Holy Hell (2009)
In a last ditch attempt to save a small financially strapped church, the parishioners decide to make a horror movie to raise the necessary funds. Despite a lack of knowledge, the film is progressing nicely until an insidious right-wing religious group decides to make an example of them before they can complete the task.- Written by Lowell Bartholomee & Jeff Scheftel
The Church on Peachtree is a small congregation of people that turned away from the mega-churches that forgot their message and purpose. They have an abundance of commitment but are severely strapped for operating funds. If the situation doesn't change rapidly, they'll have to shut their doors for good. Claudia, a middle-aged member who was always a follower, has a scheme. What if they used what little money they have remaining in their coffers to make a horror movie in order to save the church? Many of the congregants leave in sheer disgust, but that doesn't stop the devoted members from trying to fulfill their mission and make the film. Claudia and Pardo, a deacon with anger management issues, get things rolling. Rick, a college kid, becomes the director because he owns a video camera. Garrett, who may have been a gang banger, and Mrs. Farley, who writes reviews for amazon.com become the writers. Pastor Lane is not too sure about the whole notion but loves that his congregation is fired up. Deacon Pardo's estranged daughter, Val, returns to the church to produce the project. They struggle like many independent filmmakers and they face long odds but they get the film made with their wherewithal just the same. Trouble arrives in the form of the Fight4Right organization. A monolithic activist group that champions a time when 'God was the only change we believed in,' F4R sets its protesters and community pressure loose on the small church, relentlessly attacking them with lies and slander. They're also not beyond interrupting production with a cavalcade of hundreds of small wooden crosses. Isolated from the rest of the community, spurned by their former members and by Rev. George Bolton, the leader of the community's mega-church, the Peachtree congregants struggle through making their movie under the worst of circumstances. Lane tries to play his political cards wisely and manages to get national air-time on Cross Talk, a late-night news program. But even there he is ambushed by a press structure more interested in confrontation and conflict than with hearing what the truth of the situation is. After a televised mugging by noted author Christopher Hitchens, the church is in more peril than ever. The group must find a way to hold it together to keep the church together and finish the film, which is horrible, you know that right?- Written by Lowell Bartholomee & Jeff Scheftel
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