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.”

Week 4 Index

Day 22: Dressed to Kill
Day 23: My Dinner With Andre
Day 24: Tess
Day 25: Alphaville
Day 26: The Battle of Algiers
Day 27: Robocop 2
Day 28: Female Trouble