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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Lugosi! Karloff! Ulmer! The Black Cat!



By Doug Gibson


The 1934 Universal Studios' The Black Cat is a magnificent film, the best pairing of stars Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. It is masterfully understated, both rivals mad but possessed of grace, dignity and impeccable manners. Lugosi is the good guy, but he's also crazy enough to skin the bad guy (Karloff) alive at the end.

The plot involves an American mystery writer, and his fiance (Julie Bishop) honeymooning in Hungary. They meet a courtly gentleman, Dr. Vitus Werdegast, who is traveling to meet an old nemesis, Hjalmar Poelzig, played by Boris Karloff. It reminds me a bit of the famous Hungarian novel, Embers. The tone of the film has a classic Hungarian fatalism.

While traveling to a city, a coach overturns. The young couple and Lugosi seek shelter at Karloff's forbidding castle. It is built on the site of a prison, where Werdegast was once held. He seeks his wife and daughter, who were in Poelzig's care. Karloff's Poelzig is the soul of courtesy, but that masks a truly terrifying evil. There are dark secrets in Castle Poelzig, and once Werdegast learns them he's driven to righteous madness.

Stuck in the middle of this is the young bride (Bishop) who becomes an object of desire to Poelzig. Naturally, that puts her husband in danger too.

This brisk, 65-minute horror film is well directed by Edgar Ulmer, who later hamstrung his career by winning the heart of a Universal executive's wife. The plot moves at a dignified pace, and what is literally a cinematic chess game grows more sinister until suddenly the horror of Karloff's character bursts out to the audience.

Lugosi excells at his role, that of a decent man with decent gestures who can't suppress his bitterness and longing. His final rage is memorable. There's little of Edgar Allen Poe's tale, just a cat that Lugosi's Werdegast has a phobia of and Karloff sometimes puts to use.

Horror fans, and Universal afficianados will love this black and white classic. Watch it in a single setting, marvel at the skill of horror experts Lugosi and Karloff. They deserve such respect.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Favorite Christmas films from Plan9Crunch bloggers




Hello Plan9Crunch readers, in honor of the holidays, bloggers Steve D. Stones and I, Doug Gibson, offer readers our five favorite Christmastime films. We hope you enjoy reading our picks and perhaps you will sample one or two as Christmas day approaches. So, here we go!
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Doug Gibson’s list of favorite Christmas/holiday-themed films
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1). “A Christmas Carol,” 1951: “Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge. a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster”  Simply put, Alastair Sim best represents Scrooge as depicted by Charles Dickens.  His redemption after visits from three spirits is also the best, most joyfully portrayed on film. Old screen veterans Kathleen Harrison and Ernest Thesiger also add spice and cheer to this adaptation.

2). “A Christmas Carol,” 1984: George C. Scott’s portrayal of London’s meanest businessman is superb, and just a tad below Sim’s definitive portrayal. Scott gives Scrooge a faint of air whimsy and humor, even when he’s coveting pennies within sight of beggars. To be fair to Scott, it translates well to the screen. Edward Woodward, as an imposing, scolding Ghost of Christmas Present, is the best Christmas ghost captured on the screen.

3). “Going My Way,” 1944: Bing Crosby, as Father Chuck O’Malley is a joy for Christmas, mixing wonderful songs with a story about a talented young priest called to a struggling to secretly help a grizzled old veteran priest, Father Fitzgibbon, (wonderfully played by Barry Fitzgerald) back on its financial feet. Perhaps no other film captures life in the heart of NYC so well. The finally scene, in which Father Fitzgibbon is reunited with his mother after a half-century, will cause the driest cynic to tear up.

4). “Miracle on 34th Street,” 1947: This witty tale of Santa Claus on trialbasically made Edmund Gwenn iconic as who Santa Claus is. The most tear-inducing scene is Gwenn’s Santa speaking Dutch with a WW2 orphan girl at Macy’s. There are two main threads in this marvelous slice-of-NYC life film. The first involves a witty court fight to legitimize Gwenn’s Santa. The second is Gwenn’s quiet but effective campaign to teach a cynical mom and her impressionable daughter the true spirit of Christmas.

