Part man. Part street. 100% kosher.

The Hebrew Hammer (2003) was a movie written and directed by Jonathan Kesselman. It originally aired on Comedy Central, as well as appearing in several theaters around the country.

The movie is, at first glance, a parody of the blaxploitation movies of the 1970s, but with a Jewish hero. The influence from movies such as Shaft is seen from the beginning of the movie, with the Hebrew Hammer's theme music being a direct parody of the Shaft music. Throughout the movie, tips-off to the clichés of the genre are found, from the Hammer's trenchcoat, ed-out car, and affection for ostentatious handguns, all the way to the implications found throughout exploitation movies that the hero's otherness radiates sexual power.

The plot, in brief, is that after Santa Claus' evil son, Damian (Andy Dick), kills his father and enacts a plot to wipe out all non-Christmas holidays, the Jewish Justice League hires Mordechai Carver (Adam Goldberg), the Hebrew Hammer, to end Damian’s plot and save Chanukah. The Hammer, with the help of the Kwanzaa Liberation Front, as well as the Chief’s daughter (Judy Greer), manages to save the holiday season.

So what makes this movie so special? Simply put, it's a well-executed movie, full of references and satire, sure to confuse any Gentile and tickle (or embarrass) any Jew. Exploitation parodies tend to miss the point, turning to heavy-handed satire and stale, repetitive jokes, but Hebrew Hammer does not — the jokes stay fresh and funny all the way through, and the actors are obviously having a lot of fun. A movie well worth watching, if only once.