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Rick Santorum: Movie Mogul
June 25, 2013 7:27 PM   Subscribe

"Dallas can become the Hollywood of the faith-and-family movie market." So says former Pennsylvania Senator, Fox News contributor, and erstwhile presidential contender Rick Santorum, who has taken a new job as CEO of Echolight Studios, a "family-friendly" Christian movie studio based out of Dallas. Mother Jones asks the question, what does Santorum actually know about movies?

What does Santorum have to say? "The problem in the past is that you have these people who create these Christian films — great message, terrible acting, horrible editing...They are not entertaining, they’re preachy."

And on that note...here is the trailer for Echolight's first feature: The Redemption of Henry Myers.
posted by duffell (51 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
What would Santorum know about good acting? He always reminded me of Eddie Haskell smirking while trying to get one over on Mrs. Cleaver.
posted by jonp72 at 7:31 PM on June 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


great message, terrible acting, horrible editing...They are not entertaining, they’re preachy.


So...sort of like his entire campaign, then?
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:34 PM on June 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm just waiting until the urge to make a joke about Santorum Theaters Hot Buttered Popcorn passes.
posted by planetesimal at 7:35 PM on June 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


terrible acting, horrible editing...They are not entertaining, they’re preachy.

First thing Santorum's said that I've agreed with
posted by Jimbob at 7:38 PM on June 25, 2013 [6 favorites]


He's been watching the wrong Christian movies. The LDS, for example, have their shit together. And The Exorcist had some great editing.
posted by Brocktoon at 7:39 PM on June 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I've long been surprised that Hollywood hasn't jumped into the Christian market. As The Passion proved, there are a lot of consumers who want explicitly Christian programming. And as Veggie Tales demonstrated, those consumers aren't super-critical of production values. It's a large, undemanding market segment begging someone to take their money. Maybe Hollywood's failure to get into it is a side effect of the focus on foreign markets, or maybe the cultural disconnect is just too great, but there sure is money sitting on the table for a producer of Christsploitation flicks.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 7:40 PM on June 25, 2013 [9 favorites]


I wouldn't go to those films. Then again, not Christian...

I think this has failing venture written all over it. Tiresome as Hell. I am simply tired of Those People.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 7:41 PM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


He's a hell [sic] of a grifter, huh?
posted by notsnot at 7:44 PM on June 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Santorum in movies? Doesn't that get you an R rating?
posted by indubitable at 7:45 PM on June 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Suing The Devil will be a hard act to follow

AV Club review
posted by Bwithh at 7:48 PM on June 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


With this crowd, it doesn't matter how much you know about movies if you can't pass their ideology test. That's what's important.
posted by Daddy-O at 7:49 PM on June 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm glad to see Santorum spending his time on this kind of thing, as opposed to the alternative.
posted by John Cohen at 8:05 PM on June 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


I would expect his studio to produce a frothy mixture of comedies and dramas.

I'm sorry.
posted by irrelephant at 8:07 PM on June 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


Oak assuming given what he has named himself after that this is porn?
posted by Artw at 8:15 PM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think this has failing venture written all over it.

Don't count on that. A turd like Fireproof made $33,000,000 in gross. Never underestimate the potential of the white, middle-class, ideologically motivated movie market.

Then again, we haven't seen how much that market can take before it's saturated.

In Santorum, amirite?
posted by fifthrider at 8:20 PM on June 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


Pa always said that bad men can change to good.
posted by The White Hat at 8:20 PM on June 25, 2013


The Passion proved, there are a lot of consumers who want explicitly Christian programming.

As The Passion proved, there is a market for a film about Jesus as long as you don't dwell on anything he taught and instead make it a sickeningly brutal snuff film about Christ (and by extension Christians) as victim.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:34 PM on June 25, 2013 [14 favorites]


Christsploitation

You'd better trademark that before it's too late, because that is a motherfucking hell of a word.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:36 PM on June 25, 2013 [26 favorites]


Not just white, fifthrider! Tyler Perry's march from church-basement theater to multiplexes shows that there's a substantial black audience for this stuff. And I'd be fascinated to know how much crossover there is.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 8:38 PM on June 25, 2013


As if I needed another reason to hate this city. C'mon, Atlanta, Oklahoma City? Any takers? It can't be that bad...
posted by bookman117 at 8:41 PM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Christsploitation

Christ Christback's Badasssssssss Miracle
posted by TrialByMedia at 8:42 PM on June 25, 2013 [20 favorites]


I think it's time for a Thief in the Night remake.
posted by adipocere at 8:43 PM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


What would Santorum know about good acting? He always reminded me of Eddie Haskell smirking while trying to get one over on Mrs. Cleaver.

