When this website reviewed the return of Mystery Science Theater 3000 last Spring, one episode was not reviewed. The holiday episode, “The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t”, was the next to last episode of the season. Now in time for the Christmas season, here’s our review.
Kinga (Felicia Day) ever the spoilsport in this episode, as she planned her shotgun wedding to Jonah to get ratings. At least Max (Patton Oswalt) is in the Christmas mood, even though the episode aired over Easter weekend.
The movie itself is rather odd, featuring Rossano Brazzi who is best known for the film version of South Pacific, as the Scrooge-like bad guy. Santa Claus is in trouble because he can’t pay the rent to his landlord, Prune (played by Brazzi). That’s right, Santa is not a homeowner in this movie.
Santa gets help from a poor lawyer named Whipple, who’s more a big kid at heart. He figures Santa can work for a department store as himself and talk to the kids. This is new to Santa as he figures this out.
Prune will stop at nothing to drive Santa into the street and take his toys. Maybe he hates kids or the Whos down in Whoville or something.
Naturally, there’s a happy ending that may have come from another holiday movie, and they even make Prune appreciate Christmas.
The songs are rather cheesy and strange to us, considering this was an Italian movie from the mid 1960’s. It’s in the same neighborhood as Santa Claus Conquers The Martians. There is a clip on YouTube that has an interesting look at how the movie was made.
Jonah, Crow and Servo volleyed a few South Pacific jokes in honor of Brazzi, and the host segments commented on how old-fashioned the toys are. Santa shows up, looking a little familiar.
Prune: I’ve been running away from children all my life
As required by the court order.
The bots comment on the movie, including Whipple enjoying the toys a bit too much
What did they cut out if this is what they kept? (Ironic, because the show cut out the first few minutes of the movie).
Some kid comes out of nowhere, and tells the other kids to pay Santa’s rent
Is he summoning Beetlejuice to help Santa?
There’s riffs on the Hunger Games, KISS, Victor Borge and Hamilton.
This episode, along with the rest of season eleven, is still available on Netflix. Season 12 will be coming soon.