Santa Claus: The Movie Preview

Jamie and Patrick slowly circle the mailman twins looking for an opening. Despite whirling backflips and patented twin chops they find that their opponent’s twin power is strong and every move is deftly countered. Tiring, Jamie and Patrick know what must be done. With lightning quickness they transition from a simple high five into a capoeira-inspired gymnastics-dancing-kung fu move. Flying into the air, feet akimbo, Jamie it able to connect, leaving their opponents shocked. The mailman touches his bloodied face and knows that this is the end of the battle. Blood has been spilled, identicalness has been spoilt, the power of the medallion has failed them. “Take it,” the leader says tossing them the medallion. A look of recognition crosses his face and he squints at them, “who… who are you two?” Patrick shakes his head and turns away saying, “We’re not important. It’s who we’re looking for that is.” Inspecting the medallion, though, they realize that it is just a worthless trinket. “Hey! What gives!? This ain’t worth jack!” They yell, thinking the mailmen have deceived them, but at that moment a chilling sound pierces the air: the cackling laughter of the troll. Saboteur! He knew this whole time that the medallion was a simple bauble! From behind a rock he emerges, “I’ve come for my favor,” he grunts. Jamie and Patrick look at him in disgust, but know he has won. Everyone knows their word is their bond… it’s a rule, and they don’t break rules. “What do you want from us?” Jamie asks, fearing what dastardly plan he has in store. “A simple task,” the troll says with a sneer, “You know a jolly fat man named Santa?” Jamie and Patrick are frozen in horror, they know what’s coming, “I want him, and I want him dead.”

Meanwhile… hoods pulled up high, the two prisoners get a drink in a gritty bar. They think of the long road across the wasteland still left and the anger wells within. A couple of muscly St. Patty’s Day Leprechauns tap them on the should and tell ‘em to scram. The prisoners crack their knuckles.

That’s right! We’re watching the Dudley Moore classic, and definitely a film we had heard of prior to deciding to do it … Santa Claus: The Movie! Not only that, but we are pairing it up with another holiday classic Santa With Muscles starring Hulk Hogan! Boy, oh boy, it’s like Christmas in April! Let’s go!

Santa Claus: The Movie (1985) – BMeTric: 20.0

SantaClausTheMovieIMDb_BMeT

SantaClausTheMovieIMDb_RV

(Oh we’ve seen this before. The giant jump in 2014 I mean. I can’t remember what my explanation was … probably a big New Years vote purge or something. It really is a-tumblin’ though, people just love Dudley Moore I guess.)

Leonard Maltin – 2.5 stars –  Story of how Santa came to be starts out so wonderfully – with eye-filling looks at his North Pole toy factory, reindeer, and sleigh – that it’s too bad the rest of the film (with contemporary tale of humbug kid and greedy toy magnate) can’t measure up. Still entertaining, just a bit less magical than it should have been. Referred to as Santa Claus: The Movie everywhere but on-screen!

(Interestingly solid review. Kind of like Double Dragon then, starts off with a kind of quaint vague interest, but then the rest of the actual plot catches up and ruins it.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzFDcjesuVs

(I love John Lithgow. “FOOOORRRR FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE?!!!?!?!??!” I’m already kind of excited)

Directors – Jeannot Szwarc – (Known For: Jaws 2; Somewhere in Time; Future BMT: Supergirl; Bug; BMT: Santa Claus: The Movie; Notes: He started in television on shows like Night Gallery. He’s returned to television since, directing an episode of Grey’s Anatomy this year for example. French, but raised in Argentina.)

Writers – David Newman (story & screenplay) – (Known For: Bonnie and Clyde; Superman; Superman II; What’s Up, Doc?; Still of the Night; Bad Company; There Was a Crooked Man…; Future BMT: Sheena; BMT: Superman III; Santa Claus: The Movie; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Screenplay for Sheena in 1985; Notes: Edited Esquire in the 60s, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Bonnie and Clyde.)

Leslie Newman (story) – (Known For: Superman; Superman II; BMT: Superman III; Santa Claus: The Movie; Notes: Married to David Newman until his death in 2003, is a cookbook author as well.)

Actors – Dudley Moore – (Known For: 10; Arthur; Foul Play; Bedazzled; The Wrong Box; Micki + Maude; Lovesick; The Bed Sitting Room; Future BMT: Arthur 2: On the Rocks; Wholly Moses!; Blame It on the Bellboy; Crazy People; The Hound of the Baskervilles; Unfaithfully Yours; The Pickle; BMT: Santa Claus: The Movie; Notes: Died of progressive supranuclearl palsy in 2002. Notable for his height of five foot two inches.)

