Ho ho howdy folkses! Welcome to the first day of The Twelve Days of Shitmas 2021, which also happens to be my fiftieth article for Million Monkey Theater! How better to celebrate this personal milestone than with some fresh-picked and carefully curated Christmas offal, served up hot and savory with a thick blood pudding and a warm spotted dick. We know how much you love your spotted dick. Everybody knows.

There was a time, dear readers, when I was a hopeless outsider, a freak, a social pariah, observing life's rituals from a distance as through the leper's squint, watching the pomp and pageantry of other people's happiness yet unable to play a part in it. Now, thanks to MMT I'm the high priest of my very own bad-movie cult and I make up my own damn rituals, thank you very much. Why only this morning I performed my ceremonial ablutions in the central fountain of Million Monkey Court, in cool cascades infused with cinnamon, sandalwood and the tears of dying nuns. As I rose from its refreshing waters I was lovingly attended by my loyal acolytes, twenty-one semi-nude virgins of undeterminable sex, who gently daubed my skin dry with the preserved feathers of an extinct Egyptian ibis. After rubbing my limbs, chest and perinium with delicately scented unguents, these servants encircled me, and clothed my gleaming body in samite robes stitched with golden thread and dyed purple with the mucous of a rare Phoenecian mollusk.

Then we ascended the obsidian staircase to the MMT screening room to watch today's Shitmas feature...and oh, what a feature it is! It's a fluffy meringue of holiday whimsy that through its sheer brazen ineptitude crosses the Rubicon into accidental existential horror, with a gossamer filigree of old-timey sexploitation thrown in to kick up the cringe factor. It's a perfectly piquant, stylishy stinky start to this smelliest of the festive season's traditions.

All jingle bells have been sanitized for your protection.

We're posting a brand-new review of a Christmas special every other day beginning December 3rd, and culminating in what we consider the worst of the bunch on Christmas morning. This year we're particularly chuffed because we've added a bonus Secret Santa feature! One of the screenshots in each of the twelve articles will be hiding a sneaky link. Not the kind of sneaky link where you get a l'iI sum' sum' on the side while your baby mama's stuck home feeding the kids, but a hidden sneaky link to a less-than-appealing depiction of Santa Claus we've churned up from the dank, steaming bowels of the internet that you'd probably just as likely not want to see at all. Click on the pictures until you find it...and do please try to contain your delight. There are ladies present.

Much like our Tenth Day offering from 2019, Magic Christmas Tree (1964), our inaugural special this year is of abysmal quality and uncertain origins. As the raindrop surrenders its form and substance to the churning gestalt of the raging river, an unloved bit of vintage media sacrifices its provenance to the inexorable passage of time, and so it is with Santa and the Fairy Snow Queen. Some have posited it may have been produced for an early Los Angeles television affiliate (an unlikely scenario due to its having been filmed in color three years before the advent of color TV), others have theorized it was produced for sale to grade schools or lending libraries, or perhaps as a short subject for local movie theaters. Still others simply can't muster up enough shits to offer an opinion. Whatever its roots, it stands as a stark testament to just how gullible and gormless some people think children can be.

The film tells the dark, philosophically ominous tale of how toys first came to acquire both sentience and a shocking awareness of the horrific conditions of their own existence. To a child, of course, just about anything can seem to be alive. It's one of the joys of that all-too-brief period of our primal innocence that rocks, trees, houses, cars and anything else, especially our toys, seem to us to have lives and personalities of their own, but the Toy Story franchise notwithstanding, very few entertainments have had the courage to confront the sinister ramifications of that seemingly harmless anthropomorphism.

Santa and the Fairy Snow Queen doesn't have the courage, either, in fact it doesn't have much of anything to recommend it at all, yet somehow it stumbles fecklessly into the darkest corners of the infantile psyche, leading us to imagine that everything we loved as children was not only alive, but also experienced the world in a constant state of pain and peril. Sounds mighty festive, no?

We open with our narrator, a zippy little lady whom we might initially assume to be one of Santa's elves, but because this is a bold cinematic vision that seeks to retcon the entire foundations of our generally accepted Santa Claus mythology, we learn that she is not an elf but a brownie.

Now, I don't mean to be didactic (who am I kidding? When am I anything else?), but brownies and elves are not exactly interchangeable. In the Celtic tradition elves are nature spirits affiliated with the fairies, living communally in the forests and glens and interacting socially with their brethren. Brownies are helpful, chore-performing house entities, solitary and easily offended, for whom it is advisable to leave small portions of food and drink so they don't get ticked off and fuck up your shit while you're sleeping.

They can either churn your butter or piss in it. It's entirely up to you.

So our "brownie" narrator comes leaping out from behind what I think is supposed to be a wrapped gift box and tells us her name is Snoopy. Well, Santa calls her Snoopy, anyway, not because he reminds her of the famous deadpan canine who had been introduced in the fledgling Peanuts comic strip the previous year, but because she's an insufferable busybody and likes to snoop, dog. In fact it's her current job within the Claus organization to spy on children in their homes, then take reports from their toys to determine if the children are abusing or neglecting them. If so those toys will be taken away to "the land of lost and forgotten toys," a place where Snoopy ominously assures us no toy wants to go.

Snoopy is a spunky, energetic and mildly erotic sort of brownie, and as she speaks she assumes a variety of provocative poses, presumably to give a little titilation value for all the young DILFs in the audience who haven't been getting any at home, what with the holidays and the kiddies and all that 1950's post-war prosperity and all.

I didn't realize it was a stag film.

Before we go further I also need to point out that Snoopy laughs like a sea mammal echolocating a school of mackerel...and she laughs a lot. Between that and her semi-sexual undulations I'm reminded of that famous viral video of a horny dolphin gleefully fucking the corpse of a headless fish, smiling like a lunatic and leering though the aquarium glass at a bemused crowd of hapless human onlookers. Snoopy's laugh is exactly how I imagine that dolphin laughed when he told his dolphin friends about it over a couple of beers later that evening.

So Snoopy sticks her perky ass in the air and tells us of a distant Christmas Eve many years before, when as Santa was preparing for his annual trans-global journey he sat down to rest a moment and thought he could use some company.

He called up his diminutive friend the Fairy Snow Queen and invited her over to the toy warehouse for a nice hot cup of tea and a sugar cookie. The Fairy Snow Queen balked at the tea, complaining that it would make her melt away, but said hell yeah to a sugar cookie, because who doesn't love a sugar cookie? So Santa sat down to wait for his friend, but he was so tired from his strenuous seasonal workload that he accidentally fell asleep.

Snoopy now takes us back to that fateful night by stepping into the next room, where all of Santa's toys are lined up at his feet, ready to be loaded into his sleigh and distributed to all the good little goyim boys and girls. "All of Santa's toys" for the purposes of this film, are a paltry assortment consisting of a stuffed lion, a jack-in-the-box, a toy soldier and a few differently-dressed dolls scattered around the base of Santa's chair. The sets are bare and basic, and the costumes are off-the-rack rentals, because the producers blew most of their meager budget on a giant papier mache lower half of Santa, replete with huge, movable boots, in an effort to give the toys a sense of scale.

Judging by Snoopy's reaction it must also have been pantsless and anatomically correct.

Shortly after Santa fell asleep, Snoopy tells us, the Fairy Snow Queen showed up to collect her cookie. Snoopy also lets us in on a little secret about the FSQ that will come back to haunt us shortly: not only is she the most beautiful of all the fairies, she also has a pesky penchant for playing practical jokes.

Soon we see the impish little beauty herself come dancing in with her magic wand and her wavy blonde locks, yawning and posing and pirouetting, and leaning forward repeatedly to give the aforementioned DILFs a clear view of her cleavage.

It's a good place to store her wand.

This is our first indication that there's going to be a lot of grade-school level, club-footed ballet dancing throughout, mostly to stock recordings of "The Nutcracker," because Tchaikovsky's famous ballet is not only a convenient, familiar shorthand for the Christmas season but also available in the public domain to use in a movie for free.

FSQ is anxious to get at that cookie, which considering she's only about twelve inches tall would probably weigh almost as much as she does, but when she calls up to Santa he just mumbles "Merry Christmas" under his breath and settles more deeply into his slumber...

...or possibly into a diabetic coma.

