100 Discs of Christmas #49 – Bad Santa (2003)

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Billy Bob Thornton is at his self-loathing best here playing Willie, a disgruntled alcoholic ‘Mall Santa’, a man who despises the kids that request presents from him almost as much as he hates himself.

Every Christmas, Willie, and his obscenity-spewing dwarf companion Marcus (brilliantly played by Tony Cox) rob the Mall that they had been working in. Willie then pisses the money away for the next year on booze and hookers before embarking on his next Christmas escapade.

Featuring all your favourites; buggery jokes, excrement gags and dwarfs getting hit in the balls, it’s fair to say that the humour isn’t of the most sophisticated kind. However, where the film really succeeds is in its delightful and merciless deconstruction of Christmas, its traditions and everything that it stands for whilst maintaining an undeniable level of heart underneath.

Although not for everyone, this is delightfully inappropriate and profanity-filled fun. A must watch for anyone not quite in the giving mood.

Bad Santa (2003), directed by Terry Zwigoff, is released on Blu-ray disc and DVD in the UK by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Certificate 15.

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