Are you smearing Santorum?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 8:45 PM on June 25, 2013 [3 favorites]


Some of you guys actually think white, theoretical middle class suburban Christians would miss a chance to NOT pull further into the idealogical bubble by further expanding their own entertainment empire? I know a ton of evangelicals who only consume Christian media--music, movies, TV, even video games--and better Christian movies is the kind of thing they'll throw gobs of money at.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:50 PM on June 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


The Greatest Action Story Ever Told
posted by XMLicious at 8:57 PM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Would these production companies be tax free?
posted by robbyrobs at 8:58 PM on June 25, 2013


Don't we have enough Christ allegories in mainstream superhero/action movies?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:00 PM on June 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


It would almost certainly just be cheaper and easier to make their films in Hollywood - apparently they're, like, so grossed out by it or something that they need to be in a different physical location. Or maybe they're getting some kind of sweetheart tax deal.
posted by delmoi at 9:01 PM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Some of you guys actually think white, theoretical middle class suburban Christians would miss a chance to NOT pull further into the idealogical bubble by further expanding their own entertainment empire?

Absolutely. How else would they manage to tell the rest of us what not to watch?
posted by clearly at 9:03 PM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've long been surprised that Hollywood hasn't jumped into the Christian market.

NPR recently mentioned a bit of that, in a segment on Man of Steel:
Over the last decade, Hollywood has really discovered the size of the underserved religious market from films like "The Blind Side" and "The Book of Eli." And now, with "Man of Steel," they're discovering that audiences are hungry for movies laden with faith and entertainment.
I thought there was going to be more on how major studios were trying to appeal to the Christian market, but either that wasn't the segment I was thinking of, or they only brushed the topic.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:18 PM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


There are far cheaper places to make movies than California as every studio knows. Los Angeles loses production every week to places offering better tax breaks. It's a wonder anyone shoots here.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:20 PM on June 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've seen santorum in a movie before.

Wait...are we all talking about the same thing here?
posted by GoingToShopping at 11:07 PM on June 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


buttsauce
posted by planetesimal at 11:15 PM on June 25, 2013


Santorum has already starred in four films (nsfw) although presumably he played bits parts in many others.

Related : The Mass Psychology of Fascism by Wilhelm Reich.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:04 AM on June 26, 2013


It would almost certainly just be cheaper and easier to make their films in Hollywood - apparently they're, like, so grossed out by it or something that they need to be in a different physical location. Or maybe they're getting some kind of sweetheart tax deal

Texas is a popular location for filming because a) It is a large, diverse state with a wide variety of different terrain and locations, from bleak to breathtaking
and
b) It used to be that Texas was a right-to-work state, so producers would film in Texas to avoid using union labor. That isn't so much the case anymore, but I wonder if that might be part of the draw?
posted by louche mustachio at 1:42 AM on June 26, 2013 [3 favorites]


I feel sad that no one is commenting on how magnificently awful that fake beard is in that trailer. It's so aweinspiringly it may rival that one that Stonewall Jackson had in Abraham Lincoln vs. the Zombies, which is something I thought was near impossible.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 1:44 AM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


It would almost certainly just be cheaper and easier to make their films in Hollywood - apparently they're, like, so grossed out by it or something that they need to be in a different physical location. Or maybe they're getting some kind of sweetheart tax deal.

