Feature 85 – Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? (2016)

or “Would You Offer Your Throat to the Vampire with the Camera?”

Featuring: Leila “The Long Home” George , Emily “Adventures In the Sin Bin” Meade , Tori “Cthulhu” Spelling

Director: Melanie “Actors Anonymous” Aitkenhead

Writers: Amber Coney & James “Bukowski” Franco

Origin: USA

In-Name-Only Remake of: Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? (1996)

Review_____

“Well, she’s bad news Miss Lewisohn. Part of a bad crowd.”

Labor Day. Most people think Union bosses and picnics, but as an everyday appreciator of those baring a sexy pair of XX chromosomes, I think of screaming parasites being torn into the blood soaked agony of existence through unwilling vaginal portals. Instead of making this about the bite-sized monstrosities, I prefer to put the spotlight on the iron ladies who bear said abominations and made all of us possible. Yes, even you test tuber viewers, because you can’t grow a human horror from microscopic tadpoles alone…yet. Anyway, as such, I present to all you of-the-ovarian-sort a trio of flicks for ladies, by ladies (mostly), featuring ladies (FLBLFL). “Ladies Night!”, enrage! Errrr, engage!

Let me start with an apology, kids. I know many of you would probably prefer that the “Franco” in today’s credits was referring to Italian sleeze legend Jess Franco, but no such luck. I may have something from the deceased trash maestro a little further down the pipe (provided I get the gusto to snake the drain that is my motivation), but today you’ll have to settle for James instead. However, if you’re an enthusiast, don’t get too excited. And if you’re a detractor, don’t feel down. The screenplay’s only half his, as you can see by the credits he’s not the director (his character even has a line where he literally says “I did not direct that!”) and his on-screen role might as well come with one of those “for novelty purposes only” disclaimers they stamp on penis pump packaging.

Oh yeah, like you’ve never injured your dick and/or your partner’s dick with a prick thickener before. How’s the weather way up there on your golden pedestal, you high-horsing mothertrucker? That’s what I thought.

On the topic of today’s movie, did you know it’s been 20 years since the original Mother, May I Sleep with Danger? premiered? Neither did. Because I never watched it. Because I don’t tend to watch Lifetime. Being “Television for Women”, I’m not even entirely sure it’s legal for me to post this review! Not that I’m a stickler for following the law, but when you’re covered in jet black fur like I am, you don’t really want to tempt any antsy-pants patrol officers into using yours truly for target practice…

Edgy, socially relevant humor!

You know who did see the original Lifetime Original? My Evil Dead Bride! I’m now turning over the steering wheel to EDB, so She can share Her thoughts:

Ahh, Lifetime movies: an incredible exercise in estrogen drenched dramatics and progesterone chugging shenanigans. Scared yet? You should be. Ladies are frightening, especially when they’re busting cheating husbands and bravely trying to find love again while raising kids with no heads. Okay, the missing head part wasn’t real. That’d be hype as fuck if it was real though, right?

Anyway, Lifetime is “Television For Women”, in that it’s ludicrously written and hilariously overacted treacle often “based on true events” (yet somehow not as entertaining as “Law and Order”) involving Ovarians. In every genre of film, there are certain works that can be considered cornerstones. Lifetime dreck is no different. The first Mother, May I Sleep With Danger? is certainly part of Lifetime’s bedrock, along with A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story and Her Final Fury: Betty Broderick, The Last Chapter (Seriously, watch the Betty Broderick movies, they’re incredible). It’s the typical “previously good teen rebels against overly involved parent and loves bad boy who is way worse for her than she realizes until it’s almost too late” affair, perfectly un-acted by Tori Spelling and Ivan Sergei (both of whom reappear in the remake for funsies for people like me who’ve spent too much time watching utter garbage like this). The writing is atrocious, yet oddly gratifying. Truly a hallmark in mammarian moviemaking if I’ve ever seen one, right along with that terrifying movie where John Stamos makes out with his dad at the end. That’s a real thing, by the way.

Lifetime isn’t for the faint of heart or those of weak constitution. Kinda like Tori Spelling’s “acting” and unsettling amount of facial fillers she’s rocking these days. (Seriously Tori, you’re starting to look like Robert Z’Dar: face like a catcher’s mitt. Quit while you’re only yards behind.) Lifetime movies are basically exploitation movies for suburban moms who drink box wine and proudly sport that baffling Kate Gosselin hairdo, sans over the top gore and gratuitous nudity. If this sounds appealing to you, question your life choices. I’ve done the introspective work, and am left with a calm that can only be achieved by allowing “Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?” to silence my constantly chattering mind with its myriad mysteries and deep existential inquiries. Perhaps this movie is actually a life altering koan delivered via poor 1990s television filmmaking, meant to teach me something I can simultaneously know and be ignorant of at the same time…

Hahaha. Nah. It’s just dumb pablum meant to pacify bored people like me with no taste. Enjoy it for what it is and isn’t. Don’t think too hard, cause that’ll give you little wrinkles on your forehead. Vaya con Dio Brando, fuckers. >:D

See why I’m frequently bugging her to start up her own movie blog? If you agree, let us know! She has to bow to peer pressure eventually!

And now, Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?

Honey, maybe you should get to know Danger first, before jumping into bed with them. Perhaps by introducing yourself with a firm but genial handshake!

I considered going with a Carlos Danger or “Is Danger his first name or his middle name?” joke there, but I stand by my decision.

