RiffTrax Live! Santa Claus Conquers The Martians DVD Review
Hooray for “RiffTrax Live! Santa Claus Conquers The Martians” DVD!
For those that don’t know, ‘Martians’ is a notoriously bad Christmas movie about Martians kidnapping Santa Claus (and two Earth children). Needless to say, it’s a profoundly dopey movie that makes great riffing material. In fact, this is the THIRD time the movie has been riffed. “Mystery Science Theater 3000” first tackled the film way back in 1991, Cinematic Titanic released their DVD version back in 2008 and now RiffTrax has released the DVD of the live show from 2013. So, how does the RiffTrax gang’s riff on the movie fare? Honestly, it’s just as enjoyable as the previous two takes.
Even though I feel like I have seen “Santa Claus Conquers The Martians” far too many times now, it never stops being funny thanks to the various riffs on the film. This version contains a lot more modern jokes about everything from “There Will Be Blood” and “Futurama” to “2 ½ Men” and “The Matrix, but there’s also plenty of humor directed at the obnoxious Droppo, annoying children, the costumes, and yes, even some MST3K callbacks. Perhaps the most amusing aspect here is Bill Corbett. While Mike Nelson and Kevin Murphy are hilarious as always, Corbett steals the show with his Lady Momar fetish jokes and his comical screw-ups on a few line deliveries. It’s bizarre to say, but sometimes joke mess-ups lead to something far funnier than the joke itself.
“Santa Claus Conquers The Martians” isn’t the only piece of cinema being riffed here as the film is preceded by a short titled “Santa and the Fairy Snow Queen.” This creepy short film is perfect riffing material as it has living toys, ballet dances, a Mr. B Natural esque Brownie named Snoopy, a candy lion, and an irritating Jack-In-The-Box. It has to be seen to be believed.
As one might expect, the picture quality is hit-and-miss. “Santa and the Fairy Snow Queen” has a few noticeable skips and print issues.‘Martians’ looks pretty solid overall despite the constant presence of dirt specs. As for the footage from the live show, it looks as sharp as can be.
The audio quality is a bit uneven as ‘Fairy Snow Queen’ and ‘Martians’ sound a bit too loud. As a result of the loud movie audio, Mike, Bill, and Kevin to have to shout some of their riffs. Thankfully, the RiffTrax gang is never hard to hear, but the same can’t be said for the crowd at the live show. Personally, I always enjoy hearing the crowd reaction more as it is a major part of viewing the live shows.
Extras: Nearly 6 minutes of Christmas themed pre-show faux trivia slides (including some never before seen slides). The Rejected Stocking Stuffers and Movie Quotes are particularly hilarious.
Overall: “RiffTrax Live! Santa Claus Conquers The Martians” is a perfect holiday pick-up. It can be purchased on the RiffTrax website here: http://www.rifftrax.com/rifftrax-live-santa-claus-conquers-the-martians
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