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Overall Rating
3.83

Awesome37.16%
Worth A Look: 36.49%
Just Average: 8.78%
Pretty Crappy: 7.43%
Sucks: 10.14%

9 reviews, 94 user ratings


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Bad Santa
[AllPosters.com] Buy posters from this movie
by EricDSnider

"On his own naughty list."
4 stars

"Bad Santa" is a hilariously vulgar film that I thoroughly enjoyed but that I cannot in good conscience actually recommend to anyone. Well, maybe to a few friends and acquaintances whose tastes I know well enough to know that they, too, will find it more funny than offensive. Everyone else, stay away.

Directed by the odd and cynical Terry Zwigoff ("Crumb," "Ghost World"), the film takes delight in its shocks, but it pulls them off with such panache and zippy humor that they feel more entertaining than appalling. We've all endured enough unfunny "shock" comedians and disc jockeys to know that being alarming isn't the same thing as being funny. Zwigoff, who co-scripted with John Requa, Glenn Ficarra and Arnie Marx from a story by Joel and Ethan Coen, knows the difference. Make an audience laugh hard enough and they won't mind the assault on their sensibilities.

Our hero is Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton), an embittered, alcoholic, foul-mouthed reprobate safecracker who spends one month a year working as a department store Santa. Why? Because it gives him and his partner, a dwarf named Marcus (Tony Cox) who works as his sidekick elf, access to the store's alarm system and safe. Every year it's a new city, new names, and a new hundred thousand dollars (or so) to tide them over until next Dec. 1.

Willie hates children, and hates Santa, and hates himself so much that after every job, he insists he'll never do it again, that he'd kill himself first. And every year, he gets dragged back into it, more hateful and miserable than the year before.

This particular year, he and Marcus are in Arizona, where they encounter an especially fat and dim-witted child who for most of the film is simply called Kid (Brett Kelly). The Kid lives with his senile grandmother (Cloris Leachman), who doesn't notice that Willie has moved in for the month, a move he deems necessary after he returns to his flophouse motel one evening to find cops rifling through his room. The Kid is picked on by his peers, too large and stupid to have friends, and takes to Willie (who he seems to believe actually is Santa Claus) immediately.

This being a dark comedy -- and I mean dark, pitch-black, with hardly an honest emotion to be found anywhere -- Willie's heart is not melted by the boy, at least not in the traditional sense. Part of the film's filthy charm, in fact, is that it actively rebels against all the elements typically found in holiday fare. Willie and the Kid bond, but only barely, and not so you'd notice. When the Kid makes a gift for Willie, is it something sweet and heartwarming, something that indicates he understands Willie's secret soul? No, it's a piece of wood that he has carved into the shape of a pickle, and which he has bled all over in the process. Take THAT, "Miracle on 34th Street." Up YOURS, "It's a Wonderful Life."

The sight of a bedraggled Santa swearing like a sailor and having sex with girthy women, not surprisingly, ceases to be amusing after a while, once we have grown accustomed to it. Still, I admire Thornton's commitment to the role, giving it as much attention as he does his more serious parts. Commitment goes a long way toward making comedy work, and Thornton spits out his most bilious lines with the venom they deserve.

Tony Cox is a good match for him, half his height but twice his mouth, and Bernie Mac is enjoyable as a chain-smoking mall security guard. John Ritter, in his last film role, plays the mall's nervous, squeaky-clean manager.

As a remedy to syrupy holiday films that plead with us not to be cynical or skeptical, "Bad Santa" is a rather pleasant bit of bittersweet candy. It should be approached only by those whose tastes run that way, to be sure, but connoisseurs of such finery will find it pretty @&*%@ delectable.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8367&reviewer=247
originally posted: 11/25/03 19:31:18
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User Comments