FSQ gets her petulant diva on now. She is a queen, after all, and should certainly not be treated so disrespectfully even by such a famous and esteemed figure as Santa Claus...but how best to show him her displeasure?

She thinks hard for a moment and decides that the way to punish her friend for his unintentional insolence is to bring his toys to life then sit back to watch the mayhem. She does another little spin, budget-Ballanchine style and, appropriately, to "The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies" she taps each of the seven toys with her wand, awakening them into the new and wondrous realm of the living.

There's no way this ends well for any of them.

Once the toys are all up and moving the FSQ pulls them out onto the floor and makes them dance for her pleasure like a bunch of trained monkeys. They're all a bit awkward at first, struggling to control their bodies, but soon they're approximating ballet just as badly as the FSQ and having a grand old time doing it.

Suddenly Santa awakens to find the whole group of them at his feet, shouting to him about all the things they can now do, which is pretty much just "walking," "standing" "singing" and "dancing." The Jack-in-the-Box just shouts "Look at us! Look at us! Look at us!" Because barking things out three times and vigorously humping the air are totally his jam.

I once knew a chihuahua like that.

FSQ explains to Santa how she found him asleep and decided to play a joke on him by bringing the toys to life, and before you can say "that's a really shitty idea with terrifying psychological, spiritual and metaphysical implications" the Singing Doll in the powder blue evening gown spontaneously breaks into song. It's a song about singing, featuring the now-classic refrain "I'm singing, lalalalalalalalalala, oh, look at me I can sing!"

It isn't long before the Soldier gets in on the action and starts singing, too, mostly because Singing Doll is a ceramic and taffeta hottie that makes the little soldier in his trousers stand at attention.

It's a penetrating human drama--with a focus on the penetration.

The Soldier wants to get the others all involved and occupied so he and Singing Doll can maybe sneak off on their own for a little game of "ramrod and musket," so he encourages them all to start singing, too. Though they've already demonstrated that they can speak they struggle to do so. They mostly just flop their arms around and noiselessly move their lips, except for the Rustic Milkmaid Doll with the red boots and big knockers, who shakes her breasts at the Wooden Soldier like a Vegas hooker on the make.

Both big and little soldiers approve.

Finally FSQ uses a little more of her magic to kind of jump start their golden throats and they all start in singing together...about singing together. It's very meta. The Soldier walks from doll to doll, putting his hand to his ear and nodding approvingly, making sure to get Milkmaid's number on the sly in case Singing Doll isn't the kind of girl who puts out on the first date.

Suddenly Jack-in-the-Box shouts "She's stuck! She's stuck! She's stuck!" and we see Singing Doll mechanically repeating the same motions over and over as if one of the gears in her inner mechanism has slipped out of place. FSQ swoops in and waves the wand over her head again, releasing her from her awkward, robotic loop.

This brief glitch in the matrix repaired, the Toys all finish their little sing-song. Santa gives them a cursory nod and a forced, condescending laugh then picks up FSQ in his palm to beg her to change the whole lot of them back to inanimate objects before something bad happens. Besides, he needs to pack them up and deliver them to all the children, which is sure gonna be hard to do with them scurrying around the place like barn mice. The Toys overhear this and protest that they need more time. They still have much to show him, they proclaim, so he can't possibly change them back now.

The Soldier is particularly keen to show Santa how he can march, and naturally he has to make a fucking dance out of it. As he demonstrates his mad marching skills the little baby doll repeatedly tries to get his attention, eventually falling in line next to him and mimicking his maneuvers. This turns into a stylized, pseudo-martial pas de deux, and when they finish it the Soldier, eagerly desperate for validation, asks "Just like a real soldier, aren't I Santa?" Santa replies dismissively that he's never seen better, then immediately turns his attention back to the FSQ.

I'd like to know where his thumb is.

Before Santa can speak with her again Jack belts out a "Look at me! Look at me! Look at me!" and the jolly old fatty quickly puts FSQ down, urging her to hurry and reverse her spell before Jack breaks himself. He orders Jack to stay in his box, but no sooner has he said it than the bouncy little piebald bastard jumps out and starts getting jiggy with it all over the dance floor.

Fun fact: This actor, Don Oreck, eventually quit showbiz and became a Los Angeles police officer.

