14 January 2009

church basement really awesome apocalyptic B movie festival (part four)

MOVIE FOUR: Judgment (2001)

In what has to be one of the most stellar cast line-ups in the history of really bad church movies, Mr T joins Corbin Bernsen (and the ubiquitous Nick Mancuso) in this courtroom thriller about the end times and . . . . . . judgment!  When I first saw this movie I couldn't quite believe what I was seeing, but then I remembered the sub-sphere of evangelical film production and figured it must be (sadly) true.

Perhaps following on the success of Ally McBeal, this movie is set mostly within a courtroom where the Christian opposition to the antichrist (leader of O.N.E.) quickly turns into the trial of the century when Mitch (Bernsen) summons Jesus Christ to the stand.  This is clearly an Arnie Becker move.  The Christians in the film are referred to as Haters and are thus systematically being put away.  Mr T is part of a group that is planning on rescuing their own 'hater' from the trial, bringing to the table some of that A-Team experience we all know and love.  Clearly this is an out-of-cash 80s refab set in an end-time apocalyptic scenario.  And that wouldn't even be that bad, except that this project is so ridiculously put together.  What else can I say?


One of the biggest problems with Cloud Ten Productions is that they keep reproducing films which are so preoccupied with the last days and the rise of the antichrist that they continue to perpetuate their own beliefs in defiance of biblical evidence and sound theology.  Further along this line, they are the only ones making movies in this scope and thus have no real opportunity for 'dialoguing' with other perspectives - in other words, they all look the same.  And, as I have heard from a number of people, it gives the impression that Christians are only concerned with the end times and have nothing else really to talk about.

What is great about the antichrist in these films is that you can always see him from a mile away, even though everyone in the script cannot see his sinister-ness  for anything.  To help here, resident antichrist Franco Macalousso has slick hair, slicker suits and a portrait of himself hanging above his desk (bruh-ha-ha-ha-ha!).  And he is always doing something good, which we all suspect is going to be evil at some point.  If this is the pat definition for an antichrist, then we're surrounded by them - called Washington D. C., Detroit or Chicago.

Again, there is the perpetuated perspective that in order to overcome the violence and militarism, Christians will need to succeed violently and by becoming more militaristic.  Enter Mr T into the fray.  The same is true in the Left Behind sequicentilogy, there is more emphasis on bloodshed and covert action than there is a proclamation of the Lamb's overcoming through suffering and death.  Believers are nowhere pushed in this direction, perhaps one reason why they are thought of as 'Haters'?????  But this is within their own script, so. . .?????

In the end, it makes the festival as a headliner because it has Corbin Bersen and Mr T - and who wouldn't want to see that? 

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