TFTM: Return of Angelic Woman

Left Behind II: Tribulation Force, Part 8

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Donald W. Thompson gave me nightmares.

I grew up in the American evangelical Christian subculture in the 1970s and 1980s, so it’s impossible for me to watch a movie like Left Behind II: Tribulation Force without thinking of Thompson’s earlier End Times movies. Those movies scared the Hell out of me, which is exactly the effect Thompson wanted.

If you’ve ever seen A Thief in the Night or its sequels, then you know they weren’t good movies. The dialogue was unnatural and the cast of nonprofessional actors had little idea of what they were doing. But Thompson made the most of his very limited resources and managed to create some haunting images that stick with you after better movies are forgotten.

The story was based on Hal Lindsey’s phenomenally popular books of “Bible prophecy,” so it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. But the movies were compelling because Thompson had a central theme, a driving concern that shaped every scene in his movies: Get saved now, before it’s too late, or this will happen to you.

That’s a crudely and cruelly manipulative message. It’s wrong-headed, theologically misguided and ethically dubious to think that people can or should be scared into Heaven. But my point here is that Thompson desperately wanted people to go to Heaven and not to Hell. As awful as his pursuit of that agenda was, it was still, at a basic level, an expression of his concern for others. He believed they needed saving and he urgently wanted them to get saved.

One of the most striking things to me about the first two books of the Left Behind series was the lack of such urgent concern from Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. This is a huge departure from Lindsey and Thompson and all the earlier popularizers of premillennial dispensationalist “Bible prophecy.” The driving theme of Left Behind and Tribulation Force is not ” Get saved now, before it’s too late, or this will happen to you,” but rather, “We’re saved, and those people didn’t listen to us, so they deserve this to happen to them.”

The section of Left Behind II: Tribulation Force that we’re looking at this week includes some painfully awkward, clumsily didactic scenes presenting the filmmakers approximation of the Plan of Salvation and demonstrating what they believe to be the necessary response to that message. This is all pretty excruciating to watch, but it’s also another illustration of my main evaluation of this movie: It’s awful, but it’s much better than the book. The explicit evangelism of the movie may be bumbling, but its infinitely preferable to the triumphalism of the books’ abominable fancy.

Buck Williams is back in his hotel room, getting ready for his big meeting with the Two Witnesses. He looks at the photo-booth pictures he took with Chloe. The photo in the shirt pocket is standard movie-shorthand for reminding viewers that the hero is thinking of loved ones back home. But just in case viewers don’t understand that shorthand, director Bill Corcoran underlines the point in the next scene by having Buck talk to Chloe on the phone, retelling us what we’d just been shown. But at least it’s a photo in Buck’s shirt pocket and not a cookie.

Buck’s plan involves getting Rabbi Tsion Ben-Judah to the magicians at the Western Wall, which is cordoned off by armed soldiers.

“I still don’t know how we’re going to get to the Wailing Wall,” he says to Rayford.

“God got us this far, he’ll take us the rest of the way,” Rayford says.

That’s the plan: Jesus Magic. Sometimes you just have to step out on faith and depend on God to provide a miraculous solution, like, say, throwing yourself down from the pinnacle of the temple, for it is written, “He will command his angels … they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”

Our heroes are about to spring into action, carrying out their still-fuzzy-on-the-details plan. So first it’s time to pray.

“Let’s pray,” Cam-Cam says abruptly, and the scene that follows is awkward and unnatural. Cam-Cam is earnest and uncomfortably intimate. Brad Johnson seems unnerved and uncertain what to do with his hands. The scene is, in other words, a remarkably realistic portrayal that perfectly captures what this common expression of evangelical piety is like in real life.

“Amen,” Cam-Cam says at the end.

“Amen,” Johnson echoes, looking enormously relieved.

Back in the Chicago suburbs, the lawn of the New Hope Village Church is still a disgraceful mess. Inside the church, Chloe’s cell phone is ringing.

She’s back in the NHVC field hospital, which we see here for the first time in daylight. Now we can see the vaulted ceiling and the tall, arched windows, so it seems this is in the main sanctuary of the church — the same sanctuary in which Bruce conducted his revival meeting the other night. (We’ve seen the exterior of the building — it can’t have two sanctuaries.) This just makes no sense at all. Despite the constant siren-noises in the background and that initial martial-law scene in an alley, we still haven’t seen enough to believe that these people couldn’t be in a real hospital receiving proper care. But even if we buy that, then why, again, didn’t they set up this clinic in the now empty and unused local elementary school?

“I’m still going to the Wailing Wall,” Cam-Cam tells Chloe on the phone.

“Buck, you can’t,” she says, “the UN just announced that anyone who tries to approach is going to be shot on sight.”

She saw this announcement on TV. This very specific local warning was broadcast all over the world. You may think that strange — why would people in far-off continents need to be warned to stay away from a site in Jerusalem? But see what just happened? Here is a man in Jerusalem actively planning on approaching the wall, and how did he hear about this warning? He missed the televised announcement, but then he heard about it by telephone from someone in Illinois.

By glancing at this photo, you have now done more research than any of the art designers or set designers in this movie.

Cam-Cam meets up with the still-brainwashed rabbi and they head to the Western Wall.

Or, rather, they head to some shadowy alleyway guarded by a handful of nondescript soldiers, a place that looks nothing at all like the world-famous iconic site it’s supposed to be.

I appreciate the budgetary constraints of this project, but this unforgivable error isn’t a problem of too-small a budget or of the inability to film at the actual holy site. It’s a problem of a Western Wall set designed and filmed by people who have evidently never even seen a picture of the Western Wall.

Jerry Jenkins’ description of the area in the book is garbled and inaccurate, but it was still better than this. The filmmakers give us a not-quite-mappable collection of cramped, narrow alleyways — a scene that looks more like the catacombs beneath Jerusalem than like this part of the city itself.

Worst of all, after all the build-up about armed soldiers with orders to shoot on sight, the security on hand here is far less than the existing military checkpoints around the real site here in the real world.

The soldiers here are in nondescript uniforms with no easily visible insignias. I think, despite the lack of blue helmets, that they’re meant to be Nicolae’s soldiers in the UN/OWG/GC military. That underscores another departure from the book. Nicolae’s treaty between the OWG and the lone remaining sovereign state of Israel is a very important item in Tim LaHaye’s prophecy check list. In his scheme, that signing — the only piece of “Bible prophecy” directly fulfilled in Book 2 of the series — is what officially begins the seven-year Great Tribulation and the final countdown to the end of the universe. In this movie, though, it’s an afterthought — just an excuse to bring the lead characters to Jerusalem and the Two Witnesses. I suspect that’s another reason LaHaye wasn’t happy with this movie.

