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Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny
     

Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny

Director: Barry Mahon, R. Winer

Cast: Shay Garner, Jay Ripley

 
This strange children's film was partially directed by exploitation filmmaker Barry Mahon (The Beast That Killed Women). Santa Claus sits in Florida, sweating and dejected until some kids bring animals to help him get his sleigh out of the sand. It doesn't quite work, but Santa tells the teens a story anyway, which is actually Mahon's 1970 film Thumbelina

Overview

This strange children's film was partially directed by exploitation filmmaker Barry Mahon (The Beast That Killed Women). Santa Claus sits in Florida, sweating and dejected until some kids bring animals to help him get his sleigh out of the sand. It doesn't quite work, but Santa tells the teens a story anyway, which is actually Mahon's 1970 film Thumbelina, featuring Shay Gardner, also one of the beach kids here. Eventually, a man in a bunny suit gets Santa's mission operational again, bringing Mahon's puzzling excursion into family entertainment to a close.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Fred Beldin
There may never be a bottom to the barrel of Christmas-themed children's films, but Barry Mahon's Florida-lensed fever dream is as low as most will care to scrape. This confounding stroke of kid-sized surrealism played the Saturday matinee circuit of its day, although it's difficult to imagine an audience of children sitting still throughout its entire running time. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny wraps some haphazardly executed Santa-centric footage around Mahon's previously-released live action version of Thumbelina, gaining the director (who had more experience with adult fare like Confessions of a Bad Girl and Sex Club International) a questionable seasonal classic in the bargain. His sleigh stuck in the Florida sand, Santa pants and sweats under his heavy red suit while a bevy of children try to replace the missing reindeer with pigs, donkeys, puppies and a man in a gorilla suit. Their efforts are for naught, so to pass the time, Santa tells the assembled kids the story of Thumbelina -- cue the start of Mahon's 1970 take on the classic story, complete with credit titles. Tricking children into watching this claustrophobic, low-energy fairy tale a second time is the only motive for Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny's existence, and while such machinations as re-titling and re-editing otherwise unsalable films are old hat in the exploitation biz, targeting a pre-pubescent audience's love of Christmas is particularly obnoxious. After seventy minutes, Thumbelina mercifully closes, a man in a fuzzy bunny suit rides in on a fire truck to save the day for Santa Claus, and we are left with a thousand questions. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny moves slowly and pointlessly, but there are unusual pleasures for the patient. The amateur cast seems truly enthusiastic about appearing on camera with Santa, the songs they sing are charmingly clumsy like the spontaneous songs of real children, and several inexplicable appearances from Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn add yet another puzzling wrinkle. But there isn't even a token nod to the usual homilies of the season (good will toward men, importance of family, etc.), making Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny as crass a Christmas exploitation as there ever was, an interesting but utterly insulting failure.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/03/2011
UPC:
0844503001900
Original Release:
1972
Source:
Legend Films
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Stereo]
Time:
1:36:00

Special Features

Bonus shorts: Santas' Punch & Judy

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- RiffTrax: Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny
1. Elves "Sing"
2. Santa Stuck
3. Summoning the Horde
4. Thumbelina
5. Magic Seeds
6. Leopard Frog Husband Thing
7. Mole People!
8. Sugar Mole-Daddy
9. Inter-Species Matrimony
10. Bird Escape!
11. Bunny Air-Raid

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