Leah Lewisohn (Leila George) is just your typical West Coast college girl. She lives at home with her “why does she wear high heels in the house?” mom (Tori Spelling), she speaks with a soft-yet-grating Valley Girl accent, she awkwardly pretends not to notice that her friend Bob (Nick Eversman) would like nothing more than to suffocate himself with her crunchy underpants, she’s pushing gender boundaries by being the first female lead in her drama class’s rendition of Macbeth (as directed by James Franco’s character), and her new significant other is hiding from her the potential relationship shattering knowledge that they’re a vampire. Oh, and said sucker-of-the-sanguine is a lesbian goth “photographer” named Pearl (Emily Meade), which probably won’t sit well with Mrs. Lewisohn’s conservative Christian outlook.

As if the teenage nosferatu thing wasn’t bad enough, Pearl’s being pressured to bring Leah into the pink & black mafia (the Hart Foundation?) by her fellow monsters. “Monsters” in that they’re also vampires, not college students who think overexposing photographs makes them artists. Calling photography students “monsters” would be giving them more credibility than most deserve, and if their parents never encouraged them while growing up, why should the rest of us? I don’t want a brood of my own. If I wanted a bunch of responsibilities, I’d learn Hebrew and animate some golems. At least they don’t leave DNA evidence at crime scenes…

And that’s pretty much it! In my usual effort to avoid the stink of mold by not spoiling the bread, I won’t elaborate on this grown up After School Special anymore beyond that. To be fair, though, there’s really not a LOT to the plot of MMISwD?, as it’s a very straight forward, simple little horror movie. First time feature maker Melanie Aitkenhead directs the whole affair with a ’90s teen horror flair and moderately intense girl-on-girl makeout montages. Clearly our lady was very much a fan of The Craft (which also came out in 1996, coincidentally enough). Retro. Or, if you’re me, it’s nostalgic of my better experiences in high school: masturbating to Fairuza Balk. Speaking of the ’90s, former smasher of pumpkins and perfecter of circles James Iha’s industrial-goth score suits the movie and sets the tone well for Young Adult soap opera horror. It can get repetitive now and then, but for a Lifetime Original it’s solid, more so given that Smashing Pumpkins are to my ears as Slim Whitman is to Martians’ whatever it is they perceive auditory stimulation with.

And yes, that last line’s analogy counts as SAT tutoring, so don’t forget to pick up your bill at the exit. You don’t want us to have to bring it to your house. Trust me.

Being a bloodsucker pic, the gore in Mother (♫ “tell your children not to hold my hand”♫) is kept mostly to bloody mouths (with oddly clean teeth…), with the most intense wetness kept to the Macbeth play in an oddly meta “story-within-a-story fake violence” angle that I can’t really put any clearer. Sometimes I don’t word good. Now, without any serious gripes beyond some not great acting (and a non-PC concern about Tori Spelling looking like a melted mess of Barbie plastic), what’s my dominant issue with the movie? Sometimes, it doesn’t give its audience enough credit.

Leah’s scholastic screen time outside of the Drama Department is spent in a class that explores the parallels between traditional horror stories and the historically phobic persecution of LGBTQ folk. This, of course, is the theme of this remake/revision/reimagining/rebranding/reskinning, likely in an effort to both let said LGBTQ know they’re not alone, and also get the ignorant of we heteros to empathize with people who have been unfairly demonized for centuries. Pardon me if this is projecting, but it gets too heavy handed (going so far as to juxtapose the professor’s words directly over a scene of the vamp squad on the hunt) in its efforts to make sure the message permeates even the densest of numbskulls. Meanwhile, to those with more open minds, it can come off as condescending. Not due to the message, but how many times we’re told that what’s happening to Leah (IN a horror movie, no less) has already been covered a thousand times before in books and poetry.

You could look at this bludgeoning of subtlety as a negation of any need for the movie to exist in the first place since it’s just the same old story. Or, you could look at it as a statement that the need for such stories sadly still exists today and will continue to until the dickards of the world get over whatever personal problem it is that causes them to try and ruin other peoples’ lives. Hint: it’s usually because they hate their own lives, but are too fucking lazy or helpless to fix it, so they just redirect their angry frustration into aggressive outward displays of hatred and attempted domination. You know, typical grade school bully shit, because some cunt waffles never evolve past a 6th grade level.

Given that you’re probably here because you want to know my opinion (secondary to the dick and fart jokes, of course) , let’s discuss where I stand in regards to MMISwD?‘s message – being neither LGBTQ person nor a homophobe, it doesn’t speak to me. Nor am I saying it should. Much like my feelings on The Babadook, the message is clear to me and doesn’t need to be repeated ad nauseum, rubbed all over my brain like a young intern’s balls across a Republican senator’s face. As a Lifetime Original, the presumed target audience for this flick is middle-aged women (and any channel surfers whose attention can be easily grabbed by TV-14 approved barely legal lesbos dry humping), so if any such ladies out there have seen this and would like to give their opinion, please reach out and touch-a touch-a touch-a me as I’d like to hear your thoughts on whether the script’s hand holding really is overly aggressive, or if I’m just too into buttering my own nuts.

For me, it’s the same as a smoker being told repeatedly by their spouse that cigarettes are going to kill them. I know. I’m not stupid. I’m also not Leonard fucking Shelby. I can retain knowledge, and I do remember the other 500 times you told me about all the cancer I’m going to get from smoking!