5) “The Shop Around the Corner,” 1940: I love this Christmas film, where two shop clerks, who initially actually have a history of disliking each other, share love notes as anonymous pen pals. Jimmy Stewart is great as the male lead, and Margaret Sullavan is beautiful as the shopgirl. This is based on a Hungarian play, and is set in “Budapest,” which looks like the most beautiful city on Earth.

Steve D. Stones’  list of favorite Christmas/Holiday themed films
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1). Santa Claus Conquers The Martians (1964). This favorite pick is predictable, but how can anyone resist a Christmas movie with dopey characters named Drop-O, Keemar, Voldar, Girmar and Bomar? The acting, dialogue, make-up, sets and costumes are amateur, at best, but the film has a lot of heart. John Call in the role of Santa Claus is irresistible, and may be the only convincing character in the entire film. Watch for the cheap spaceships designed from toilet paper rolls and toilet plungers are used as ray guns.  No toilet humor is involved. The green Martian make-up is lightly applied to many of the actors, likely for lack of budget. Don’t miss it! See Doug Gibson and I review this film as a video-cast on this web-site.

2). Die-Hard (1988). Yes, believe it or not, this box office action yarn can be considered a “Christmas movie.” Not since Sylvester Stallone played John Rambo in “First Blood” (1982) has Bruce Willis’ John McClane action hero had such great appeal to mass audiences.  His famous “Yippy-Ki-Yah-Mother-Fu*#er” line has become a staple of popular cinema culture. McClane takes on a group of European terrorists on Christmas Eve who have seized a high rise building in Los Angeles.  The result is a dynamite, edge of your seat action film that never lets up, and allows the audience to cheer for the killing of every bad guy McClane chalks up on his arm with a marker. Willis is perfect in this role, and went on to make three more in the series. This is a film where you’ll find yourself cheering for police and law enforcement.

3). Scrooge (1935). Although there have been many screen adaptations with larger budgets of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” classic, this one is a particular favorite of mine because it was the first VHS video I ever bought with my allowance money when I was 13. The dated, worn out look of the film helps add to its nostalgic quality.  Ebenezer Scrooge is played by Sir Seymour Hicks, who also co-wrote the script. Hicks is perfectly cast. The film is as poverty looking as its subject matter, but is worthy of a viewing just to see what one of the first screen adaptations of this Dickens classic looks like. Most public domain prints run 58 minutes, but an extended version runs over 80 minutes. Even the 58 minute versions list the film length on the box cover as 83 minutes. Don’t be fooled by this.

4). Black Christmas (1974). It has often been said that John Carpenter’s 1978 film – “Halloween” ushered in the so-called “slasher” horror films of the 1980s. Halloween owes a great deal to this holiday horror feature. Beautiful Olivia Hussey plays a college girl with boyfriend problems living in a sorority house, who is terrorized on Christmas Eve by threatening phone calls. The phone caller-killer is never shown on screen, adding to the suspense. He hides in the attic of the sorority house, which makes perfect since, considering how cold it is outside on Christmas Eve. The film was also marketed as Silent Night, Evil Night and Stranger In The House.

5). Santa Claus (1959). Not to be confused with the 1994 Tim Allen movie, or the 1985 Dudley Moore film of the same title, this bizarre 1959 Mexican import is notorious for VHS prints that cut out scenes involving the devil. Santa Claus also shows scenes of children from different countries
singing Christmas carols in their native languages at Santa’s workshop at the North Pole. The film has a moral tale to warn children not to steal the toys they want just because their parents may not have the money to buy them for Christmas.  It’s not known why public domain prints cut out all the scenes of the devil, but those scenes depict the devil as playful and ridiculous and are an important part of the film. Perhaps the scenes were cut so as not to scare children?










Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Andy Griffith Show Christmas episode



Perhaps the best Christmas episode ever from a TV show was The Christmas episode of The Andy Griffith Show, aired in December 1960, with character actor Will Wright as the mean Mayberry merchant Ben Weaver. Wright (here is his imdb page) was made to be Ben Weaver, the lean, old, cranky businessman with the secret heart of gold. Wright played Weaver thrice in memorable episodes before his death in 1962. The character of Ben Weaver was never as effective on TAGS, although other actors, including Tol Avery, played the role. Above is a scene from The Christmas episode on TAGS and below is a re-run of my review of this wonderful 24-minute or so show.
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The Andy Griffith Show, Season 1, Episode 11, "The Christmas Story." Starring Andy Griffith, Don Knotts Ron Howard, Frances Bavier and Elinor Donahue. Guest starring Sam Edwards, Margaret Kerry and Joy Ellison as Sam, Bess and Effie Muggins, Will Wright as Ben Weaver.


