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February 6, 2001
10:55 PM   Subscribe

"It's like The Day of the Jackal as conceived by Ned Flanders, and produced by the film and video department of a rural Bible college. Hoo boy, is this thing ever an embarrassment." National Review deliciously - and viciously - skewers the movie version of Left Behind, the Christian fundamentalist Rapture novel.
posted by aaron (23 comments total)

 
This is a hoot. Particularly liked the quote re: Jack and Rexella Van Impe (advisors for the movie)
posted by rmw at 12:03 AM on February 7, 2001


I don't think I've ever laughed so much while reading a review. This guy is an absolute riot.

My favorite quote (referring to the wimpy demeanor of the guy playing the supposed antichrist): "Imagine: The Great Beast, 666, the Satanic counterfeit of Jesus Christ, has all the gravitas of a college-student waiter at the Outback Steakhouse. World domination, the martyrdom of millions, the establishment of a Satanic dynasty, and the final Armageddon? Fine, mister — but first, bring me my damn Blooming Onion."
posted by shauna at 12:50 AM on February 7, 2001


On the cusp of the Tribulation (the theory goes), all born-again Christians will instantly disappear, taken to heaven to be spared the seven years of persecution and suffering, which will culminate in the Second Coming of Christ

I, for one, hope and pray to my god that this will be true.

seven years of persecution and suffering without fundamentalist christians, hmmmmm, yes please.
posted by fullerine at 2:53 AM on February 7, 2001


Kirk Cameron starring in a no-budget movie about the fundamentalist Christian apocolypse? I guess The Almighty just can't afford the "A-List" talent anymore. Times really ARE tough all over.

"Hey, look, a barrell full of fish. Now, where did I put that shotgun?"
posted by Optamystic at 6:28 AM on February 7, 2001


Does anyone know how the "rapture" stuff got started? It's not in any bible i've ever read.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:07 AM on February 7, 2001


Here's a snippet of what the Washington Post had to say about it...

"Whatever the central message, the movie's still a blundering cringefest, thanks to unintentionally laughable dialogue, hackneyed writing and uninspired direction. The more this movie tries, the worse it gets. It's sincereity ends up becoming a bulging bull's-eye for rotten-tomato throwers. To all those aspiring bad filmmakers out there, doing their darndest to make my 10 worst movies of the year list: Please know there are now only nine spots available."
posted by crunchland at 7:33 AM on February 7, 2001


And worst, this movie buys into false pre-trib rapture theology! Oh, the heresy!

Sorry, only people with knowledge of end-times theology conflicts will get that joke.
posted by Dreama at 7:56 AM on February 7, 2001


Apparently the only person who does like the movie is the CAPAlert Guy, who's been shilling for it for months. He opens the review by telling everyone to go see it, despite the fact that he had to dock it points on his (*cough*) brutally mathematically objective rating scale.
posted by darukaru at 8:01 AM on February 7, 2001


"Imagine "Tora! Tora! Tora!" as depicted from the perspective of the sorting room at the Honolulu post office. "

Hahahahahahaha
posted by jennyb at 8:07 AM on February 7, 2001


sonofsamiam: Read Revelation. It's where all the juicy stuff in the New Testament comes from, the Apocalypse, the Four Horsemen of it, the anti-christ, the number of the beast, all that stuff.

Here's a link to an online bible where the Getting starts going.

The Rapture is just the name for the event where 144,000 faithful are chosen to skip over all the trials and tribulations of the Apocalypse, and get an express trip to Heaven.

(and, depending on your religion, those 144,000 may have already been chosen! Lucky! :-)
posted by cCranium at 10:09 AM on February 7, 2001


Does anyone know how the "rapture" stuff got started? It's not in any bible i've ever read.

Well, it's not perfectly explicit, but I believe that this is the passage that is used as evidence of a rapture of living believers. (The term 'rapture' in the biblical sense means to be taken to heaven without dying. The only previously raptured individuals are Enoch and Elijah from the Old Testament.)

I Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NIV) ::
"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever"

[or cCranium has an alternative explanation. I'm using the one put forward by the pre-trib advocates.]
posted by daveadams at 10:16 AM on February 7, 2001


seen on atheist bumper sticker:
"When the Rapture comes, can I have your car?"
posted by ritualdevice at 10:32 AM on February 7, 2001


This movie sounds scarier than the Omega Code, which is really a 'date movie'.
posted by rschram at 11:10 AM on February 7, 2001


Every now and then, when I have those insomniac nights, I'll channel surf, and, horror or horros, run across Jack and Rexella Van Impe. They usual put me right to sleep out of sheer terror: the two are looking forward to the end of the world.

But they've also been hawking a movie like this for years. I think it actually was called "Apocalypse." All I remember were the standard Mob Scenes and a square-jawed hero who looked a lot like James Brolin.