…Where was I going with this? Oh, right, the exasperation of repetition. To quote Mr. Horse, “No, sir. I don’t like it.” Ignoring that, as stated prior, it’s an overall okay movie. Direction was fine, dialogue was fine, performances were fine for the most part (minus a little too much of leading lady Leila George’s grating accent). Better than what I expected from a TV movie, albeit a bit too predictable and all that “Bob Huge Hands wearing lead over mitts” heavy handedness. Given Franco’s involvement I was hoping for something a little more guano than the socially conscious made-for-TV remake of Embrace of the Vampire (sadly lacking the lusciousness of 1995 Alyssa Milano in a skirt) we got instead. That was also when I thought he was going to be directing it, though, so fuck me for having expectations scaled to false information. ‘Tis no one’s fault beyond mine own.

There are other heavy topics at work here, like domestic abuse (physical, emotional, and vampiric), peer pressure, date rape, generation gaps, gender politics, parental loss, gray morality, and how the first “Twilight” book was okay in theory but the sequels rolled downhill faster than Barbara Hale and Steve Brodie in The Giant Spider Invasion. Fuck you with a wooden stake, Stephanie What’s-Her-Name. Your hack novels have corrupted more young people than ISIS! You know, the terrorist organization, not actual Isis. She’s thinking of changing her name to “Brooke” now, just to avoid that whole messy “kill the non-believers!” thing. Anyway, one of the smaller, intimate themes I like about the movie fits in with the “being gay = movie monster” matter, but it’s a huge giveaway so I can’t even talk about it under ape spoiler law! Tell you what though, you send me a message asking me to expand upon said story element, and I will spoil the shit out of it just for you, Sugar Tits.

Final complaint? The movie’s finale must’ve been raised in a barn, because it leaves the door for a sequel WIDE OPEN. And in doing so, lets all of the metaphorical heat out. It’s better left as a one off flick and the possibility of a follow-up thrills me as much as mere alcohol thrilled Sinatra – not at all. Lifetime could probably win me back if they give Franco the reins to reign over it, especially if he had a few lines of coke to “inspire” him through the creative process!

Unless and until, I’m just going to treat MMISwD?‘s canned cheese epilogue like another kind of “log” and flush it from my memory. My Evil Dead Bride offered up a legitimate position on how said ending could symbolize certain peoples’ stances about the corruption of…damn it, there goes that spoiler warning alarm in my explosive collar again! I reiterate: if you want me to ruin the movie for you, please submit a formal request. In triplicate. My lawyers’ assholes are puckered so tight that light can neither enter nor escape them.

Beyond being part deux of my “Ladies Night!” Cineménage à Trois trilogy, I won’t say what the subject of our next episode will be. All I can guarantee is that it won’t be anything from a certain knockbuster factory whose name rhymes with “ass xylem”. Afraid I may have been showing the early signs of Stockholm Syndrome with my Sinister Squad review, I’ve had myself voluntarily committed (get it?!) into an Asylum asylum program until at least the end of the year. For now, I gotta get back to work on my death ray, so this ends our broadcast day. Ladies? Keep it sleazy, make ’em queasy, and when you can, top it off with a bit of the ol’ squeezy squeezy. Good night everybody!

Moral of the Story: If you’re a sexually malleable college girl who finds herself being courted by a Photography major, try to make sure your first date includes a quick pass by a mirror store and a garlic plantation before going back to their place. Vampirism is like any STD – a little prevention can save you an eternity of regret (and genital inflammation)!

Screenshots_____


Someone using their phone to actually talk to someone? This must be a flashback!


When three hot women come up to you out of nowhere and ask if you want to “have some fun” with them, kindly decline. They’re either going to make a blackmail video of you, or use you for a human sacrifice.


“Welcome to ‘Introductory to Film Making’. I am your professor, Uwe Boll, and I would like to take this moment to inform you all that this class is NON-REFUNDABLE!”


“You know how you said you ‘love me like a brother’ yesterday? Did you ever, you know, fool around with your brother or give him, like, a pity handjob or anything when you were younger? I mean, you know, just asking.”


Damn it, Franco, stop looking at the camera! You’re worse than Jimmy Fallon was when he’d break character on SNL!


“Hey! It’s that Tom Green guy! I wonder what he’s doing on our campus? Wait, is he… oh sweet Jimmy Dean! Is he having sex with the school mascot?! That poor platypus!”


“Baby, what did I tell you about throwing away your gum before bed? Jeez, that’s really in there. Well, looks like I know somebody who’s getting a butch cut when we get home!”


Whenever Sally’s feeling down, she knows Alice’s “derp face” will always pick her back up.


Good news, bad movie lovers! Robert Z’Dar didn’t z’die, he just had a sex change! Maniac Cop IV: Meter Maid from Hell, here we come!


Ladies and gentlemen, the world’s sexiest (and worst) ventriloquism act – Madam Marilyn and Her Mischievous Marionettes!


“No babe, don’t freak out! It’s not really my penis, it’s just my thumb sticking out of my zipper! See?!”


Another successful production of “Evil Dead: the Musical” is in the books.


What’s with her costume? Wait. Let me guess. She’s going as a chandelier lamp from WalMart!


A promotional still from the CW’s newest attempt at a recycled franchise: “Eddie Munster: the College Years


“What do you mean they made a ‘90210‘ reboot and I wasn’t a part of it?! Wait, I was on it?! Why don’t I remember ANY of this!?” (Don’t worry, Tori, NOBODY remembers anything about that show.)


She must use Listerine’s new “Blood Blocker” formula mouthwash, or Orbitz’s new “Gore-B-Gone” gum. All this image is missing is a hot British blond saying “FABULOUS!” while light gleams off of Pearl’s pearlies despite her menstrual beard.

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Anubis will return next time in
“Monsters of the Runway”

Enjoy the review? Hate the review? Have a movie you’d like to see judged in The Tomb? Fill out the feedback form! Never has it been easier to make contact with a deitic being!

All materials found within this review are the intellectual properties and opinions of the original writer. The Tomb of Anubis claims no responsibility for the views expressed in this review, but we do lay a copyright claim on it beeyotch, so don’t steal from this shit or we’ll have to go all Farmer Vincent on your silly asses. © October 1st 2013 and beyond, not to be reproduced in any way without the express written consent of the reviewer and The Tomb of Anubis, or pain of a physical and legal nature will follow. Touch not lest ye be touched.

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Feature 14 – Left Behind: the Movie (2000)

or “Heaven is Full of Naked People”

heart

Featuring:  Kirk “The Growing Pains Movie” Cameron , Brad “Supergator” Johnson , Gordon “Blood & Donuts” Currie

Director:  Vic “The Legend of Gator Face” Sarin

Writers:  Alan “Spawn” McElroy , Paul “Judgment” Lalonde , Joe Goodman

Origin:   USA

Review_____

“Maybe the common factor isn’t in those who were taken. Maybe it’s in those who were LEFT BEHIND.” (Yes Virginia, we have a movie title)

In the time since I’ve been out of the proverbial “game”, more than a few gullible fucks on the face of the Earth thought the Rapture was around the corner… not to be confused with the raptor that’s around the corner… AND IT’S RIGHT BEHIND YOU! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!… Sucker. Undiagnosed lunatic Harold Camping (who died recently… and yes, he was ultimately deposited in Ammit’s litter box, if you were wondering) got faithful followers of the ab ripped hippie masochist known as Jay-Zeus to believe that their imaginary father figure in the sky was finally ready to scrap his grade school science fair project ant farm (you know it as “Earth”), bring all of his loyal ants home to roost alongside him with Lando and the rest in Cloud City, and leave those monkeys not willing to stroke his petty ego by worshiping him (pretty insecure for a cosmic being… and this is coming from a cosmic being, mind you) back on Earth, which will be given over to Satan (one of the “infallible” one’s many failures) who will take the former realm of man under His management as a brand extension of Hell. We’ll still have most of the comforts of life, like Slush Puppies and Subway franchises, except Slush Puppies will be made of actual puppies and Subway’s five dollar foot-longs won’t be sandwiches, but foot long lengths of really splintery wood, wrapped in rusty barb wire, and covered in your choice of incendiary before being set afire and jammed directly into your asshole. I recommend the ethanol. It burns a beautiful blue and doesn’t sting nearly as much as gasoline or butane.


(the REAL reason the Rapture was canceled)

Though I could have (and probably should have) gone with a review for the far superior Rapture flick This is the End as my movie-of-choice, instead I opted for today’s feature, which puts me at the complete opposite end of the world ender spectrum – a place where only the likes of Kirk Cameron (and possibly eagles) dare tread. A place where science is a house of lies (except, you know, the branch that made all of the technology needed to shoot their fucking movie) and bananas are proof that creationism is the only true -ism. And if you don’t get that last bit, do a search for “Kirk Cameron banana” and let the One True God known as “The Interwebs” lead you down the path to enlightenment… cuz I’m sure as shit not posting a link to anything Mike Seever takes as gospel just because a banana salesman told him so.

Our film (video) today is based on the book series of the same name, which is basically the Book of Revelation as written by Tom Clancy. Or, as we horror movie aficionados call it, Omen III: the Final Conflict. Of the trio of writers who adapted the tome for the glowing tubes of the direct-to-video movie market, Joe Goodman has written nothing else (which includes the Left Behind sequels), Paul Lalonde has written nothing but other Christian “movies” *cough*propaganda*cough*, and Alan McElory… well, he’s a really interesting story. Alan’s other bodies of work include a few screenplays for some decidedly un-Christian movies, especially Spawn, about a hyper-violent vigilante superhero from Hell, and Halloween 4, which started Michael Myers down the path to becoming the unkillable mystical enforcer for a cult of evil druids. I wonder why Mr. McElroy wasn’t hired to write on the screenplay for Left Behind 2: Rapture Boogaloo

Okay, enough dicking around. Let’s gut this piggie and play in its entrails! We open with the news that Israeli scientist (He’s a witch! BURN HIM!) Chaim Rosenzweig (Colin Fox) has discovered a miracle formula that can turn acres of desert into fertile farm land. In the wake of a global food crisis, few things are more newsworthy than an agricultural advancement that will allow mankind to feed the starving millions of the world!… except maybe the latest nude pictures hacked off of some b-list celeb’s iPhone. Covering the reveal of Chaim’s great creation is his American friend, GNN (Global News Network) reporter Buck Williams (Kirk Cameron). Being played by Cameron, it should come as no surprise that Buck is a massive doofus. He does have one of the stupidest white guy hero names of all time to further bury any credibility he might’ve had as a protagonist. You do have to love the irony, though. I mean, having an investigative reporter played by a guy who just believes everything he’s told without any factual evidence to back it up (Kirk Cameron’s a bible thumper is what I’m alluding to) is pretty funny casting if you think about it… just don’t think about it TOO long, or your fissure of Rolando (not to be confused with the fissure of the Amazing Rondo) might spilt open and make the inside of your skull look like a fuckin’ abattoir during the busy season.

