This Day in Horror History: SCROOGED With Bill Murray is Now 33 Years Old

On this day in horror history, The Omen and The Goonies director Richard Donner’s Scrooged with Bill Murray (Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters II) opened in 1988.

It’s a modern take on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Murray stars is a successful TV executive whose curmudgeonly nature has driven away the love of his life. After he fires a worker on Christmas Eve, he starts seeing ghosts. They help him re-evaluate the wrongs of his past. Will this jerk learn his lesson by dawn?

Written by Mitch Glazer and Michael O’Donoghue, Scrooged co-stars Karen Allen, John Forsythe, and Bobcat Goldthwait. Carol Kane joins them with Michael J. Pollard and Alfre Woodard. Along with Murray’s brothers, Brian, John, and Joel.

RELATED: Stanley Kubrick Wanted Bill Murray for EYES WIDE SHUT

Scrooged also marked Murray’s return to acting after taking a 4-year break following the mega-success of Ghostbusters. Filmed over three months on a $32M budget, Murray also re-worked the script before joining. Even still, Murray described the production as miserable. The movie’s marketing capitalized on Ghostbusters, referencing Murray vs ghosts in both films. Scrooged snagged over $100M worldwide and was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Makeup. It lost to Beetlejuice.

It sports a 71% on Rotten Tomatoes with a Critics Consensus that reads: Scrooged gets by with Bill Murray and a dash of holiday spirit, although it’s hampered by a markedly conflicted tone and an undercurrent of mean-spiritedness.

Murray called the film “a big, long, sloppy movie.” O’Donoghue said Donner didn’t understand comedy, omitting subtle elements for louder and faster moments. Since its release, Richard Donner’s Scrooged with Bill Murray has become a Christmas mainstay. In fact, many argue it was ahead of its time.

How much do you dig Scrooged?

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