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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
First off. I'm a Christian. I'm a good-two-shoes. I don't do drugs. But
this is a one-sided debate. The movie can be displayed as a really rude
method of displaying music is bad? Rock is that bad? Pffft. Wait till
you get to some rap artist such as Snoop Dogg. I'm "ok" on rock as a
taste. I listen to pop songs and techno. And even those have
"suggestive themes" but its just music overall. The only that a music
could do evil is if it shapes you as a person. But that is mainly your
own fault, not the song. Just listening to it is nothing wrong and even
God would have agreed. Its about if you take the music as a message for
The movie is depressing. Our "protagonist", which I bet is more of an antagonist, is slowly being brainwashed by his parents. And it happens. We all get coached by our parents. And sometimes we go rogue. This movie is pretty much how I lived through. And I was given "coach" lessons about how video games are bad and ho I shouldn't be watching any movies containing a sex scene. As long as I don't go and jerk off to a nude scene in a movie I should be fine. Its not like the movie will melt my brain. -Back to the movie!- Apparently he starts to lose social connection and basically isolates himself who is now a "henchman" to his parent's opinions. Its really sad. He loses all his friends and close connections aside from family members. And his mother still watches Soap Operas which could have a nice set of arguments against too. But that is where I wonder if this is not supposed to be an "anti-rock" movie but a "anti-anti rock movie". The kid has a scene with his mom where he actually confronts his mom that she watches soap operas and talks about sexual advertisements. Which he has a fair point and I'd rather go towards that area instead. But his mother slaps him. That's my ideal point here. It clearly shows a nasty twist and basically puts his mom just or worse than his case in a perspective view.
Most of the rock music does contain suggestive themes but I have heard a lot of non-Christian-related music that actually display a very a god moral like a plot in a book. Music shows emotions. And we react to music through our emotions. Just like horror movies can "scare" or "frighten" us or comedy can make us "laugh" and "smile" same with romance. We need emotions to be a social person and maintain our humanity. We cannot fully understand right and wrong without it nor share our careful decisions through it.
Overall this is a terrible movie. Not because of acting, plot, etc. Its just terrible because it is indeed some sort of propaganda on the topic of something absolutely foolish at the times around the 80s. If this was the 60s or 70s that would make more sense but this is the 80s. Rock has already been acceptable to society an parents have allowed it. And let alone, Christian rock is now around the place. The kid in the end has a sermon preach about how its bad. It randomly accuses specific songs and artists such as The Eagles as being evil. Yet the song already has a meaning that is factual and his arguments go in some sort of panic mode because in the end he adds in homosexuality. That is the dumbest thing I ever heard.
Overall, lets burn this movie to the pits of Hell. I even think God would damn this rubbish of a movie.
By the way, I'm a Christian. I love rock, pop, country and classical and even Christian (also Christian dubstep). Nothing is wrong with the music. Its about you. Your choices, your methods on handling it as a mature person. You like rap, great. But never let music shape your personality. Be yourself. Cheesy end!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't know if this was brainless ignorance or the smartest movie that show how being a blind fundamentalist without understanding the issue beforehand, can make a human being into a crude unlikable person. It's a great insight of the psychological level on how brainwashed some of these people are. This movie is very interesting, to the point, that in a way, it's has this downfall arch, that seem that it could happen. The kid destroys his life on the basis that the music he genuinely enjoys is made out to be 'evil' by his controlling parents. Clearly, I don't think that is the movie was going for, but as an audience member watching this. That is what I saw. I think the movie fails to get its message across on film, but not doing any research or provide any examples to back up their claim that rock music is Satan's work. Anyways, who are their target audience? Clearly, this movie wasn't made during the 1950's where old fashion parents thought rock music was threat. It would have made more sense. No, this movie was made in the 1980's, where at the time, most parents of 1980's were teenagers growing up at the 1950's or the 1960's, rebelling their previous generation by listening to the works of Elvis Pressley, Beatles and other rock bands at the time. Clearly, this movie wasn't made for them. Was this movie made for the Christians? Growing up, Christians, I have never heard that rock music is the devil's work. There is plenty of examples of Christian's rock bands that were playing in churches in the 1980's. I guess Norman Greenbaum and Petra are evil rock band. So, I don't understand the logic of this film. The message doesn't get across, as it's executed is so poorly done, that it just gets the audience to oppose the message of the movie. This movie should probably be preserved for future generations to admire its groundbreaking stupidity at the time. Just wait until they get hold off the music that 1990's