Bill Busbice Jr., christian art, christian filmmaking, Christopher Sean Brown, cloud ten, Ed Clydesdale, faith based films, jerry b. jenkins, jesus, John Patus, Lea Thompson, left behind, nate fleming, national religious broadcasters, nicolas cage, Paul Lalonde, thimblerig, thimblerig's ark, tim lahaye, Vic Armstrong
While sloshing my way through the expected terrible reviews for the Left Behind reboot, I came across this promotional shot that the Left Behind marketing people apparently thought to be a clever way to advertise their film – a campaign that hasn’t gone un-mocked by secular reviewers.
First, allow me to let Nic Cage himself respond.
Now I want to try and figure out what’s going on here.
Either this was (1) an earnest but misguided attempt by some Christian marketers to encourage Christian filmgoers to bring their non-Christian friends to Left Behind, or this was (2) a blatantly vulgar attempt by some secular marketers to pump up the hoped-for evangelical Christian audience, and try to sell more tickets as they encourage Christian filmgoers to bring their non-Christian friends to Left Behind.
Either way, this brings me to a few messages I’d like to put out there. To the non-Christians who read my blog, to the Christians who read my blog, and to the filmmakers who made Left Behind.
First, to the people who aren’t Christians: if you are one of those non-Christian friends dragged to this movie by your well-meaning Christian friends or family members, let me apologize on behalf of all Christiandom. Most of us are slightly repulsed by the idea that this movie has been made, and many of us recognize the enormous amount of patience that you show every time our brothers and sisters force you to sit and watch one of the films coming from our subculture. Please forgive us.
Second, if you are a Christian and you think that taking a non-Christian film to a movie like Left Behind is going to somehow help you “plant seeds” or make some headway witnessing to your neighbors, understand this: you are torturing them by taking them, to this and to most so-called “Christian” films. They are only going with you because they love you, or they respect you, or they like you – not because they enjoy the films. There may have been some exceptions to this rule (Mom’s Night Out and Believe Me were pretty good in different ways), but for the most part – if it carries the label “faith-based”, go see it with your church group, but please your non-believing friends out of the mix.
Third, if you are one of the producers or writers of Left Behind (and other schlocky faith-based films), stop it. Just stop it! Please, for the love of God (and I mean that in the sincere way, not the cliched way), just stop it!
Don’t you guys know that you are digging a deep, deep grave for filmmaking by Christians in the eyes of the world, and you are doing more harm than good by continuing to produce schlock like this? Don’t you care that nobody outside our subculture has the least amount of respect for what you are doing? It doesn’t bother you that as of the writing of this blog post, Left Behind has a Rotten Tomato rating of 2%, which is only slightly higher than this summer’s Persecuted, which has an amazingly low score of 0%. (I’ll be watching and reviewing Persecuted this weekend. The things I do for my readers…)
And the big question: Don’t you think that our faith deserves better?
Please do us all a big favor and read my blog post, “What’s Wrong with Christian Filmmaking“, and follow my five tips before you produce or write your next film. Trust me. It can’t make things worse, and it might actually make things better.
And to the marketers, I think this might be a better, more appropriate (and yet slightly inappropriate) poster for Left Behind, and most of our tepid faith-based film projects:
Feel free to use it as you see fit.
By the way, be sure to read “I Hope I Get Left Behind,” an interesting analysis of the problems of Left Behind‘s eschatology.
And also, if you are looking for a good end-times movie, give this old Demi Moore movie a try, and you can even invite your non-Christian friends to watch with you!