Santa & The Ice Cream Bunny

D: Barry Mahon & R. Winer
R & S Film Enterprises (Barry Mahon)
US 1972
95 mins


W: Barry Mahon & R. Winer
DP: R. Winer & William Tobin
Ed: R. Winer & Steve Cuiffo
Mus: Ralph Falco & George Linsenmann

Jay Ripley (Santa), Shay Garner (Thumbelina), Pat Morrell (Mrs. Mole), Bob O'Connell (Mr. Mole), Ruth McMahon (Mother)

It seems that it is only possible to watch this movie on YouTube, which is a good thing, because it is a hate crime against all children - Everywhere!  Santa & The Ice Cream Bunny breaks the Worst Movie Of All Time Record at lightspeed pace and proves that some people should go nowhere near a movie camera, let alone use one, especially directors whose only previous credits could only possibly be 1970's porn films (this cannot be confirmed R. Winer only has one credit to his name and it's this excuse for a movie).
Though this movie may be the only festive movie to feature a scene where vultures eat roadkill, this is not a facet to be proud of. The title is actually a misnomer, since it has very little to do with Christmas and Santa is only the main character because it was probably the easiest & cheapest costume to procure.
The bare bones of the plot were clearly thrown together over a weekend's binge drink and filmed on the Monday after a visit to a local Fancy Dress store.
The movie opens with a group of elves (or 8-year-olds in green outfits) singing tunelessly about the whereabouts of Santa as they make shockingly cheap toys out of plywood on a set made of MDF. Cue some stock footage of Reindeer somewhere in the great outdoors then a fade to reveal that Santa is castaway somewhere on a beach in Florida because his sleigh is trapped beneath half an inch of sand. This is no usual Santa though, it's a really thin bloke with a pathetic stick-on beard, dressed in a bargain bucket costume covered in sweat patches which possibly reek of Captain Morgan rum.
Santa then bursts into a tuneless song (clearly dubbed in post production) about how his "predicament lacks it's usual cheer" as he waves his hand to-and-fro to some banal kazoo music. Using magic telepathy powers (represented here by snoring obnoxiously), he enlists help of some local kids (and Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn for some bizarre reason, who seem to find Florida pretty darn quickly from the Mississippi River). All the kids don't seem too thrilled to be in the presence of this obscenely drunk & possibly drugged-up Santa, most probably because he smelt of his own piss, but nevertheless they listen to his plight and wander off to find an indigenous animal to tie to the sled, including a horse, some random guy in a Gorilla costume, a dog that (quite literally) won't stop barking and increasingly smaller animals, because these kids are all quite stupid.
Santa helps out by sitting motionless in his sled and acting absolutely hammered.
Dejected by their failure to free Santa's sleigh from a few grains of sand, they gather around to listen to the pisshead tell a story, which they are clearly not excited by, as several of them are visibly yawning as Santa starts to mumble incoherently...
The "story" is, in fact, a previously filmed pantomime of Thumbelina, wedged into the movie to increase the running time by 30 minutes (just shoot me now!).
The production values of Thumbelina are pretty shabby too, with a twentysomething girl warbling songs through really bad ADR as she mopes around sets made of balsa wood and looking like it was filmed in the prison of a Communist Regime. All the other characters in this story are in random animal costumes, including Thumbelina's mother, who is a mole for some arbitrary reason. The result is actually quite creepy, but it has the expected fairytale ending when a bird whisks Thumbelina to a world of flower children where she is crowned queen.          
She sings another ear-splitting ditty and then joins her boyfriend in Pirate World, a Florida theme-park which was abundantly in need of some product placement in a 1970's flop movie.
We return to Santa, who has been abandoned by half the number of children, either because they thought the Thumbelina story was shit or because they were hideously nauseous by the stink of body odour & gin.  Creepy Santa then thanks the children who did stay by removing several layers of clothing accompanied by sickening grunts, in a bid to cool down in the sweltering heat.
Cue The Ice Cream Bunny, another extra in an ill-fitting fancy dress costume, who comes to save the day in an antique fire engine which is clearly being pushed from behind by a Production Assistant.  The Ice Cream Bunny is likewise accompanied by several Florida kids who obviously had nothing to do during their holidays except sing about Santa's "predicament lacking it's usual cheer" as the fire engine makes it's way through Pirate World, and past all the wonderful rides in Pirate World, and past all the wonderful stalls in Pirate World and down another road, through another part of Pirate World, round in a circle past more delightful rides until 5 minutes later it is leaving Pirate World via a dirt track which may lead to drunk Santa, as well as coming perilously close to running over the constantly-barking dog (seriously!).
Yes, that's right. The journey takes a full five minutes, which may not seem a lot to read, but it was an absolute age to watch. Five minutes of product placement for a theme park which, ironically, shut down less than a year after the film's release (it's unknown if these two events are related).
The silent, soulless and creepy guy in the rabbit costume finally makes it to his drunken Santa pal, they mumble incoherently to each other for a few minutes (dialogue is drowned out by the constantly-barking dog) before they both use magic powers to disappear, leaving a dozen or so kids stranded in the fetid Florida wasteland! What a couple of genuine arseholes!!
The movie ends without answering who the Ice Cream Bunny was, why he didn't have any ice cream or why no reference to ice cream was made. The questions have died with Pirate World, kids. You'll just have to go to Disneyland instead.
There, I've reviewed this pathetic excuse of a movie in loquacious style so you don't have to watch it. Or, watch it on YouTube if you dare! But be warned, you will feel sick, for this is no ordinary Christmas turkey. It is a Christmas Turkey which comes alive as you're about to carve it and shits all over your dining table as your family is gathered around to eat, obliterating the Festive Spirit for what could be an eternity.

Santa & The Ice Cream Bunny
Santa & The Ice Cream Bunny