Review by Doug Gibson

Most successful TV situation comedies tend to have a Christmas episode and for some reason they are often produced in the first season: think "Mary Tyler Moore Show, "The Odd Couple" and "Happy Days." TAGS was no exception producing its Christmas-themed show in the 11th episode. It's a well-paced, funny, heartwarming tale that features Ben Weaver, Mayberry's most prominent merchant, a cranky, stooped-shouldered somewhat Dickensian figure with a well-hidden heart of gold tucked behind his gruff exterior.

The plot involves Weaver (Will Wright) dragging in moonshiner Sam Edwards to the courthouse on Christmas Eve and demanding that Edwards be locked up. A big Christmas party is being planned and Andy asks Ben if he'll let Edwards have a furlough through Christmas. True to form Weaver refuses. It looks like the Christmas Party is off, until Andy invites Edwards wife, Bess, (Kerry), and daughter, Effie, (Ellison), to stay in the jail with dad. In a funny scene, Andy overrides Ben's objections by cross-examining Sam's smiling kin, who admit they knew about the moonshining!

Other amusing parts are Andy teasing Barney for being called "Barney Parney Poo" by his sweetheart, Hilda May, in a card, and a skinny Barney, with a bad white beard, playing Santa Claus.
The funny plot seamlessly turns serious as a lonely Weaver, his Grinch-like plans foiled, tries to get himself arrested. Writer Frank Tarloff -- who penned 9 TAGS episodes -- deserves a tip of the hat for his funny, ironic script. Ben's plans to get busted are foiled when party-goers, including Ellie, either pay his fines or donate "stolen property" to him. Finally, in a scene that can bring tears, we see a lonely Ben Weaver, standing in an alley, peeking through the jail window bars, softly singing along with a Christmas Carol sung in the courthouse.

I won't give way the end for the very few who might still have missed the show, but it should be noted that perhaps the reason TAGS never again attempted a Christmas episode is that it could never have topped this. Wright as Ben Weaver is simply magnificent. His page on IMDB.com says he looks as "if he was born old." The grizzled, stooped ex-Western actor actually died at the relatively young age of 68. He played Ben Weaver in three TAGS episodes, the last before his death of cancer. Several other actors played Weaver in later episodes, but only one, Tol Avery, captured even a smidgen of the cranky magic Wright gave the role.

He was, and remains, Mayberry merchant Ben Weaver to TAGS fans. In his three episodes, Weaver created a happy Christmas, saved a family from homelessness and gave a tired traveling merchant a job.
Notes: "Family members" Edwards, Kerry and Ellison were the same family Wright's Weaver threatened with eviction in another TAGS episodes. They were the Scobees. Knotts' Fife played Santa Claus, in full costume and "ho ho hos." Donahue's Walker sang "Away in the Manger." Season 1 was a little uneven, with the cast developing their roles. Knotts was still being too often used only for manic comic relief. Taylor's Andy was still the impetus for most humor. In the second season Sheriff Taylor would began to react to the humorous situations of others, and the show would move to its current classic status as a result.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

I Cannot, Yet I Must - A Book About Robot Monster



Review by Steve D. Stones

Unlike so many of the films we review here at Plan 9 Crunch, Robot Monster is a film that immediately appealed to me. Its strong elements of surrealism, the monster's bizarre costume with a diving helmet, strange dinosaur stock footage and a story told from the point of view of a child in his dream, makes it an interesting film. Robot Monster is the film that director Phil Tucker will always be best remembered for. (Above art is by Steve D. Stones).



Author Anders Runestad's book - I Cannot, Yet I Must: The True Story of The Best Bad Monster Movie of All Time (published by Radiosonde Books - 2016) does not leave a stone unturned when it comes to all things Robot Monster. Everything you ever wanted to know about director Phil Tucker, writer Wyott Ordung and producer Al Zimbalist is covered in this book. Details about the life and careers of the main actors of Robot Monster is also covered.

