Bad Santa – A Retrospective

[Editor’s Note: I did a trash movie last week. Lets give a true classic some love.]

Cut to winter of 2003. I was going to the movies a ton back then. I had seen the posters for this. Maybe even a trailer. Possibly TV spots. I cannot remember. But I remember my thinking on it.

Hard pass.

I feel like there were a bunch of those kind of “oh someone’s being badddd” kind of movies around. I was into being pretentious. But the wrong type of pretentious. For example, I didn’t even look at the director.

A HUGE movie nerd friend of mine saw it because he was Terry Zwigoff completionist (not that hard to do, plus Ghost World had just come out recently to that time).

He called me up right as he was walking out. Said something that became our standard for the kinds of movies we would recommend to each other.

“It’s the kind of movie we would have made if we had the money.”

Done. Sold. All I needed to hear. A few of my college friends came along and we all went to the show. I was always kind of worried recommending a movie. I really shouldn’t have been. EVERYONE was sold from the first minute.

Oh how do I love this goddamn movie. Let me count the ways.

First, that script is chaos incarnate. Holy shit it just cuts loose on the insanity. It most definitely is not that “oh someone is being baaaddd” script. In fact, they should have got a better title than Bad Santa, but it is what it is. Can’t argue with perfection.

Also, Ill say, I think the problem with those movies is what works here. It doesn’t go far enough. This movie definitely goes far enough. Billy Bob’s Santa at one point is in the middle of committing suicide and basically doesn’t so he can beat up a kids bully.

I’m getting ahead of myself. The performances. Hell, lets skip Billy Bob cause he is doing a variation on the Billy Bob role and it totally works. Ill even skip Tony Cox who is the actual acting weight behind the movie. Lets jump to the two best performances in the movie.

Bernie Mac and John Ritter

The line reads. The face. I mean this is fucking comedy WORK. I love that fucking expression so much I gif’d it. Got damn I WISH both these giants lived longer to do more work together. Amazing shit.

Like that one scene became a regular quotable. “Well Sure, Santa fuckin someone in the ass…” *COUGH*


That movie friend I mentioned above. Once I saw it, he told me that he wished he would have thought of the eating oranges (or metamucil later in the movie) as the recurring bit for a character.

Everyone does their damndest, but this movie only makes me want more. More from these chracters. More from these actors.

The story itself is as fucking dark as you want it to be. But you are sort of in on the whole ride. It doesn’t alienate. The first half is carried by a sense of wonder. How far can this Santa character defile himself? The answer is way further than you think, often, and in ways you flat out didn’t think of before. Or as Tony Cox’s character puts it…

What carries it in the second half is one of the weirdest fucking redemption arc’s in the history of the hero’s journey. I mean look at this shit.

Amazing. Glorious.

The movie ends with the perfect resolution of our main character learning how to be just enough of a better person to live a touch cleaner.

It is a debauchery with a heart of gold.

Previously, Scrooged was my go to Christmas Black Comedy. I mean I still watch it. But this movie. This is a champion. Ill even watch it out of season cause it is just that good.

One last thought, I think much has been said of what you can’t do in comedy today. I personally think you can do everything you want, you just have to be smart about it. This is a smart trip into a land of liquor, assholes, and anal. Great shit.

4/4 – If you haven’t seen it. You fucking should. You are missing out on something that should be in regular rotation for you every christmas. Either that, or you won’t shit right for a week.

A Christmas Story Christmas – A Review

That’s right. I watched it so you don’t have to. Here’s a trailer.

Someone sent me that. I thought it looked like shit. But I have a severe love for In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, so I figured fuck it. Lets watch the cash in.

I don’t know what you expected but…

not good

For only slightly different reasons than you would expect…

Lets get the good out of the way. Peter Billingsley can still do this part. To be honest, for being the kind of movie where they bring all the previous cast back that either 1) are still alive and 2) are still acting, they all do a shockingly decent job. All the kids and Zach Ward bring their A game such as it is (one or two have fallen off their chops, but not as bas as you would think). This is easily the only redeeming facet of the movie, and not enough to carry it, and I am happy all these kids get a WB check.

