A CHRISTIAN CAROL (2016) – Balladeer’s Blog’s 11th Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon continues with this look at a religious-themed variation of A Christmas Carol. Directed by Stan Severance and written by Wesley T Highlander, A Christian Carol follows in the footsteps of the 1983 production The Gospel According to Scrooge.
That 1983 project has been reviewed previously by Balladeer’s Blog and I will say again that it is so well done that it can appeal to true-believers AND to people like me, who laugh and roll their eyes at it. By comparison, this 2016 production is pretty weak and may barely even appeal to active, devout Christians. Acting, writing, special effects and singing are strictly low-level with only a few bright spots along the way.
Let’s take A Christian Carol beat by beat:
SCROOGE: The stand-in for Ebenezer Scrooge in this modern adaptation of A Christmas Carol is a woman known to us only as Carol. She’s the usual “tight-fisted hand at the grindstone” and runs a company called Rev13. GET IT? The British narrator – who sounds a bit like Robin Leach at times – tells us Carol was as dead inside as a doornail in a cute little twist on the Carol‘s opening line. Our title character has lost her Christian faith and cares only about money now.
Carol is portrayed by Brenda Roesel but comes across more like a potential mass shooter than a Scrooge-like figure. Her pathological hatred of any and every display of Christmas spirit by her employees was so heavily on the unhinged side that I actually paused to check if she was the same woman who played the end-of-her-rope madwoman in the mock Claridryl ad from years ago. (She’s not, but could have been, she’s THAT creepy.) Continue reading