and 2000s have product. Then, they have something to talk about. Even if, it was made today, I doubt people would think music is clearly evil, because many of people grew up with music, and for the most part, people turn out semi- alright after listening to those tunes. There are plenty of Christians that listen to Eagles, Rolling Stones, and other hits. They even had something against The Captain and Tennille. When I think of Death Metal, yeah Captain and Tennille are truly the bad seeds of hell. The acting is over the top, and has way too much depressing undertones. Jeff (Ty Taylor) is the man driven by his love of rock music, who only sin is that. He basically a good kid, but his mother becomes terrified about her son's attitude. Like she never heard a teenager rebellions. She force Jeff to speak to a youth pastor, who then influence Jeff into thinking that all rock music is against God. Soon, he become torture to the point that he alienated his friends. Ty Taylor's acting is so laughable, as it makes it sound like without music, it's like he's kicking heroin. There is no major struggle. You would think a movie like this would show bad things happening to the kids who like Rock music, like getting addicted to drugs, worshiping Satan, or having pre-marital sex, or something. While this movie is pretty brief, only clocking in for 53 minutes. It's just painful to watch. There is nothing really much to see, besides talking, and yelling. I really didn't his music choices really contradicting his belief to God. This movie was trite propaganda, it's no accident: the primary source for Jeff's research is Frank Garlock's "The Big Beat", one of several reactionary Christian literary works devoted to the supposed "evils" of rock music. It's funny in a way because Frank Garlock is a music professor. I guess, he doesn't see that he limiting his own passion. This is just nothing wrong, with listening to music, even if it's violence music, as long as you don't act upon what they're saying. Music is created by an individual and can be interpreted in many different ways. Going beyond that and using the music as an excuse to fling your religious beliefs at people is outlandish. If anything, most of the examples in this film are pretty tame, and mainstream. One would have to live a pretty sheltered life to think they're a Satan cult. This movie is deeply dated. The movie become too preachy that it lost value. As far as I can tell, God loves music, all kinds of music. I mean, if there is a God, he made it, right? It's a shame that the movie was basically extreme fundamentalist propaganda because it could have told a great story if it had an ounce of impartiality. Not only do they attack rock music, but foreign music because as the film put out, foreign music forced people to believe in their foreign beliefs. A bunch of hypocrites made this movie. So it's OK for the film to use Christian gospel music to get people to believe in Jesus, but foreign music is outlaw because might turn them Hindu or Muslim! It seem that the film want to destroy other outside influences that might foster interests other than Jesus. I don't know why homosexuals were also attack on this film, but it's seem like the movie is trying to make music to blame for all the homosexuals in the world. It wasn't needed. I don't think the company that made this movie should be preaching. Olive's Film did produce Christian movies in the early 1980s, but also they made porn in a later date. I try to look both ways on the coin with this issue, but, I just can't find anything to support this film's message. This movie is your decision to watch.
Jeff is a 30-year-old teenage boy who has it all. He has a loyal best friend (who is kind of a tool, but still), a fun, easygoing girlfriend and his life is full of fun activities, including going to "the rock concert". Kids in those days apparently didn't bother to mention band names, "the rock concert" was clear enough. There's only one problem though: Jeff is also a devote Christian, which doesn't mix well with the evils of AC/DC, KISS and I'm not joking, Barry Manilow. Thankfully Jeff has gotten rid of his sinful addiction well before halfway, so that gives him plenty of time to convince others. The movie sorta meanders along until it reaches its legendary climax, the fantastic speech scene in the church. It has gotten a second life on Youtube now, but if you're really busy: the bottom line is that every rock song ever is about either sex or satanism. Santana's "Evil Ways" starts with the line "you have to change your evil ways", but actually listening to fifteen seconds of every song was a bit too much research. "One Of These Nights" by The Eagles is also evil. The Captain and Tennille, can't get more evil than that. Getting the target audience for this kind of film to hate stuff like The Rolling Stones' "Sympathy For The Devil" or AC/DC's "Highway To Hell" is a cakewalk, but somehow they got cocky and tried to see what they could get away with. Which perhaps was a good thing, because at least the movie stuck around because of that and we can still enjoy it tremendously. On the other hand it's weird how this can serve as propaganda: Jeff starts out as this happy, somewhat awkward but nice guy, then Jesus somehow turns him into a grumpy, unbearable know-it-all who loses everyone dear to him. Not a big endorsement I'd say, but the Lord works in mysterious ways.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Throughout the 1980s - 1990s, numerous "After School Specials" and
Television Movies attempted to "connect" with young people in order to
warn them to stay clear of dangerous and unhealthy activities.
