JOHN GRIN’S CHRISTMAS (1986) – The 2022 edition of Balladeer’s Blog’s Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon continues with this obscure item from the 1980s. My copy of John Grin’s Christmas was already barely watchable when I first tracked it down and it looks worse and worse each time I watch it. Still no DVD release, though, so I’ve decided to give up hoping for a clearer copy and will just review it as is.
Regular readers are familiar with the obsessive lengths I go to in order to track down the various out-of-the-way adaptations of A Christmas Carol. I’m afraid this time around the story is kind of dull – I bought John Grin’s Christmas from someone on E-Bay a few years back. They had taped it off television in 1986 and were selling that very faded and gargly-sounding VHS tape.
Renaissance Man Robert Guillaume directed and stars as the Ebenezer Scrooge stand-in John Grin, our title craftsman who makes a variety of collectibles. Many sources claim he only makes toys but that is not true, it’s just that as Christmas approaches most of his sales are toys. And, since the story is set around Christmas time … Continue reading →
Balladeer’s Blog’s Christmas Carol-A-Thon 2022 rolls along with Ponsett’s Christmas Carol. Back during 2013’s Carol-A-Thon I reviewed The Trail to Christmas (1957), Jimmy Stewart’s television adaptation of this particular radio play.
Stewart was basically cannibalizing a script from his own radio show, The Six-Shooter, on which that Old West version of A Christmas Carol, titled Ponsett’s Christmas Carol, first aired in 1953.
Balladeer’s Blog’s Christmas Carol-A-Thon 2015 comes to a close with a look at this animated sequel to All Dogs Go To Heaven.
The dog-angel characters from that reasonably successful film use their Heavenly powers to get the dog-gangster Carface Caruthers (Ernest Borgnine) to change his ways. The portions of this direct-to- video flick dealing with the actual Christmas Carol adaptation are very good.
Unfortunately that element takes up barely half of the story. The overall tale is about a demonic figure called Belladonna (Bebe Neuwirth) who wants to use a gigantic magic dog bone to manipulate all of Earth’s dogs in a plot to destroy Christmas. Dog-Angels Charlie Barkin (Steven Weber) and Itchy (Dom Deluise) from the previous movie need the help of canine crime-lord Carface to thwart Belladonna’s plans. Hence the plot to “Dickens” him into becoming a better man … or dog, actually.
Charlie and Itchy get some of their other pals like Sasha (Sheena Easton) to help out as they stage visits from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet To Come in their bid to reform Carface.Continue reading →
Balladeer’s Blog continues its annual look at various versions of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol!
TAKUGINAI (December 1988) – As always I enjoy reviewing some of the most obscure and/ or neglected versions of the Carol that I can find. Takuginai was (and is) broadcast by the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation in the Northwest Territories of Canada. The half-hour program is a clever and energetic children’s show.
In December of 1988 Takuginai‘s usual blend of puppetry and live-action squeezed in a cartoon version of A Christmas Carol as well. The animation is very VERY limited: think Clutch Cargo then strip away all the dazzling technical prowess. (Yes, it’s THAT limited.) Continue reading →
Balladeer’s Blog continues its annual look at various versions of the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol! This particular item will examine episodes of television shows where the Carol was adapted to incorporate the program’s regular cast of characters.
WKRP IN CINCINNATI
Episode Title: Bah, Humbug
Original Broadcast Date: December 20th, 1980
Comment: Mr Carlson (Gordon Jump), the station owner, is the Scrooge stand-in in this fairly good sitcom version of the Carol.
Eating some of DJ Johnny Fever’s drug-laced brownies Carlson dreams about visits from the Ghost of Christmas Past – sexy Jennifer (Loni Anderson), Present – black DJ Venus Flytrap (Tim Reid) and Yet to Come – Dr Johnny Fever (Howard Hesseman). Continue reading →
It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since last Christmas Day! Christmas Carol-A-Thon 2014 comes to a close with the 1998 telefilm Ebenezer, the only non-porno version of the Dickens classic to feature a whorehouse! Well, as long as you don’t count whatever underhanded business Scrooge and Marley are running in the Alastair Sim version anyway. (I’m kidding!)
Previously Balladeer’s Blog has reviewed The Trail to Christmas, a version of A Christmas Carol adapted to the American West of the 1800’s. Ebenezer adapted the Dickens novel to the wild west of Canada in the 1800’s, which adds an extra layer of novelty to this production. Casting Jack Palance as Ebenezer Scrooge was the real strength of this adaptation!
Palance’s Scrooge is a miserly and crooked saloon owner while Bob Cratchit (Albert Schultz) is his much-abused bartender. Rick Schroder (yes, Rick Schroder) portrays gun-slinging Sam Benson, a character unique to this version and Tiny Tim is played by Joshua Silberg. Continue reading →