Rayford is here at the “Wailing Wall” too, sneaking past some potted plants as he approaches the guards. He sees Cam-Cam turned away by the soldiers and prays for the miracle that their plan requires to be successful.

“Give me strength, God,” Rayford says. And suddenly someone takes his hand. It’s “Angelic Woman” — the lovely white-clad lady he met earlier on the other side of the world, on the mean streets of Mount Prospect.

“May you walk in the faith of the Lord,” she says to him. And then she starts singing “Amazing Grace,” leading Rayford out of the alley, past what appears to be a makeshift shrine for victims of a bus accident, and directly toward the soldiers.

“Stop, stop immediately!” says one of the non-actor extras dressed as soldiers. But Rayford keeps walking toward them as they point their guns.

We’ve seen Johnson struggling throughout this movie to find some motivation that would allow him to make Rayford’s words and actions believable. His choice here seems to be that Rayford is sacrificing himself to provide a distraction that might enable Buck and the rabbi to sneak past the guards. He’ll die, but Buck will be able to get the rabbi to the Witnesses and thereby save the world. It’s just like Bruce Willis sacrificing his life to save Ben Affleck in Armageddon.

The blocking of the scene spoils that idea, though, since Rayford’s distraction is occurring in the same cramped little space in which Buck and the rabbi are also standing. But in any case no one gets shot because it turns out that Angelic Woman is working powerful Jesus Magic with her song and the soldiers are frozen in place, allowing Rayford, Buck and Ben-Judah to pass by unharmed and unseen.

No, none of this is in the book. And no, none of this makes even a tiny bit of sense. So let me just say this: If you ever have the occasion to visit the Western Wall, please do not sing “Amazing Grace” when you get there. Or any other Christian hymns. Singing Christian hymns at the holiest site in Judaism is incredibly disrespectful and rude. (And in real life it won’t make the soldiers there freeze in place, it will make them rush over to ask you to please stop singing.)

Buck and Ben-Judah walk another 50 feet to arrive at where the Two Witnesses are standing in front of a big wall. It still looks nothing like the actual wall, but at least it’s big.

As in the book, the Two Witnesses are dressed in “biblical” attire — tunics, robes and sandals. I suppose this is because they’re meant to be biblical characters but there’s really no reason they have to look like this — like a couple of shepherds from one of those living-creche Christmas displays who wandered off and got drunk. There’s certainly no need for them to be so unkempt, with bird’s-nest beards and filthy teeth.

I’d have cleaned them up. Trim the beards a bit. Put Moishe in a crisp Brooks Brothers suit. Maybe give Eli some blue jeans and a leather jacket like the one Brando wore in The Wild One. Why not?

Angelic Woman’s Jesus Magic singing seems to have broken Nicolae’s hold on Tsion Ben-Judah. He no longer speaks as the mindless puppet of the Antichrist, but as the filmmakers’ idea of a rabbi — which is to say as a Pelagian. And since Ben-Judah, like all Jews, represents the filmmakers’ revisionist version of Saul, their response is to correct him with their revisionist version of Paul. The Witnesses quote to him from the book of Ephesians and then, as in the novel, the third chapter of John’s Gospel.

Cam-Cam is filming this and, somehow, simultaneously broadcasting it live around the world on GNN. Apparently that’s how the channel works — whenever Buck Williams turns on his camera, whatever he’s filming automatically pre-empts any other programming. We see Bruce and Chloe watching the broadcast back in Illinois and we see Nicolae Carpathia watching from the GNN/OWG Jerusalem offices.

“Cut it,” Nicolae says, casually, and Buck’s live feed of the Two Witnesses’ sermon is replaced with a “technical difficulties” screen.

Nicolae Carpathia is apparently familiar with Christian brand novels and movies. He realized that we have come to the standard scene they all include, in which some character breaks the fourth wall or the flow of the narrative to present a simple, didactic explanation of The Plan of Salvation. Give Corcoran some credit for putting a weird new spin on it.

In the novel, Ben-Judah had already converted to Christianity before he met the Witnesses, and he joined them in reciting John 3, speaking Nicodemus’ lines. Here the suggestion is that this is all new to him. The idea seems to be that as a Jew, Ben-Judah had never heard the words of the New Testament, and that once he hears them he will instantly convert. That’s a dumb and offensive suggestion, and it sets up the audience for confusion, frustration and a crisis of faith should they be inspired to attempt this model of evangelism themselves.

Just when the Witnesses get to the key point in their sales pitch — proclaiming that Jesus is the Messiah — Nicolae’s soldiers break free of Angelic Woman’s spell and rush toward the wall, spraying bullets.

It’s special effects time. Buck and Ben-Judah dive for cover as the soldiers fire their machine guns at the Witnesses, striking the wall directly behind them, but not the Witnesses themselves. Whether or not what the soldiers are seeing is an According to Hoyle miracle is insignificant. What is significant is that they are about to feel the touch of God. And in this story, the touch of God is always more brutally violent than anything from Quentin Tarantino.

There’s a split second there where I was excited, thinking — ooh, here comes the fire-breathing! But then I realized that whatever I was about to see would be as closely related to the cool effect I was imagining as this set is to the actual Wailing Wall.

The Witnesses exhale two big balls of digital fire toward the two soldiers who had rushed forward. The only two soldiers who had rushed forward also happened to be the only two soldiers clad head-to-toe in different uniforms than the rest — uniforms that look suspiciously like a stunt-man’s fire suit.

So we get that. The bit with stunt men flailing about while on fire. This was an astonishing, incredible spectacle when it was first done in The Thing From Another World in 1951, but between then and some time long before Tribulation Force, gratuitous repetition had turned it into a cliché. (The pioneering stuntman in The Thing, by the way, was named Tom Steele. No relation.)

Back in the catacombs, a fleeing Cam-Cam runs into a fleeing Rayford, who delivers the bad news: “The broadcast got cut, nobody saw it.” Their plan might still have worked, if it convinced Ben-Judah to change Nicolae’s script and declare Jesus the Messiah in his big announcement, but Buck didn’t get to talk to the rabbi before fleeing. This accounts for whatever suspense there might be in the remainder of the movie.

Meanwhile, back in Illinois, Ivy Gold returns to the NHVC/M*A*S*H unit, entering next to a large hand-lettered sign reading “Triage.” You know you’re in trouble when you spend three days in a place called “triage.”

She approaches Chloe, who sits by the bedside of Burn-Victim Guy. Hmmm. Maybe cutting directly from the flaming-victims of the Two Witnesses to BVG wasn’t a good idea.

“I’m ready,” BVG croaks to Chloe, “I’m ready for God.”

This is the second half of the Plan of Salvation scene, wherein a character recites the Sinner’s Prayer and gets saved, showing unsaved audience members how it’s done. BVG confesses his sins and says, “I put my life in your hands.” Then he dies.

