Sunday, December 21, 2008


Holiday Movie Category: Jolly Jewsploitation


Oliver Beene, Debbie Downer, Tom Smykowski, Sonny Spoon, Sweet Sweetback, film financing by the ADL, a shlep-load of poop, Christmas, Mother, Kwanzaa, and circumcision jokes, a Manishevitz Shaft, and that horrible meshugeneh Dick.

More details here.


Taunted and defamed by cruel gentile classmates as a kid, Mordechai Jefferson Carver, aka The Hebrew Hammer (Adam Goldberg), grew up to become a bad-ass Jewish detective. Rolling in a blue Cadillac styling Star of David fuzzy, Mordechai is enlisted by the Jewish Justice League to help save Hanukkah from the evil clutches of Damien Claus (Andy Dick), Santa's rat-faced son who just assassinated his Dad by impaling him with reindeer antlers. Damien seeks to brainwash Jewish kids into celebrating X-mas through subliminal messages embedded in pirated X-mas movies. (Ahem.) Meanwhile, Mordechai has to deal with gentile gang members, a duplicitous elf, his pain-in-the-ass Mother (Nora Dunn), a poopy cat, and JAP love interest Esther (Judy Greer). But fortunately Kwanzaa hero Mohammed Ali Paula Abdul Rahim (Mario Van Peebles) has got his back and the Hammer lays the Sabbath Smackdown at the North Pole. And as the wackiness ensues and the humor dwindles, I pray for a Jackie Mason cameo that never comes. Aye, gevalt geshreeyeh!


The Hebrew Hammer is like that joke that when you first hear it, you laugh out loud, but after a while, when you think about it, the joke gets less funny with every passing minute. While the idea of a Jewish action hero kicking Santa's evil son's ass and defending the honor of the Jewish people and dealing with his overbearing Mother sounds hilarious - and it is -  the movie hardly has enough ha-ha juice to sustain chuckles for 90 minutes. Although there are some funny jokes sprinkled throughout, the movie loses a ton of steam in the third act when it spends too much time on the romantic subplot. Goldberg is hilarious as the Hammer, but the blaxploitation angle of his character isn't meshed well enough with the Jewish stereotype despite his spirited peformance, and the script is  left to blame. An abundance of  slow-burn silliness, especially with the Damien Claus bit, drags the movie down to the direct-to-video cheapness of previously reviewed X-mas flicks Dear Santa and The Boy Who Saved Christmas. Maybe, just maybe, when the latkes run out, when the dreidels stop spinning, and when Grandpa Shiloh falls asleep, you can toss this DVD in for a few sophomoric yuck-yucks by the menorah light. Feh!

Happy Hanukkah!

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