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Archive for August 12th, 2009

Heroes of Contentiousness #24 – Bad Santa

“How dare you trash the image of Saint Nick! Beloved Santa Claus should be above mockery, just like Jesus and Mickey Mouse!” This seemed to be the gist of the blustery criticism which greeted Bad Santa when it became one of 2003’s box office success stories.

Bad Santa was director Terry Zwigoff’s first mainstream film, after his extremely successful projects Crumb and Ghost World. Starring a skeazy Billy Bob Thornton and Tony Cox as Mr. Claus and an elf who rob, con and generally do everything except bring Christmas cheer, Bad Santa was a huge success financially and a moderate one with critics. The Criticker user base, however, is split. It has a FCQ of 48.69 (Film Contentiousness Quotient — details on the math here).

Was Bad Santa a wickedly funny dark comedy? Or a mean-spirited trash heap with one joke (Santa isn’t nice)? Personally, I found the film’s concept not particularly clever and was worried it would be one of those “Oh My How Crude & Shocking” snooze-fests. But the performances were great and the jokes often hilarious. Besides, the sickeningly sweet Christmastime season needs all the darkness it can get. And it was John Ritter’s last role!

But let’s put it to the jury. What did you think about Bad Santa?

Bad Santa

  • Great! (62%, 21 Votes)
  • Terrible! (38%, 13 Votes)

Total Voters: 34

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Allow battling Criticker users to influence your decision!
HalfJapanese – “Terry Zwigoff and the Coen’s Christmas exercise in bad taste, booze and safecracking pays off immensely. One of the most memorable and worthwhile Christmas movies in years.”

Blake Leyden – “Dirty joke, bash on Christmas, dirty joke, bad joke, funny comment, dirty joke, dirty joke…there you have seen the movie.”

Last time, you voted on Team America: World Police, and gave it your seal of approval by an overwhelming margin.