According to rumor, a remake of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, a holiday favorite at our house, is in the works. The remake will probably suck bad, but on the off-chance Hollywood executives read my blog or I can get some kind of grassroots movement started, I'm here to explain how a remake of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, if done right, could be totally kick-awesome.
First of all, and most importantly, it would be a Kung Fu movie. The basic idea is already zany, so the only thing to do is give into the zaniness, and nothing is zanier than Kung Fu. Here's a tentative cast list:
Dropo: Jackie Chan
Kimar: Jet Li
Momar: Michelle Yeoh
Santa Claus: John Rhys-Davies
Lord Voldar: a cyborg, mostly animatronics and CGI, but played by Mark Hamill
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: voiced by Shia LaBeouf
Winky the Chain-Smoking Elf: Brad Pitt
And here's an outline of the opening scenes:
Our story opens in Santa Claus's massive industrial complex at the North Pole where his elves are hard at work building toys for the upcoming Christmas Eve (noted by a countdown clock on the wall marked "Minutes to Zero-Hour"). There's none of that cutesy-elves-painting-wooden-horses nonsense here. This Santa's Workshop is a high-tech assembly line.
Santa himself is not the jolly old fellow of legend, but a jaded and defeated man. Wanting only to bring Christmas cheer to the world's good children, he has instead become the official patron saint of greed and consumerism. As he double-checks his Naughty/Nice List, he throws down his pen and hangs his head in despair.
But then a spaceship lands, bearing the Martian ambassador, Chancellor Kimar. After Santa gives him a tour of the factory, Kimar makes him a strange offer: to come to Mars, start anew with Martian children, and perhaps accomplish that at which he has so miserably failed on Earth.
But Santa refuses, tempting though the offer may be. Kimar leaves with a courteous bow, but an ominous tone pervades the air.
The scene moves to Santa's stables where the "A-team" of reindeer is having its annual pre-flight party, which involves copious amounts of eggnog and a game of Poker. Comet, the true "ace" of the team, is the sullen one, hanging back from the group and smoking a cigar, huddled in his fur-lined flight jacket. Vixen, the only doe to make Santa's elite, is secretly in love with Comet, but their relationship has never blossomed in spite of Cupid's attempts to bring them together. Dasher, the second-fastest and Comet's chief rival, is jealous of Vixen's affections. Prancer is a slacker who made it to the A-team only by natural talent. Blitzen has violent mood-swings. Donner tends to get lost in the snow.
Rudolph, the youngest, enters. Dasher, who's had a few too many, picks on him and calls him a freak. Vixen tells him to back off. Comet intervenes and pushes Dasher around. It looks like a fight may break out, but Dancer eases the tension by putting a hip-hop version of "Hooray for Santy Claus" on the beat box and busting some moves.
Some time later, on the Martian mothership, Viceroy Kimar reports to his overlord, the evil Lord Voldar, who the viewer can immediately tell is evil because he's a twisted cyborg played by Mark Hamill doing one of his nasty villain voices. The conversation goes something like this:
KIMAR: Lord Voldar, this "Saint Nicholas" has refused to acquiesce to our demands.
VOLDAR: You fool! Our children have demanded a Santa Claus of their own! There is only one Santa Claus in all the universe, and we will have him for Mars!
KIMAR: What is thy bidding, Lord Voldar?
VOLDAR: If he will not come by his own free will, we shall take him by force! Order the pilots to their fighters!
Meanwhile, at Santa's Industrial Complex, Zero Hour has arrived. Three attendants are dressing Santa in his special, high-tech flight furs. Elves are putting gear on the reindeer, including cybertronic heads-up displays built into their flight helmets, each of which is conveniently labeled with the reindeer's name, sort of like in Top Gun. When they bring Rudolph out, he's acting feisty. Winky, his handler, a slouching, unshaven elf with a cigarette dangling from his mouth, speaks to him.
WINKY: How's the nose, Rudolph?
Rudolph responds by dipping his head and making his nose glow so bright, it fires a blast of red energy that knocks the elves back several feet.
WINKY: Whoa! Watch it with those shockwaves!
Suddenly, a Klaxon blares and red lights flash. A loud voice over a speaker announces, "Battle stations! Battle stations! Workshop is under attack!"
Martians fighters strafe Santa's workshop while elves scatter, some of them falling dead in the snow, ripped apart by bursts from the Martians' machine guns. Numerous elves run to antiaircraft weapons and begin returning fire.