He said the magic words just before he died and so he will go to Heaven for an eternity of bliss. If he’d died 30 seconds sooner, before he said those words, this heroic firefighter would have been sent to Hell for an eternity of well-deserved eternal, conscious torment. Phew! Just in time.

 

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  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    I’ll circle back to snark on the actual film in a bit, but first…

    . Whether or not what the soldiers are seeing is an According to Hoyle miracle is insignificant.

    I’ll admit it. I read this hearing Sam Jackson’s voice in my head. Well played sir. Well played.

  • pshrock1

     Huh. I thought of Uncle Ruckus when I read, “No relation.”

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    I think I’ve reached the point where every impossible interior is clearly a result of time lord technology.  The New Hope Village Church is clearly a TARDIS, thus explaining both how it can have two separate full sized sanctuaries and how Reverend Raptured-Guy was able to correctly predict everything that will come during the tribulation without any of it actually appearing the Bible.

    It is unfortunate that he did not tell anyone else how to pilot the tardis-church, but given the characters we’ve been stuck with it is unlikely anything would have come of it if he had. Though there is still the slim hope that Ivy and Copilot and possibly even Jesus in a goofy hat and other forgotten characters will stumble across the control room and end up saving the universe.

  • Tricksterson

    IIRC way back in the early days of Doctor Who there was a Time Lord called The Monk who was something of a Trickster type.  So maybe that’s Bruce’s real identity. Okay, so there aren’t Baptist monks, who’s to say he didn’t change up his game.

  • Parasum

    Is Cam-Cam Samantha Cameron, wife of the beloved Great Leader of Britland ? 

  • CombatQueer

    I’ll bet some community theater is going to be really upset when they realize that their old Nazi trooper costumes have gone missing.

  • CombatQueer

    Um, if the Tardis was shown to have a chapel and I were somehow allowed to have Eucharist there, I would probably squee to death. To Death.

  • Shem

    Well, the TARDIS does have the Cloister Bell, so there’s got to be a cloister in there somewhere. 

  • Panda Rosa

    First comment! Yaaaaaaay!

  • Anonymous

    Fail.

  • Panda Rosa

    Darn!

  • Anonymous

    Don’t take it too hard. It’s really tough to get a firsties on a Left Behind post.

  • CombatQueer

    It ok, you were probably just brainwashed by the AntiChrist for no reason.

  • Anonymous

    Makes sense. As the opposite of Christ/God, who has a reason for everything that happens, the Antichrist would have no reasons for anything. QED.

    Rather than being a choatic evil monster doing evil for evil’s sake, which would be an ethos of sorts, he would be a chaotic neutral nihilist who just fucks with people just ’cause — might as get his kicks in before he’s cast into the lake of fire.

  • Will


    he would be a chaotic neutral nihilist who just fucks with people just ’cause — might as get his kicks in before he’s cast into the lake of fire.”

    I would just like to say, before the *enthousiasmos* of lord Dionysus leaves me (and I wake up with a massive headache in the morning) that, if I had the opportunity, this would totally be me (were I one who believed in ‘the lake of fire’).

    Also, I am currently waging the “War on Christmas (TM).”

    No offense meant to Fred and and les autres membres of the slacktivist community, but quite a lot of your co-religionists scare me. I rather enjoy reading your blog (especially the Left Behind posts, which is why i started reading in the first place), but all of this is b oth familiar aand terrrifying, which is why I’m quite off-put by the religion into which I was raised.

    The mis-transliteration of english to hebrew is clearly a symptom of of the RTC-type not caring about other people as actual people, but as merely players in the end-times fantasy of evangelical christianity. This is most clearly identified in the United States’ support of Israel (not a bad thing, in and of itself), but derived, not in any interest of fostering peace in the Middle-East, but rather in the spirit of Genesis 12:3 (which I believe Fred has touched upon before).

  • Anonymous

    He said the magic words just before he died and so he will go to Heaven for an eternity of bliss. If he’d died 30 seconds sooner, before he said those words, this heroic firefighter would have been sent to Hell for an eternity of well-deserved eternal, conscious torment. Phew! Just in time.

    But, Fred! If heroic firefighters who offer aid and succor to others at great risk to themselves aren’t punished with an eternity of torture for not saying the magic words, cats would marry dogs, right would be left, and life would be meaningless!

  • Anonymous

    Really, sending a burn victim into eternal fire ‘n’ brimstone would just be needlessly cruel.  Tacky, I would go so far as to say.  TurboJesus was probably thinking, “Nah, that’s a step too far, even for me.”

    It’s why I hope those incinerated soldiers got a more lenient form of hell, like the Ice Water Hell or the Overabundance of Soothing Aloe Hell.

  • Anonymous

    Ninth Circle? (I guess the Overabundance of Soothing Aloe would be like 1.5)

  • Anonymous

    Could be the tenth circle.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    Inbound snark!
    0:20 – “Well, God got us this far-“No he didn’t. Nicolae’s really expensive plane, flown by you, got you most of the way. And then a taxi took you from the airport to your hotel. You got your job as pilot because of your ex-girlfriend. I don’t think God would want credit for that.
    “I told Chloe I’d look out for you.””Really? I told her I’d look out for you.”
    So you both lied to her. It’s good you’re doing things together. (Credit to Brad Johnson for not making that exchange very slash-y at all)
    “It’s just… just hard to let go, you know?”
    No, he doesn’t know. He JUST SAID he doesn’t know what it’s like.

    “Let’s pray.”
    Does ‘Oh God no!’ count as a prayer? Because if it does, then we’re both be happy.

    3:44 – apparently these guards are unclear on the concept of “shoot on sight”. It’s not just a made-up concept you know? It mean you *shoot* as soon as you *see* someone coming. If the orders were “shoot after he shows some ID and you talk for a bit”, well, that’s a bit less dramatic, but more fitting for how they’re acting.

    7:48 – yup, Nicolae definitely is NOT familiar with the Evil Overlord list: “My Legions of Doom ™ will be able to hit a moving, man-sized target at 20 paces. Anyone unable to do so will be used for target practice.”

    8:18 – “Dat’s a spicy meat-ball!”

    On a related note, I watched the documentary about Jack Chick (“God’s Cartoonist”) and one re-occuring theme in Chick Tracts are the death-bed conversions of horrible sinners (murderers, child molesters) going to heaven contrasted with the noble-but-unbelieving figures (Sherrifs, charity directors, etc.) dying and going to hell. It’s actually a pretty good documentary that treats the subject with a fair amount of respect.

  • http://www.metagalacticllamas.com/ Triplanetary

    Apparently that’s how the channel works — whenever Buck Williams turns
    on his camera, whatever he’s filming automatically pre-empts any other
    programming.

    Leaked Buck/Chloe sex tape, here we come!

