Bad Santa: Unrated Edition



By: The Dweeb


June 2004

DVD Features

Video: 1.85:1 Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1

Deleted and Alternate Scenes
Behind-the-Scenes Special
“Badder Santa” Gag Reel 

Theatrical release:11/26/2003
DVD released on 6/22/2004 by Disney/ Buena Vista
Running time of 93 minutes

Lauren Graham, Bernie Mac, John Ritter, Billy Bob

Director: Terry Zwigoff


Plot: You’d better watch out – Santa Claus Willie T. Stokes is coming to town and he doesn’t care if you’ve been naughty or nice. Willie’s favorite holiday tradition is to fill his sacks with loot lifted from shopping malls across the country. But this year his plot gets derailed by a wisecracking store detective, a sexy bartender and a kid who’s convinced Willie is the real Santa Claus!



A holiday film this is not. In fact, this would be an Anti-Holiday film if there is such a thing. Bad Santa is not one for the kids, I repeat, this film is NOT for children, or something to watch with your mother either for that matter. No, keep them away as far as possible, and from this review! Okay, now that they can’t read this, I will say this film is crass, crude, vulgar and frickin hilarious! Following in the tradition of comedic holiday movies like Christmas Vacation or A Christmas Story, the Coen brothers take this one right over the edge. What a choice to pick this one to be John Ritter’s last film performance.

This film’s themes are dark, filled with all kinds of strange characters who all got the short end of the stick somewhere in life. The king of course, is Willie Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton), the ultimate loser in a Santa suit. He is a disgusting raging alcoholic with the foulest mouth this side of the men’s wear department. When he isn’t sucking on a booze bottle he can actually crack open some safes. Oh yeah, and he has a thing for large women. Billy really plays this character full tilt, and I read somewhere he was actually drunk for much of the movie. No wonder he was so convincing. I don’t think he had one conversation without the use of the F word in there somewhere. I believe this is some sort of record for a Christmas film.

I found this flick to be hilarious, although the ending was kind of a downer and a letdown. Aren’t Christmas themed movies supposed to have a happy ending? Well, I suppose it came to its logical conclusion. There are a couple of plot holes that were left open and left me wondering what the final result was for Marcus (Tony Cox), his wife (Lauren Tom) , and Gin (Bernie Mac). I also thought that Bernie Mac and John Ritter’s character Bob Chipeska were a bit underutilized. I thought they were both great and wished they had more screen time. Ritter was just hilarious, its a shame we lost him so suddenly.

There are a few extras that come on this DVD, but in reality they pretty much repeat themselves with the same material. The gag reel, delete scenes, and the outtakes are all the same stuff! In effect the producers of the DVD are trying to make like there’s more material than there really is. The only other feature that is truly different from the rest of the material is the making of featurette. Nothing really outstanding is worth noting for any of these extras, all are typical of most DVDs. So, put the kids to bed, send your mother out to bridge club and go rent yourself a good laugh.

Reviewer’s Opinion: RENT IT!!

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