Ok, lets get to the shit. This film like…tries… not to be a fucking cash grab. They try to elevate themselves to the original material level, and….like you can see where they are going. They want to make this the Young Adult (ish) version of Ralphie’s future, but it just….doesn’t work.

For one thing, they have to hit ALL the member berries. You know the thing. Fucking movies out here filled with REMEMBER THIS. This movie does a thing I haven’t seen another movie of its type do where it hits like…2 seconds of the audio or music queue. Like there is a scene where Ralphie is in his old attic, looking for christmas decorations. He passes the bunny slippers outfit from the first movie, and the dialogue “He looks like a deranged easter bunny” goes over the track.

And its fucking nausea inducing. Like every time they do it (and they do it often) it takes me out of whatever shit of a story they do.

They are also DESPERATE to be as good as Jean Shepherd was. They are trying to write this film from that perspective, and they flat out don’t get it. The biggest recurring joke in the movie is “Oh, the kids are all bar rats now. Oh no! A call is coming in, hope its not a wife looking for someone….”

Like, they WANT to hit that nerve but just fall flat. There is a Ralphie fantasy sequence within the first FIVE minutes of this movie.

The direction is just ripping off Bob Clark. Same with the set design. The music is now just the original film’s score + pop Christmas tracks. Not in a stand out way. In a very boring way.

Like…there is a universe where this could have been MUCH worse. Instead its like, slightly not as bad as Christmas with the Kranks.

Unlike other nerds on the internet, this existing doesn’t ruin Bob Clark’s original film for me. Hell they already had TWO other sequels of A Christmas Story that you wont remember. Might as well add it to the pile.

1/4 – At least all the kids got paid. That’s the important part. Skip it. It’s shameful.

Thoughts from the AMEN Pew #60

Alcohol intake a go. Lets do the fucking thing.

Got damn, this year needs to end. Big time needs to end. One of my wife’s aunts died. Both my wife and I are dodging bullshit at work. And we still got to gear up for all the holidays.

I had a night this week where I think I slept 2 hours. Staring at the ceiling. Worried about the future. Worried about our house’s finances, worried about tomorrow.

Made it to Friday, and I guess that is as much as anyone can hope for these days.

I said to my wife this week that I don’t remember being this excited for a New Years Eve ever. Just light speed me through the year.

And, all I have is hope. Hope that next year is better. It won’t be. But, I can dream, can’t I?

All kind of shit going on the world. We almost had WWIII. Crypto is finally imploding from the scams. Can’t get beer at the World Cup. And all that is on anyone’s minds is Ol’ Incel Memes fucking shitting the bed at Twitter.

Don’t get me wrong. I am all in on it too. It’s fun to see all of his dreams crash in real-time with everyone watching. The man even went Gul Dukat on his staff yesterday (see below).

However, there is an element of missing the forest for the trees. The far right people are cheering on the “commies” leaving twitter.

I can only hope they see the truth which is, people don’t want to live insane day to day. They want stability. Thats all anyone wants in this world, stability. Elon is going to kill twitter because he thought everyone 1) thought he was awesome, 2) thought he was funny, and 3) agreed with him that the best thing that could happen to twitter is for it to be an open forum for white people to say the n-word.

What happens from here, who knows? Elon going to pay the hard price from here on out.

In the time it has taken me to write this much stuff, my son has a 100.2 fever and feels like crap. Same as it ever was.

Lets wade into another mess shall we? Earlier this week Jon Stewart spoke out about all those fools talking shit, including Dave.

I am not going to pretend to be an expert in these matters. In fact, I am a fool at best.

Here’s my take. I get what Jon is saying. But, there comes a point where even seeing people live cannot drag people up out of the depths of their depravity. I think there are some people who are so fucking lost that I am not intelligent enough to bring them back.

I think Dave is trying (in his way) to bring them back a bit, but I don’t think that will do it.

I have no fix for any of this. As usual, things will get dumber from here.

All that being said, this sketch is dope. Dunno what that says about me.

I was going to write more, but with a sick kid in the house, I am packing it up.

Here is hoping for a better tomorrow. Will we all have one? I can only hope. More preaching when I can manage it.

© Church of the Holy Flava 2016 - 2021