The first thing that you need to know about Bad Santa is that it has the most bad language in a theatrical movie release since South Park. The title character throws around the “F” word so much you’d think he was getting paid for using it. I wouldn’t normally throw out this kind of disclaimer for a movie, except that it’s been said that some mothers were bringing their kids to see it because it has the word “Santa” in it.
With that being said, Bad Santa is one of the funniest, dirtiest movies I’ve ever seen.
There really isn’t that much of a plot. Bad Santa is based on a simple premise, and is completely character driven. But the plot must first be explained before we can go on.
So I will do my best to break down the subtleties of this movie’s various twists and turns. Ahem.
Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) and Marcus (famous midget actor Tony Cox) are con men who only work once a year. During December they get jobs as a shopping mall Santa (Billy Bob) and his elf helper (Tony Cox). After the security guards lock up the place at the end of the last shopping day of the year, Marcus, hidden inside the mall, turns off the alarms and he and Willie go on a thieving shopping spree.
This arrangement would probably work out beautifully except for the fact that Willie is an enormous drunk with a horrible temper. This fact is brought to the attention of the head of mall security (Bernie Mac) by the mall manager (John Ritter).
Willie sees a cop snooping around his apartment one day and decides it’s time to leave. In a bizarre story twist, he stays at the house of one of the kids who came to see Santa at the mall. The kid seems badly retarded, and the only other resident of the house, his grandmother, isn’t all there either, so Willie takes advantage of their hospitality, taking the family car, eating the kid’s chocolate, and generally making an ass of himself.
Okay, you got me. Honestly this movie couldn’t really happen. Billy Bob is rude, crude, and obnoxious to every single kid who climbs on his lap to tell him what they want for Christmas. He would have been fired in a second because of the overwhelming number of parent complaints. However, Marcus, the co-star of Bad Santa plays the Santa’s helper role to the hilt, the same as you might expect to see in any big mall during Christmas. John Ritter always looks as if he wants to pee himself when discussing or watching Billy Bob’s antics and Bernie Mac pretty much plays Bernie Mac, which means he is wildly funny with his straight ahead, crude, and sarcastic sense of humor and sharp tongue.
Can you imagine anything funnier than a mom bringing her child up to see Santa on his lunch break and Santa screaming, “Get the fuck away from me! Can’t you see I’m on my fucking lunch break!” all the while with lettuce and snot flying out of his lips and mouth. If that sounds funny to you, then you need to watch Bad Santa desperately.
American director who worked in a wide variety of menial jobs before directing his first feature, the blues documentary Louie Bluie in 1986. Another documentary, Crumb (1994), was a moving portrait of subversive comic book artist Robert Crumb that won great acclaim, as did his adaptation of Daniel Clowes’ comic Ghost World and the subversive Christmas comedy Bad Santa. He worked again with Clowes to adapt the mocking Art School Confidential.