  • Anonymous

    I just puked in my mouth, thanks.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t worry about it, it just shows them exchanging cookies. None of that horrible touching the unbelievers are always going on about. 

  • Tricksterson

    Do we really want to see Cam-Cam naked?  I’m rooting for a Chloe/Ivy sex tape.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    They do make a cute couple. :) I have some spoilerific shots from later in the movie showing them being quite at ease with one another.

  • Münchner Kindl

    I liked the look on Ray’s face when Cam-Cam says “Well I told Chloe I would look after you”: You pup want to look after me? Really? Call back when you can tie your own shoes.

    I guess I shouldn’t be astonished at the insensitivity with which Cam-Cam approaches Ray’s dead family (after all, Book-Buck is a sociopath) but still, I winced.

    And yes, “God brought us that far” is not an excuse for coming up with a plan.

    Watching Cam-Cam lead confidently in prayer like a long-time RTC while Ray fidgets made me feel like watching the actors not the characters. I guess that the real Cam did pray before the start of the work day on the set in public for God’s help in making a good movie … while real actors would spend the time preparing to actually make a good movie.

    The whole sneaking around in the dark while Ray wears a very cheap brown sweater (very adequate for sneaking around in!) reminded me of another difference between Movie- and Book-Ray: Book-Ray admired his gold-braided uniform far too much to ever wear something simple like the brown sweater Movie-Ray wears for practical reasons.

    So singing Amazing Grace invokes a freeze-time spell. This is really like Dungeons&Dragons and unlike anything real life or Christian.

    Fred, I’m disappointed that you are disappointed by the fireball – at least they are literally breathing fire and not dropping people dead of heart attacks! Back when ripping the books, you wanted fire-breathing, now you’ve got it, so be happy! ;-) And unlike the muslim terrorist in the book, these soldiers (while still poor victims) were at least armed and not helpless when burned.

    So because the broadcast was cut, the camera Cam-Cam carried didn’t record onto tape or digital disc like all normal cameras do?

    Too bad they haven’t still converted any tech wizards or similar who could have set up an alternate broadcast in the obvious foreseeable case that Cam-Cams lie cover is blown and the witnessess start preaching, prompting Nicholai predictabily to cut the feed. Obviously God brought them an angel singing, but no brains thinking.

    I still believe that the “triage” sign on the Church premises is just a code for “Hopeless cases left to die quietly in the care of pastors and similar” – it’s not a makeshift Hospital, but a hospice.

    I am disappointed that when burn-victim guy says he’s ready to talk with God, Chloe doesn’t send for pastor Barnes, who, even though he didn’t believe sincerely enough to get raptured, at least has training in how to do deathbed confessions.

    I understand that for the RTC the only reason to believe in Jesus is to escape hell as punishment for sins, but still it’s getting boring that both Ben-Juda and burn victim both recite the standard prayer about sins.

    Nobody prays that his life feels empty without purpose and he wants the holy spirit in there. Nobody wants to experience unconditional love because their life is without love from fellow humans. It’s only about sin. What a poor God they offer.

  • Anonymous

    No for the love of all that’s holy no

  • Anonymous

    Jesusmagic: the most dull and annoying subject at hogwarts

  • Anonymous

    Man, seeing this hilarious manque “Jerusalem” makes the Life of Brain jokes flow and fast. The Two Witnesses should have wagged their fingers, “He is not the Messiah! He’s a very naughty boy!” 

  • Anonymous

    Whether or not what the soldiers are seeing is an According to Hoyle miracle is insignificant. What is significant is that they are about to feel the touch of God.

    Well there you go. The Witnesses need to be Jules and Vincent. Of course, that means God would be Marsellus Wallace. 
    (Would that make Butch the Devil? “In the fifth, your ass goes down. Say it.” I’ll need to ponder the theological implications of this.)

    The other option I see, what with the fake fireballs, is to make them Bowser clones.

  • Anonymous

    Other fun duos to cast as the Two Witnesses

    Bert & Ernie
    Green Arrow & Green Lantern
    Tweety & Sylvester (“I tought I taw an Antitwyste!” “Thufferin’ Thavior!”)
    Martin & Lewis
    Abbot & Costello (“Who’s the messiah?” “I don’t know.” “THIRD BASE!”)
    Marx & Engels

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    More fun duos for the Two Witnesses

    Pinky & the Brain (“Are you pondering what I’m pondering?” “I think so, but fish on toast doesn’t taste that great no matter how much you have. Narf!”)

    C3PO and R2D2 (He’s not speaking English, but somehow everyone understands him!)

    Bo and Luke Duke (Just the good old boys! Nicolae as Boss Hog…)

    Jay & Silent Bob!

  • Anonymous

    Bo and Luke Duke (Just the good old boys! Nicolae as Boss Hog…)

    Now that’s a movie I would pay cash money to see. Enos as Buck? Cooter as Ray?

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Jay & Silent Bob

    Granted, they are prophets.

  • Tricksterson

    Pinky and the Brain

  • Anonymous

    “Other fun duos to cast as the Two Witnesses”

    Laurel & Hardy (“Well here’s another fine Apocalypse you’ve gotten me into!”)

  • Rikalous

     

    (Would that make Butch the Devil? “In the fifth, your ass goes down. Say
    it.” I’ll need to ponder the theological implications of this.)

    I was going to say that Zed and the pawnshop owner were probably Satan and Nicky, but that just makes things weirder.

  • Man_of_Size

    A Thief in the Night! Flashback to extreme teen anxiety about my fate in the afterlife! Also, I had a Sunday School teacher that gave me the whole rundown on Lindsey’s “Late Great Planet Earth” when I was about 10, causing me to fixate on how the world was going to end in about 1987. It must have been pretty traumatic (the Apocalypse, that is), because all I remember from 1987 was getting my Master’s degree and moving to Cleveland to start my PhD…wait, maybe that WAS the Apocalypse!

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Seeing that praying scene? Holy uncomfortable, Batman! I dunno about you, but Cam touching Rayford like that, in that pose, looks like they’re in a gay club.

    Also, that telephone Buck uses? There are so many innuendo-laden opportunities in this one picture! (And it makes me wonder if Craig Parshall was thinking of this scene when he wrote about special super satellite using Allfones)

    I mean, for starters, look at the size of that freakin’ phone. And given how much Buck seems to love phones…

  • Keromaru

    [Disclaimer: I am not Orthodox, so am not really qualified to speak on Orthodoxy’s behalf, but I did want to share this]

    Reading this, I couldn’t help but think of St. Silouan the Athonite, whom I learned about just the other night.  According to his friend, Silouan was trying to pray one night in his cell but distracted by demons.  He prayed for these demons to go away, when he heard God tell him to be humble.  

