May-15-2017

Reel Snippet – Jesus, Bro!

Synopsis: Rick Whitehead (David Gobble) is an angry and proud Internet atheist who loudly proclaims his views in his videos and shames those of faith. However, when his girlfriend Elizabeth Howard Grace (Alison Pregler) breaks up with him because of her faith, Rick drinks himself into a religious experience… literally. He finds himself before Jesus Christ… or is it Santa? Santa Christ? (Rob Walker) Anyway, Santa Christ tells Rick to convert his Internet followers to help make him stronger, which Rick sees as an opportunity to get back together with Elizabeth. With the help of his roommate Carlos (Fard Muhammed), his estranged brother Willy (Brad Jones), and another man who went through this sort of thing named Burton (Brian Lewis), David embraces the Bible and takes to the Internet with his message. This, of course, angers his many atheist followers, grand atheist Samuel Tobinski (Doug Walker (yes, THAT Doug Walker)), and the Devil himself (Malcolm Ray), which puts David, and his new power to make non-believers spontaneously combust, in a very difficult situation.

Review: Jesus, Bro! needs a bit of explanation before I go into my thoughts on it. This film was crowdfunded by Brad Jones, or as he’s better known on the Internet, the Cinema Snob. The goal was to makes a spoof of the films made by Pure Flix like God’s Not Dead and Old Fashioned, films that are purportedly Christian but have loads of unfortunate implications. The title itself is a reference to a line from the David A.R. White film Second Glance which has become a bit of a meme in some circles. I must say, as a parody film made by a group of amateurs, I rather enjoyed it.

The movie has no qualms about lampooning the multiple tropes and pitfalls of Christian scare films, or christsploitation films. Things like Elizabeth constantly spouting exposition over the tiniest thing, atheists being unrepentant and violent d-bags, and Willy truly believing that he shouldn’t set foot in the same state as his fiancé until they’re married are peppered throughout the film, all of which Pure Flix has been guilty of unironically putting in their own films. But it doesn’t stop there — the film also features dry and absurdist humor, like Carlos choice of bush hunting for a hobby. That’s not a euphemism for picking up ladies, by the way. He’s literally hunting a sentient bush as if they were Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd. You can’t make this up… except that the filmmakers obviously did.

If I had a gripe about this movie, it’s that it kinda went in one ear and out the other. I enjoyed myself well enough, but the movie wasn’t as gut-busting or as memorable as I thought. I know it’s kind of weird for my only gripe to be that it didn’t set the world of comedy on fire, but all of these people can be very funny in there own stuff. Part of me wants to say that it’s more for fans than a general audience, but I’ve always hated that argument. Still, if my only complaint is that it’s not funny enough, I suppose that’s a good sign.

When all is said and done, I’m glad I saw it even if it didn’t blow me away. It’s good to see these guys get such a project off the ground and I did have some good laughs. On top of that, it has a surprising, genuinely heartwarming ending that I wouldn’t have expected from such a parody. Suffice to say, I had a good time and I know some other people who would too.

Fun Tidbit: It appears the Lord works in mysterious ways, or at least movies about the Lord do. Shortly after the crowdfunding campaign came to a close, it was announced that Kevin Sorbo was making a film called Let There Be Light, which has an eerily similar premise to Jesus, Bro! This did not go unnoticed the makers of Jesus, Bro!, who found it quite amusing.


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