“Do you like carrots?”
The question gets asked a lot over the course of the 1988 film, Crime of the Age. Crime of the Age deals with the theft of a book. The director of the local Christian summer camp discovers that someone broke into his office and stole a book called How To Be A Christian. The only clue is a carrot, which was left behind by the thief.
When the Detective (played by Keith Salter, who has previously played the world’s most obnoxious atheist in The Daylight Zone) shows up, he takes a look at the carrot. He realizes that the carrot is the only clue that he and the Director have towards solving a very serious crime. As the Detective explains it, only someone on staff could have stolen the book. And that means that one of the staff members is …. wait for it …. NOT A CHRISTIAN!
*Cue the Dramatic Music*
No, seriously, I’m not kidding. There are a lot of dramatic music cues in this film.
The Detective proceeds to interview the rest of the staff. He asks them all if they saw anything suspicious. He asks them what they were doing the previous night. He asks them all if they like carrots. Every member of the staff says that they saw someone else going into the director’s office. Every member says that they like carrots. Every member reveals something that leads the Detective to doubt their faith.
“That’s odd,” the detective says to himself, after one interview, “A Christian who only listens to music.”
“That’s odd,” the detective says after another interview, “A Christian who doesn’t like to go to church.”
After talking to the Groundskeeper, the detective says to himself, “That’s odd. A Christian who doesn’t care about sin.”
You may be getting the feeling that this is a bit of repetitive movie and indeed, the dialogue is made up of about five or six lines that are continually repeated from scene to scene. On the one hand, the structure mirrors any number of Biblical parables. On the other hand, it doesn’t make the conversations sound any less awkward. Of the suspects, the Groundskeeper is the only one who manages to project any sort of individual personality and that’s because he seems to be so genuinely annoyed with the whole thing. While everyone else is very polite about being asked if they like carrots, the Groundskeeper replies, “Yeah, I like carrots!” with a tone that suggests that he’s prepared to throw a punch over it.
This is another early Christian film from the Christiano Brothers. Like almost all of their films, the film is disguised as a genre film but the main message is that everyone is one misstep away from going to Hell. If you’re not excited about going to Church, you’re going to Hell. If you don’t talk about your faith with everyone you meet, you’re going to Hell. If you only listen to music, you’re going to Hell. And I presume that if you steal a book, you’ll be going there as well. Despite the film’s attempts at comedy, it’s a bit of a harsh message. For the most part, the cast looks like they had fun shooting the film and that’s always a plus. But I have to confess that I’ve never liked carrots.