Before seeing Bad Santa, the reaction of those “in the know” was usually something like this: “That’s a great movie…it’s so wrong.” With these consistent reactions, how could I not be curious?
Bad Santa is twisted, raunchy and hilarious. Conman Willie (Billy Bob Thornton), a mall Santa partners with con elf Marcus (Tony Cox) to gain entry to stores and rob them. Problem is that Santa is a foul-mouthed alcoholic kid-hater who often wets himself in costume. Marcus is tiring of Willie’s misbehaving and jeopardizing their scheme.
Mall manager Bob (John Ritter) gets wind of Santa’s debauchery and consults with security manager Gin (Bernie Mac), who takes on Santa and Willy himself for a cut of the action. That, or he’ll turn in the cons, who have a history of mall thieving.
Then, there’s The Kid (Brett Kelly) who seems oblivious to this Bizarro-world Santa’s dark ways and helps him out of several jams. There’s also the waitress, Sue (Lauren Graham), who gets off on Santa. The soundtrack of classical music works surprising well in the background during the acts of tomfoolery.
Did I love this movie? No. Is it enjoyable? YES. I especially relished the social commentary on the holiday season and how it brings out the worst in people. Disturbed minds will love it. You’ll never forget the 3Bs.
Director: Terry Zwigoff
Run time: 90 minutes