Bad Santa – 2003
Directed by Terry Zwigoff
Written by John Requa & Glenn Ficarra
I think I've turned a corner in my life. I beat the shit out of some kids today, but it was for a purpose.
Depressed alcoholic safecracker Willie T. Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) and his black midget (African-American little-person) friend Marcus (Tony Cox) have an excellent scam going. Every year they get a job as a department store Santa and his elf, then rob the place after the store closes on Christmas Eve, usually making enough money to live for the rest of the year.
Before you see this movie you need to ask yourself one question: Am I willing to laugh at Billy Bob Thornton pouring vodka on a screaming child's open wound? If the answer is yes, then Bad Santa is the movie for you! So much of this film is wrong on so many levels but the filmmakers always manage to keep it darkly hilarious, yet still delightfully obscene. This is easily the best black comedy since Death to Smoochy, which it is also far superior to. Where every other Christmas movie will eventually weaken and pour on the saccharine, Bad Santa only increases the vitriol. This is not a world where innocent, wide-eyed children will show us the love that exists in everyone. The children here are skinny little skater punks or tiny snot-nosed bastards begging for Pokemon toys. Even the main child character is not so much the vehicle for our Grinch's salvation, as he is simply a semi-obsessed stalker. This film is probably the one of the greatest attacks on sappy comedy and little children since W.C. Fields.
The casting is absolutely perfect. Who better to play a foul-mouthed scummy-looking drunk than Billy Bob? If there were any justice in Hollywood he would be nominated for an Oscar this year along with Johnny Depp and Bill Murray. Tony Cox is sufficiently scheming and sarcastic as he tries to hold the plan together after Willie screws up again. John Ritter, in his final film role as the uptight shopping mall manager, steals almost every scene he's in. My only problem was that the talented Bernie Mac, who plays the head of security in the mall, simply isn't given enough to work with. Although he does his best with the lines he's given (Fuck-stick!?!). Oh, and Lauren Graham gasping out "Fuck me, Santa! Fuck me, Santa!" is teh hott!!1!11!
Time will tell if Bad Santa is put into its rightful place as a holiday classic (I get the feeling that the censored television edit will be entertaining in a wholly different way). I think it will live on as a special thing for people who can't stand all the sugary goodness that gets forced down their throats during this time of year, or maybe just for all of us who enjoy the sick and twisted now and again.
Bad Santa – You won't shit right for a week!
Now playing as part of The Ninjagirls Christmas Special!