    When Silouan asked how he could get more humble, God said, “Keep your mind in hell, and do not despair.”

    What strikes me is the differences in emphasis.

    For one thing, this isn’t about his salvation.  He was a baptized Russian Orthodox monk on Mt. Athos.  That ship had sailed.  Second, it wasn’t punitive or masochistic.  For Silouan, it was more about conquering his own pride–he considered himself worthy of hell, and had no basis for putting himself above others.  Third, it’s also a point of solidarity in Christ; in the Orthodox Church, it’s still taught that Christ descended to Hell to preach to the dead.  It’s the same kind of self-emptying that Christ carried out.

    Finally, it apparently made him a genuinely compassionate person.  For him, the secret of love embodied in Christ and the saints was to view everyone else as more deserving of Heaven than he is.  He was known to pray for everyone, living and dead, saved and unsaved, after this experience.*  When a more hard-line hermit said all atheists would burn in hell, appearing to relish the idea, Silouan asked how the hermit would feel seeing the unsaved in the next life.  The monk answered, “What can you do — it’s their own decision.”  Silouan responded, “Love cannot accept that.”

    * As Kallistos Ware said, it’s not orthodox to believe there is no Hell; but it is to pray it will be empty.

  • Jeff Weskamp

    Pause the video at 3:01.  Look at the Hebrew part of that warning sign.  It’s not real Hebrew at all!  It’s the English message on the sign *transliterated* into the Hebrew alphabet, and it’s an absolutely horrible transliteration, to boot!  The “sh” sound of the word “shot” is transliterated with a Samekh and a Heh, not a Shin!  They used the letter Teth to transliterate the letter E (which is a *vowel*, by the way)!  And….. the transliteration runs from left to right, not right to left!!!

    HAW HAW HAW HAW HAW!!!!!!

    EPIC TRANSLITERATION FAIL!!!!!!!

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I can’t read Hebrew, but it does look a little odd.

    *facedesks at reading that it wasn’t even written right to left*

  • Anonymous

    Holy…you’re right.

    It actually reads “Do not Khross. Violators shall b’t S’hot”. Backwards. In Hebrew letters. (I assume that it’s a shin, not a vav vav, leading me to read it as shall, rather than will, because they got confused over the shin looking a bit like a W.)

    That is the weirdest thing I have ever seen, and I read “Bad Hebrew Tattoos” on a regular basis.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, it reads that only in a very odd accent. It’s closer to “Dough Note Khross” (rhymes with ‘gross’.) “Shot” becomes “S’hote”. Granted, English vowels do not easily go into Hebrew, but there are standardized rules for this kind of thing…although not rules ever intended to apply to backwards transliterations of warning signs.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    “Do not Khross. Violators shall b’t S’hot”

    That almost reads like the Vulcan language rendered badly into English. :P

  • P J Evans

     Or Romulans. I can see them putting up a sign like that.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    It actually reads “Do not Khross. Violators shall b’t S’hot”. Backwards. In Hebrew letters.

    Doesn’t that mean that it says, “toh’S t’b llahs srotaloiV .ssorhK ton oD”?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Now that looks like rather bizarre Klingon. :P

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    And Leon as Rosco. :P

  • Anonymous

    Daisy as Hattie, obvious. But who would Uncle Jesse be? Bruce?

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    I think CamCam’s “Let’s pray” scene manages to encapsulate a lot of the elements I find so gawdawful in these kinds of “I want to pray for you” moments.
     
    *CamCam initiates the conversation with an incredibly insensitive remark about someone else’s private pain, and then admits he has no idea how insensitive he’s being. Self-aware people capable of shame would have stopped at that point, but he’s just starting! To the RTC, other people’s pain is an opportunity to Witness, to pray for them, to give them the Good News!
     
    *He segues from an expression of concern (“your daughter’s worried about you”) to manipulative prolesthetizing. (“We should pray!”) Hold the phone, there d-bag! He’s in pain, and you’re the one suggesting prayer? Patronize much? Don’t ask him what he wants, and if he’s hurting, certainly don’t let him do the talking. No no, it’s the RTC who should speak the words to God!

    If he’s hurting, why are you the one doing the talking? Why not let the guy who’s having troubles be the one to ask for help from God? It’s taken less than 10 seconds for CamCam to come across as incredibly insensitive, astonishingly patronizing, and surprisingly selfish. And all that before the actual prayer is offered: generic, mealty-mouthed fluff that could apply equally well to a grieving husband and father or a traumatized and hospitalized teenager or a lonely and bored suburban housewife.

    You know what would have been a good prayer scene? If they’d let the better actor deliver the lines, and given him lines that directly, meaningfully connected to the scene and the plot:
    “Dear Lord, I do not understand your ways. I know my wife and son are with You, and I pray for comfort in their absence. I know I am to do your bidding, and though I find it strange that I am at the right hand of the Antichrist, I pray for the guidance to do the right things in the days head. Lastly, if it is your work we are doing, I pray that your hand will guide us, and make a path for us past our enemies, into safety. Amen.”

    I know, I know, “with better writers”… I’m sure that CamCam insisted that if there was a scene where they prayed, that he would be the one to deliver the prayer. (“Because I’m so good at it!”)

  • Anonymous

    My Dad didn’t like the Angelic Woman…because they dared to uggest angels could be female.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    I was thinking they added the Angelic Woman so they’d have more female characters. Specifically, so they’d have a powerful and good female character. The movies are horribly sexist, but sometimes they seem to be trying to counter the raving misogyny of the books. 

    It’s one thing that makes the movies so much better than the books. They seem to be made by people who are merely inept and misguided, rather than actually evil.

  • GeniusLemur

     That’s possible. Another possibility is that, like many other modern people, they’ve looked at the old paintings, seen long hair and delicate features, and said “girl,” so they assumed angels are all women.

  • friendly reader

    A few years ago I read a book called “American Angels: Spiritual Help in a Material World” (may not be the exact title, but close) that discussed how our popular images of angels changed. The especially feminine appearance owes a lot to a Victorian artist who painted his daughters (some of whom had died young) as angels (which also ties into the idea of gradually thinking of angels as dead people rather than supernatural beings).

    The overall thesis is that Americans prefer to think of angels as beings that either exist to help us or envy us. They’re servants of humanity rather than servants of God – or, if they do serve God, they wish they were human. Angels appearing, as in this scene, to be your prayer-induced deus ex machina are part of the first trend.

    I really recommend it as an accessible but smart read. The cover is very recognizable: Superman as an angel.

  • Mau de Katt

    But just in case viewers don’t understand that shorthand, director Bill Corcoran underlines the point in the next scene by having Buck talk to Chloe on the phone, retelling us what we’d just been shown.

    Well, of course!  Even though this is the movie and not the book>, it wouldn’t be Left Behind if it didn’t have the All-Important Phone Calls!