A shaky handheld camera conveys the sense of panic as the elves rush the reindeer to the hangar holding Santa's sleigh and begin hooking them up as several buildings in the complex burst into flames. Santa jumps into the sleigh and shouts at his workers.
SANTA: Are the toys loaded?
WINKY: Only about half the payload is in place!
SANTA: That's not enough! We need more time!
A gigantic explosion rocks the compound.
WINKY: There is no more time, Santa! There is no more time!
Several large energy blasts from the attacking fighercraft strike the hangar. With a cry of, "Get in, Winky!" Santa yanks the elf into the sleigh, activates the sleigh's antigravity engine, and hits the throttle. The sleigh rockets out of the hangar just as the hangar explodes!
Back on the mothership, Kimar peers at a radar screen.
KIMAR: Perfect. The target is airborne. Fighters 3, 6, and 7: break off the attack and pursue. Each of you must acquire a lock on the target if we are to use the teleporter.
The fighters acknowledge. The scene returns to Santa's sleigh. Santa has his flight goggles down over his face and is looking at the radar on the sleigh's control panel.
SANTA: We've got bogies at six o'clock and they're gaining fast. Rudolph?
RUDOLPH: I see 'em. Evasive action, boys! Follow me!
The reindeer dive low over the deck. Snow flies from drifts in their wake, but the fighters are in hot pursuit!
Santa notices a flashing red light on his control board.
SANTA: Prancer, you've got a massive energy drop! What's wrong?
COMET: Prancer, you ninny, don't lose it now!
DASHER: Prancer, rest in the harness for a minute. I'll take up your slack.
PRANCER: Are ya sure?
DASHER: Yeah, I'm sure. I got reserves.
Prancer, relieved, dangles in the harness as Dasher begins straining.
PRANCER: Thanks, Dasher. Guess I shouldn't have had that extra eggnog!
VIXEN: Heads up, boys! We got company, three o'clock!
One of the fighters draws up to the sleigh's right. A light begins flashing wildly on Santa's dash.
WINKY: Son of a $!#$%!! Santa, he's got a missile lock!
SANTA: I see it! Rudolph!
RUDOLPH: Prancer, get your butt in gear! Time to show some Martians how a reindeer flies!
The reindeer make some fancy flying maneuvers while the fighters struggle to pursue. Fighter 1, frustrated with the pursuit, finally fires a missile.
The reindeer hit top speed as the missile flies toward them.
BLITZEN: Santa! Countermeasures!
Santa punches a button, releasing a cloud of flak from the sleigh's rear. The missile strikes the flak and explodes, rocking the sleigh.
Kimar, pursuing behind the fighters in the mothership, locks onto Fighter 1 and destroys it with an energy blast.
KIMAR: You will not fire on the primary target! Fighter 8, join the pursuit!
Back at the attack on Santa's Workshop, one of the fighters banks hard and speeds off after Santa.
The chase continues. Santa's sleigh reaches Archangel, Russia, and begins diving in and out of the buildings to shake the Martian pursuers. The Martian fighters destroy several buildings while people panic in the streets. Finally, the three fighters manage to lock onto Santa's sleigh. Kimar activates the teleporter, beaming Santa, sleigh, reindeer and all onto the Martian mothership.
KIMAR: Target secure. Break off the attack and return to the mothership. All fighters, return to the mothership!
A contingent of Martian warriors in battle exoskeletons march into the docking bay holding Santa, Winky, and the reindeer. Winky has his fists up. The reindeer are forming a protective wall around Santa. Each of them has a determined, angry look on his face.
Kimar enters, removing his gloves and chuckling to himself.
KIMAR: So, we meet again, Kris Kringle. Perhaps you will be more, shall we say, receptive this time?
RUDOLPH: Keep away from him, you bastard!
Rudolph fires a shockwave from his nose that knocks Kimar against the wall. The exoskeleton-armed Martians rush in and begin brutally tasering the reindeer.
SANTA: Stop! Stop!
One of the guards grabs Santa and shocks him in the chest with a taser. Santa falls against the deck, unconscious, and the scene fades to black and the opening credits come up along with the title, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, accompanied by a noisy punk version of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." Under the opening credits, we see hints of what is to come in the movie: aliens Kung Fu fighting, a heavily armed elf with dark sunglasses walking slowly toward the camera as the wind whips his trench coat, and Santa himself in a long, red, fur-lined coat blown dramatically by the wind, standing at the head of a massive army and raising his fist in the air.
TO BE CONTINUED...