John Lithgow – (Known For: Pet Sematary; Interstellar; This Is 40; The Accountant; Shrek; Late Night; The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension; Footloose; Miss Sloane; Twilight Zone: The Movie; The Tomorrow Man; Rise of the Planet of the Apes; Cliffhanger; Bigfoot and the Hendersons; Terms of Endearment; All That Jazz; Orange County; The Homesman; Dreamgirls; 2010: The Year We Make Contact; Future BMT: Pitch Perfect 3; Confessions of a Shopaholic; Daddy’s Home Two; A Good Man in Africa; Leap Year; Silent Fall; BMT: New Year’s Eve (uncredited); Santa Claus: The Movie; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Supporting Actor for Cliffhanger in 1994; Notes: In 2017 he co-authored a New York Times crossword puzzle.)

David Huddleston – (Known For: The Big Lebowski; Blazing Saddles; Rio Lobo; Frantic; The Producers; Capricorn One; McQ; Breakheart Pass; Bad Company; Future BMT: Postal; Smokey and the Bandit Ride Again; Joe’s Apartment; Something to Talk About; Life with Mikey; The World’s Greatest Lover; BMT: Santa Claus: The Movie; Notes: Served in the Air Force and most well known as Lebowski in The Big Lebowski.)

Budget/Gross – $30–50 million / Domestic: $23,717,291

(That seems like a complete disaster. What were they thinking, that Christmas films just printed money?)

#38 for the Christmas genre

santaclausthemovie_christmas

(This is our fifth Christmas film for BMT. I don’t know why they would be becoming more popular recently … maybe with a good economy people like to think about giving and receiving gifts more?)

Rotten Tomatoes – 20% (4/20):

(My consensus: Thinnly plotted, cheap looking, and dated. This 80s Christmas film is a bore. Reviewer Highlight: Little kids will probably like most of this movie. The weakness is that larger kids and parents, deputized to escort the little ones, are likely to find a lot of it a little thin. – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times)

Poster – Sklogtacular Christmas Extravaganza (B)

santa_claus_the_movie

(Really hard to find a decent picture of this poster. Not a good sign for the film itself. From what I can see I think there is something artistic in this that I kinda like, while also acknowledging that it looks old as shit and it’s time has passed it by. But like, check that font, look at the weird perspective, and guess what? I’m pretty sure I know this is about Santa Claus.)

Tagline(s) – Guess who’s coming to town! (D-)

(Uh… Santa? I’m still not sure what the plot of this film is… like is Santa’s workshop being bought by an eeeevil land developer and he has to work to stop him? Or like… does someone have to take over for Santa for some children appropriate reason… like he ate too much candy and hot chocolate and is now in a diabetic coma? That’s fine for kids, right? Anyway, I’m sure it something like that. Just wanted to speculate since I definitely didn’t want to talk about this snoozer of a tagline.)

Keyword(s) – toy; Top Ten by BMeTric: 76.1 Paranormal Activity 4 (2012); 75.4 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009); 73.8 Look Who’s Talking Too (1990); 70.2 Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964); 69.5 Postal (2007); 68.5 Gulliver’s Travels (2010); 64.2 Exposed (III) (2016); 63.4 Poltergeist III (1988); 60.8 Toys (1992); 59.9 Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007);

(We’ve seen none of these?! And now we still haven’t)

Welcome to Earf (HoE Number N/A) – There is no current way to connect this movie to Here on Earth via BMT. If we were to watch Unfaithfully Yours, and The Glass House we can get the HoE Number down to 14.

(Actually an anomaly. Lithgow was uncredited in New Years Eve, so he’s been in a BMT film, but that doesn’t count in this analysis)

Notes – All the toys made and bought for the Santa’s workshop scenes were donated to children’s charities for Christmas after shooting was complete.

The role of the Ancient Elf was written with James Cagney in mind. However, even though Cagney liked the film’s overall idea, his advanced age and weakened physical condition precluded him from taking the role.

In the U.S. trailers for the film, Dudley Moore gets top billing and David Huddleston gets third billing. In the international trailer, Huddleston gets top billing and Moore gets fourth billing.

Real deer were trained to pull the sleigh. The crew required months to complete the training which also allowed the deer to grow their antlers for the final filming. For shots where it was not possible to use the deer, sophisticated animatronic deer were used. (Hahahahhahaha)

The film’s budget was £50,000,000, which as of this writing (2015) would be equivalent to £140,000,000. (Hahahahahhahaa)

Burgess Meredith, who is fourth-billed, has one scene and eight lines. (This seems like a trend in this film)

When Patch is viewing the BZ Toys display in the New York window, a van painted exactly like the one on The A-Team (1983) is parked on the street behind him.

The role of B.Z. was offered to Harrison Ford, Burt Reynolds, Dustin Hoffman and Johnny Carson, all of whom turned it down.

John Lithgow, who is second billed and the main bad guy, doesn’t appear until more than an hour into the film. (Wowza)

Paul McCartney was originally going to write and perform a theme song, but his record label declined.

The movie had promotional Tie with McDonald’s, Coca- Cola and Pabst Blue Ribbon. McDonald’s gave a away one of four books with each happy meal, which chronicled the story of the film. (WHAT)

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