[[quoteright:330:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/pitchsanta.png]]
[[caption-width-right:330:"[[Film/TheExorcist The power of Claus compels you!]]"]]

Prepare yourself for a [[Literature/NineteenEightyFour Big Brother]] SantaClaus fighting the evil forces of prancing demons with the help of child labor and Merlin.

''El Santo Claus'' was directed by Rene Cardona and written by Cardona and Adolfo Torres Portillo. The original film was produced in Mexico in 1959 and features primarily Spanish dialog. It depicts the adventures of SantaClaus in preparation for and during his annual Christmas rounds. Most commercial adaptations of the Santa Claus legend add a distinctive twist to the traditional story, but this film trumps them all with its depiction of an ''[[AnotherDimension interdimensional]]'' Santa doing battle with a demon sent to Earth by Lucifer to ruin Christmas by killing Santa and "making all the children of the Earth do evil." Furthermore, Merlin (yes, ''that'' [[KingArthur Merlin]]) serves as Santa Claus' [[Film/JamesBond Q]], inventing things like The Flower to Disappear for Santa to use.

Believe it or not, there's a good explanation for the film's... [[NightmareFuel unique]] take on Santa Claus. In the late 1950s, SantaClaus remained an unfamiliar figure in much of Mexico, where holiday gift-giving customs still focused on the [[TheThreeWiseMen Magi]] and their feast day, Epiphany (January 6). Even today, many discussions of Mexican Christmas customs make no mention of SantaClaus, instead focusing on such traditional holiday elements as posadas and piñatas. Santa has become more popular only in recent decades. Another odd running theme is the focus on social standing and class, which was a major concern of Mexico during that period; see ''LosOlvidados''.

A dubbed and slightly edited English-speaking version was produced for U.S. release in 1960 under the direction of K. Gordon Murray. Santa Claus was considered to be a financial success over several holiday-season theatrical releases in the 1960s and 1970s. Broadcast of the film also became a holiday tradition at several U.S. television stations. The film garnered at least one award, winning the Golden Gate Award for Best International Family Film at the San Francisco International Film Festival in 1959.

A series of shorts by K. Gordon Murray mixed film from ''Santa Claus'' with new footage filmed at the various Santa's Village theme parks. These were riffed by {{Rifftrax}} as "Santa's Village of Madness". This makes the film "SantaAndTheIceCreamBunny" a technical sequel. Rifftrax will also riff the full version of ''Santa Claus'' on December 4, 2014, with Vulcan and other scenes intact, something the [=MST3K=] version left out.

Not to be confused with ''Film/SantaClausTheMovie''.

For the ''MysteryScienceTheater3000'' version, please go to the [[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S05E21SantaClaus episode recap page]]. RedLetterMedia also reviewed it on their ''The Best of the Worst'' ChristmasEpisode.
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!''Santa Claus'' has examples of:

* AffablyEvil: Pitch comes across this way, to an extent. He was obviously intended to be evil, but his portrayal is if anything buffoonish.
* AlwaysCamp: Pitch can out-effeminate [[WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls HIM]] at times.
* AndThatsTerrible: Pretty much ''everything'' the narrator says about whatever Pitch or Satan ''do''.
* AnotherDimension: Santa is, according to the film, from the Fifth Dimension.
* ArchEnemy: Pitch.
* BadDreams: Pitch inflicts this on several characters including Lupita.
* BadSanta: Unintentionally.
** It doesn't help that he has the same voice as Lucifer...
* BadassSanta: With all of the powers that Santa has and with Merlin as his Q, Santa is able to defeat a Devil.
* BiggerBad: Pitch may be the movie's chief antagonist, but Lucifer is the one who ordered him to do it. It's his only scene.
* BlackAndGrayMorality: Though as the film progresses, it descends into GrayAndGrayMorality territory - see MoralDissonance below for Santa, but Pitch seems less evil than intended.
* BeardOfEvil: Pitch, and a case can be made for Santa.
* BlindIdiotTranslation: The awkwardly-named Flower To Disappear is a good example of this.
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: One of the letters sent to Santa asks for, among other items, a bicycle, a baseball bat, an atomic laboratory, a machine gun...you know, typical children's toys.
-->'''[[MST3K Crow]]:''' Oh, it's from Qaddafi!
** ValuesDissonance: It's actually a chemistry set that comes with a small amount of radioactive material, and they were popular in the 50's.
* CaptainObvious with a dose of ViewersAreMorons and LullDestruction: The narrator, who describes ''every single thing'' that happens on screen.
* CatapultNightmare: Lupita has one of these.
--> '''[[MysteryScienceTheater3000 Crow]]''': ''(as Lupita)'' I had the [[VietnamWar 'Nam]] dream again!
* ClassicalMythology: Vulcan. In the English version he's referred to as "The Blacksmith". In the original version his name is "Llavón" (a play on the word "llave", key).
* ClockworkCreature: The Laughing Nightmare Reindeer.
* CoolAndUnusualPunishment: Satan threatens to dip Pitch in ''ice-cream'' if he fails.
** In the original version he says he will make Pitch eat chocolate ice-cream because he's lactose intolerant instead of his usual fire and brimstone meals.
* CreepyDoll: Lupita has to face some of these in her Pitch-induced nightmare.
* CultureEqualsCostume: Santa's helpers.
* TheDanza: Lupita Quezadas as Lupita
* DisproportionateRetribution: The AffablyEvil Pitch, who doesn't do much evil, is punished by Santa. The punishment? ''Pneumonia.''
* EvilLaugh: The animatronic Santa doesn't sound ''jolly'' so much as this.
** The real Santa's laughs aren't much better.
** Pitch has an evil laugh of his own, but it just doesn't compare.
** And don't forget the reindeer. ''Franchise/EvilDead'', anyone?
* TheFaceless: Satan.
* FakeNationality: Santa's helpers.
* FlamingDevil: Pitch
* FlashStep: Apparently, not only can demons teleport, but it [[MickeyMousing sounds like a piano key being struck.]]
* TheFool: Pitch.
* GoldfishPoopGang: The trio of "bad boys".
* GoodIsNotNice: '''Santa.'''
* {{Hell}}: In a Christmas movie? That's... ''different''...
* HumanAliens: One of Santa's young assistants is implied to be not of this world when he asks what types of food people on Earth eat.
** [[CrystalDragonJesus Interdimensional Being]]: The full version of the film states Santa Claus is ''this''.
* LaughingMad: '''''That one laughing reindeer''''' is by far the best example of this.
* LegCling: Santa, out of pity, appears in front of the LonelyRichKid... who then grabs Santa's boot and begs for someone to love him. Seriously, if you didn't feel a tug inside during this scene, you have no soul.
* {{Leitmotif}}: Pitch has one. Appropriately enough for a demonic servant of Lucifer himself, it's...[[{{Narm}} a goofy-sounding bassoon piece]].[[note]]'''Tom:''' ''(singing)'' It's [[WithLyrics the devil's theme]]... this goofy little song... even though he's the embodiment of evil, he's still got a goofy song... In tights, he brings death, despair, destruction and disease... come, let's all join in and laugh at him! DEVIL![[/note]]
* LonelyRichKid: One of the subplots the film follows is a rich boy whose parents frequently ignore him to go out to parties, even on Christmas. Naturally, he writes a letter to Santa wishing for his parents to come home.
* MallSanta: The animatronic Santa, in a sense.
* MoralDissonance: Santa is given a free pass to be at ''least'' as evil as Pitch.
* {{Narrator}}
* NotableOriginalMusic: Notable in that it's pretty bad.
* OhCrap: Santa has one of these moments when he realises his dreaming powders are gone... and there's a big dog coming right at him.
** And the dog's called [[MeaningfulName Dante]].
* OminousFloatingCastle: Santa lives in one.
* OnlySixFaces: The multinational groups of Santa's helpers are mostly the same few kids in different costumes.
* OurDemonsAreDifferent: Pitch.
* PlayingAgainstType: By IMDB's account, Moreno was prior to the film generally cast as gang members, both sympathetic and unsympathetic, and played against type in this film, which is that for which he is most famous. If ''this'' is his ''against'' type role...
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: Just count how many times "Jingle Bells" plays as background music.
* PunnyName: The Flower to Disappear was originally named in the Mexican version as "La Flor de No Te Veo" (the flower of "I can't see you"), which is a play on the phrase "no te veo" and "Nochebuena", the Spanish name for the Poinsettia.
* {{Public Domain Character}}s: Featuring a list of characters nobody expects to be in the same movie:
** [[KingArthur Merlin]]
** SantaClaus
** {{Satan}}
** [[ClassicalMythology Vulcan]]
* RobeAndWizardHat: Merlin.
** ''[[ParanoiaFuel He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake...]]''
* SociopathicHero([[DesignatedHero ?]]): Santa
* TakeOurWordForIt: "He almost ran into the Moon!"
** Visiting about four houses in Mexico City = delivering toys to all the children on Earth.
* TakeOverTheWorld: Pitch declares that ''he'' will rule the world with Santa out of the way. Apart from his plan making very little sense to begin with, not only is he in the service of [[{{Satan}} Lucifer]], but the way he says it implies that ''Santa'' is the incumbent ruler of the world...
* TheDevilIsALoser: Pitch fits this to a tee.
* TricksterArchetype: Pitch.
* TruthSerums: A variation is found in Santa's "Cocktail of Remembrance" which he gives to the rich boy's parents after they've left him alone at home to attend a dinner party.
* UnusualEars: Pitch.
** Not to mention Santa's "earscope," a satellite dish with a giant plastic ear in the center.
* UpgradeArtifact
* VillainDecay: Pitch, in a way. When you consider that he works for Satan, is Satan's CHIEF devil, and thus responsible for tons of pure horrific atrocities & nastiness on Earth! Said dark Hell-spawn is an almost-harmless, goofy, mincing, ineffectual buffoon in this movie.
* WhenYouComingHomeDad: The LonelyRichKid thinks this, if he doesn't actually say it.
* WidgetSeries: W.M.T. (Weird Mexican Thing), to be exact.

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