9/13/17 morris campbell bad indeed it sux donkey dicks 1 stars
12/19/14 PAUL SHORTT AUDACIOUS, FUNNY SATIRE 3 stars
2/28/11 Captain Slog Best Xmas movie ever made 5 stars
12/13/10 MP Bartley When Santa came down the motherfucking chimney, he brought this motherfucking great film. 5 stars
10/18/09 Chad Dillon Cooper A new Christmas classic. I ho ho hoed my A$$ off 4 stars
10/14/09 art WHO NEED"S THIS?,<IT"S REALLY PITIFUL! 1 stars
5/17/09 art BAD IS RIGHT! 2 stars
11/16/08 Samantha Pruitt incredibly raunchy and funny, that Billy Bob does a great job! 4 stars
10/10/08 Annie G Great concept, but poorly executed. Even a Scrooge like me says ‘blah’ 2 stars
5/01/08 art A BRUTAL AND MEAN SPIRTED YET A FUNNY AND< TOUCHING FILM 5 stars
3/03/08 ladavies A guilty pleasure. 4 stars
1/31/08 Bonny S. It had a few good laughs, but kinda stupid. 3 stars
10/15/07 fools&#9835;gold Violence is beautiful and real. This is realistic and funny - if only it was more fresh! 3 stars
6/15/07 al smith so crude and funny.billy bob is awesome 5 stars
3/23/07 mb Nothing There 1 stars
12/21/06 MP Bartley When Santa came down the motherfucking comedy he brought a motherfucking good comedy. 4 stars
11/05/06 Chris Bad santa bad movie 1 stars
1/20/06 eTourist Raunchy, Profane, Perverted, Seditious ... and ... Perfect 5 stars
1/07/06 gerry dunne why is there so much violence in american films? 2 stars
9/11/05 Total Crap Hands Down. The funniest movie ever. Wait till your find out the kid's name. 5 stars
8/10/05 ES funny movie, great main character, so many cool scenes 4 stars
6/18/05 Charlie This is the next "Christmas Story"! 5 stars
5/08/05 JFK not to funny, but entertaining.the end sucks 4 stars
4/10/05 gasml laughed the whole movie, brilliant 5 stars
3/24/05 indrid cold Good for several bellylaughs, but really not much to it. 4 stars
3/11/05 Edler It is missing some. The crudest is overdone at time. The kid is great though! 3 stars
12/23/04 Hugh Janus If you missed the point of this masterpeice, its your fuckin loss 5 stars
12/13/04 Taylor Fladgate Bad Santa? Bad idea, bad movie. 1 stars
12/12/04 Landshark Willie is to Santas what Shakes was to clowns...Zwigoff never gets candyassed. 4 stars
12/09/04 Jason Kaul Get past the language and overall crudeness, and this film has a lot of heart. 4 stars
12/04/04 Kristina Williams THIS is an Xmas movie! 5 stars
11/21/04 Melissa Way funnier than I expected. I laughed (and even cryed) at sweet Therman Merman 4 stars
11/10/04 David Johnson A great black comedy, ... for anyone needing their fix of "BAH HUMBUG"!!! 4 stars
10/30/04 Sherman McMerman FUNNIEST MOVIE IVE EVER SEEN I love the part when throws da clock and yells FUCK U 3 times 5 stars
8/29/04 Geo78665 Some laughs, but too one-note. Where did all the great reviews come from? 3 stars
8/17/04 Anthony G one of the worst movies I have ever seen, FUCK THIS SHIT. 1 stars
8/07/04 DH 4th grade attempt at satire--so lame! 1 stars
8/05/04 Chris it made me laugh, and it was an okay movie. not the greatest ive seen though. 3 stars
8/04/04 ownerofdajoint THIS MOVIE IS A FUCKING HOOT!!GO FUCKING GET IT ! 4 stars
7/30/04 Tom with the talent in this movie, I was hoping for much better results 1 stars
7/27/04 Mike Devans hilarious 5 stars
7/07/04 Simon Khalil I'd comment but I'M ON MY FUCKING LUNCH BREAK!! 4 stars
6/10/04 T. Maj Holiday-temed black comedy--great genre! 4 stars
6/08/04 Jon Hillarious 5 stars
5/11/04 Z F Funny as hell, +best little-person role since Year of Living Dangerously 5 stars
4/03/04 da hood i liked it! good halloween movie! 5 stars
3/25/04 LIAM JACKSON santa fucking a woman in the ass? right.... 4 stars
1/23/04 bender funny as hell. 4 stars
1/21/04 John B. Worst movie I've ever seen 1 stars
1/15/04 Ralph R. Clemente Liked it a lot - funny in a sick kind of way 4 stars
