Written and directed by Andi Allen : Santa Claus vs. The Martians (Version 2.0) is a revived and revised comedy from Level Ground Art’s repertoire of Schlock Film Redux. It’s loopy and preposterous, odd and hilarious. Dry and cuddly, gushy and whimsical. Inspired by the 1964 “classic” film : Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (Directed by Nicholas Webster) SCVTM tells the story of how Kimar (after consulting with 800-year-old sage, Chocum) realizes that all the children of Mars are suffering from serious malaise. In a desperate attempt to save them from perpetual despair, he kidnaps Santa, to bring Christmas (and subsequent merriment) to the Martian world. Voldar, however, a renegade and war-mongering Martian, objects to all this nonsense. And even if he can quash Voldar’s revolt, Kimar’s not altogether sure he can ever return Santa to Planet Earth. Oh no!
With its low budget production values, drag-informed humor and playful digressions, Santa Claus vs. The Martians is a spirited tonic for those naughty Holiday Blues. Level Ground Arts has a knack for taking the over-acting, under-acting, strangeness and overall, jeery-rigged feel of particularly egregious films and spinning them into the golden fleece of giddy giggles and helpless chuckles. Once you give yourself permission to enter LGA’s Bizarro World of satirical entertainment (a deconstruction of campy, garage cinema) the results are sublime. Highlights of SCVTM include: Michael Moore’s buzzy, flirtatious turn as Mrs. Santa, Dan Schmoker as the ultra-butch, cigar-chomping Voldar ( *swoon* ) Cassidy Crown and Rhonda Durant as Girmar and Bomar, the jaded, robotic Martian kids, Jason Villareal as the sweet, avuncular Dropo, and The Polar Bear with a frat boy sense of humor.
Level Ground Arts presents Santa Claus vs. The Martians (Version 2.0) playing December 7th-29th, 2012. Trinity River Arts Theatre (KD Studio Theatre) 2600 North Stemmons Freeway, Dallas, Texas 75207. 972-302-1801. Levelgroundarts@yahoo.com