Santa Claus Conquers the Martians: Trash Film Debauchery Screens a MST3K Classic


Trash Film Debauchery, a series featuring the weirdest and trashiest movies that modern cinema has to offer, has a special treat for Christmas. Hosted by Theresa Purcell, the evening will feature a screening of the MST3K version of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians. It's a perfect way to enjoy the holiday if you're not really planning on celebrating the holiday. 

Purcell has been running Trash Film Debauchery since 2003. What began as a student activity at the University of Minnesota has become a popular local event, traveling to different venues such as the Turf Club, Trylon microcinema, and Clubhouse Jager. It  has also found its way to theater spaces like In the Heart of the Beast, where TFD screened a cheesy sex-ed video accompanied by live performances and animated shorts. 

Purcell says that TFD holds about two screenings a month. "[For the Christmas presentation] I tried to pick something seasonal," she says. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, made in 1964, regularly appears on lists of the worst films ever made. The premise is that martians have kidnapped Santa Claus, because they don't have one of their own. What follows is a complicated tale full of kidnappings, foiled plots, and twists and turns.

"It makes no sense," Purcell says. "It would be completely unwatchable without MST3K." The MST3K version, which aired in 1991, elevates the material into work of art, as the silhouetted hecklers make for great comedy. 

Other upcoming Trash Film Debauchery screenings includes Masters of the Universe, Big Meat Eater, and The Mind Snatchers (a.k.a. The Happiness Cage). Check out the organization's Facebook page for more details.


Trash Film Debauchery's Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (MST3K version)

7 p.m. Thursday, December 25

Trylon microcinema

2820 E. 33rd St., Minneapolis