Chaim refuses to sell his secret techniques to any country, no matter how high the offer, and opts instead to create a new Eden where people will never need to go hungry again. But, much like Newton’s third law of motion, the climate between Israel and Palestine is all about actions resulting in reactions. In the case of Chaim’s agricultural miracle method, it’s an all out air strike by hostile Palestinian military forces. Due to some nefarious sabotage, Israel is unable to get their own planes off the ground to mount a counter offensive, so from the outset it looks like our heroes are boned… until the sky goes completely black and the enemy planes start blowing up for no reason! All I can imagine are archangels wearing those old World War II helmets and firing anti-aircraft guns from the clouds. Anyway, amidst the turmoil, Buck (being an intrepid man-of-action reporter with a big manly name like BUCK!) does the gutsy tough guy thing and goes out amidst the chaos in his khakis to try and grab some exclusive footage for the ll o’clock hype reels. Dodging bad computer gen explosions and debris, he’s approached by an old beard-o who appears from nowhere, touches him, and says “Stephen King’s Thinner!”… not really, but that would’ve been a lot better than the mumbo jumbo he actually mutters about covenants and continued wars and 7 years of suffering and blah blah blah. Probably something about wanting “Murder She Wrote” back on the air, or some bitchery about how back in his day they didn’t have jet planes and everybody had to walk 200 miles barefoot in the snow to go to war.

Once he gets back to the States with his eyewitness account and regales everybody with his Tom Brokaw-like dedication to his craft, Buck’s contacted by an old buddy of his from reporter college named Dirk Burton – who has one of the most generic Action News names, second only to “Buck Williams”. Dirk’s onto something big, literally WORLD ENDING BIG, regarding shady dealings by a super mega jumbo conglomorate we’ll just call The Enterprising Villainous Industrialized Liasons Corporation, or “EVIL Co.” for short. Whatever Armageddoning shit he’s stumbled upon has Dirk’s normal paranoid delusions up from charming to alarming, as he’s got the bad movie stool pigeon sweats and manic air about him of a man who hasn’t slept (or probably washed his stank parts) in days. Though he makes sure to show Buck the hidden compartment in his watch where he keeps a mini-disc (that looks oddly like a watch battery…) filled with all of the evil evidence he’s collected on EVIL Co’s evil dealings of evil, he doesn’t feel safe actually giving the disc to Buck. It’s not because he doesn’t trust Buck, cuz why make the meeting in the first place if he didn’t? No, it’s so that when Dirk eventually winds up dead at the hands of EVIL Co’s evil corporate killers, Buck will know where to retrieve it from, cuz that’s how movies work. On a brief side note, the term “corporate killers” makes me imagine Iron Maiden’s Eddie is a power suit, which is fucking awesome.


(He has to return some videotapes.)

While on an airliner headed to London to attend an investigation on the attack on Israel, Buck becomes a witness to history when a panic suddenly breaks out amidst the passengers as various people just up and disappear, all leaving their clothing behind. The funniest part of course being that NOBODY saw ANY of this while it happened, thus saving the budget the massive strain of having to use any of that expensive Star Trek “phasing” effects tech. Unless there was some creepy naked flash mob planned for this particular flight, it looks like the Rapture has finally struck… or they’re all members of one of those nudist sky diving teams… and yes, that’s a thing. Go ahead and look it up! Just, you know, not at work or on the family computer. I don’t need any more tear stained letters by little kids who blame me for destroying their families. Anyway, despite being played by Charlie Church Fucker, Buck is NOT amidst those who get the one-way ticket to the pearly gates! Odd that someone who can’t orgasm without quoting bible verses while staring at one of those sad paintings of Jesus with the droopy eyes would allow himself to be in a movie where his character ISN’T one of the truly faithful who gets ascended from the get go. Looks like Kirk’s need to be the center of attention is more important than being a good Christian… I know one guy whose clothes won’t be empty come Judgment Day… unless he’s yanked out of them by a T-800 disguised as Alan Thicke before it tears out his intestines. Now THAT is a Judgment Day I think we can all get behind! 😀

Despite settling down the panicked passengers (with some help by Buck, of course), the plane’s pilot isn’t ready to risk potential escalating mob madness while they’re too far from anywhere safe to land, so he turns their ride around and heads back to the airport. This pilot becomes a big part of the story, so let’s take the time now to meet Mr. Rayford Steele (Brad Johnson).

Yep, if you thought we were going to have a character without a stupid name that you’d expect a Reb Brown character from a bad ’80s/’90s action movie to have, then you are a fool. A sad, naive little fool. Here’s some pity, fool. Now go eat it where no one has to look at you. There’s a good fool.

Ray is a typical suburban father of two. His wife (name withheld for lack of interest on my part) is a born again Christian who Ray openly mocks in front of her friends and loved ones. But, he doesn’t want to have to have alimony or child support yanked from his ass for the rest of his life, so instead of leaving his family he just opts to flirt it up with one of the airline’s stewardesses, Hattie (Chelsea Noble, real life wife of Kirk Cameron [despite not taking his last name like a good Christian woman would] and former co-star of his eye-gougingly awful sitcom “Kirk”). Hattie also happens to be a friend of Buck’s, and through said connection has earned herself a job working at the United Nations for some reason… because that’s the next loigcal step on the career ladder when you’re a sky waitress… She’s apparently in love with Ray, but as is the case with most mistresses, isn’t content with playing second banana (or clam?) to Mrs. Steele, so she’s hoping that leaving the airline will either convince Captain Dickbag to drop his old lady to be with her, or leave her free to pursue some international wang at her new position. This would explain why neither of these pillars of morality were invited to the big skinny dipping party at Jesus’s private grotto. It’s either the affair, or it could be because Ray ditched his son’s birthday party so he could fly the friendly skies of Pan(ty)Am instead. Everybody knows Jesus has issues with his dad for never showing up at any of his own birthdays. That can really leave a vindictive streak on a guy’s psyche.

