Mel Gibson cornered the market on playing grizzled and charismatic badasses with more than a hint of darkness behind the eyes over three decades ago, but the Lethal Weapon star is nowhere near the first name that comes to mind when you envision Santa Claus. In most Christmas movies, Jolly Old Saint Nick is a lovable character that embodies the festive season, but in Eshom and Ian Nelms’ subversive Fatman, Gibson’s Chris Cringle is running low on both enthusiasm and patience.
The sort of alternative holiday caper that’s destined for cult classic status, Fatman sees a 12 year-old kid hire a hitman to kill Santa after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking. That sort of high concept pitch could easily be played for laughs, but the pic incorporates elements of the action, thriller and Western genres to create a uniquely entertaining melting pot of influences.
Fatman was released into theaters a couple of weeks back, but due to the general downturn in business that’s plagued the industry for the last eight months, it only managed to cobble together a little over $350,000 at the box office. However, for those who prefer their Christmas movies to be more like Die Hard than It’s a Wonderful Life, the R-rated effort is now available on VOD for your viewing pleasure.
Reviews have been decidedly mixed so far, although we certainly enjoyed it here at We Got This Covered. Critics have currently pegged the film at 44% on Rotten Tomatoes, but users have rated it much higher at 79%. Fans of the action genre will definitely get a kick out of it, and for more on Fatman, you can check out our exclusive interview with the Nelms brothers.