Production values generally ranged from low-budget to average, and many of these programs were (if nothing else) a well-meaning attempt to deal with a serious social problem affecting young people (i.e. bullying, peer pressure, drug addiction or AIDS) However, a fair number of these Television Specials -- often released directly on VHS -- featured some absurd attacks on whatever was considered "hip" popular culture, i.e. rock music, Dungeons & Dragons, Hollywood movies, Saturday Morning Cartoons, Action Figures, and video games.
Rock: It's Your Decision falls into this category, meaning that it will probably be watched mainly for comedic satire or riffing. However, as this is a review of the film, I can no longer delay diving right into it.
The film is set in the early 1980s -- in a "typical" (read: mostly white and middle class) American suburban community. It is in this glorious (insert sarcastic joke here) Reagan Era that we meet a trouble youth named, "Jeff".
Jeff -- clearly played by an actor in his 20s or 30s -- listens to popular music, which greatly worries his parents who seem to believe that all rock n' roll is promoting free love, premarital sex, drugs and disrespect to authority figures.
The parents have their son meet up with the local youth pastor, who persuades the teen to give up popular music for awhile, which means that Jeff cannot attend a concert with his girlfriend or go to a party where other kids from his church are playing amazingly generic (and bland) instrumental music.
Throughout the (thankfully) short film Jeff tries to convinced his friends (and strangers he meets at a Record Store) that all rock music is evil, the rock musicians are are evil, and youth that listen to this modern music will become devil-worshiping, sex-crazed, gay maniacs who are also involved in the occult.
The film ends with Jeff -- having not had much luck selling his ideas to his friends or strangers -- giving a speech to the church youth group about the evils of rock n' roll.
Yes, it can be argued that certain rock n' roll songs are entirely inappropriate for children (Christian or otherwise), and yes, teenagers should respect their elders.
However, Jeff only yells at his mother when she tells him to turn the music down, or when he sees her watching Soap Operas.
This last point is one of the (many) odd things in the film.
The film seems to acknowledge that the argument it is making could easily be applied to T.V. Soap Operas (quite popular with conservative Christian housewives in the 1980s). This is actually a valid point.
If you take the position that all rock n' roll is immoral, and should be avoided, it does seem a bit hypocritical to give soap operas a free pass. But, I am not going to lose any sleep over this little bit of moral hypocrisy.
This film is probably most famous for final speech that Jeff gives, because it perfectly captures not only the absurdity of the argument being made in the film, but (on top of everything else) the film manages to digs up a bit of homophobia in order to advance its absurd argument.
Jeff reminds his peers that not only are rock n' roll stars heavily involved in devil worship and the occult (don't bother waiting for any facts or evidence on that point), but that many of them are also "avowed homosexuals".
Granted, socially conservative, evangelical Christians are the target audience for this film, and, in 1982, homophobia (even hate crimes) was being actively promoted by powerful groups such as the "Moral Majority".
However, by the end of the film you do not see much of a future for Jeff outside of suicide or an extended stay at an mental institution.
Any potentially valid argument that the film could have made is tossed aside in favor of outrageous accusations, moral hypocrisy and some homophobia tossed in for good measure.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I probably shouldn't use the Cinema Snob's YouTube videos as a form of reference. Not because I disagree with that video, in fact I agree completely. Nevertheless I saw that video, and there were comments about it from people who claimed to be Born-Again Christians and disregard the movie's message about rock and roll being evil. Christian Rock actually came out more than a decade before this movie did, but I always thought it was a product of the 1970's, primarily with the advent of rock operas like "Godspell," and "Jesus Christ, Superstar." I was wrong; it actually came out before the "Summer of Love."
