Monday, June 1, 2009

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

I've got almost ninety movie novelizations, you know. But I've been trying to decide how quickly to spool them out. So here's the plan, for now: every Monday, a new post about a movie novelization. Other posts to appear at random.

Now, with that out of the way, check this out!

The movie came out in 1964. The novelization came out in 2005, and I don't think it's even authorized. As far as I can tell, the movie might be public domain at this point. So why would you write a novelization of a terrible movie from forty years ago?

Well, this is one of those movies that's mysteriously beloved. It was on Mystery Science Theater 3000 (and also Cinematic Titanic, which I still think was an odd choice) and appeared in one of those Golden Turkeys books. It's got defiantly weird acting, especially from Dropo. And it's got a very young Pia Zadora, which makes this one of the best movies she ever did.

The novelization is by someone who knows how bad the movie is. It's told in the voice of Girmar (Pia's character) and is full of things like this (after someone has told an excruciatingly unfunny joke about a "Martianmallow":

By the way, that Martianmallow joke ended up sweeping Mars. I mean really sweeping. And it spawned a movement. Within a year after the completion of the Santa Claus incident, Martian jokes were all the self-deprecating rage on my planet.

Not that they were any funnier than Martianmallows.

Or, take Dropo. Please. (classic!) Here's part of the description of the scene where Dropo puts on Santa's spare outfit:

The heavy red coat was next. He slid his arms into the sleeves without removing his eyes from the mirror. Could this be the same Dropo who, in the fractal school yearbook mind chip, was voted Most Likely to Cause an Unwanted Disruption? Yes, it was. And soon things were going to be very, very different.

So although the book is supposedly narrated by Girmar, the narrator seems to share the audience's exasperation with Dropo. And his antics. It's a little meta, especially at the end, when she complains about Pia Zadora's wooden portrayal of, um, herself.

Another fascinating element to this book is that it includes a DVD for the movie that it's novelizing. You don't see that too often!


Kangarara said...

I'm actually disappointed. My elementary school teacher wrote a musical that we (grade 5? 6?) performed called "Santa and the Little Green Men". Clearly, derivative. Oh, Miss Michel, how you lied to us.

DeeJay said...

One of our local theaters stages this every christmas, it's good times.

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