Saturday, October 29, 2005

Day 29: Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter

Jesus Christ: If I'm not back in five minutes, call the Pope.

Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter is like a good novelty song you might hear on Dr. Demento.  It’s roughly made and a little obvious, but it’s genuinely funny and makes up for its shortcomings with a ham-fisted enthusiasm.  It’s less religious satire and more a parody of inane kung-fu and action movie conceits in the same spirit as Team America or a lesser episode of The Simpsons, giving Jesus the action movie hero role and teaming him up with some very likable companions.  The overall quality of the movie exists somewhere between a decent student film and a bad Roger Corman film, but the writing is sharp enough, the use of locations is great, and the tone is spirited enough that none of this matters.  I was genuinely engaged by the film and stopped looking at the clock to see how much longer the movie would be playing at about the halfway point.  That means, judging it on this scale, the movie worked better for me than Hell Comes to Frogtown.

It reminds me of watching King Kong vs. Godzilla when I was 8.  All I wanted to see was King Kong and Godzilla fight and, well, they did.  They fought a couple of times and, so, the movie worked for me.  What I want out of Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter is to see Jesus slay vampires and that’s here in spades.  When he fights scores of atheists, that’s just gravy, as is the song and dance number when he arrives in the city.  Throw in a Mexican wrestler as his sidekick, a spot-on parody score, and the movie ending with a Journey-esque song with lyrics that sum up the plot, and you’ve got a nice dish with gravy, two scoops of ice cream, and a cherry on top.  So tasty.

Special mention goes to the moment when Jesus is seen, apparently, fighting two baddies in two separate locations at once.  When one of the characters asks Jesus how he can be in both places at the same time, Jesus replies, “I’m everywhere.”

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

King Kong vs Godzilla: oh, my heart be still. I nearly died when I was a kid and they showed that right after Planet of the Apes (the tv series). It was a night of nights.

Phoenix said...

I've had this movie for a while, and have never been able to watch more than the first few minutes.

However, when you put it on your list, I FORCED myself to finally watch it in it's entirety, so I could make an informed comment.

So, this is YOUR fault.

I would have placed the production values between a decent home-movie and a bad student film.

I had the opposite reaction to it than you did. About half-way through I started searching the Internet to see if it had ever been featured on MST3K (unfortunately, not that I could find).

I was continually distracted by how easily and often Jesus had his ass handed to him. Isn't he [EXP]ing JESUS for Christ's sake? He should have been able to wipe these guys out from the beginning.

Some questions remain. Why didn't he just cure their vampirism? Why didn't he resurrect the priests that died at the beginning? WHY had the remaining priest requested Jesus' help in the first place? Why did the atheists fight him (they don't believe in him anyway)? Why did the vampires always fight around easily-broken-into-stakes pieces of wood? And why didn't the vampires kill him during their many, MANY chances to do so? Why lesbians?

Seriously, why lesbians? You've already got vampires and Christ, what more do you need? How did that conversation go?

A: "This movie has everything! Violence, revenge, love, vampires, and Jesus [EXP]ing Christ! Is there anything we're forgetting?"
B: "Lesbians?"
A: "Brilliant!"

The humor just didn't hit the right notes for me. Either the joke was telegraphed so far in advance that when the punchline finally came it was no longer funny, or the joke was repeated and repeated until you just want to scream at your TV, "I GET IT! I GET IT! LET'S MOVE ON, SHALL WE?"

During the atheists fight, six people jump out of the jeep and attack Jesus. Jesus mercifully* beats them into submission (insert religious diatribe here). Then, six more people, who could not possibly have fit in the jeep with the first six, jump out of the jeep and fight Jesus. Ahaha. After they are defeated, six more people jump out. OK, I get it. Then six more. Enough already. Then six MORE. JESUS! Etc...

*this is not a typo.

There are worse ways to spend a couple hours. Of course, I can't think of any right now...

Thomas said...

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The Doll said...

SWEET!!!

The Doll Cartoons

R2K said...

Im most interested in how long you can go before you miss one :)

Or run out of films...

R2000
Bathroom Review

Ash Karreau said...

Cool. We can play dueling reviews. Of King Kong Vs. Godzilla, too.

David Wester said...

Phoenix: It's still better than The Passion of the Christ.

And you know, at least with the lesbian thing, they brought up the fact that nobody cared about the lesbians or would help them because of homo-homo-homophobia.

David Wester said...

Alex: I won't run out, that's for sure. As for missing one... I've been very close a couple of times.

David Wester said...

Ash: That review of King Kong v. Godzilla is from my 8 year old self. I haven't seen the movie since then and if my memories are correct, I doubt I could sit through it anyway.

Ben said...

"Its okay, it's all right, every one gets laid tonight" The best song from JCVH

M. Gants v4.0 said...

I just saw "Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter" last night...WOW. Funny stuff indeed...and lots of whorish looking women too (always a plus in my book).

I liked the grainy look and how it seemed that the voices were dubbed over...the punks were fun too.

The fight scenes brought back fond memories of our days spent in HS when you (DAVE) made our friends tie me to a chair and force fed me pizza while screaming and beating each other up...all in the name of cinematic greatness.

My favorite character was "Santos"...I couldn't help myself from laughing along with him every time he, um, laughed.