Merry Christmas….Ah, the most wonderful time of the year (so they say) where we get a veritable avalanche of Christmas specials…Rudolph, Frosty, The Grinch. But what about those of us who don’t celebrate the holiday and prefer instead the Festival of Lights (in other words, Hannukah/Chanukah)? What do we get? The Rugrats Chanukah special?
But wait…here comes the “Certified Circumcised Dick that’s a sex machine to all the chicks” That’s right…The Hebrew Hammer!!
The story, written and directed by Jonathan Kesselman, is a parody of the Blaxploitation films of the 70’s with a twist.
Our story begins with Mordechai Jefferson Carver as a young boy around the holidays. He sits playing with his draydle as all the other kids open their Christmas gifts. No one understands poor Morty and make fun of him. He walks through the streets, where the shop owners put up signs basically saying Jews not allowed or ok for next 5 minutes. Finally, he spins his draydle on the ground where a skid row Santa steps on it.
The movie quickly becomes a “Jewspoitation” flick..but totally not in a bad way. Hammer walks through the streets, ala Shaft, to an amazing theme song . . .
The plot, as it is, involves Santa’s son Damien Claus (played by Andy Dick) who decides that Chanukah needs to be wiped out. The Jewish Justice League and their leader Chief Bloomenbergensteinenthal enlist the help of the Chief’s daughter Esther to recruit the Hammer to help save Chanukah.
He reluctantly agrees and with the help of the Kwanzaa Liberation Front's leader Mohammed Ali Paula Abdul Rahim (played wonderfully by Mario Van Peebles) they head out to defeat Damien and save the other holidays.
There are a lot of Jewish stereotypes throughout the film, but no one is safe. Director Kesselman makes fun of ALL the religions: the members of the Kwanzaa Liberation Front beatbox, smoke pot and talk in serious jive and Damien has Tiny Tim as his henchman and seriously portrays the gentile characters as Anti-Semitic. Even Melvin Van Peebles, as a much older “Sweet Sweetback” shows up in my favorite scene in the movie. (Warning…there is offense language in these clips….)
But that doesn’t matter. What does matter is that this is an amazingly funny film with a more Jewish theme than anything else. I won’t tell you if Hammer does save Chanukah (just check your calendars, people) but I will tell you that this is my all-time favorite holiday film. So, this week; pull out your menorahs, dust off your draydles, grab that chocolate gelt and sit back and get ready for a fantastic holiday film!
- Michael (A Fan of SMF!)