Things are careening out of control now, just as Santa feared they would, with Jack chasing around all the lady dolls and the Soldier chasing Jack. The other dolls cower at Santa's feet, and to their dismay Jack forcibly abducts the Baby Doll and dumps her into his box.

He later arrested a guy for doing this in real life.

Baby Doll escapes with the help of the Lion, and the soldier uses his sword to force the horny jester back into the box. This segues directly into FSQ doing more of her slow, awkward ballerina bullshit, waving her wand and dancing clumsily on pointe as the toys all line up behind her. It seems to serve no purpose beyond filling up time, but it does give her another opportunity to show off her cleavage again, this time in close-up.

Not that I'm complaining.

Next we get the Soldier and the Singing Doll doing a sweet little pavan together while Santa tells FSQ firmly that yeah, we've had some fun, we've sung some songs and danced some dances, but time's a-wastin' and she really needs to wave her little wand and put these fuckers down.

FSQ finally relents, on condition that next time Santa invites her over for a sugar cookie he'd better not fall asleep and he'd better actually have a goddamn sugar cookie waiting for her or somebody's gonna get fucking hurt.


Santa promises and FSQ turns to the toys, ordering them to become as they were before she started messing with the natural fabric of the Yuletide universe. She waves her wand, but they all shake their heads and tell her no can do, bi-atch. They don't wanna and she can't make 'em.

At first Santa thinks this is just another one of her ill-timed, poorly-considered japes, but she turns to him and declares that she really is trying her best but it just isn't working. Suddenly she starts whining and crying that she's lost her magic powers.

The toys, of course, are delighted to hear this. They clap their hands and dance ring-a-rosey around the distraught little diva, singing Jingle Bells and smiling broadly at their good fortune. Santa asks how FSQ could have lost her magic and she confesses that the queen of all the fairies had recently warned her that if she didn't stop playing her stupid jokes on people she'd take her magic powers away from her for four hundred Christmases.

"She also threatened to strip me of my ample busoms."

Santa sympathizes as best he can but he has more pressing problems, because her wrong-headed shenanigans have now left him without any toys to give all the little boys and girls of the world just as he's about to load up and begin his Christmas Eve distribution. It's an assertion that's either absurd or horrifying, depending on how you interpret it, because it either means Santa has a grand total of seven toys to divide amongst every non-Jewish, non-Hindu, non-Muslim child on Earth or FSQ's meddling has granted life to every single toy everywhere.

Imagine the toys already secured in boxes, suddenly conscious for the first time, unable to move due to tight packing in sawdust and awakening in the stygian confusion of complete darkness. Think of the toys in shop windows opening their eyes and looking out at the crowds of shambling humans, wondering what the hell just happened to them and what the hell they even are. Think of the toys that were actively being played with that suddenly sprang to life, experiencing the sudden shock of self-awareness amidst the piercing din of some poor child's terror-stricken screams. This is the dystopian nightmare FSQ unwitting created for a fleeting, self-indulgent reprisal for Santa's innocent transgression, and now that the toys are out of the sack she can't wrestle them back in.

So Santa complains that now he has no toys and Rag Doll defiantly declares that now they've had a taste of life they want more. They need it, they lust for it, they ache for it...

...and Jack humps the ever-loving shit out of the air for it.

Seeing the toys so adamant about wanting to remain alive, FSQ breathes a sigh of relief, suddenly realizing that she hasn't lost her magic after all. It's just that she can't use it to make anyone do anything they don't want to do. You'd think that half the fun of having magical abilities would be to be able to make people you can't stand do shit they don't want to do, like slap their own stupid faces or shove flaming corn cobs up their back passages, but a rule is a rule. It's in the Fairy Queen by-laws.

Just then Snoopy reappears. You remember her, right? The sexy brownie with the pert buttocks and the sultry stare? Well she pops in to tell Santa that his sleigh is all ready to be loaded up, and just as quickly she lets out one of those ear-splitting giggles and bounces back out of frame.

Santa asks the FSQ what the hell she expects him to do, and she posits that perhaps if she talks to the toys she might convince them to turn back into inanimate objects voluntarily. She turns and tries to reason with them, but even with Santa explaining that without them he will have nothing to give to the children they refuse to budge. He changes tactics now, pouting and pleading and putting the burden of a Christmas without toys directly onto their shoulders, guilt-tripping and gaslighting, making it seem as though they themselves had selfishly asked to be brought to life in the first place.

