tek's rating: ½

Bad Santa (R, or unrated)
A.V. Club; Christmas Specials Wiki; IMDb; Miramax; Rotten Tomatoes; TV Tropes; Wikipedia

Let's see, first of all... I saw the unrated edition DVD, which is called "Badder Santa," which I guess has around 7 minutes of footage that wasn't in the theatrical release, but I never saw that version, so I can't really compare the two. I don't think there was anything in the unrated version that couldn't easily have been in an R version, though. The movie has tons of swearing, drinking, and a bit of sex, but no nudity worth mentioning. Anyway... I suppose the main reason I wanted to see the movie was because I'm a fan of Lauren Graham, but everyone in the movie was good. And while it's a fairly dark, twisted story, it's pretty funny. Not sure if I'll ever feel the need to watch it again, but I might.

Well, it's about this guy named Willie Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton), who mostly just works around the holidays as a mall Santa, along with his partner in crime, Marcus (Tony Cox), who plays Santa's elf. But really, these jobs are just a way for the two of them to pull off burglaries. They argue a lot, because Willie is always getting drunk and is generally pretty unprofessional. But he is a good safe cracker. Anyway, he gets involved with a bartender named Sue (Graham), who has a Santa fetish. He also meets this kid named Thurman Merman, who is often picked on by other kids, and lives with his senile grandmother, and seems kind of... slow, or whatever. He thinks Willie is really Santa, or at least acts like he does. Anyway, Willie moves into the kid's house. Meanwhile, there's a security chief from the mall named Gin (Bernie Mac), who is supposed to be trying to find out if there's anything shady about Willie, so that his boss (John Ritter) could fire him, but instead when Gin finds out about Willie and Marcus's scam, he demands half of whatever they take. Oh, and Marcus has a girlfriend named Lois (played by Lauren Tom, who I mostly know for her voice acting).

Anyway, I don't know what else to say. I don't really feel like I've spoiled anything, and I'd like to stop before I do. But it was, as I said, pretty funny. I'd kinda like to also call it heartwarming, but... I'm not sure I'd really go that far. I mean, in a certain "turning cliches on their head" kinda way, maybe it's sort of twistedly heartwarming. Almost. Mainly it's just plain weird and deeply dysfunctional, but whatevs.

So... I also wanted to say the movie has some decent music in it, much of it classical. But I can't find a soundtrack for it anywhere online. Which is fine, because most of the music you could get on other albums, but there was one song that played over the end credits, which I couldn't find anywhere on any album or available to download anywhere, for sale or for free. So, I created an mp3 myself from the DVD, though it wasn't quite perfect. And then, maybe a few years later, I did find a place to download a better version of the song (for free). It may not be strictly legit, but my feeling is that if you make every possible effort to obtain a song legitimately, and it turns out to be pretty much impossible... they can't complain if you obtain it some other way. They clearly didn't want my money, anyway, so... here. Enjoy. Merry Christmas.

Season's Freaklings - Bunnygrunt


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