Ever hear of Left Behind? No, it isn’t a found-footage horror film following a group of teens who return to a forest cabin they previously escaped from in a quest to rescue their friend who they “left behind,” only to be slaughtered one by one by the “friend” who has now joined forces with the psycho killer. (Although, damn, that is a good idea for a horror flick.) No, it isn’t a rom-com starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Cameron Diaz as two strangers who were both “left behind” at a romantic resort by their now former significant others who join forces, (Cameron and Sarah Jessica, that is.) and go on a trans-continental revenge rampage, highlighted by laxatives, jock straps spiked with Icy Hot, transsexual hookers, and a full page ad in the New York Times questioning their exes sexuality, all while drinking Cosmopolitans and finding their true obnoxious loves. No, it isn’t a movie about a family who sleep past their alarm on the first day of their vacation, causing an unbelievable amount of chaos that eventually results in one of their children being “left behind” at home for multiple days. That is Home Alone.
I’m talking about Left Behind. You know, the best-selling, 16 book Christian rapture-porn series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins? Is that a spark of recognition there? The series deals with the aftermath of the Rapture, that extra-biblical belief that has all the true believers getting snatched up to heaven before the Apocalypse, which provides them popcorn and a front row seat to the carnage and destruction of the end of the world. I can tell, you are starting to remember. Vague recollections of the Tribulation Force (basically non-believers who turn to Christ after the Rapture and fight for the forces of good) versus the Global Community (basically Democrats and Europeans) and the antichrist himself, Nicolae Carpathia (who roots the series as a product starting in 1995. If the first book would have been published in say, 2009, Nicolae would no doubt have been replaced by Berric Hassan Oleama.) are flashing before your eyes. If you are particularly unlucky, perhaps you even remember the PC game Left Behind: Eternal Forces and the two sequels. Not only was it a bad game, but it was a bad game that had the killing of non-believers as the main plot point. Feel that Christian Love! Oh, it’s a non-believer, give me the AK!
If not from the best-selling (yes, seriously. They sold like fucking heroin at a convention of rich junkies. Like Doritos at a Marijuana rally. Like lottery tickets at a Gamblers Anonymous meeting. Like condoms at the Bunny Ranch. Like Lemon Cakes north of the Wall. I could go on for days with this, but we’ll cut it off now and just say that the book series sold a depressing amount of copies.) series of novels or the controversial and unplayable PC game, any knowledge of Left Behind rattling around in your brain must come from one other place.
(Image from Salon)
Well, hold on to your seat! (And I promise, no more satirical usage of explanation points for the rest of this post.) As a living, literate human with access to the internet, you are no doubt aware of the Hollywood quest to remake every film ever produced. While this misguided quest has resulted in everything from the completely unnecessary (Let’s remake I Spit on Your Grave. “Why?” Because no one else has?) to the masterful (True Grit. 3:10 to Yuma. ‘Nuff Said.), to the so out of control mind boggling that it becomes a must watch film. (The Wicker Man.) Ahh, The Wicker Man. What a classic. If you, like me, have a special place in your heart for films that are so bad they are good, films that highlight acting that is horrible seemingly on purpose, films with plots that twist and turn with no consideration of logic or rational thought, then you no doubt own your own copy of The Wicker Man. For those of you that haven’t seen it, download it now. A clip? Sure, why not.
With inspiring music, perhaps?
For those of you wondering, no, you are not tripping. No one spiked your coffee with LSD. That is Nicolas Cage, who won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his work in the film Leaving Las Vegas, wearing a bear suit and punching out unarmed women. If you live in a state with newly legalized marijuana and enjoy a good poorly acted mindfuck, I urge you to roll up a fatty and let The Wicker Man entertain you.
So why do I bring up Nick Cage while writing about Left Behind? I am glad you asked. Que the music……
Mark October 3rd on your calendar, friends. I refuse to overstate the importance of this film, but when it is released the film world will never be the same and all of those who join me in the theaters will walk out of the film changed in our very souls.
October 3rd. The day the end begins.