Santa goes on to warn them that it's not easy being alive, which, let's face it, is a pretty valid point I think we can all personally attest to, but what he's really doing is using their innocence and naivete to manipulate them into sacrificing themselves on the altar of Christmas consumerism.

We're all expendable in the end.

Santa claims that with their diminutive stature it will be impossible for them to get along in the world without a little boy or girl to take care of them, that the children would play with them, that it's what they were made for. He tells the Soldier that a little boy would probably put him with other toy soldiers, and maybe even send him off to war! "A real war?" The Soldier asks in astonishment at his potential good fortune. "Yes," Santa assures him, "a little boy's war!" He assures the dolls they'd get to have tea parties and stuff, too, but doesn't elaborate because in the 1950's girls were a mere afterthought. Plus he's kind of pressed for time.

Next santa paints an apocalyptic scenario where without any children to cherish them the Toys would be forced to wander the world alone, rootless, unmoored, without love or protection, where they must inevitably get lost or broken, have their arms and legs drop off and endure a long, excruciating descent into madness and despair. What he doesn't mention is that that this will all probably happen to them eventually anyway when the kids grow up and get tired of them. Instead he changes tack again, trying to appeal to their sense of pity by describing to them a Christmas morning with no toys and no joy. He outright declares that unless they all agree to be euthanized what is usually the happiest day of the year will now be known as the saddest.

Reel 'em in, fatty.

The toys are still reluctant to give up their unwitting, unasked-for gift, so FSQ comes up with a compromise. She proposes that the toys be allowed to come to life for one hour each day at midnight, then Santa can then send one of his brownies to chat with them and find out how they're being treated by their owners. It would be a great way to check up on the children, she says, and besides it might even be fun!

As much fun as we're having now? Say it ain't so.

Santa thinks he's got his hook now and asks the Toys if they'll agree to this arrangement. They have a brief conference, huddled all around Jack in his box. He pops up, happily thrusting his crotch towards the Baby Doll and Rag Doll, proudly announcing "Agreed! Agreed! Agreed!"

He's more like a Jack-Off-in-the Box, amirite?

So FSQ tells the dolls to resume the positions they were in when she first brought them to life. As soon as they all begin to shuffle back, however, Singing Doll begins to cry. It seems she's fallen in love with the Soldier and can't bear to part with him. Soldier announces that he's in love with her, too, so now Santa has a star-crossed couple to deal with.

FSQ claims that none of them can be changed back unless these two agree to be changed back, too, so they declare they will yield to the will of the majority and sacrifice their personal happiness so as not to spoil Christmas for all the kids. They indulge in one final hug and one final kiss, then the Soldier takes off his medal and gives it to Singing Doll as a momento, pinning it between her heaving bosoms. Santa declares that hereafter all musical dolls will wear gold stars just like this one in remembrance of their mutual affection.

The hapless duo bow solemnly to one another, and Singing Doll gives the soldier's ample wooden junk one last, longing glance before heading back to their original positions, forever leaving the forbidden fruits of love untasted.

Apparently he's anatomically correct, too.

FSQ Does her thing and turns the toys back into toys. Santa thanks her and she immediately turns to go, suddenly bored with this square-ass scene and ready to find something new and exciting to break up the monotony of her lackluster life. "Oh, well," she yawns, taking to her toes again for one last crappy dance. "Oh, dear," she moans as she pirouettes across the room. "Ho-hum," she sighs as she exits our screens forever, never again to commit her heinous crimes against the art of ballet.

Fun fact: I once met world renowned ballet dancer and author Michaela DePrince. She was a bit shy and very, very tiny.

With the Christmas crisis averted and the pint-sized, cleavage-exhibiting mischief maker finally out of the picture Santa is free to stuff all the now-dormant toys in his sack and head off on his annual mission to brighten the faces and fulfil the holiday hopes of Christian children everywhere.

The End.