The book discusses the stories surrounding Tucker's suicide attempt shortly after the premiere of Robot Monster in 1953. A letter written by Tucker at the Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel before his attempt is published in the book. Many believe his suicide attempt was a publicity stunt to keep his name in the headlines after the poor reception of Robot Monster. Tucker's son, Phil Jr., mentions that his father was too upbeat and full of  life to have tried to commit suicide. He believes his father enjoyed life too much to have wanted to commit suicide.



One particularly interesting section of the book contrasts the script of Robot Monster with what was actually filmed and put on the screen. For example, the script indicates that when Alice, played by actress Claudia Barrett, confronts Ro-Man in an attempt to save her family, she is supposed to be "as undressed as the law will allow," and tells him that she can only really love him if she can be allowed to know everything about him. Obviously this is one of many script details that is not in the finished film. Many other script omissions are also mentioned.

Tucker also had a relationship with beatnik comedian and satirist Lenny Bruce.  The two were involved in a film together in 1956 called Dance Hall Racket about a dance club being used as a front for diamond smugglers.

Tucker is said to have also been involved in Ed Wood's cult masterpiece - Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959). Tucker often gets compared to Wood by critics, but the distinct difference of the two men is that Tucker acknowledged that he was making bad films, and Wood felt that his films were great. Timothy Farrell, an actor employed by both Wood and Tucker, once told Wood biographer Rudolph Grey that Wood and Tucker both knew each other, but said they did not like each other.



It's unfortunate that Tucker's Wikipedia page does not list two of his lost films - Pachuco (1957) and Space Jockey (1953). Both films are discussed in great detail in the Anders book. Fans have long waited to see both films, particularly Space Jockey. Tucker claims it is his worst film, even in comparision to Robot Monster. Both films were made the same year.

Tucker eventually got fed up with the tough Hollywood system and stopped directing altogether. He spent the later part of his life as a film editor for films and TV shows because it provided steady income. He was working as a dishwasher in a restaurant at the time he directed Robot Monster.

Anders mentions that the Al Zimbalist-produced film - Cat Women of The Moon, also from 1953, is the perfect companion film to Robot Monster. He contrasts some of the similarities of the two films. Both films employed the music of Elmer Bernstein, a respected composer in Hollywood in the 1950s.

Rhino Video released a 3-D VHS print of both Robot Monster and Cat Women of The Moon with 3-D glasses in the mid-1990s. The 3-D treatment does not work, even with the glasses on, but nevertheless, these two videos are a treasure to have for Phil Tucker-Al Zimbalist fans. Happy reading. And watch the film in its entirety here.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Drakula Halala -- the first filmed Dracula


Recap by Doug Gibson

"Drakula Halala," a 1921 Hungarian/Austrian film, is considered the first "adaptation" of the Bram Stoker novel. The film is lost; all that remains are stills and news reports, including a small novelization of the film. Above are the stars of the film, Paul Askonas as Drakula, and Margit Lux as Mary Land, the young lovely he menaces.

Scholar Gary D. Rhodes has the past several years become the man who fills in the pieces of a 50,000-word puzzle of the history of Dracula, Bela Lugosi and Ed Wood. Rhodes recently wrote an essay on the history of "Drakula Halala," which more or less means "Dracula's Death." He also translated the novella from the Hungarian.

I've always been fascinated with this film, and I am appreciative of Rhodes' essay, which will be the template for this post. The essay is part of a new book that Rhodes has co-edited with Olaf Brill, Expressionism in the Cinema, published by Edinburgh University Press.


Rhodes is the postgraduate director for Film Studies at the Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Brill is a German writer on film with an impressive resume. Rhodes notes that from his research, it seems that "Drakula Halala" was an expressionistic film. In what makes one ache to see this lost film, he sees similarities with "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari." Certainly, the novella compares to Caligari in plot.

I urge readers to buy Expressionism in the Cinema and learn more about "Drakula Halala." I will present a short recap of Rhodes' translation of the novella and afterwards mention a few facts unearthed by Rhodes in the chapter.

The melodrama, suffering, despair and pessimism that is ingrained in the Hungarian culture is represented in Rhodes' translation. Mary Land lives alone, a seamstress working long hours to support her father, confined to a mental institution after the death of his wife. The family was once happy and wealthy, but all that is gone. Mary's boyfriend, a woodcutter named George, implores her to rest but Mary will not.

