Friday, February 28, 2020

Bam Margera Presents: Where The F Is Santa? Review


Here's the thing: I was sitting in my living room staring up at the ceiling when the FedEx guy delivered this new video from Warner Bros. That forced a decision: Should I watch the movie or continue to stare at the ceiling?

Shoulda stuck with the ceiling.

On December 2, 2008, WB premiered "Bam Margera Presents: Where the F Is Santa?" on DVD and Blu-ray. The question is, Why? No, not why did they debut an ostensibly Christmas-themed movie in December, but why at all? Especially on such a precious commodity as Blu-ray. Maybe the studio figured there were was a throng of youthful PS3 owners who might appreciate the movie's dull, redundant, juvenile, gross-out humor. I dunno. Life is a mystery to me.

If you're not familiar with former professional skateboarder Bam Margera, he's one of the writers, producers, and cast members of the "CKY" and "Jackass" movies. In "Where the F Is Santa?" he's a co-writer, co-producer, co-director, and co-star. As you can guess, the movie is a combination of insulting gags, ridiculously inane stunts, and reality TV, where tattoos, body metal, profanity, drugs, sex, and crude jokes rule. As I say, the film is probably looking for a youthful audience.

In the film Bam and his friends decide to find Santa Claus and bring him home to West Chester, Pennsylvania, as a Christmas present for Bam's wife, Missy. They travel not to the North Pole, because that's where everyone else in the world thinks Santa hangs out, but to Lapland in northern Finland, because that's where they know he really lives. So Bam and his buddies set out for Finland, where they filmed on location, believe it or not, and the movie recounts their trek. It's a long way to go for nothing. My sister-in-law's husband is Finnish and wears a big white beard. I could have saved Bam and his chums a lot of trouble by pointing them in the direction of Oregon. Oh, well....

I said they filmed on location "believe it or not" because the film looks like a home movie, with just enough budget for a handheld 16 mm camera and, obviously, a trip to Finland. There may have been a script involved, too; it's hard to tell. There is a co-director, though, Joe DeVito, who has done a little TV work.

The movie opens with a snow fight in Bam's living room, and it goes downhill from there. The characters in the story, all playing themselves, seem to be having a great time, but for the life of me I cannot fathom why they thought anyone else would be interested in watching their antics.

The fellows appear to have made up the plot (and I use the word grudgingly) as they went along. The dialogue seems improvised, and the acting is nonexistent. It's just a bunch of people laughing, clowning around, and acting rudely for an hour and a half. Even the raucous music, which blares continuously in the background, is repetitive and numbing.

There is, however, a very nice Lamborghini involved, so the movie is not entirely hopeless.

Now, what do you mean, What's it about? I thought I told you. It's about a bunch of guys who punch and shove each other and swear a lot and laugh uproariously at their own non-jokes, and then once in a while get on their skateboards and show off a bit. Before they leave for Finland they begin a series of cruel practical jokes on one of their supposed friends, Brandon Novak, by tagging his newly bought junker car, kicking in its windows, dropping a tree on it, and then putting poor Brandon in a wooden box and rolling him down a flight of stairs. Hilarious.

At one point a character says "There's nothing good can come of this." Yep. Like "Jackass," there is nothing here but a succession of stupid stunts, like cutting down a tree with a person sitting at the top of it. Unlike "Jackass," none of it is even remotely interesting. "You are classless," says another character. How true. The filmmakers predicate their movie on its being as classless and clueless as possible. In fact, it's not so much a motion picture at all as it is an account of Bam and his friends horsing around for ninety-odd minutes.