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Billy Bob Thornton and the late Bernie Mac star in this darkly comic film that deviates from the usual norms for frivolously festive cinema.
This unconventional Christmas movie tells the tale of a booze-addled, perverted, foul mouthed department store Santa Claus, Willie T Stokes (Thornton), who, along with his trusty elf Marcus (Tony Cox), plans to rob the department store in which they work. But their scheme is thwarted when Willie befriends a lonely kid (Brett Kelley) who pricks the previously impervious conscience of Stokes. Another spanner in the works is provided by mall manager Bob Chipeska (the late John Ritter), who asks chief security guard Gin (Mac) to investigate Willie and Marcus' nefarious plans.
Thornton is excellent as the degenerate Santa and special mention also needs to be given to his partner in crime Marcus played by Tony Cox, a bad tempered African American dwarf complete with the traditional white Elf ears (an obvious dig at the lack of characters of varying ethnicity in other Christmas movies). Billed as the essential anti-Christmas movie, Bad Santa has gone on to achieve cult status and is the perfect antidote to the sickly sweet offerings which Hollywood traditionally churns out for the festive period.