Deck the halls … with Satan!

Santa and Satan’s helper Pitch battle for the creepiest facial expressions.

Santa and Satan’s helper Pitch battle for the creepiest facial expressions.

If you’d rather spend a day in hell before watching another Christmas movie, consider Movies on a Big Screen your fairy godmother … or godfather. (Are movie theaters masculine or feminine?)

Anyway, watching Santa Claus (a.k.a. Santa vs. Satan) really is like being tortured in B-movie hell, possibly the fourth circle. Think Norman Rockwell Christmas nightmare on acid, then repeat that scenario over and over … and over. The 1959 Mexican-released movie is long, boring and creepy, by a factor of 10.

Classic 1950s Rockwellian morals, such as married couples sleeping in separate beds, are fused with vampirelike reindeer that turn to powder if exposed to sunlight. Didn’t get a chance to make it to Disney World this year to ride It’s a Small World? No worries. The movie opens not with jolly old St. Nick preparing for the biggest night of the year, but a cackling, pedophilelike Santa playing an organ as children around the world serenade. American kids dressed in cowboy hats croon “Mary Had a Little Lamb” while Mexican kids don ponchos and sing “La Cucaracha.”

But when Satan’s helper Pitch enters the scene, all hell breaks loose. Desperately trying to destroy Santa, Pitch—a skinny devil poseur in red boxer shorts with oversized ears—encourages kids to “beat your brains out!” Ah, now that’s the Christmas spirit.

Pitch eventually gets Santa stuck up a tree, threatening to ruin Christmas forever, but a gimpy Merlin the Magician comes to the rescue using Santa’s Peeping Tom telescope. And Merlin shares wise words to remember this holiday season: “Against mad dog, a cat.” Take that, Charles Dickens!