Produced by a bunch of churches in Alabama, the alleged hero of the movie is a teenager named "Jeff" who was around the same age I was at the time. Jeff is in a born-again Christian family, and he likes rock and roll. His parents can't stand him blasting it on his stereo, and his mother decides to call the youth pastor at his local parish about it. Jeff has a few friends, including a cute girlfriend, named Melissa, a ten-to-eleven year old Ford Maverick, and an after-school job. Aside from the hassling from his parents and the repression of his church, he seems to have a relatively decent life... that is until Brother Jim Owen, that youth pastor his mom called up approaches him and tries to get him not to listen to any rock music for two weeks. At the same time, he gives the kid a book designed to con kids into thinking all rock music is evil, which obviously has to be loaded with misinterpretations. Unfortunately, he starts to believe this crap. And to make matters worse, within the first of those weeks, he was supposed to take his girlfriend to a concert by an unknown band for her birthday. No real bands are shown anywhere in this movie, although plenty are randomly mentioned. Among his idiotically new-found "information," Jeff seems to find it utterly horrifying that 12-year-olds would buy KISS albums, which is strange because among metal-heads, it's commonly accepted that somebody over the age of 14 who buys one is a metal newbie, or a wimp, or a retard.
Meanwhile Jeff is completely brainwashed and starts losing his friends including his blonde babe Melissa, yet even as he's telling them all that all rock music is evil, he still can't stop playing it and still can't get along with his mom. After barging from one last party he gets into another fight with her. Finally he drives off in yet another huff and parks out into some snow-covered vacant lot (Yes, kids. The Winter of 1981-82 had snow down south), and begs God for forgiveness and pleads with him on how to deal with his dilemma. He returns to the party for one last time and tells them all that he's not going to be their friends anymore because they're all so "sinful." The next thing we know we see him at the same church delivering his own sermon on behalf of Brother Owen, apparently trying warn the kids on how they're being suckered into a life of sin by listening to KISS, The Eagles, AC-DC, Jefferson Airplane/Starship, The Rolling Stones, and other bands that kids of the 1980's were holding onto as they were trying to hold down disco and rap, and overlook new wave. The Cinema Snob covers the movie's claim that the Captain & Tenille's music was somehow evil, but he didn't mention the claim about Barry Manilow. It's hard to imagine Daryl Dragon, Toni Tenille, and Barry Manilow being put in the same league as Angus Young, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Don Henley or Glenn Frey, and yet it does just that. I wonder what he would think of bands like Stryper, Jars of Clay, Velour 100, Creed, or Switchfoot.
I gave this movie two stars, but I'm being generous here. The reasons in no particular order are because one, the kids in this movie were roughly the same age as me, as I mentioned earlier, two because the actress playing Jeff's girlfriend Melissa was gorgeous, and three because of one background song I'm curious about when Jeff is in the record store and narrates about how "the beat just grabbed me." Other than that, the only thing I could recommend this for is a somewhat morbid laugh.
It's time for a bit of really bad Christian propaganda, and ladies and
gentlemen, this is a doozie, as in this is probably one of the worst,
because everyone that was involved in it had absolutely no idea what
the hell they were talking about, nor does it represent the majority of
the Christian religion.
"Rock: It's Your Decision" is a movie about a young teen who once loved listening to rock music, but his parents urged him to see his pastor, who convinces him that "all rock music is evil", and gets him to preach to those around him that they shouldn't be listening to it, because it promotes satanism and the occult, which causes all of his friends to turn on him and, let's be real here, destroy his entire social life. In the end, he begins to preach to his fellow churchgoers about his discoveries and how everything that we do should worship Jesus Christ.
