Thursday, December 07, 2006
While many people of my generation look at A Christmas Story as the definitive 80's Christmas film, I've always preferred Bill Murray's Scrooged, an adaption of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. Bill Murray plays Frank Cross, a modern-day Scrooge who owns his own television company and is in the process of making his own live-action special of A Christmas Carol. Frank goes about Christmas the entirely wrong way, whether it is firing people or giving half-hearted gifts, until he is visited by three ghosts and shown the true spirit of Christmas.
While Murray delivers a great performance as Cross, the real stars of this film are the role players. Carol Kane and Daniel Johansen are particularly enjoyable as the Ghosts of Christmas Present and Past, respectively. The scene in which Kane repeatedly delivers blow after blow to Cross, from a toaster to the face to a swift kick to the privates, was one of my top 5 favorites as a young one.
The true hero of the film, however, is a staple of 80's comedies, Bobcat Goldthwait. Riding the popularity generated from his performance as Zed in the Police Academy films, Goldthwait appears as Eliot Loudermilk, an employee that Frank fires on Christmas Eve. Eliot proceeds to go berzerk and returns to terrorize the building later on. Goldthwait is the true scene stealer in this film. With his off-pitch voice and wacky antics, he creates a truly unforgettable character.