Bad Santa


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Rating: Not Rated

Billy Bob Thornton as Willie T. Soke
Bernie Mac as Gin Slagel
Tony Cox as Marcus
Lauren Graham as Sue
John Ritter as Mall Manager
Cloris Leachman as Grandma
Joe Bucaro III as Sgt. Mick
Brett Kelly as Thurman Merman
Ethan Phillips as Roger Merman
Ryan Pinkston as Lesher

Special Features:
5 minutes of extra footage incorporated into the film

“Badder Santa” gag reel

Behind-the-scenes feature

Deleted & alternate scenes


Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1) – Enhanced for 16×9 Televisions
Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround Sound
Running Time – 98 Minutes

This is the unrated version of Bad Santa with 5 extra minutes of footage.

Willie T. Soke is the worst department store Santa in the history of Christmas. He’s a drunk, he cusses in front of children, he’s a sexaholic, and he pees himself while on the job. But Willie is also a professional safe cracker. He and his dwarf friend Marcus have a running scam where they break into the store safes on Christmas Eve after having been on the job there for a while.

However, things change for Willie one Christmas. He not only starts a relationship with a woman who has a Santa fetish, but he meets an 8 year old kid named Thurman who believes that he’s really Santa. Later on when he believes that the cops are after him, he moves in with the geeky young boy and his grandmother and lays low.

As disgusting and pathetic and uncaring as Willie is, he eventually finds himself caring for Thurman. But what will happen when Gin Slagel, the department store detective, becomes wise to his scam?

This is the unrated version of Bad Santa, but the theatrical version is rated R for pervasive language, strong sexual content and some violence.

The Movie:
I have to say I really hated Bad Santa. It wasn’t terribly funny, it was pretty gross, and I didn’t think much of the story. I never saw the theatrical version, so I can’t compare it to this “badder” version. However, I can say that whatever was added in didn’t help the film at all.

First off, every other word in the film is a profanity. I think they even made up a few new ones that haven’t been heard before. If you were to remove all the profanities from this film, the script would be ¾ shorter. They praise the dialogue of the movie in the DVD extras, but I found nothing creative about it. They probably could have gotten most of the dialogue off of a men’s room wall.

Second, the film is just plain gross. Within the first minute of the film, you get to watch Thornton vomit. A few minutes later, you are treated to the sight of him wetting himself. These are sights I hoped I would die without seeing, yet there they were anyway. The rest of the film is equally disgusting.

The third problem with the film is that Billy Bob Thornton as Willie T. Soke has absolutely no redeeming qualities. He is alcoholic, he’s a thief, he’s violent, disgusting, rude, mean, and he cusses in front of children. (That also makes me wonder what kind of parent would allow their child to be in such a movie.) He’s not likable, sympathetic, charismatic, or identifiable in any way, shape, or form. Because of this, he quickly becomes an annoyance and you don’t really care what happens to him. In fact, when the movie takes a particularly bad turn at the end, it’s hard to care for him at all.

As much as I hated this film, though, I do recognize a couple of redeeming qualities. The first is Bernie Mac. He steals every scene he’s in and his talent seems completely wasted in this movie. The second good thing was Brett Kelly as Thurman Merman. His complete obliviousness to the fact that Thornton is not Santa Claus makes for a few funny moments. And the fact that Thornton rants and raves at Thurman about asking so many questions about Santa only to have him ask another is amusing. However, that joke is eventually run into the ground as we are treated to Thornton repeatedly cussing out the kid as if that’s the funniest thing that he can do in each scene.

I could go on and on about the unbelievable plot, the poor supporting characters, and the wasted talent of John Ritter or Cloris Leachman, but it would be wasting time and bandwidth. Suffice it to say that Bad Santa is a movie that had a good concept gone horribly wrong in execution.

The Extras:
There are a few DVD extras included here:

“Badder Santa” gag reel – This is your typical gag reel showing flubbed lines, missed cues, and alternate dialogue from scenes. It looks like the cast had fun making the movie and it is fun to watch.

Outtakes – This is more of what was seen in the “gag reel”. I don’t know why they weren’t combined together. In fact, some of the scenes are repeated here.

Behind-the-scenes feature – This is your typical behind the scenes feature with interviews with the cast and crew. It is about 5 minutes long.

Deleted & alternate scenes – There were three deleted scenes included here. The first showed Thornton in Santa school drinking and not listening while being given the 10 Commandments for Mall Santas. Of course, he breaks every one of them during the course of the film. The second shows alternate versions of Thornton leaving the department store at the beginning of the movie. They try a few alternate lines before settling on the one seen in the movie. The final scene shows Thornton as Santa being handed a screaming baby. The kid is obviously upset and scared but they keep doing the scene over and over. It almost seems like child abuse.

The Bottom Line:
This film is only for people who like lowbrow humor, dark comedies, and crude humor. It’s also for Billy Bob Thornton fans. Everyone else should stay away.