    That’s the plan: Jesus Magic. Sometimes you just have to step out on faith and depend on God to provide a miraculous solution, like, say, throwing yourself down from the pinnacle of the temple, for it is written, “He will command his angels … they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”

    Hey, it worked for Indiana Jones… and if it’s good enough for Indy, it’s good enough for Cam-Cam and Ray!  (Seriously, this clip is reposted all over YouTube as a “lession in True Faith In God.”)

    The scene is, in other words, a remarkably realistic portrayal that perfectly captures what this common expression of evangelical piety is like in real life.

    No, I beg to differ.  If it were a truly realistic portrayal of evangelical piety, the prayer would  be full of “wejusses.”  (“God, we just come here before you…”; “Jesus, we just stand here..”; “God, we just ask for your blessing”… etc.  Seriously — a True Evangelical Prayer has at least five “wejusses” per prayer, and that’s just for the short ones!)

    The idea seems to be that as a Jew, Ben-Judah had never heard the words of the New Testament, and that once he hears them he will instantly convert. That’s a dumb and offensive suggestion, and it sets up the audience for confusion, frustration and a crisis of faith should they be inspired to attempt this model of evangelism themselves.

    But that is exactly the idea behind all the organizations, drives, and missionary efforts (whether organized or not) to “get Bibles into the hands of unbelievers.”  That’s why Bible-smuggling is such a Big Thing with evangelical missionary outreach.  And failing the actual Bible, Witnessing Tracts with relevant Bible verses will do in a pinch.  Or, tossing in Bible “prooftexts” with every point you make in emails or in online forums (or in in-person debates) will work, too.  Just as long as it contains “God’s Word.”

    He said the magic words just before he died and so he will go to Heaven for an eternity of bliss. If he’d died 30 seconds sooner, before he said those words, this heroic firefighter would have been sent to Hell for an eternity of well-deserved eternal, conscious torment. Phew! Just in time.

    You know, this reminds me of a book I read as a little kid, one of those big color picture-books of Bible stories and “personal spiritual growth” stories for kids that used to show up in doctor’s offices everywhere.  The “personal growth” stories book had a story about a little boy who was hit by a car or a truck or something, because he ran into the street to save a wayward toddler from being run over.  The Heroic Boy is in the hospital, and it’s pretty clear he’s going to die.  His best friend visits him and tells him that he can go with Jesus to Heaven if he asks, because Jesus visits hospital rooms (or something like that) looking for people to take with him.  The Heroic Boy is very afraid that he’ll be asleep when Jesus comes by, and that he won’t be able to go with Jesus as a result.  So his friend helps him to prop up his arm with pillows so that his arm will be raised, the way kids do in school when they want to be called on by the teacher.  The story ends with a picture of Heroic Boy unconscious in his bed, his pillow-propped forearm propped up, and Jesus opening the door and coming into the room, a look of compassion on his face.  (I’m sure the story said something like “Jesus came and took him to heaven” or something like that, but it’s the pictures I remember the most from those books.) 

    I’m not sure if the kids’ book version of the “death-bed salvation” is the same as the movie version of BVG’s conversion, but somehow it seems more… forgiving… than the latter.

    @Münchner Kindl:  I am disappointed that when burn-victim guy says he’s ready to talk with God, Chloe doesn’t send for pastor Barnes, who, even though he didn’t believe sincerely enough to get raptured, at least has training in how to do deathbed confessions.

    I suspect this has to do with the modern Evangelical emphasis on “soul-winning” and “spiritual reproduction.”  A modern Evangelical is considered useless if they haven’t “won any souls for Jesus,” i.e. led anyone else into reciting the Magic Words.  It’s held to be a sacred duty, and is drilled into you over and over.  You’re taught that you are responsible for at least witnessing to everyone in your life, and if they are Damned To Eternity because you didn’t offer them The Plan of Salvation, then that will be on your head.  So Chloe needs to rack up a win for herself, and also be an example of what every RTC is expected to be and do.  (to wit: “if she had gone for Bruce and BVG died before she got back, he’d be LOST and it would be ALL HER FAULT.”)  I used to have horrific guilt trips because I never “led anyone to salvation,” and I bitterly envied those of my friends and acquaintances who had.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    Does the current method of most Evangelicals lead anyone to their definition of “salvation”? Their common assumption that anyone who isn’t their brand of Christianity doesn’t even know about the Bible or Jesus was something I found incredibly offensive when I was Christian.

    When I was in high school (and still Christian), one of my friends suddenly asked me in the lunch line, “are you saved?” I blinked at him for a while, not knowing what he was talking about. Then, uncomfortably, he asked, “have you been saved by Jesus?” I said, “yes,” and he asked when. I answered, “about 2000 years ago, along with everyone else.” He had no idea how to respond to that, so he never brought it up again. At the time, I found it highly irritating, but now I feel sorry for him. 

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    If anyone asks me if I am “saved”, then I will tell them that yes, I am saved.  I backup my memories and personality frequently to the cybernetic metamind network cloud, thank you for your concern. 

  • Anonymous

    I just realized who you remind me of – Victor, from John C. Wright’s Children of Chaos books.

  • LunaticFringe

    “Hey, it worked for Indiana Jones…” As any Assassin can tell you, a Leap of Faith is always fine as long as you land in hay.

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    Or, tossing in Bible “prooftexts” with every point you make in
    emails or in online forums (or in in-person debates) will work, too. 
    Just as long as it contains “God’s Word.”

    Proof-text fortune cookies!

  • Brightie

     Um, actually… contexts in which I’ve heard of Bible smuggling have often emphasized getting copies of the Scripture to existing believers who want them, not just or necessarily mostly about getting somebody unfamiliar with the Bible to read the magic words and convert…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jess-Goodwin/28602067 Jess Goodwin

    “There’s certainly no need for them to be so unkempt, with bird’s-nest beards and filthy teeth.”

    I guess they weren’t using Orbitz gum after all.

  • Andrew C.

    Wait, we’re listing all of these potential duos we could cast as the two prophets, and not ONE mention of Stadtler and Waldorf?! 

    S: So apparently all of those people we killed died and went straight to hell; that seems fortunate!

    W: Fortunate? Why would you call that fortunate?

    S: Because now they don’t have to watch the rest of these movies.

    S/W: DOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO!

  • Hapaxnom

     

    Wait, we’re listing all of these potential duos we could cast as the two prophets

    Jake and Elwood Blues:  “We’re on a mission from God.”

  • hapax

     Oh, Disqus, why do you keep messing up my name?  Like’st thou me not?

  • Tehanu

     Groucho Marx and John Lennon.

  • nirrti

    Why do I half expect those two to do that thing where you awkwardly look into each others eyes….then slowly inch closer to each other…then….

