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ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

(2003), R
Guest Commentary

Posting Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
December 21, 2003
Not Computed (NC) out of 100

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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, if you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

(2003), R -- ... vulgar tripe and has no place in the Christmas season or any other season.
Guest Commentary

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Dimension Films, Triptych Pictures
Distribution (US): Buena Vista International, Dimension Films
Director(s): Terry Zwigoff
Producer(s): Sarah Aubrey, John Cameron, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, David Crockett, Bob Weinstein, Harvey Weinstein, Brad Weston
Written by: John Requa, Glenn Ficarra, Ethan Coen
Story: Joel Coen
Screenplay: Arnie Marx, Terry Zwigoff
Cinematography/Camera: Jamie Anderson
Music: David Kitay
Film Editing: Robert Hoffman
Casting: Felicia Fasano, Mary Vernieu
Production Design: Sharon Seymour
Art Direction: Peter Borck

I know nothing of any credibility about this film. While waiting for another film to start, I was permitted to set in on Bad Santa and walked out eight minutes after setting down. In those eight minutes I saw and heard nothing more than vulgar tripe which and has no place in the Christmas season or any other season. I can give you no scoring distribution data since none have been calculated -- and won't be. And I am dismayed that filmmakers would stoop to such money-making tactics as making a film of raw vulgarity and debauchery with "Santa" in the title and release it during the Christmas season.

However, one of our emailers expressed grave concerns about the potential of Bad Santa to fool even the most discerning moviegoer with the name "Santa" attached to the title during the Christmas season and almost pleaded that at least some warning about it be posted for our visitors. He said: "BAD SANTA might easily be mistaken for a traditional holiday movie, suitable for children, despite the MPAA rating. I believe it would be beneficial to your readership if you were to provide a CAP analysis of it." Another regular visitor who shared the same concerns offered to provide us with a guest commentary since he was able to set through the film. While I will not conduct a full analysis of Bad Santa, following is the guest commentary for Bad Santa by Dan Ferrisi. Scriptural applications are inserted by myself.

I went to see Bad Santa a couple of weeks ago, and here is a content report. The use of profanity is very heavy, with the total probably near 200 uses. [2 Tim. 2:16] The strongest profane word is certainly used more than one time per minute. [Col. 3:8] The use of religious expletives was also heavy, with several instances of God's name in vain (more often than not with the attached four-letters) and Jesus's name in vain in numerous forms. [Deut. 5:11] Often, these words are spoken in front of children.

The title character is a heavy drinker and a heavy smoker. He is also extremely promiscuous. He engages in sex with several people during the course of the movie. He has sex with a female bartender numerous times, always while wearing his Santa hat. He also engages in sodomy with a woman while in a mall changing room. Only the feet are seen through the changing room door. In all of these encounters, there is no actual nudity shown. [Gal. 5:19 - 21] There is much crude language in explicit descriptions of the title character's various sexual conquests, given by himself and others. [Eph. 5:4]

In terms of violence, there are mild fisticuffs at various points, but all firmly within PG territory. The two strong episodes of violence occur near the end. First, there is a non-graphic vehicular homicide. Then, one character is threatened with a gun and later gets shot several times. There were no suicides. [Prov. 3:31-32]

Another aspect of the film that may concern viewers is the unrelentingly negative attitude of the title character; he pretty much hates everyone. He yells at parents and children alike. He asks the central child in the story "What's wrong with you?" a couple of times. His attitude is only partially reversed in the semi-happy ending. [Host comment: The destination does not excuse the path, nor does "redemption" excuse sin. Jesus forgives us of our sins but He does not excuse any sin. He did not even excuse the sin of the prostitute. He forgave her of it but He did not excuse it. Any sin is just as sinful after being forgiven of it as it was before being forgiven of it.]

Finally, both the title character and his accomplice are thieves. They work as a mall Santa and his elf simply to gain access to the store after closing time, and steal from the safe. The camera lingers on the title character breaking into the safe for quite a while. The theft is mostly played for laughs. [Deut. 5:19] No activities of the occult in nature are recalled.

Whether one will laugh at this film or despise every frame of it will vary wildly depending upon one's tastes. But for any potential viewer concerned about the wholesomeness of this film, be sure to keep the above content description in mind before paying to see this Santa.

If anyone entertains thoughts about doing guest commentaries for us, I will not ask anyone to do so because I will not ask you to subject yourself to such filth as Bad Santa If you have already seen a movie which we will not or cannot conduct analysis of and wish to warn parents and grandparents about a movie, I will consider posting your guest commentary but I will not ask you to watch any vulgar movie just so we can have a guest commentary of it.

SPECIAL NOTE: We will be reducing the volume of coverage in the Summary/Commentary section of our reports and the number of reports generated in an effort to reduce costs until full funding can be achieved. The Findings/Scoring section of each report, the heart of the analysis model, will NOT be reduced in any way.

Thank you for your patience as we diligently search for funding. Anyone who wishes to volunteer to help us locate 501(c)(3) nonprofit funding and sponsors is encouraged to notify me.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • 2 Tim. 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
  • Col. 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [Vain is shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name.]
  • Gal. 5:19 - 21 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
  • Eph. 5:4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
  • Prov. 3:31-32 Do not envy a violent man or choose any of his ways, for the LORD detests a perverse man but takes the upright into his confidence.
  • Deut. 5:19 You shall not steal.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it, submit to it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Rom. 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.


    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
    Not Observed

    Impudence/Hate (I)
    Not Observed

    Sexual Immorality (S)
    Not Observed

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
    Not Observed

    Offense to God (O)
    Not Observed

    Murder/Suicide (M)
    Not Observed

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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