When Ray returns home, he discovers that his betrothed and their boy were both ascended, but his college student daughter Chloe (Janaya Stephens) was, just like dear old dad, LEFT BEHIND! What did she do that was so wrong? Well, she’s attending a non-Christian college (dirty liberal whore!), she has a nose-piercing (probably a LESBIAN!), AND she also missed little what’s-his-name’s birthday because she had exams to take, so… I don’t know. I’m a friggin’ deity and even I don’t know what the secret code to spiritual worthiness is. I asked Osiris one day and he just gave me a piece of papyrus that said “up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, Select, Start”.

Hoping that mom and Junior might just be at a shelter somewhere, Ray and Chloe start a search that ends at their local church. Though he doesn’t find his wife or son, Ray does run into the church’s pastor/preacher/priest/whatever Bruce Barnes (Clarence Gilyard), also LEFT BEHIND(!) because, while acting as his god’s salesman, he didn’t actually believe in the snake oil he was pushing (and missed his true calling as a pitcher for the Cubs if the fastball he beans a crucifix with is any indicator). So, even though he was freely sharing god’s Kool-Aid and made others believe (others who WERE ascended themselves, mind you), that’s not good enough for the egotist upstairs, and he left the disenfranchised recruiters like Bruce behind to wallow in the lakes of shit and fire alongside the heathens and heretics?! How the religious world gave up on far more forgiving deities like my own pantheon in favor of this self-centered, insecure, hateful old fart (who, yes, I’m WAY older than, thank you) will always be beyond even my grasp. I guess ignorance is just too great a bliss for some people to even consider giving up without throwing their hands over their ears and singing very loudly “OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD! HE REIGNS FROM HEAVEN ABOVE!” until the challenge of common sense just gives up and walks away.

When I found out that Buck wasn’t going to be a preachy a-hole like the actor playing him, I thought that we might be spared the heavy handed cranial bludgeoning that comes with most Christian based movies. Shit, if the star’s not going to spend the 90 or so minutes telling us how much the collective delusion loves you and wants to share nirvana with you, then maybe it won’t be so bad, right? Wrong. Though Buck’s not the preachy one of the cast, that’s LEFT BEHIND(!), errrr left up to Ray. Seeing that his wife was right this whole time about which horse to put her money on, he hedges his bets and tries to get behind Jesus in overtime, with the bible as his playbook. Can sucking up to his new best buddy ultimately save his ass from burning pitchforks and searing coal suppositories? Can he convince Chloe to go along with it and maybe save her soul a seat at the family reunion? I can’t muster the attention span to care. As such, let’s leave the Steeles to their bible thumpery and stick to the breadier parts of this garbage hoagie – BUCK WILLIAMS: REPORTER OF ACTION!

Actually, let’s kick Buck back onto the back burner for another paragraph or two and check out Mr. Nicolae Carpathia. For starters, Nick’s played by Gordon Currie. If, like yours truly, you’re a fan of Charles Band’s Puppet Master series, you’ll remember that installments 4 & 5 featured some goofy blond nerd named Rick stumbling upon Andre Toulon’s trunk of sinister sentient wonder toys and becoming the new holder of the title role. I hated Rick. At that point, Band was trying to brand the murderous marionettes as heroic figures to sell merchandise, so rather than drilling through people’s skulls and pulling their tracheas out through their eye-sockets, the puppets were fighting evil little totem monsters controlled by a huge foam rubber demon (who, ironically enough, looked like a giant muppet)… and the whole thing was a mess. Eventually Band would go back to what made the puppets great in the first place, with the exception of a Demonic Toys crossover (starring Corey fucking Feldman and that hot redhead from the “Weird Science” TV series) that summarily crushed the hopes and dreams of fans who had waited a decade of more for such an event to occur… thanks to funding from the SciFi Channel, if I remember correctly.

Sorry, any excuse to talk about Puppet Master instead of Revenge of Jesus and I had to make it last as long as I could. The point is, Rick was a shitty heir to the Toulon legacy and every time I see Gordon Currie I want to punch my toilet. Fortunately, I see him about as much as I find a random $20 bill in the pocket of an old pair of pants, so my toilets rarely need replacing. Now, back to Nicolae.

