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Dec 05

Santa Claus goes to Mars

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Just in time for the holidays, it’s “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians”

As the rule goes, there are great holiday movies. There are mediocre holiday movies.

And then there are holiday movies that are so stupefyingly bad, so bizarre, that they simply defy definition.

“Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” belongs to the latter category.

I first encountered the cult favorite via that most festive of parody programs,“Mystery Science Theater 3000.” As I discovered then, “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” deserves its cult classic status as one of the weirdest Christmas movies ever made.

Concerned that depressed Martian children Bomar (Chris Month) and Girmar (Pia Zadora) don’t have enough fun, the leaders of Mars kidnap Santa Claus (John Call) and bring him to their planet.

Now, with the help of a couple of kidnapped Earth children and a simple-minded Martian lackey (Bill McCutcheon), Santa must make toys for the children of Mars while fending off sabotage attempts by the evil Voldar (Vincent Beck) and his henchmen.

“Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” screens at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Fremont movie theater, 1025 Monterey St. in San Luis Obispo.

The screening includes a handful of vintage Christmas cartoons and a holiday singalong. Admission is $8.

If you can’t make it, don’t worry. There’s a second screening of “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” on Dec. 17.

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The San Luis Obispo public library continues its 1970s screening series with the classic comedy “Up in Smoke.”

Comedy duo Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong star as two pot smokers who bond over their mutual obsession with the demon weed. Their constant quest for marijuana lands them in a number of wacky situations including accident deportation to Mexico, a Battle of the Bands contest and numerous run-ins with law enforcement.

The original stoner comedy, 1978′s “Up in Smoke” paved the way for future generations of high-flying comedy films such as “Half Baked,” “Grandma’s Boy” and “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle.”

Watch “Up in Smoke” at 2 p.m. Saturday at the library’s Community Room, 995 Palm St. in San Luis Obispo. This screening is free and open to the public.

The series continues Dec. 17 with “Animal House.”

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