17||510||The Painted Hills||1993-09-26||518||The Atomic Brain||1993-12-04|
|504||Secret Agent Super Dragon||1993-08-07||512||Mitchell||1993-10-23||520||Radar Secret Service||1993-12-18|
|505||The Magic Voyage of Sinbad||1993-08-14||513||The Brain That Wouldn't Die||1993-10-30||521||Santa Claus||1993-12-24|
|506||Eegah||1993-08-28||514||Teen-Age Strangler||1993-11-07||522||Teen-Age Crime Wave||1994-01-15|
|507||I Accuse My Parents||1993-09-04||515||The Wild Wild World of Batwoman||1993-11-13||523||Village of the Giants||1994-01-22|
|508||Operation Double 007||1993-09-11||516||Alien from L.A.||1993-11-20||524||12 to the Moon||1994-02-05|