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Monday, March 10, 2014

Blessed Are The Trailers: The Calling

I think we can agree that most motion pictures these days are nothing but tools of Devil, designed to shove mankind off the Path of Righteousness and into the Creek of Despair, which is barely a creek at all.  It's mostly mud.  And there are discarded beer bottles and fast food wrappers all over the place.  It's gross.  But, yeah, Hollywood is a cesspool, and for some reason, "they" (i.e. the Hollywood Liberal Elite, who are probably fornicating at THIS VERY MINUTE!) think we want to jump in and play along.

Of course, I'm kidding.  Film is humankind's greatest achievement after bacon cheese fries.  And like french fried potatoes smothered in melted cheddar cheese, topped with crispy crumbles of hickory-smoked bacon and dipped in thick creamy ranch dressing, film is for everybody.  There are romantic comedies for women; preachy Tyler Perry dramadies for African Americans; documentaries for nerds; and comedy, drama, sci-fi, horror, action, adventure, etc, etc, etc movies for white males between the ages of 18 and 40.  What a rich tapestry!

Did you know they even make movies for religious people these days?  It sounds crazy, but it's true, and that's why, this week, Giant Electric Penguin is going to be taking a look at a few trailers for some Christian-themed pictures, from the past and present, that you can enjoy on your next family movie night.  I was going to call this feature Religi-Trailers, but that isn't clever or funny, so Blessed Are The Trailers it is.

Our first trailer comes to us from Testimony Pictures, but more importantly from my friend Jonathan, who posted it on my Facebook wall.  Hey, Jonathan, do NOT get THIS off my Facebook page.  Ha ha ha!  We're terrific.  Here's the thing:



I grew up in a Christian household, but not the kind where we had to wear homemade clothing or weren't allowed to watch Full House because Uncle Joey was probably a homosexual with an "agenda," and venomous snakes were handled before bed.  My parents took us to the movies (Once I reached double-digits, both me and my sister were given access to the world of PG-13 movies, in fact, the first PG-13 movie we ever saw in the theater was Son-In-Law.  Oh, Pauly Shore!  Were we ever so young?), we were allowed to listen to whatever music we wanted and once a week, my dad would take me to Troy Stamp and Coin to buy comic books.  My upbringing was, I'm sorry to disappoint all of you, completely perfect, which is probably why I'm not a successful writer or artist today.  Thanks for being the best parents in the world, Mom and Dad, you jerks!

I wasn't forced to listen exclusively to Christian music--be it rock, rap or adult contemporary--but my parents would certainly not discourage my interest in the genre when I occasionally brought it up.  I owned Vanilla Ice's To The Extreme and Michael Peace's Rapping Bold at the same time.  Vanilla's had a song in which two people "made love" in an inner tube (My best friend Graham and I used to listen to this song while we played Super Mario 3 and thought the height of comic expression was imagining that Mr. Ice had rapped that was "making love TO an inner tube."  Oh, the fun we had!) and Peace had a super disturbing abortion rap on his album.  So, I experienced the "best" of both worlds, like Hannah Montana, only with horrible rap.

As a teenager, I had some Christian alternative rock cassettes that I mostly got from my youth pastor, but I didn't like them as much as my secular stuff (They Might be Giants, The Smiths, Nirvana, REM, Operation Ivy, any and all ska).  Part of it was the production value.  I can't speak for all Christian rock, but the tapes I had sounded like garbage.  Kind of like how The Calling looks like garbage.  Seriously, what award did this movie win?  Certainly nothing in the cinematography category.  What year was The Calling released?  Don't look it up.  Guess.

Did you guess?  Did you guess 2002?  Of course you didn't, but that's the correct answer.

Per the Internet Movie Database, The Calling has not received any awards as of March 10, 2014.  So, I followed a link to the Christian Film Database.  It was for a different movie, also called The Calling.  A trailer wasn't available.  It's about missionaries in Peru.  So, I performed a quick search of the CFD.  There is no entry for 2002's The Calling, however there was an ad at the top of the page for the winner of the Platinum Award at 2012's Worldfest, Hell and Mr. Fudge, a film the Burbank International Film Festival (The festival itself or a guy at the festival???) called a "wonderful faith-based drama."

I headed back to the IMDB, and guess what I found?  Another movie called The Calling that also came out in 2002, only starring actors you've heard of.  It is also about a dude who heals people, a dude named Leroy Jenkins.  It didn't win any awards either.

I'm pretty confident that this The Calling has never been given an award ever.  It hasn't even been considered.  Until now.  I am officially nominating this trailer for The Calling for an official GEP Worst Trailer Ever Award!  Congratulations, The Calling.  We'll announce the winners at an un-televised award ceremony later this year or never.

Two more things:

*What do those two guys encounter when they open that hotel room door?!?  I gotta know!!!  Here are some things it might be:

--the shittiest hotel room in the world
--the nicest hotel room in the world (this is my vote for what it is, however, I bet it's just a mediocre hotel room that most of us would actually consider shitty)
--a scantily clad woman
--Jesus, just hanging out
--an award from an organization that gives out awards to Christian-themed motion pictures

*I think this 9/10 star review from someone calling him/herself wla-1 on IMDB.com says it all (the bolding was adding by me):

The Calling is by far one of the best written movies I have seen in this genre. I recommend this movie to families, church groups and especially those who have gotten lax in their faith. We all go through "down" periods -this movie lifts us up, inspires and renews our faith. Herbert Porter's portrayal of William Jennings is right on target with the theme and message. Shebeta Carter portrays the perfect supporting role as Porter's on-screen wife. David Hudson adds flavor of the younger generation while inserting bits of comedy. Although produced on a small budget, the movie is well made and worth viewing. The only critique I can give is in regard to the budget. With a larger budget, this film would give even Gibson's The Passion some competition. I give this movie 9 out of 10 points.

Tomorrow: They turned Heaven is For Real into a movie??? 


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