I think their ministry is more impressive because of their hair. Jack's hair never moves, yet it doesn't look like a wig. Rexella (and what kind of cruel parents would name their child Rexella?) always reminded me of the mom from "Growing Pains."

Hey...wait a minute. Kirk Cameron was on that show! Surely this is a sign of the End Times! Must find my King James and interpret this...
posted by RakDaddy at 11:16 AM on February 7, 2001


Ah, thank you daveadams. cCranium, revelation is apocalyptic literature (or so the knowledgable folks tell me) and isn't meant to be taken literally (not to imply you do, but I didn't think that was where the rapture stuph comes from.) Revevelations is an allegory about the plight of the christians under roman rule, IIRC.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:14 PM on February 7, 2001


sonofsamiam: Apocalyptic or apocryaphic? It's the only book of the apochraphy (probably spelled wrong) to gain inclusion into the bible, from what I remember.

And I know it's not literal, most biblical scholars will tell you the whole thing's not literal - Jesus was such a great teacher because he was able to relate God to the people, via parables. But I'm veering way off course.

I like daveadams' answer better too, but the phrasing "dead in Christ" strikes me as not exactly rapturistic. They're dead, right? the 144,000 from Revelation are taken bodily into heaven according to the Revelation text.

But then again, Jehovah's Witnesses, who take Revelation far more seriously then most other Christians, claim that the spots for those 144,000 have already been filled.

Also, "term 'rapture' in the biblical sense means to be taken to heaven without dying. " I always thought Ascension meant that. Jesus Ascended into heaven after his Ressurection, and from what I remember Mary also Ascended bodily into the clouds.

It could also just be more of those Catholic vs. Protestant differences though.
posted by cCranium at 12:39 PM on February 7, 2001


Apocalyptic/apocryaphic -damn, I thought it was #2, but said "no wait, it's in the big collection" :)
The ascenscion was when Jesus flew away, but I don't think Mary did... that must be a catholic thing ("eh, sonof, that's what you say about everything.")
"dead in Christ" refers to being buried symbolicly w/ jesus in baptizm..
But the Rapture stuff has all this very specific information about it, which seems to be drawn from a very few words. Something like that, it seems, would at least warrant a paragraph or two.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:48 PM on February 7, 2001


"apocalypse": Biblical end of the world ....

"apochrypha": books associated with the early Christians which were not included in the "canon" -- i.e., deemed officially part of the Bible.

The Apochrypha can mean two different things. The first is the universally non-canonical books, such as the Gospel According to St. Thomas. The second are a few books in the Old Testament which were initially deemed non-Canonical but were approved by the later Councils of the Church. One element of the Reformation was the decision by early Protestant leaders to re-exclude these latter-included books.
posted by MattD at 1:22 PM on February 7, 2001


must be a catholic thing

I'm pretty sure that's where much of the "but I thought" points in this discussion have come from. :-)
posted by cCranium at 2:54 PM on February 7, 2001


Well it’s one of those days
all of my friends are getting raptured
Taken away from their RV’s and their pick-up trucks
by a heavenly Electrolux on super suck
and I’m stuck here in sinners company
Jimmy Swaggart, my mother-in-law and me
--- Camille West, "Getting Raptured"

(I highly recommend her live album, Diva's Day Off, or any opportunity you have to see her perform live or with the Four Bitchin' Babes.)
posted by bradlands at 3:12 PM on February 7, 2001


[cCranium] the phrasing "dead in Christ" strikes me as not exactly rapturistic.

Actually, the key phrase in the Thessalonians passage is this: "we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" (emphasis added).

[cC] "term 'rapture' in the biblical sense means to be taken to heaven without dying. " I always thought Ascension meant that

I think you may be correct that this is merely a Catholic/Protestant nomenclature difference. Catholics have lots of good Capitalized Words for biblical events and concepts that aren't so formalized in Baptist churches.

[sonofsamiam] But the Rapture stuff has all this very specific information about it, which seems to be drawn from a very few words. Something like that, it seems, would at least warrant a paragraph or two.

I think you're right that it's a bit much to assume that we would be able to tell how the Rapture would take place based on such a short and vague passage. However, just because the passage is short doesn't mean that Paul/God didn't think it was important.
posted by daveadams at 3:12 PM on February 7, 2001


The ascenscion was when Jesus flew away, but I don't think Mary did...

Isn't Mary's thing the "assumption"? (Too lazy to check)

Anyone seen "The Rapture"? Great movie.
posted by rodii at 4:29 PM on February 7, 2001


daveadams: d'oh. That's what I get for only reading half the quote you provided. And Capitals mean it's Important! He said So! :-)

rodii: Assumption, that's it!
posted by cCranium at 5:50 PM on February 7, 2001


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