If you are like me you also have a viewing list of films you watch each Holliday. I don't tend to watch the traditional classics though, unless you consider the 1999 Xmas Story Futurama episode a classic. Instead I tend to watch oddball things that make me laugh, and if your into kitschy, funny, and just plain weird, there is noting to beat the 1972 film Santa and The Ice Cream Bunny.
Strictly speaking I'm not even sure you can call this thing a film, most kindergarteners with cell phone cameras could make something much better, and more coherent. Santa and The Ice Cream Bunny is more of a monument to the utterly bizarre, and full warning I am a connoisseur of bad movies and this is perhaps the worst I've seen. Its also the so bad its good type, in that its side splittingly funny.
Filmed in 1972 it primarily functions as an advertisement for the long gone amusement park Pirates World.
Pirates World closed in 1975 with the advent of Disney World, and perhaps it was already struggling in 1972, because the glimpses of it seen in the film are hardly impressive.
The thread bare plot of the film, is that a badly costumed Santa's sled gets stuck in the Florida mud
and an ever more bizarre parade children, costumed adults and animals try to pull the sleigh free.
For some inexplicable reason, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn are also there.
Stuck in the mud Santa starts to tell the children a bizarre third hand story about Thumbelina.
Its third hand because Santa is telling the story, as it is viewed and imagined by a girl who is spending the day at Pirates World. This version of Thumbelina features lots of moles, bad paper mache birds, flower children, and production values that have to seen to be believed.
After the story is over the titular Ice Cream bunny finally makes his appearance riding a fire truck, and extracts Santa's sleigh.
The film was so terrible it achieved a sort of underground cult status among connoisseurs of terrible films.
Its also been the subject of a RiffTrax commentary. Rifftrax is a movie parody company that releases comedy audio commentaries of films . It you have ever seen the 1990s TV show Mystery Science Theatre Three Thousand
you'll recognize the format and the commentators. The Rifftrax version is available on Amazon instant video and my husband and I both agree its one of the funnies things we have ever seen.
Even better though, a new Riff Trax live version, is being released in select theaters this Thursday.