Eventually, Mr Land's death appears near and Mary and George travel to the asylum. Left there by George, Mary talks with Dr. Tillner. Left alone she is accosted by several of the inmates, including a sadistic man, Drakula, who believes he is immortal. Another, who laughs, is called the "Funny Man." Mary visits her father, who dies. Overcome by sorrow and the fear of Drakula and other inmates who visit her and pretend to be doctors, Mary is advised to spend the night in the asylum.

That night, alone, Mary is kidnapped by Drakula and taken to his castle, where he says, they will be married. Mary's revulsion, her cross and the light push Drakula away from her. He promises to return for their wedding when night comes. That evening there is an elaborate wedding ceremony prepared with other brides of Drakula. It's a strange ceremony, with elaborate lights, shrill music and flowers flowing from the ceiling. Just before Drakula kisses her, Mary pushes the cross toward him. Everyone flees, including Mary.

Outside the castle, Mary is rescued by a family. An attempt by Drakula to recapture her fails. A real doctor cares for her until he is led away on a fool's errand by Drakula. He returns to Mary before any harm can come to her. Nevertheless, thoughts of Drakula torture her in her bed, and seeking relief, she runs out of the house and into the cold snow.

We then cut back to the asylum, where Dr. Tillner is conducting his rounds. Mary is sleeping. The nurse informs the doctor she's had a terrible night of bad dreams.

Mary's kidnapping, attempted marriage and flight was all a dream.

Outside, in the courtroom, the mental patients are gathered. The "Funny Man" has a gun. Seizing an opportunity to prove his immortality, Drakula goads the "Funny Man" into shooting him. He does and Drakula dies.

George returns to gather Mary. They return home to a lifetime of happiness.  Mary requests that no one ever speak of Drakula, and asks that a manuscript of his be burnt. (Below is a still of the wedding scene in "Dracula Halala.")


The film, if the novella is correct, is hardly Stoker's "Dracula." Maybe they wanted to exploit the Dracula cultural sensation without paying any royalties to Stoker's widow, Florence. In later years, she would shut down "Nosferatu" and nearly destroy every print due to copyright violation.

The director of "Drakula Halala" was Karoly Lajthay, who acted in films with a young Bela Lugosi. It was shot mostly in Vienna but created by Hungarians. Interiors were shot in Budapest. Askonas had also played the sinister, mesmerizing Svengali in a 1912 version of "Trilby." Lux has appeared in the Mihaly Kertesz co-directed "Alraune."

Kertesz later became the famous director Michael Curtiz. He worked with Lugosi, his future expatriate, in Hungarian cinema. Curtiz was one of three screen writers credited for "Drakula Halala."

Rhodes' recounts publicity and advertising efforts for the film. There were expectations of a long showing of the film in Hungary. But that didn't happen. The film premiered in Vienna in 1921 but only played briefly in Budapest during the spring of 1921.

It's anyone guess as to why the film had a limited showing. Rhodes merits our appreciation for unearthing the information he has discovered. It may be that tucked away, forgotten in an Eastern European film vault, exists a print of "Dracula Halala." Only time well tell. Rhodes, nevertheless, has intrigued us enough to want to know more about the "first Dracula film."





Friday, December 2, 2016

Freaky, funky Christmas films!



(This essay originally ran in the Dec. 20, 2007 Standard-Examiner)

By Doug Gibson

Every December (or after Thanksgiving!)  the best Christmas films pop up on TV: "Miracle on 34th Street," "A Christmas Carol," "Going My Way," "The Shop Around the Corner," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" — I refer to the Boris Karloff-narrated cartoon — "Mr. Krueger's Christmas" and, of course, that other Jimmy Stewart classic, "It's a Wonderful Life."

We all have our favorite Christmas cinema moments. George Bailey's joyous run through Bedford Falls, Ebenezer Scrooge dancing for joy on Christmas morning, Macy's Kris Kringle speaking Dutch to a World War II orphan girl, and my favorite, crusty but lovable Father Fitzgibbon's surprise reunion with his mother after decades apart.

There are great holiday films. Much has been written about them. But today let's spill some ink about the other Christmas films, the kitschy ones. They're all over the dial. Just turn on the Hallmark Channel!

