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Instantly qualifying as a perennial cult favorite, Bad Santa is as nasty as it wants to be, and there's something to be said for comedy without compromise. The Coen brothers conceived the basic idea and served as executive producers, but it's director Terry Zwigoff (Crumb, Ghost World) who brings his unique affinity for losers and outcasts to the twisted tale of Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton), a hard-drinking, chain-smoking, foul-mouthed sexaholic safe-cracker who targets a different department store every holiday season, playing Santa while he cases the joint with his dwarf elf-partner Marcus (Tony Cox). With comedic support from Bernie Mac, Lauren Graham, Cloris Leachman, and John Ritter in his final film, Thornton milks the lowbrow laughs with a slovenly lack of sentiment, warming Bad Santa's pickled heart just enough to please a chubby misfit (Brett Kelly, hilariously deadpan) who may or may not be mentally challenged.

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WD36515 Bad Santa DVD (2003/Billy Bob Thornton/Unrated/Letterboxed) $14.99