I’ve never seen this legendary bad film and have no plans to, but it’s airing on TCM Underground this week.
Believe it or not, there’s a good explanation for the film’s… unique take on Santa Claus. In the late 1950s, Santa Claus remained an unfamiliar figure in much of Mexico, where holiday gift-giving customs still focused on the Magi and their feast day, Epiphany (January 6). Even today, many discussions of Mexican Christmas customs make no mention of Santa Claus, instead focusing on such traditional holiday elements as posadas and piñatas. Santa has become more popular only in recent decades. Another odd running theme is the focus on social standing and class, which was a major concern of Mexico during that period.
Appropriately enough, the Middle Eastern kids make guns: