|Index||7 reviews in total|
"False Prophets" A.K.A. "Gas Station Jesus" is an interesting film.
Lori Heuring stars as Maggie. She is a waitress who unexpectedly gets
pregnant. She goes to the hospital decides to have an abortion in two
weeks. A Christian cult finds out about this and tries to stop her. The
cult find her and at first put up a phony adoption to trick her, but
she finds out, and now she's on the run. She then meets Manny (Antonio
David Lyons) who is a gas station worker. Manny has a special gift
which helps her in a spiritual way.
The movie is well-acted and directed. It's slow-paced, but the plot is different enough so you won't fall asleep. In the end: "False Prophets" is a hidden gem that should be discovered instead of being buried forever.
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Rob Townsend gives us a mirror; immaculate conception, religious zealotry, racial prejudice, violent control of female reproduction play out in this supernatural moral satire. I can't stop thinking about it. This movie is at times edgy, delicately lit and played, acrid, and sledge hammer heavy. The cast is top shelf and Heuring gives an unforgettable performance. Townsend has done a rare thing with this piece of cinema, he raises questions, without forcing answers down your throat as though you were an imbecile. Great flick. Teaming with McClintock has clearly exploded Townsend's creative horizon - I can't wait for their next project.
If you are looking for a new twist to an old story, this is it. Lori Huering creatively portrays Maggie, a young adult who suddenly finds herself having to make several life changing decisions. These decisions are shared with her boyfriend, Wade, played by Clayne Crawford. Simple solutions can turn deadly if we are not careful, and that's something Wade quickly finds out. Placed in harms way, Maggie is befriended by a gas station attendant, Manny, played by Antonio David Lyons. Casting Lyons as the title role was a gutsy move on the part of Townsend. Lyons gives an excellent performance as Gas Station Jesus. Maggie and Manny begin a journey where there is no turning back and there is only one way to go. This film will ask...who do you trust? I look forward to seeing more work from Townsend.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
False Prophets isn't without it's problems, but overall it's a decent
movie. For myself, I enjoyed the feel of the movie, though I felt it
would have been better to have more in-depth dialog and relationship
between the mother to be, and Manny. We don't actually learn anything
about Manny, and how he is able to do these things he does... washing
his hands in water appears to be blood for example, and he can give
life. Who was he after all? A disciple incarnation of Jesus? A Saint?
In the end the boyfriend seems to have taken the money and vanished, we
never really find out.
I would recommend watching the film Joshua, it's more well rounded as a movie of Christian faith. Though this was a decent movie and I enjoyed it.
This film carries a lot of good qualities, one of the best I've seen in
a while. It is nice to see a movie done this well without the huge
budget to make it. The actors were great both main and supporting cast,
they all fit well in their roles. The movie gets right into the story
and there were no unnecessary scenes. It tell the story well and when
it's all over you are left satisfied that all the loose ends are
The film tackles many questions about faith as the characters struggle with their moral and ethical values. It gives us many questions to think about and raises many ideas that perhaps have never occurred to us.
This movie could be considered a great movie for a thriller, suspense or drama. It really is a great watch and I would recommend it to anyone.
"False Prophets" (2006) is about a young pregnant woman, Maggie (Lori
Heuring), who gets mixed-up with an apocalyptic group who want her
baby. She begins to question the adoption arrangement and finds succor
with an old radio preacher, Isaiah (Tucker Smallwood), and his
spiritual son, Manny (Antonio David Lyons). Patrick Bergin plays the
staunch leader of the cult who are willing to go to extreme measures to
get their supposedly Messianic baby.
The film maintains an impressive reverent vibe throughout and relays a story that has spiritual depth. It may be a micro-budget, independent film but the cast and crew rise to the challenge and pull it off. It's nothing spectacular, but it at least shoots for depth, and largely achieves it in an indie film kind of way.
I rarely ever listen to director/writer's commentaries, but occasionally there are some worthy ones, like the writer's commentary on the "First Blood" DVD, which is outstanding. The DVD of "False Prophets" also has a worthy commentary by writer/director Robert Kevin Townsend. He explains parts of the story that you may have missed. For instance, ***MINOR SPOILER*** Isaiah is a type of someone who WORKS to please God whereas his adopted son, Manny, is spiritually gifted. One represents the frustration of laboring to please God and the other represents someone who has God's grace to serve. As a matter of fact, you would think that the title of the film refers to the fundamentalist weirdos, and it does, but it also refers to Isaiah. Take, for example, when he's preaching on the radio in his garage and the blather he shares, mixing truth and error. He's a false prophet too; he just doesn't know it. And that's why he's frustrated; he's serving in his own strength and fleshly anointing. Manny, by contrast, has God's grace and is a true prophet of the LORD. ***END SPOILER*** The film was shot in the Nashville area and -- you might find this strange -- but I like the way the movie features the night sounds of the woods, i.e. crickets and the like.
In any event, "False Prophets" is a good movie if you're in the mood for a Southern Gothic film with a flare of black spirituality, like "The Apostle" (1997), "Mississippi Burning" (1988) or "Waterproof" (2000). It's not as good as the first two, but it's at least as good as the third one. Like I said, this is a small film with an obvious minuscule budget but the themes and the passionate performances make it worthwhile.
The film runs 85 minutes.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
***SPOILERS*** Very strange but at the same time thought-provoking film
about God providence and what life is really all about.
We at first see this infant, Johathan Smith, left at a gas station without at first realizing what he has to do with the movie. It's now 33 years later as we see this young woman Maggie Tate, Lori Heuring, finding out through her gynecologist that she's just became pregnant. For a moment you think that Maggie was the baby, since your not sure if it was a boy or girl, at the beginning of the movie. It's only later when we get to see the kindly and angelic Manny, Antonio David Lyons, that we realize that he was the blessed child who was left at the doorstep.
As for Maggy she's shocked to find out that she's pregnant since she had her ovaries removed as a teenager after they got dangerously infected. As for Maggy's boyfriend Wade Carpenter, Clayne Crawford, he in no way could be the child's father since was born sterile and can never possibly father any child with Maggy or anyone else. With both Maggy and Wade wanting to have their child aborted in comes these local Christian fundamentalists who somehow got wind of the immaculate conception and want to have the couple's child all for themselves. It's as if they feel that Maggie and Wayde's child is the second coming of Jesus Christ!
This all leads to the head fundamentalist Karl Hawthorne, Patrick Bergin, trying to get the couple to give the child, when born, away for adoption-with him paying Maggie & Wade $50,000.00- to two of the members of his group the McCains Paul & Dianne Dennis Martin & Jenny Litteton. It's later at Hawthorne's house that Maggie suddenly realizes that he's not exactly the fine upstanding Christian person that he claims to be and decides to keep, despite the difficulties it would bring her and Wayde, the baby for herself.
It's almost halfway through the movie that a grown up Manny suddenly makes his appearances as he's at this hardware store buying lotto tickets for his preacher-adoptive-dad Isaiah, Tucker Smallwood. It's also there that Maggie sees that Manny by staring down this big and abusive thug, Reesus Flenury, is a person with powers far beyond those of mortal man. That's if Manny is in fact mortal at all!
***SPOILERS*** As things turn out Manny somehow knows about Maggie's problems and goes out of his way to correct them by talking her into having her yet unborn baby. This has Maggie as well as Manny and her boyfriend Wayde threatened by Hawthorne and his Christian fundamentalist thugs who turn, by their violent actions, out to be anything but Christians! The bittersweet ending has you wonder what exactly Manny's intentions, in saving both Maggie and her baby, were. But that was what made, by leaving it up in the air, "False Prophets" the spellbinding and effective movie that it is.
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