'Santa Claus Conquers the Martians'
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KSDK) - Ask anyone to name their favorite Christmas movie and you're likely to hear the usual suspects: It's a Wonderful Life, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and even Elf with Will Ferrell.
So just for fun, and just in time for Christmas, the crack staff of pop-culture experts at Today in St. Louis compiled a list of the five "worst and/or strangest" Christmas movies ever.
Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments section and add your own ideas.
1. Santa Claus (1959)
This is a disturbing movie that features Santa Claus doing battle with Satan himself on the streets of earth while getting help from a wizard named Merlin on a distant planet.
"The two words that best describe this movie are: nightmare inducing," notes film historian Isaiah DiLorenzo.
2. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
The title sums up the plotline. The 1964 film is considered a cult classic. Notable cast members: a young Pia Zadora plays a green-faced martian child.
3. Santa Claus and The Ice Cream Bunny
In this twisted attempt at holiday joy, Santa Claus takes a Florida vacation only to become stuck in the beach sand in Florida. Some children release animals (guy obviously in an ape suit, a stubborn donkey) from a nearby zoo to get Santa's sleigh unstuck.
4. Santa in Animal Land
From the "Golden Age" of television, 1948. Which is to say the dark ages of holiday entertainment.
This is primitive puppet show about a fictional planet populated by animals who wish they would get a visit from Santa Claus.
Watch more than five minutes of this and you will feel like you need to visit the medicine cabinet.
5. Santa with Muscles
A 1996 train wreck of a movie starring none other than Hulk Hogan. The Hulkster stars as a body builder who bangs his head, gets amnesia, and suddenly believes he's Santa Claus.
Along the way, Santa Hulk thwarts en evil scientist, played by Ed Begley, Jr., who is aiming to demolish an orphanage to get to some mysterious crystals beneath the foster home (wasn't this the plot of the movie Avatar?).
Notable casting: a very young Mila Kunis appears in Santa with Muscles.
"I didn't know who Hulk Hogan was," Kunis says of the film. "I forget much of the experience."
You should too.