Nick is saintly gentleman with an ear-bleedingly bad Eastern European accent. Others refer to him as the new Mother Theresa, but much like the infamous “New Coke”, there’s something not right about Nick. He’s a close associate of Dr. Rosenzweig, and it’s this connection that has the interest of Nicolae’s financial backers – a pair of not-so-legitimate businessmen who want to use Nick’s relationship with Chaim to get their evil hands on Chaim’s miracle grow formula and corner the global food market! That’s right, Nicolae’s good deeds and charitable activities have been funded by the blood moneys of EVIL Co! There’s also some shit about building a temple in disputed Palestinian territory as some kind of effort to win Chaim’s favor because his formula will bring peace to the Middle East… or something… don’t ask cuz as much of a badass as I am at Clue™, I haven’t got clue 1 here. And as far as that “something not right” about Nicky, ask yourself this: why is it that someone who’s worked so hard to spread peace, love, and charity the world over wasn’t teleported to St. Peter’s office with the rest of Jesus’s good and faithful ones? Don’t strain yourself over it. Since this movie came out over a decade ago, I plan on taking a cue from the rampant bacteria living in my crisper drawer and SPOILING EVERYTHING! Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Okay, let’s give the spotlight back to Buck, now. Thanks to his big reporter man expense account, Buck outbids an airport full of would-be commuters in hiring a private pilot to fly him from Chicago to New York for $25,000 (he better hope the GNN accountants were all god fearing Christian types reduced to piles of cheap suits!) so he can seek out Dirk and find out what else he knows about these Rapture shenanigans. As alluded to previously though, Dirk gets deaded up. Our hero finds the body, and the watch battery “storage device” is still in its hidden compartment. Dodging a sniper’s attempt on popping his noodle like a fucking blood balloon, Buck escapes the scene with the data. However, either this sniper dropped out of sniper school (he chooses to shoot a computer monitor when he has a perfectly good shot at the back of Buck’s skull, then pops several eye level items in the room while Buck’s squirming on the floor), or he was just meant to scare our protagonist, given the satisfied smile the shooter sports when his quarry eludes him. Or, maybe he was only getting paid to ice Dirk and he was just dicking Buck around for the fun of making the dingus piss himself. I could see terrorizing Kirk Cameron simply for the satisfaction.

After his (presumably) lesbian tech friends from GNN help him decode the info, Buckaroo heads back to Chicago, where he hooks up with an old CIA connection named Alan (Phillip Akin… mis-credited as Phillip Akon), who happens to be the last person Dirk emailed before his untimely passing of natural causes… cuz bullets are made from things found in nature and it passed right through his chest. What’s more natural than that? Al informs us that the government’s blaming the disappearances on long term radioactive activity on the planet that created freak pockets of Twilight Zone-y weirdness that randomly disintegrated people all over the globe… in the land, sea, and air… and left their clothes entirely unaffected… yeah… I really think alien abductions would probably have been more believable, but alien abductions wouldn’t give Nicolae the excuse to go in front of the UN and demand that the world disarm their nukes. Sure, any nuclear scientist will tell you that latent radioactivity can’t possibly disintegrate random Christians, but who’s gonna argue with nuclear disarmament? I mean, that can only end in peaceful results, right? Sound logic. Besides, there’s no place for scientists in a Jesus flick… except for Chaim… who’s an unknowing pawn for EVIL Co’s world domination schemes… because you can’t have a SCIENTIST, who’s also JEWISH, in a CHRISTIAN movie without him being either evil or easily duped into bringing about Armageddon. I thought there was something funny about a Jewish character being heralded as a hero whose discovery would feed the world’s hungry. As the saying goes though, the road to Hell isn’t paved with blacktop…

Speaking of good intentions, they certainly save Buck’s ass! After his meeting with Alan, his buddy offers him a ride. Buck stops to give some cantankerous old lady some beer money, while Alan’s bee-line to his car gets him a Sam Rothstein Special, inadvertently saving Buck from being blown into charred meat and bone fragments, all while that same sniper from earlier watches on and smiles approvingly. After the Steeles patch him up (him got a boo boo on him’s widdle weg) and pray to god to watch out for him, Buck heads back to NY to warn Chaim about the evil intentions of his nefarious benefactors. Chaim and new UN Secretary-General Nicolae show Buck their plans to build the new temple in Israel that’s going to doom the world, and invite him to attend a meeting with UN officials and Nicolae’s EVIL Co. financiers. Realizing that the thumpers have been right about the Armageddon all along, Buck takes a knee in the mensroom (you know what happens when someone’s on their knees in a place made for unrestricted dick exposure…) and uses his Phone-a-Friend to call in a favor from the all mighty. Little g (Seriously, he’s barely 5′ 2”. He just has all of his portraits made from a low angle to seem big and imposing) grants Buck his wish and allows him to keep his free will (iiiiiiiiroooooooooooonyyyyyyyyyyyy) during the coming meeting, where Nicolae reveals himself to be…. THE ANTICHRIST!… or, based on the mind control powers and possible telekinesis, he could just be a Sith Lord. It’s makes sense that a Russian guy would be the Devil, right? I mean, we all remember that passage in Revelation where it says “And the horned deceiver shall come from the land where car drives you!”, right?

Either way, Evil Nick shoots Businessman 1 and Businessman 2 in front of a room full of people, declares his intentions to rule/destroy the Earth, then mind wipes everybody with the story that Businessman 1 grabbed a guard’s gun (of which there were many who could have intervened if this was legit) and shot Businessman 2 before turning the gun on himself. Buck’s the only one who was able to see the truth because his brain was preserved by Jesus brand tin foil! Jesus brand tin foil – when you need to keep your gray matter safe from any toxic influences NOT emanating from official Jesus brand salesmen! Jesus and the Jesus brand are copyright of Jesus Co. Trust no imitators, only items bearing the Jesus label, sold by officially licensed Jesus Co. representatives!