Santa and the Fairy Snow Queen is not only bone-numbing in its dullness, it's also just plain lazy, with its uber-cheap aesthetic and telegraphing a general attitude that kids are stupid and will watch any old piece of shit you sit them down in front of. Okay, maybe there is some truth to that notion, but still--it's no excuse for making something as bad as this.

It's maybe not quite as sex-centric as I've made it out to be but it's damn close and definitely has a distinct "porn producer does a kid's movie as a tax dodge" vibe to it. The porn or "stag film" industry was illegal and a completely underground phenomenon at the time, so if you were a porn producer who wanted to use your equipment and expertise to go straight this might well be the sort of thing you'd make. I'm not saying definitively that's what happened, but I wouldn't be at all surprised.

Also the sound guy's name was Dick Pitstick. You can't get much more porn than that.

Producer/director Sid Davis would later find some success making PSA "scare films" for distribution in schools and youth outreach programs. You know the kind. They'd breathlessly dramatize the dangers of poor hygiene, underage alcohol use, drugs, premarital sex or (gasp!) homosexuality to intimidate impressionable young people into living straight, narrow lives that conform to a rigid and socially conservative status quo. Because kids are kids, with their innate propensity to rebel against their parents, their teachers and any old system or set of rules you might try to crowbar them into, these films would often have the opposite of their intended effect, but hey, Sid Davis and others like him had already made their coin and moved on to the next one. These films were cynical money-making ventures, not passion projects by filmmakers who cared about the moral tenets they espoused in them. I am absolutely certain that the people involved in Santa and the Fairy Snow Queen, who would make so many dull, passionless short subjects in years to come, had absolutely no conception of the darkness at the heart of what they had created.

Let's face it, an hour of life each day is not a reasonable compromise but a horrific curse, but once the toys have had a taste of living how could they not want to maintain it even in some small measure? The terror comes later, over the course of many years, as each animated hour they contemplate the misery and meaninglessness of their continued existence, as they observe their dirty, battered bodies and experience fresh revelations of hell with each awakening.

They will see how their fickle owners have bashed them together, dragged them through dust and mud, burned them and torn their clothes, chewed on their limbs and crushed their torsos. Eventually they will come to understand the truth that Santa dared not reveal, that a day will inevitably come when they are no longer needed nor wanted nor loved. They will be abandoned to molder in attics or rot in damp basements for years on end, gathering dust and mildew, only to be rounded up by Snoopy and her brownshirt brownies one day, to be dumped in a landfill somewhere and to endure agonizing decades of decay, longing through each intolerable hour of consciousness for their essential elements to be returned to the earth so they may embrace the sweet, peaceful oblivion of their final dissolution.

Shitmas Bonus!
Don't Catch the Gay!

As mentioned above Sid Davis made some PSA films. In fact he produced forty-six, and of those he directed eight, but he only appeared as an actor in one of them, as the "man in public bathroom" in the 1961 Inglewood Police Department-commissioned title Boys Beware.

If this riveting cautionary tale is to be believed, there was once a time in Inglewood, California when homosexual men would just be constantly driving around in their nice cars offering free rides and refreshing Coca-Cola to young boys so they could spread their gay all over them. It was a penis pandemic, with these frendly-yet-perverse degenerates stalking the streets in search of fresh young meat in broad daylight and at every street corner, park and playground in the city.

This guy's mustache just screams "Friend of Dorothy."

Sometimes they'd take the kids fishing or buy them lunch, sometimes they'd shoot some hoops at the local court before taking them home to shoot something else into a different kind of hoop.

There's a guy who knows how to handle his balls.

Did you know being gay was a disease? A disease you can catch but--get this--you can't even see? I sure didn't, but I'll be watching out for suspicious-looking guys in public restrooms with enormous erections now, I can tell you.

Especially if they tail me down to the beach and try to follow me under a dark, sexy pier.

I'm so glad I saw this movie. Now I know if a strange guy follows me and offers me a soda I should go directly to the police.

Because no one working in law enforcement is gay, that's for sure.

Whew! I feel like I really dodged a bullet there, and maybe a few other things. Thanks Sid Davis! I'll be sticking with your pert sexy brownies from here on out!


Merry Christmas, folkses.

Next Installment: December 5th!

As always, Cheers and thanks for reading!

Written by Bradley Lyndon in December, 2021.

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