Most aren't worth five minutes of our time, but some still spread holiday magic. We've all heard of "A Christmas Carol" or "Scrooge," but how many recall the Fonz — Henry Winkler — starring in "An American Christmas Carol"? There are two well-received versions of "Miracle on 34th Street," but do you recall the kitschy 1973 TV version in which the lawyer was played by actor-turned-newsman David Hartman?

Even the biggy, "It's a Wonderful Life," has a kitschy cousin. Remember "It Happened One Christmas," the gender-switching knockoff starring Marlo Thomas?

Indeed, the competition is fierce for those kitschiest Christmas movies that still entertain us. But here are three finalists, all made on the cheap, yet still being sold and garnering holiday TV showings.

So, without further adieu, here is the best kitschiest Christmas film:

"Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" — This 1964 film was shot in an abandoned airport hangar in Long Island, N.Y., using many minor cast members from a NYC stage production of "Oliver Twist." It has a catchy theme song, "Hurray for Santy (sic) Claus," that you'll hum afterward. The plot involves Martians coming to earth, kidnapping Santa and whisking him away to cheer up the Martian kiddies. Two earth children are kidnapped along with Santa. Santa and the earth kids fight off a Martian baddie, prep a goofy Martian to become that planet's Santa, and launch off to earth in the spaceship. We never know if they made it home — perhaps the budget didn't allow that. The acting has to be seen to be believed, but the film has a goofy charm. It was a big hit on the now-gone "weekend matinee" circuit and played theaters for years. Pia Zadora, who was briefly a sexy starlet in the 1980s, plays one of the Martian children. John Call, as Santa, does a mean "ho, ho, ho." (Update, in 2011 holiday season this film played at the North Ogden Walker Cinemas for $2 plus a donated can of food!)

And now, the second-best kitschiest Christmas film:

* "Santa Claus" — Don't confuse this 1959 Mexican film with Dudley Moore's "Santa Claus: The Movie" or Tim Allen's "The Santa Clause" films. This import is weird and a little creepy, but it sticks with you. Old Kris Kringle is a sort of recluse who talks to himself and lives in a castle in outer space. He has no elves. His helpers are children from around the world who can't sing very well, though they belt out a lot of songs. Santa's reindeer are, I think, plastic and he uses a key to start them. Santa also works out on an exercise belt to slim down for the chimneys. For some reason Santa hangs out with Merlin the Magician. Enter "Pitch," a devil. His goal is to stop Santa from delivering presents. Pitch is a wimpy fellow in red tights and wears what looks like a short middy skirt. Santa and Merlin foil Pitch's nefarious plans. The film also focuses on two children, a poor girl and a rich, neglected boy, who resist Pitch's temptations. There are magic flowers and even special drinks. Santa glides safely to a chimney using a parasol. If this film sounds to readers like the after-effects of taking two Percocet, you got the gist of it. Watch the original Mexican version below!

Finally, the third-best kitschiest Christmas film:

* "Santa and the Three Bears" — If you lived in Southern California long ago, this 1970 blend of live action and cartoon was a Thanksgiving afternoon staple on KTLA Channel 5. The animation is mediocre, but the story has a simple charm. A forest ranger teaches two excitable bear cubs about Christmas while their grouchy mother bear wants them to hibernate for the winter. The ranger agrees to play Santa for the cubs on Christmas Eve, but a storm keeps "Santa" away ... or does it? The best part of the film is the live-action beginning and ending, where the ranger sits by the Christmas tree with his grandaughter, a sleepy cat and many toys. The ranger is voiced and played by Hal Smith, best known as Otis the town drunk on "The Andy Griffith Show." Grumpy Mama Bear was voiced by Jean Vander Pyl (Wilma on "The Flintstones"). The uncredited director is Barry Mahon, who made soft-core sex films in the 1960s with such titles as "Nudes Inc." and "The Sex Killer."

A footnote: These films can occasionally be found on TV. Indeed, "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" and "Santa Claus" are usually broadcast a Friday in December on KULC Channel 9 in Utah at 9 p.m. Antenna TV plays "... Martians" during the Christmas season. Both Santa Claus films mentioned here have also been spoofed by the snarky robots of "Mystery Science Theater 3000."