Kringle Time is a new dark comedy feature debut from director Matthew Lucas, who self-produced and financed the project with writer Zan Gillies. The film is out now in North America on TVOD, BluRay & DVD from Gravitas Ventures.
When Kringles (Vernon Wells, “The Road Warrior,” “Commando”) — the singing, dancing snowman on a popular kids’ show — drops dead on live TV, a citywide crisis brings several small town characters out of the woodwork. To keep the ship afloat, a down-on-his-luck station manager named Jerry (Benny Elledge, “Happy,” “Gotham”) must don the Kringles costume himself. But the cast and crew are rooting against him, the added pressure is too much for his girlfriend (Gigi Edgley, “Farscape”), and the mayor (Jeff Wincott, “Night Heat”) won’t stop pestering him about building a pointless memorial statue. To make matters worse, the ghost of Kringles returns to haunt Jerry, revealing a dark secret that he carried to the grave. With Kringles’ reputation on the line, Jerry has to choose what his legacy will be as the man beneath the mask.
Lucas explores the often ignored and somewhat tragic real lives of children’s entertainers in a similar way to Danny DeVito/Robin Williams film ‘Death to Smoochy’ and more recently the TV show ‘Kidding’ starring Jim Carey which also featured a more modern twist touching on the ‘Me Too’ era. It is exploration of fame and it’s effects on the psyche; especially where someone is presenting a different persona onstage to offstage and the moral dilema faced by children’s entertainers as well as an often dysfunctional personal life as a result
Verson Wells carries the film with a performance that is incredibly entertaining but with a hint of the deeper internal struggles that his charecter is facing; ably supported by an ensemble cast that all get their own funny and warmer moments. The songs and choreography of the ‘show within a show’ and the politics and workings of a small regional television station are all portrayed perfectly. Kringles internal monologue is shown through a series of surrealist sequences which are beautifully shot and create a contrast to the film’s lighter moments whilst there is an underlying indie/DIY feel that runs throughout.
Watch now on Prime Video