1/14/04 Jack Bourbon Funny goddam fuckin shit. 4 stars
1/09/04 Tommy Funniest movie since Caddyshack; One for the Ages 5 stars
1/08/04 Vince Krey sucks the big one. 1 stars
1/05/04 jim march best christmas movie of all time 5 stars
1/03/04 b denton Steps close to saccharine, but never goes over the edge. 5 stars
1/02/04 A F Although raunchy, you need to be at least 50 to enjoy this film. 3 stars
12/31/03 Mike I can not believe that parents really let their children participate in this move 1 stars
12/31/03 Nee Nee This should have been rated X instead of R 1 stars
12/31/03 Me. >:) My god, Max Van Ville is FINE! 5 stars
12/30/03 Angolmois If you like Coen Brothers movies, you'll like this one.Never though I'd laugh at crotchkick 4 stars
12/28/03 Haney Fuckin Hilarious 5 stars
12/25/03 Richard Finally a movie that sees this Christmas shit the way I do 5 stars
12/24/03 Greg Wheat funny as hell 5 stars
12/23/03 Jed Just amazing! Funny but hits an emotional chord. 5 stars
12/23/03 Marcia Lartz Entertaining in spite of itself. A guilty almost pleasure. 4 stars
12/22/03 SC It was the sickest, most twisted, perverse, irreverent and utterly appalling movie I had se 5 stars
12/22/03 Steven wolff best xmas movie ever 5 stars
12/21/03 Ivan Amaro Very creative, you get a surprise after a surprise, the soundtrack picks are extraordinary 5 stars
12/21/03 ger Bad Santa is one of the 10 worse movies I have seen 1 stars
12/11/03 ROY L. CAIN,JR. I haven't seen a Santa this BAD since Bill Murray on "SNL" in 1977. R.I.P. John Ritter. 5 stars
12/11/03 john great, hilarious, delightful 5 stars
12/10/03 Tom F Great movie! Laughed so hard I cried! 5 stars
12/10/03 astrotart Finally a movie that's just as crass as I am! 4 stars
12/09/03 re funny 5 stars
12/08/03 Still N. Stitches Funniest "got damned" movie I've seen in a long while! Riotously hilarious! 5 stars
12/04/03 Smitty in Evanston The funniest film of the year... 5 stars
12/04/03 Igor Laughed my ass off. I haven't seen a movie this funny in a very long time. 5 stars
12/02/03 Obi Wan Unexpectly very funny . . .didn't know Billy Boy had it in him! LOL I'M ON MY BREAK!!!!!! 5 stars
12/02/03 Agent Sands This is a surprisingly brilliant, hilarious movie. Everything's done well. 5 stars
12/02/03 aseelye Funniest movie I've seen in a long time 5 stars
12/01/03 kawaii50 I laughed but I found myself wondering why in the @#$% I was watching this mess 2 stars
12/01/03 HangMikeMyersforFuckinguptheCat THIS MOVIE WAS FUCKING AWESOME.HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/01/03 JackedSanta Funny 5 stars
11/30/03 NoRefill 4 or 5 pretty funny scenes, but the rest just falls apart. Had potential, but fails. 2 stars
11/29/03 cpbjr Laughed my ass off, but was very poignent at the same time. Good flick. 4 stars
11/29/03 Morally Sound Ho-ho-hollarious from start to finish! Black comedy at its best! 5 stars
11/29/03 jimmy d this movie is a very touching family movie. only rated R for 1 f word. rest is touching!!! 5 stars
11/28/03 ajay this movie is full of those moments where you think, "man, it's so wrong, but so funny" 4 stars
11/28/03 Michael Medved Fun for the whole family!! Bring the kids! 5 stars
11/27/03 Scott Imhoff Bad Santa is a mean-hearted story about the abuse of an overweight child. 1 stars
11/27/03 Curious George Pretty good. 4 stars
11/27/03 TP Bad film, Butt fucking bad! 1 stars
11/27/03 nick2k this movie was quite coen-esque. really funny! 5 stars
11/24/03 HangMikeMyersforFuckinguptheCat Saw it last night in a screening. very funny, and good to see ritter again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  26-Nov-2003 (R)
  DVD: 10-Oct-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
  25-Nov-2004




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