Or they find it a little too heavy on the "Judeo-" side of that supposed "Judeo-Christian tradition" they're always going on about.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:54 AM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


If Dallas becomes Hollywood, and the Texas Legislature gets its way - The Casting Couch will have to be revised.
posted by DigDoug at 4:44 AM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


If I was from Dallas, I'd have mixed feelings about becoming the Hollywood of the Christian film industry. Much like I'd be a bit wary of becoming the Detroit of the automotive industry, the Pittsburgh of the steel industry or the Eastern Kentucky of the coal mining industry.
posted by klarck at 5:38 AM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fred (Slacktivist) Clark had a very good post on this, and he knows from evangelicals.
posted by Legomancer at 5:45 AM on June 26, 2013 [6 favorites]


So will he be the next Cecil B. Demille? Or Cecil B. Demented?
posted by TedW at 5:47 AM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


My guess is that it'll probably succeed. It won't have the box office successes of Hollywood, but there's a large enough population that spends its money on Christian-only entertainment.

I wonder though, if Santorum's Catholicism will cause ideological issues with the filmmakers.
posted by drezdn at 5:56 AM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


That said, I don't think they'll make movies people outside of evangelical Christianity will care about.
posted by drezdn at 6:00 AM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


So will he be the next Cecil B. Demille? Or Cecil B. Demented?

The difference here is that in a John Waters movie, all the WTF is intentional.
posted by Lord Dimwit Flathead The Excessive at 6:50 AM on June 26, 2013


The jokes just write themselves. The only way this could get better is if he, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry move into a house together.
posted by arcticseal at 7:26 AM on June 26, 2013 [5 favorites]


First the Senate, then Fox News, then the presidential race, and now this? That Santorum sure is making a mark. Always showing up where least expected.

I wonder what kind of CEO he'll be? Will he just take the top and let everyone else clean up after his messes? Will it be more of a "trickle-down" management style?
posted by duffell at 7:47 AM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


MPAA's guide to tax incentives.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:09 AM on June 26, 2013


The jokes obscure the real lede here, which is that, apparently, since no one in the broader GOP/conservative movement wanted to give Santorum a party sinecure, or an invitation to join a lobbying firm or a think tank, or even an invitation to lecture somewhere, he's taken a gig with a small—Echolight's own linkedin page states that the company only employs 51-200 people—business that produces mostly direct-to-video Christian movies. That's not quite as far a fall as Sarah Palin, but it's still a step down for an ex-Senator and 2012's GOP Primary runner-up. It's a little like Hillary Clinton leaving politics to start her own Sirius radio channel.

I caught Santorum on Fox News last week talking about the future of the GOP. The headline below his mug read "Santorum on GOP." I LOL'd.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:38 AM on June 26, 2013 [7 favorites]


Santorum's forming a film studio? I bet his films will contain nothing but... semen... and poo... AND LUBE ALL FROM THE GAY ANAL SEX BECAUSE HIS NAME IS SANTORUM AND WE DID THAT TO HIS NAME HOT BUTT POO CUM NNNRRRRRRRGGGGHHHH

ah, sorry, I made a mess. let me get a towel.
posted by FatherDagon at 11:21 AM on June 26, 2013


Over the last decade, Hollywood has really discovered the size of the underserved religious market from films like "The Blind Side" and "The Book of Eli." And now, with "Man of Steel," they're discovering that audiences are hungry for movies laden with faith and entertainment.
I thought The Book of Eli was pretty good - it was a typical post-apocalypse fare. The bible as a book played a role in the story, but at the same time it wasn't portrayed as "Jesus will solve all your problems". I haven't seen "Man of Steel", and it sounds pretty stupid to me so far - but what are the religious themes in that movie?
The jokes just write themselves. The only way this could get better is if he, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry move into a house together.
Please, you think she'll ever admit to herself that Marcus Bachmann is gay?
The jokes obscure the real lede here, which is that, apparently, since no one in the broader GOP/conservative movement wanted to give Santorum a party sinecure, or an invitation to join a lobbying firm or a think tank, or even an invitation to lecture somewhere, he's taken a gig with a small
No reason to think he's not also doing those things. But his theory is that America is becoming more liberal because our media is promoting liberal social values, which it is. But obviously he doesn't stand much of a chance.
posted by delmoi at 1:06 PM on June 26, 2013


Kirk Cameron as Daniel LaRusso
Ray Comfort as Mr. Miyagi
The "Karate Kid" Jesus intended
posted by thatweirdguy2 at 4:25 PM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


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