Santa lives in a castle that orbits the North Pole. It’s Christmas Eve and Santa is doing all the last minute stuff he usually does. To help him he enlists children from around the world. Santa is an equal opportunity gift giver. He spreads goodwill and toys to all the good boys and girls regardless of creed, or nationality, rich and poor alike. Besides the children Santa also has Merlin the magician helping him. Merlin creates a special dust that puts children to sleep and a flower that when he sniffs it makes him invisible. Santa also gets help from a blacksmith that creates a golden key that will open any door.

Christmas Eve is the only day that Santa can come down to Earth. He uses a rocket ship that looks like a sleigh and white reindeer. The reindeer are giant toys that Santa needs to wind up with a giant key. If he does not return by dawn the reindeer turn to dust and Santa will remain on Earth to starve.

This year, while Santa prepares, the devil decides he wants to mess up Christmas. He sends one of his minions to try to spread evil and make children be bad instead of good. The minion is called Pitch the Devil. Pitch has zoned in on five children in Mexico City to brainwash.

He manages to get three boys to try to help him by doing mischievous things. Another boy who comes from a rich family has all the toys he wants but only wants his parents to spend some time with him. Pitch tries to tell him that since his parents don’t love him, he might as well be bad. And Lupita, a little girl from a poor family that just wants a doll for Christmas. Pitch tries to get her to steal a doll for herself.

While Santa is trying to deliver toys Pitch is also trying to play various tricks on Santa. By the end of the night Pitch has relieved Santa of his magic dust and flower and he manages to get Santa stuck up a tree. It’s down to the wire on if Santa can get out of this mess before everyone sees him and he is stuck on Earth to starve.

“Santa Claus” (vs the Devil) AKA “Santa Claus” was released in 1959 and was directed by Rene Cardona. It is a Mexican film. K. Gordon Murray bought the rights to the film and dubbed it into English. The film has since been touted as one of the worst Christmas movies ever. It’s a kid’s movie, how good do you think it has to be? Well, apparently that’s not the point. For some reason the film has been labeled as something even more evil than just bad. It has also be labeled the most disturbing and sinister Christmas movie of all time. What? Critics point to the following subversive undertones:

Santa lives in a castle that orbits the Earth and uses child labor to run his enterprise. From space he can use his Magic Observatory and his surveillance equipment to know what is going on. His tools are the Earscope to hear what is going on, the Teletalker that knows everything and the Cosmic Telescope with the Master Eye. It seems that Santa knows everything that happens on Earth. He can even watch people’s dreams. Something even the NSA can’t do.

He has an absent minded wizard named Merlin that runs a drug lab and can create a magic dust to put children to sleep and give them wonderful thoughts and dreams. Merlin also creates a special flower that will make Santa invisible if he inhales it. With that and his gold skeleton key he can break into anyone's home and spy on them unobserved.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. There are the visions of hell and references to the devil and how Santa is replacing Christianity. Santa’s maniacal laughter throughout the movie, even when inappropriate. Drugging the rich parents so they will like their child. Wind up plastic reindeer that turn to dust. I could go on, because they go on.

The movie seems to be more disturbing to adults than to children. Yes, some children find some of the imagery creepy but adults shiver and quake at the thought of this movie. I can understand where they got some of the hidden meanings because I’m an adult, and I’m living through the Trump administration. People see what they want to see. For some it’s a stupid children’s story with bad acting and weird sets. For others it’s just bad. But for the chosen ones it’s a terrifying nightmare. What those people see may be the actual truth, or they may have been licking too many candy canes.

Movie

MST3K version