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Tulare County Brothers Team with Mel Gibson for Dark Christmas Comedy

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Back in the early 1990s growing up in Tulare County, Eshom and Ian Nelms would raid their local Woodlake video store and voraciously devour its stock of movies.

“We were always attracted to films like ‘Army of Darkness,’ ” said Eshom of Sam Raimi’s genre mash-up of a zombie film and time-traveling adventure. “The crazier the better.”

Some 30 years later, Eshom and Ian Nelms — both of whom graduated from Mt. Whitney High School in Visalia — are making their own version of crazy genre movie mashups with “Fat Man,” starring Mel Gibson.

“Fat Man,” which opened in select theater on Nov. 13, tells the darkly comic story of a 12-year-old boy who after receiving a lump of coal in his stocking hires a hitman to kill Santa.

The Nelms brothers have joined the relatively brief, but prominent, list of successful siblings who make movies together. There are the Oscar-winning Coen brothers, whose credits include “No Country for Old Men” and “Fargo” and the Wachowski siblings, whose credits include the “Matrix” trilogy and “Cloud Atlas.”

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