Now Nick looks like a grieving hero (his two best buddies were using him to try and bankrupt the UN, then killed each other, after all), the remaining UN leaders are under his sole control, he’s well on his way to dethroning DiCaprio as king of the world, and Buck can’t say anything about the truth because he risks giving up his only advantage. Unable to do anything about these new events alone, he returns to Chicago (good thing he opted for the 48hr package, otherwise he’s be buying that pilot the nicest trailer in Hell!) to rejoin the Steeles and Bruce to start praying he can get a late pass through the pearly gates… which are always portrayed as golden, so I don’t know where the “pearly” part came from. And so, what could be building to an end-of-the-world showdown of The Stand-like proportions between the forces of good and evil will have to wait till next time, as this is only part one of the “epic” Left Behind movie trilogy. Will we see those other installments reviewed here? Who knows. I’m almost intrigued enough by the story to see how it plays out, but I really don’t know if I’m FOUR HOURS intrigued. Not to mentioned the additional 4-6hrs of time required to write two more reviews of THIS length, AND take screenshots for the whole donkey show. Let’s put this one to bed first, then we’ll talk about it later, okay kiddies?

Okay now, allow me to put aside all anti-religion biases so I can objectively judge Left Behind as a movie rather than just bash the dogmatic ignorance behind it. If it weren’t for the god apologist crap and the wrist slitting soundtrack of christian soft rock and the generic “sounds like it was taken from a ’90s Ninja Turtles movie soundtrack” hip hop theme that hits you out of nowhere like a kidney punch from a morning star (not even a joke, hear it for yourself and be awed!), this might’ve been a fun watch. Edit out the 20 or so minutes of “message” and not only do you get a more accessible flick, but you get a trimmer running time that feels like less of a drag.

Director Vic Sarin (not to be confused with the toxic gas of the same name) does a competent job with what he’s got. As you’d expect from a direct-to-video creation of the year 2000, visually you’d think you were watching an ABC Family original movie. Again, you’d expect that on this kind of budget, so lacking the slick Hollywood look of budgetary lubrication can’t really be held against it. Beyond giving it a pass for its appearance though, the dialogue can get into artery clogging zones of cheese and the acting is over-the-top. Not enjoyably over-the-top like an ’80s action movie or a Troma flick, but painfully overacted over-the-top. This cast feels like they were hired out of a small town community drama group, and even Cameron and Noble, who are supposed to be doing a passion project here, show very little of said passion. They should probably retire from acting and dedicate themselves to missionary work like “true” believers. Maybe the rest of us will luck out and they’ll wind up like the missionaries in Rambo? One can only pray. Cuz we got to pray just to make it today. We got to pray. Pray… please Hammer, don’t hurt ’em… let ME do it!

That was… very ’90s of me. I really need a drink.

Finally, I have little idea as to what I was referring to when I typed up the following paragraph (this review has been a week in the making and a LOT has distracted me in said week), and I couldn’t find anywhere to properly fit it into this review, but after reading it over a few times and not wanting to lose it, I’m just gonna end on it. Enjoy! –

But, as is the way with Left Behind, such is the way of religion – lure them into the windowless van with promises of love, acceptance, understanding, and an eternal afterlife in the Bahamas, then ferry them away into a musty locale, and force a Pandora’s Box of unpleasantness into every hole until their free will has been broken beyond recognition and they accept no one’s truth but yours. However, my doubly mammalian brain (I am half-simian and half-canine, after all) decries superstitions and mental hostage taking through threats of imagined spiritual torment. So, even as a supposedly impressionable lad/pup, I wasn’t one for taking on unfounded guilt and shame just because some old man who smelled like moth balls and beef bullion told me to. You can call it rebellion, you can call it sin, either way I’m happy, either way I win. I’m out like a boner in sweatpants.

The Moral of the Story: Everyone’s welcome in Jesus Land Theme Parks! Note: Jesus Land Theme Parks reserve the right to deny entry to the park if you have a pierced nose, make out with a stewardess while she’s on the clock, act as “god”’s mouthpiece but don’t eat the same shit you’re shoveling into others’ mouths, jerk off with thousand dollar bills, plot to rule the world, have a miscarriage-inducingly bad Eastern European accent, have ever skipped out on a child’s birthday party, or work for a tv news network whose call letters rhyme with “CNN”.
Jesus Land – where all of our water slides lead to SALVATION!

Screenshots_____

Doesn’t this violate that whole “separation of church and state” thing?


I see somebody’s still trying to figure out their caps lock key…


“You know what I hate, Jim? Large formations of fighter jets… there’s one right behind me, isn’t there?”


While watching the dailies for Left Behind the cast starts to wonder if they haven’t made a huge mistake…


“Come on grandpa! If you don’t let the shovel hit you in the balls we’ll never win the $10,000 grand prize for funniest video!”


“Yes, I realize my best friend’s name on the show was ‘Boner’, and yes, I realize what a ‘boner’ is. You’re only the 30th person to tell me that… TODAY.”


“It’s a sandwich, but they replaced the bread with pieces of FRIED CHICKEN! What don’t you understand?! THEY HAVE TO BE STOPPED!”


“Most people suggest hot coffee or warm tea every morning to stay regular. But for me, if I don’t have a piping hot cup of baby’s blood with my breakfast, I won’t have a bowel movement all day!”


“And Alex Kidd begot Sonic. Sonic begot Kid Chameleon. Kid Chameleon begot Streets of Rage. Streets of Rage begot Vectorman. Vectorman begot Ecco. Ecco begot Toe Jam and Earl…”


“So, you’re telling me you can travel through time with this single engine plane… but there’s NO sky diving grandma!?”
(Kudos to you if you got the reference on this one!)


I see someone didn’t learn his lesson from Superbad – never let drunk girls in mini-skirts lap dance you at a party!


So, she took out her nose piercing to appease Jesus, but JC’s totally down with ear piercings!? Fuck this religion!

LBP

Anubis will return next time in
“May the Krampus Never Cramp Us”

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