Where do I begin with this? First of all, I'm quite the audiophile, meaning I listen to a lot of music everyday, primarily rock, metal, blues, and jazz, all four of which have been prior targets from religious zealots that believe that it's the "devil's music" (Jerry Lee Lewis' childhood and career in a nutshell), and I'm a non-practicing Catholic who still adheres to my religion's beliefs, just not too seriously. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY is going to convince me that listening to these genres of music will turn me into a satanist. Secondly, this movie was made at a time when the '80s New Age movement was just getting off the ground, and metal bands like Twisted Sister, Scorpions, and Judas Priest were some of the most popular groups of the decade. Third, and finally, the audience for this was relatively small, and when I mean small, I mean a few hundred out of hundreds of thousands of individuals in the United States alone. The only people that are going to see this are children and teens who go to Sunday School taught by a strict, closed-minded instructor who believes in the old-fashioned ways of teaching, including whipping children with a paddle or a belt.
I respect other peoples beliefs, and I find learning about other religions is a fascinating and educational experience, but one thing I've learned from being informed about other religious practices is that there are those that take their beliefs to a whole new level, as in, they force it on others regardless. With this film, unless you want to watch it with a few friends just to riff on it (a la MST3K) and laugh at how extremely stupid it is, don't even bother.
No doubt you've seen footage of clergymen telling people that rock 'n'
roll is evil. It was inevitable that there would be a movie about a
rock fan who has to choose between Jesus and his favorite music. "Rock:
It's Your Decision" is more subdued than I predicted. I expected an
hour of pastors shouting about how rock music pollutes our minds.
Instead I got a lousy attempt at a character study. The main character
likes rock but soon "realizes" that much of it is overtly sexual and
even "satanic". Yeah, like I'm sure that everyone who listens to rock
is going to become a diabolical, sex-crazed psychopath.
Basically, this movie isn't even over-the-top enough to function as an accidental comedy like "Reefer Madness". It's just boring.
Purports to tell the story of a young Christian man's discovery that
rock music is (allegedly) evil, and his subsequent salvation, but film
ends up showing us a guy becoming so unlikeable, homophobic, and
holier-than-thou that we start to root for his friends to save
themselves, and get away from this fruitcake.
He ends up completely alienated from all his friends, and his girlfriend, and becomes so utterly paranoid about the evils of rock music, that it ruins his life.
There's this film's hero for you! Imagine if Jack Nicholson had found Christianity, rather than go bonkers, in The Shining, and it had been an after school special.
Horribly outdated, even for the 1980s, it seems more like 1940s Bible belt propaganda for the already converted. Or, was the purpose of this film to show how religion can, and does, ruin some peoples' lives? The film's climactic sermon makes it especially difficult to tell.
I notice that I'm the first one to review this movie on the IMDb, so
I'll give it to you straight, okay? For years, Christian
fundamentalists have told us that rock music is the ruination of the
youth of America, that it's the gateway to sin and degradation an it
will destroy your morals if you listen to The Eagles, Jefferson
Starship and The Rolling Stones.
Nice religious kid Jeff loves God. He also loves rock music. And he loves some pretty decent groups, too. None that the viewer can listen to, though - God doesn't like modern rock but He does respects copyright laws, looks like. His parents are at their wits end listening to that "junk". His church pastor tries telling him that he must make a decision between rock and The Rock of Ages. His friends don't see the problem with listening to music he likes.
So the question is posed: can you follow the teachings of Jesus AND rock and roll all night? "Rock: It's Your Decision" is told a lot more straightforwardly than you might expect for this kind of movie; anyone looking for a "Reefer Madness"-style expose' or religious nuts hysterically spouting that you WILL go to Hell if you listen to anything by Captain and Tennille or Rod Stewart will be sadly disappointed.
Well...maybe not completely; there are a few over-the-top moments of overacting and a virtual bonanza of late 70s/early 80s fashions and lots of religious quotes. And the end sermon simply must be heard to be appreciated.
So is this a case of over-zealous religious nuts telling you that you're being brainwashed by mainstream rock and roll or just a presentation of the facts as they have been made known? I won't say any more about it. Save that YOU MUST watch this movie. It will either give you something to think about or a laugh riot to share with friends. Either way, "Rock: It's Your Decision" is a viewing experience for unwashed heathens of every brace.
Play it at your next church function - they'll either think it's a worthy Sunday School subject or a laugh riot.
Or don't - it's your decision.
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