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Cinematic Titanic is Joel Hodgson, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl, Trace Beaulieu and J. Elvis Weinstein

Doesn’t it just make you happy to see Joel and the gang back together again? Cinematic Titanic, formerly Mystery Science Theater 3000, releases another DVD, this time riffing and revisiting Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, circa 1964.

The Movie

Joel and the gang have been down this path before. Mystery Science Theater 3000 once tackled this wacky piece of cinematic candy back in 1991. But, since it was a fan favorite, Joel and his co-conspirators thought it might be fun to re-visit this film again, especially since they had access to the unedited cut of the film.

Martians are very mad and the blame lies squarely on earth and its inhabitants. Martian children are consumed with a rabid love of television shows from earth. It is from these shows that they have learned of Santa Claus’s existence. The Martian children beg and whine for Santa to visit with a sackful of goodies for them. This has got to stop and Martians Voldar and Lomas and a group of Martians are dead set on getting Santa’s jolly behind on Mars to put things right.

Upon arriving on Earth, they kidnap two kids (one of which is a very young Pia Zadora!) that lead them to the North Pole where Santa Claus resides. One Martian, Voldar is particularly nasty and almost kills off the kids and Santa before they arrive back on Mars, but he is stopped by the slightly more kind Lomas.

But, just because Santa Claus has rosy red cheeks and a jolly laugh does not mean that he can’t take care of business when the showdown happens. With the help of the kids and a sympathetic Martian, Santa and his traveling companions overcome the Martians and bring Holiday joy to the children of Mars.

Joel and the gang have a lot of fun ripping into this cinematic nugget and it is apparent throughout. The one-liners, zingers and references are fast, furious, on target and hilarious. And if you compare the 1991 “riff” to this one, you will see that all the jokes are all new, original and fresh.

You know the old Thomas Wolfe novel “You Can’t Go Home Again”? Cinematic Titanic is proof that yes, you can go home again. The group is just as hysterical and relevant as they were when they started back in 1988.

So, if you are a fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000, then this DVD release of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is a no-brainer: it’s going on the shelf, right next to all the other Cinematic Titanic releases. If this is your first time at this rodeo, you are going to be a life long fan after one rotation in the DVD player.


The Video

The film is presented in full frame. The source print is certainly rough and has aged poorly and Cinematic Titanic certainly does not have a big budget to remaster the film, so they do the best they can with this transfer.


The Audio

The film is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0. The dialogue, in both the “riff” track and the original soundtrack is presented nicely with respectable separation.


The Packaging and Bonus Features

The film is presented in a standard amaray case with artwork suitable to the film presented.

There are no bonus features.


Overall ( Not an Average) 8/10

The Review
The Movie 10/10
The Video 4/10
The Audio 5/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 1/10
Overall ( Not an Average) 8/10