Twelve Days of Christmas Review #4: Bad Santa (2003)

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He’s taking a piss, and checking it twice…

Subgenre:  Comedy

Summary:  A mall Santa and his helper use their job to case malls they plan on robbing.

Review:  Bad Santa is the ultimate anti-Christmas movie; it’s like Scrooged on steroids.  Its main character isn’t just a curmudgeon – he’s a degenerate.

Willie spends his days getting blackout drunk, screwing anything that moves, and working as a mall Santa during the holidays.  His only friend is Marcus, a little person who plays his elf.  Their racket – knocking over the malls they work at – has provided them with steady income over the years, but Willie’s increasing carelessness threatens to lose them their jobs, or worse.  Meanwhile, Willie inadvertently befriends a young boy whose house he’s squatting at, and teaches him a few twisted life lessons.

Bad Santa may not be the most tightly plotted movie out there, but it doesn’t need to be.  It’s one of those movies that’s a collection of funny moments rather than a completely cohesive story.  And it is funny, thanks mainly to Billy Bob Thornton, whose apathetic wreck of a character is never less than hilarious.  The dialogue and situations in this movie are wonderfully depraved, and sure to offend all the right people.  Bad Santa even manages to inject a little Christmas cheer as well, without ever giving up its biting sense of humor.

The Verdict:  Bad Santa is a deranged, hilarious Christmas movie for adults. I give it eight sauce-swilling Santas out of ten.

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