|Index||7 reviews in total|
I just saw the movie at the SXSW film festival with my daughters. We
loved it. Not only because it is delightfully weird but also because
it's funny, very funny, even by "mumblecore" standards. (The director
is a founding member of that movement. Google it if you've never heard
It's one of those daring little flicks that grabs religion by the balls and shakes it left and right until it pukes. And then there's the acting. Excellent, considering the uniqueness of the script and the irreverence of the subject matter. Father Billy will crack you up in just about every scene.
If you're into odd and peculiarly funny stuff, this movie is a must see. But if you're one of those folks who gets easily offended when artists mess around with religion or religious institutions, don't bother. This movie may kill you. Just consider this as a warning: The movie features a song called "God will f... you up". Now, that's irreverent. Keep an eye on this movie if it plays in a theater near you. I doubt it, but you'd never know. God works in mysterious ways. LBlancoNazoa
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Very interesting review and personal critique of the movie. I loved it.
:-) I thought it was very witty and clever, but then again, I love
black comedies... and this movie definitely qualifies in my opinion.
At first, I thought it was a simple comedy, slapstick really... until the end. I don't think it was about a mentally challenged adult though, however that assessment is hilarious.
In my opinion, I think the movie is much darker than what appears on the surface. I don't think Steve Little's character is mentally challenged at all. Personally, what I took from the movie was that his character was extremely innocent and childlike... until he returned from his sabbatical. I saw many signs that he suffered from mild schizophrenia, which developed into paranoid schizophrenia towards the end of the movie. The highlight of such being at the very end where he starts running in a panic and seeing things that weren't there. He was obviously in fear for his life by an unknown threat...
It makes you question how much of his sabbatical was real and how much was imagined... especially considering the impossible scenarios he experienced while camping out. I don't even think "Robbie" was a "real" person. I think he represented the inner duality conflict within Father William, which having dealt with those issues while he was gone... he returned a new man. A much more somber and "wiser to the world" adult. This can obviously be interpreted as negative as much as positive.
The only part I really didn't get was at the very end, after his bible session... he received a bible and he smelled it. What did I miss?
The Catechism Cataclysm is a film that seems to try and do everything
in its power to make you not like it. It has a preposterously
inconceivable setup, its tone is almost never consistent, it ranges
from light-hearted farce to extremely-overwrought satanism at times,
shamelessly alienates itself from its audience, and tries to make us
side with one of the most grating, ridiculous character an indie film
has ever seen.
And yet, I kind of liked it. It has that "simply don't give a damn" charm that works, and its characters, while quite unlikable, accentuate at least some believability. It follows Father Billy (Steve Little), a bumbling doofus of a Catholic priest who meets and reconnects with Robbie (Robert Longstreet), an acquaintance from high school he has since become obsessed with. Robbie is a failed writer and a singer for a cheap, ragtag metal band, and carries his surly, narcissistic attitude with him like a badge of pride.
Father Billy and Robbie embark on a canoeing trip last minute, which results in them getting lost and trying to survive the trip and each other. But the film doesn't stop there; throw in Japanese tourists that look innocuous but are anything but, a bizarre mind-control device, and an extremely uncomfortable but artsy attempt at a satanic trance that looks like it was choreographed by the likes of Rob Zombie.
If writer/director Todd Rohal went into The Catechism Cataclysm (which will also go down as one of the most fun films to say) with the mindset of making one of the strangest, most baffling independent comedies in recent years then he succeeded. It's one thing to wince at a film's comedy rather than laugh as you're supposed to, but I wasn't sure rather to wince or to laugh at the humor the film presents. It functions in that odd, extremely rare crack of absurdist craziness and careless farce that leaves you either unamused or consumed with hilarity. Or, like me, in a state of admiration and disappointment.
However, I can't say I knew what to expect watching the film. Something along the lines of the wonderful independent films of the last couple of years rather than something that channels the boundaries of an episode of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!. Absurdist humor and the act of laughing at something that theoretically isn't funny only goes so far with me. At times cute and amusing, it can also verge on the fence of being repetitive and often only used for shock-value or for those occasion, uncertain laughs. The Catechism Cataclysm is filled with the so-called "uncertain laughs," but also features some surprising moments of entertainment and likability.
That is quite the remark seeing as I began the film almost completely loathing the Father Billy character. Characters that are drawn for the purpose of being unlikable because of something they bring on themselves (in this case clinginess, a sense of importance, childish behavior, and a lack of maturity). For this reason, it is shocking to see Father Billy go from intolerable to shockingly watchable when him and Robbie begin to realize they're lost on the river and talk aimlessly for a lengthy amount of time.
This is a rocky, directionless film indeed. The first twenty-five minutes are difficult to get into but acceptable in their own way, the following thirty are pretty good and pack in the film's strongest points, and the final twenty minutes or so become flabby and signify this film would've been more practical and justifiable as a short than a seventy-five minute feature. I can't honestly recommend the film - it's way too uneven and intentionally baffling - and, yet, it's too intriguing to be ignored on another level.
Starring: Steve Little and Robert Longstreet. Directed by: Todd Rohal.
This film sat on my Netflix queue for a long time before I finally got around to watching it. Perhaps I should have waited longer. Then, perhaps, I would understand what it was all about. I know the film was supposed to be funny, but ultimately I think the joke was on me. In the film, an absurdly childish priest Father William, played by an unbelievably annoying Steve Little, is forced to take some time off by his superiors. He decides to contact his high school idol Robbie Shoemaker, played by Robert Longstreet, to take a little trip with him. Robbie agrees for no good reason. The two meander down a river on a raft purposelessly and seeming endlessly until you start praying for something, anything to happen. It does when two Japanese tourists and their black bodyguard show up. Sadly, what happens doesn't make any sense either. I have no idea what the filmmaker intended. Steve Little was simply too absurd for the film play as meaningful religious satire. I am giving the film three stars for the soundtrack. John R. Butler's sacrilegious ditty, Hand of the Almighty, is almost worth the price of admission.
As a practising Catholic, I can guarantee no Catholics were consulted
in the making of this movie. If this is how atheists see religious
people, no wonder there is great ridicule involved.
From the priest who constantly wears his collar including on a canoe trip, to his naive, dorky nature, this movie couldn't be further from reality. I could go on and on how this is offensive and completely inaccurate but I no longer want to waste any more time thinking of this waste of 80 minutes of my life.
I should have known better than to continue with the movie when I saw a burning Pentagram before the actual movie even started.
Spare yourselves and stay as far away from this as you can.
I really wanted to laugh and I did at the first scene with the old lady
with the gun and the narration by Father Billy telling a story to his
parishioners. Unfortunately, it's all down hill from there.
The good father takes a vacation with a guy(Robbie) from his school days on a canoe down a river. Robbie had dated the priests sister many years earlier. While rafting they exchange stories which go nowhere and stop ashore to drink beer. Then two Asian women appear with a man they call Tom Sawyer and we quickly turn from comedy to science fiction. No need to give away the ending, suffice it to say that it is completely ridiculous. What could have been an interesting movie is just a waste of time.
It's sad when the most memorable part of a movie is the closing credits
song (in this case, "God will F*** you Up", Hilarious) Steve Little is
Not an actor, and his attempts in this movie are truly cringe-worthy.
You start snickering not because he's funny, but because like a bad
traffic accident, you can't look away. It's always a bad sign when you
come across as potentially having Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and his
character manages it in this.
I caught this on Netflix, and that's the only reason I ever saw this train wreck of a movie, and trust me, you will not want to waste your time on it.
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