A flop in the box office but a hit on DVD, The Hebrew Hammer starred Adam Goldberg as a Jewish hero who has to save Chanukah from the evil son of Santa Claus.
In the 2003 release, The Hebrew Hammer was slammed by some Jewish groups for its mockery of them as well as stereotypical portrayals of Jews and director/writer Jonathan Kesselman, intends to continue giving them cause for concern.
When it was released on DVD in 2004, Kesselman told SuicideGirls.com of the backlash he had by some groups to his first film:
"It surprised me because in my mind it’s a very positive Jewish film that is a love letter to being Jewish. It’s weird because I’m not breaking new ground. Mel Brooks was doing jokes like this in the 70’s and 80’s. Before shooting I got a call from Anti-Defamation League, because they somehow got a hold of the script but they had certain problems with bizarre things like sight gags."
In the sequel, Hollywood star Mel Gibson is gunned down on screen by the Hebrew Hammer after a tirade of anti-Semitic outbursts and Kesselman is even hoping that Gibson will star in a parody role after the actor said he wishes to make amends.
"I think if Mel wants to truly extend an olive branch to the Jewish Community as a whole, his on-screen death would go a long way in accomplishing that goal," he told showbiz site TMZ.com
Reprinted with permission of Daily Jews