    Or is it just my dirty mind?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    The slash vibes are all over that Rayford and Buck praying scene; it’s not just you. :P

  • Lori

    The slash vibes are all over that Rayford and Buck praying scene; it’s not just you. :P 

    The rumors about Kirk Cameron being a closet case on the make are ciruclating again. One would almost think that someone had been watching these movies and gotten suspicious.

  • http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com/ mr_subjunctive

    “Again?” When were the Kirk Cameron / closet case rumors circulating before?*

    *I do at least know which ones you’re talking about now.

  • Lori

    This is at least the second time that this same basic rumor has gone around. The last time was some years ago. Maybe at that time it never really spread outside the business and I just didn’t realize that.

  • Flying Squid with Goggles

    If reading the New Testament were thought by anyone to be effective evangelism, you’d hope the people attempting this evangelism would have read and perhaps absorbed the most important message of the New Testament. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be much evidence of that.

  • Ken

    If reading the New Testament were thought by anyone to be effective evangelism, you’d hope the people attempting this evangelism would have read and perhaps absorbed the most important message of the New Testament.

    Oh, they have.  They just think it’s 1 Corinthians 11:3, then skip ahead to 14:34 for emphasis, and add 7:4a (but forget to continue with 7:4b).

    By the way, since Tybult reminded me of Wright’s Chronicles of Chaos – is “Flying Squid with Goggles” from Amelia Armstrong Windrose?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    I don’t really remember the details, and don’t feel up to trying to find it, but there’s a Chick tract that features the story of a burn victim* in a hospital who gets a visit from a proselytizer who tells him “You think that was hot?  You just got a tasted of what you’re in for when you die and go to Hell!”
    The deliverer of the “Good News” is berated for his insensitivity, but maintains that it would be considerably more insensitive to let people go through life without hearing about how to avoid going to Hell.
    While it naturally served the purpose of letting people know the necessary magic words, the real message of the tract seemed to be directed at evangelists to let them know that they can’t concern themselves with inconsequential niceties like sensitivity, empathy, compassion, or simple human decency.

    *He may have even been a firefighter who was injured in the course of saving lives, though I can’t recall for certain.  If so, there was also the message of “You’re wasting your time being a ‘good person,’ because God just straight-up doesn’t give a shit about anything you do apart from saying the right things, and no matter how ‘good’ you are, you still deserve to be tortured forever if you don’t say the magic words.”

  • Andy

    I’m pretty sure this was the tract you were referring to:

    http://www.chick.com/reading/tracts/5021/5021_01.asp

    The burn victim was in fact a firefighter (named Fred).

    Chick also has a brand-new tract up on global warming. The real “global warming”, he says, will occur when the Earth is incinerated by God in the End Times; man-made global warming is a lie of the devil. (This is accompanied by panels showing record snowfalls, etc.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/jon.maki Jon Maki

    There’s actually another one with a burn victim – from a car accident – that was blending together with this one in my mind. 
    Part of the reason for that, I think, is that both tracts feature “Bible” Bob Williams – one of Chick’s recurring characters – going to the hospital to visit the victims.

  • Dmoore970

    Why should Jack Chick care about global warming at all?  Energy policy won’t send anyone to Heaven or to Hell, so why does it even register on his scale?

  • Tricksterson

    Gotta shake ny head at howhe always has his to-be-converted characters raect  to the idea of Jesus-as-God as if it’s a concept they couldn’t possibly have ever heard of before.  Also, if I had just been hospitalized with burns from a fire and been told that not only was Hell far worse but that Jesus had created Hell, my reaction would be “Why would anyone want to worship such a sadistic bastard!?!?”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    That is the most ridiculous thing about fundagelical presentations of conversion stories as well as modelling conversations with the “unsaved”. It’s like they all think they have some great secret when they burst out saying “BUT DID YOU KNOW WHO JESUS WAS? HE DIED FOR YOUR SINS!!!!!”

    That reflects a profound ignorance of Western culture and the fact that almost anyone with some exposure to the origins of Easter and Christmas would be aware that they’re attributed to the death and birth, respectively, of Jesus Christ.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2RAPF5V3YPOUWAZGAJ2VCQM76Q Alicia

    If they can’t accurately describe broad generalities about their own culture, how are we supposed to expect them to build a set that accurately represents a holy site of another religion located in a different country in another continent halfway across the world?

  • Tricksterson

    If someone were to say that to me i would reply, “Yes, i do.  Extensive reading of the Bible helped kill my Christianity.”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Speaking of. (TW: sexual assault mention)

    The part that always makes me boggle is that adults are seemingly unaware or unconcerned that the Bible apparently promotes the acceptability of rape, as long as it’s between a man and a woman in preference to sex between men. That’s in the section where dude in Sodom is saying “Take my daughters! Do with them what you will! But leave the menz alone!”

    Thankfully the evangelizing contingent is quite low around where I am, so I haven’t used that one yet. But I would like to see how they rationalize the apparent moral message being relayed in that chapter: That it’s ok to use your children as bait and that it’s okay to rape women if it means teh gay is avoided.

  • Brightie

     I actually never saw the passage that way, although it is a disturbing possibility… tended to think of it as being more about a misguided, wrong, and extreme means of trying to be a Host protecting the honor and safety of the Guests Under His Roof.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It has its unsavory implications, that’s for sure.

    PS. Welcome to Slacktivist and in the time-honored tradition of this blog, we the commenters collectively ask you not to kill us with sheep.

  • Anonymous

    We need a name for the specific event that happens when somebody uses their religion badly and turns it into a ghoulish and incredibly unappealing monster from which people recoil in horror. Such as, oh, that.

    Or when I went to my great grandma’s funeral and the pastor there figured now was his only shot to save my heathen soul, so he proselytized to me like two meters from her cold body. I just know that Grandma Hughes would have been so proud of that, too.

    And that’s monstrous and downright fucking evil. It’s disgusting.

    (Also why I think Fred gives far too much respect or credit to people like the director of Thief in the Night or old fire-and-brimstone preacher Johnathan Edwards. I don’t care about their motivations so much as I care about the trauma they inflict on the innocent, like Fred himself and countless Christians and non-Christians.)

  • friendly reader

    why, again, didn’t they set up this clinic in the now empty and unused local elementary school?

    They tried that, but the medical staff kept breaking down as they thought of their own children, lost to them. It was eventually decided that any place intimately associated with children would, for the time being, be off limits until the immediate emotional wounds healed.

    Or at least, that’s what the argument would be if this was well-written.

  • Jay

    Did anyone else think that Eli and Moshe should have been played by Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes?  I’d pay to see “Jay and Silent Bob go through Tribulation”.

  • hapax

     How about Tom and Ray Magliazzi, the Car Talk guys?  “Don’t pray like my brother…”

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    “He will command his angels … they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.”

    Which, considering we’re about to meet the Wailing Wall Prophet Dudes, is exceedingly handy if you don’t want to be the next Trip-And-Fall-And-Die Guy.

  • Tricksterson

    Wait, aren’t those words spoken by the Devil in an attempt to corrupt Jesus himself through the sin of pride?  Doesn’t seem like something good Christians should be taking as a guideline.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    Apparently that’s how the channel works — whenever Buck Williams turns on his camera, whatever he’s filming automatically pre-empts any other programming.

    Buck just wishes he could be Edison Carter.

  • Tonio

    As awful as his pursuit of that agenda was, it was still, at a basic
    level, an expression of his concern for others. He believed they needed
    saving and he urgently wanted them to get saved.

    I doubt that, because people like him don’t question the morality of the fate for the unsaved. According to the premise, people who hold the “wrong” religious belief will suffer for eternity after death. Saying that this is horrifically unjust is like saying the Pacific is a pond. Yet people like Thpmpson are silent about this. Even if they believe they can’t change their god’s mind about sentencing people to that punishment, they should at least condemn the immorality of it. Instead, they act as if the problem is with the unsaved and not the premise. They sound more like children of abused parents who are trying desperately to convince siblings not to provoke Dad’s anger.

  • Brightie

     And is it impossible for the children of those parents not to be genuinely concerned about those siblings?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2RAPF5V3YPOUWAZGAJ2VCQM76Q Alicia

     Speaking of “chaotic evil”, what spell do you think the singing woman was using in that clip? I was thinking, Mass Hold Person, or maybe Hypnosis.

  • Tricksterson

    Mass Hold sounds about right.

  • Tricksterson

    I feel that we’re neglacting the ladies as candidates for the Wailing Wall duo.
    Xena and Gabrielle
    Buffy and Willow
    Bo and Kenzie
    Lucy and Ethel

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    It makes me regard that “Kirk Cameron celebrated his 41st birthday alone” thing on Youtube in a new light. Maybe Chelsea knows the truth and is tired of the fiction? :(

  • Lori

    I have no direct knowledge and don’t personally know anyone who claims to have direct knowledge.

    That said, my rule is that anyone who goes on that much in public about the evils of teh ghay (Homosexuals will destroy civilization!11!!) is at least suspect.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Wordity-McWord. Especially ever since the whole George “Lifting My Luggage” Rekers thing wherein he has actively sought to damage QUILTBAG people while pursuing same-sex funtiemz on the side.

    “Doth protest too much” seems to hold very true for people like that.

  • Anonymous

    Or how about couples?
    Stiller and Meara
    Seth and Amy? (Unfortunately, I have not the talent to produce a suitable “Really!?!” script for this.)

  • Kadh2000

    Hawkeye and Trapper (or BJ)

  • ChrisH

    I often say Baptists from high school got closer than anyone else to driving me to atheism.  These ‘are you saved’ questions propped up and I sometimes wonder what would be the most shocking thing I could have replied or potentially reply if it ever came up again.

    Jedi would always be a great option.  Claiming I’m the *real* Christian and they’re the ones going to hell would be more thematically poignant but would take too long to sink in and would come off like how you have to explain why a joke is funny and loses impact.

    Of course I know the best response if you wanted them to just outright frighten them.  Tell them you have accepted Obama as your personal savior.  I think a contingent of the Southern Baptist congregation claiming he’s the antichrist would be hilarious.

  • Bificommander

    Man, so they went to the trouble of finding someone who could write the Hewbrew alphabet and got the sign painted… but didn’t bother to just look up what the words would be in Hewbrew? That’s a very specific form of lazyness. I’d think it would actually be less work to just get it right. Even when this movie was made, the political situation in Israel was bad enough that you ought to be able to find a sign with that approximate message somewhere. It might not be literally the same, but anyone who knows enough about Hebrew to realize that would laugh this sign off the set. I could’ve understood it if they only included English or used random scratches to stand in for the Hewbrew sign. But taking time to get all the letters right but not the words? I guess the makers of this film spared no expense to let all Jews know they don’t give a damn about them or their culture, just about their role in the end times.

  • http://jamoche.dreamwidth.org/ Jamoche

    Man, so they went to the trouble of finding someone who could write the Hewbrew alphabet and got the sign painted… but didn’t bother to just look up what the words would be in Hewbrew?

    You’re giving them too much credit. The props department probably were just told “make a stop sign with this text in English and Hebrew, and have it done by the end of the day” so they just loaded up a PC with a Hebrew font and changed the font.

    Back in the days before Unicode it was quite common to see text in other languages on boxes – both props and actual products in stores – where they’d just taken a block of text and changed the fonts, paying no attention to how the letters in the ASCII range A-Z mapped to the other font. (With Unicode, if you change the font the characters in the A-Z range are still A-Z).

  • Base Delta Zero

    If anyone asks me if I am “saved”, then I will tell them that yes, I am saved.  I backup my memories and personality frequently to the cybernetic metamind network cloud, thank you for your concern. 

    Speaking of “chaotic evil”, what spell do you think the singing woman was using in that clip? I was thinking, Mass Hold Person, or maybe Hypnosis.

    Mass Hold sounds about right.

    Hypnosis just distracts people, it doesn’t freeze them.  Meanwhile, If it was Mass Hold Person, they would have broken free at different times.  (Since those affected reroll saves individually.)  I’m guessing an extended Time Stop.

    That’s possible. Another possibility is that, like many other modern people, they’ve looked at the old paintings, seen long hair and delicate features, and said “girl,” so they assumed angels are all women.

    A lot of those pictures are indeed of ‘effeminate’ males, but… some of them have breasts.  It wasn’t like the idea of female angels is entirely new idea.

    (which also ties into the idea of gradually thinking of angels as dead people rather than supernatural beings).

    Dead people (that fly around in the clouds with little wings) aren’t supernatural beings now?

    The overall thesis is that Americans prefer to think of angels as beings that either exist to help us or envy us. They’re servants of humanity rather than servants of God – or, if they do serve God, they wish they were human. Angels appearing, as in this scene, to be your prayer-induced deus ex machina are part of the first trend.

    I don’t see how being a ‘servant of God’ and helping humans are neccesarily exclusive…

  • http://www.iki.fi/wwwwolf/ Urpo Lankinen

    Oh good grief, I raged. I raged so hard.

    The Greatest Investigative Reporter of All Time has no idea how to handle a video camera. He’s filming a historic moment that is being broadcast live to the whole world, and he’s handling the camera like… well, no human being with actual knowledge of how these videothingies are supposed to be produced.

    Yeah, kneel down. Point the camera up Ben-Judah’s rump. That’s what the real television pros do all the time, as you can see in almost every news broadcast. Not.


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