2018/12/09

Execrable: Revelation

Revelation (1999)
Directed by André van Heerden
Written by Paul and Peter Lalonde
Produced by Paul and Peter Lalonde, Colin Brunton
Starring Jeff Fahey, Tony Nappo, Leigh Lewis, David Roddis, Carol Alt, Nick Mancuso, Marium Carvell
Grossly eisegetic of the New Testament's climactic book even by Van Heerden's laughable standards, this second flick of his eschatological quadrilogy gawkily interprets scripture via a Boomer's conception of popular technology in the '90s during impending end times, when a global government headed by a professed messiah (Mancuso) has acceded to imperium, Christians are for their piousness persecuted, and nobody wears neckties. Months after his wife and daughter are suddenly assumed during playtime along with devout millions more during the Evangelicals' loudly prophesized Rapture, a counter-terrorism agent (Fahey) confronts Mephistophelian connivance via virtual reality after arresting a congregation accused of terrorism, and grapples with his own emergent faith while allied with an anchorwoman turned antinomian evangelist (Lewis) and a pinguid, pestilent, paraplegic programmer (Nappo). Their daffy dialogue contributes as much to the hamminess of the Lalonde brothers' cast as Van Heerden's direction; villainously typecast Mancuso overplays his antichrist with rare relish, as does Roddis as his snarling executive henchman, but Nappo's personification of an oleaginous stereotype is deeply, rather offensively obnoxious. No stranger to inane B-cinema, Fahey fares fairly during his first forty minutes, but can't overcome the immanent melodrama of his hardened nullifidian's redemption. As exegesis, propaganda pushing providence or an actioner, this is a bust: its cheesy score, sloppy script and flat, excessively tinted photography defy serious critique, but it's frolic and certain to please fans of Fahey and Mancuso, who know not to judge most of their work in sobriety. Overfed televangelist John Hagee and Jack and Rexella van Impe, his tireless colleagues of cablecast ubiquity, preach directly to the audience in videotaped cameos secured by their budgetary stakes. Like most Biblical literalists, the Lalondes' divination betrays a persecution complex to match those of black dissidents, white nationalists and every stalwart of social justice, but theirs is especially maddening for an occasional glimmer of insight. If they and theirs recognized the terrene evil residing in globalism for the bureaucratic tyranny it requires to subsist, disastrous economics it proposes to impose upon the world, its inhuman perspective of dissimilar nations as fungible chattels, and relentless promotion of corporate abuses rather than that purely prophetical condition whereby an extramundane Archenemy begets Armageddon, their schlock might actually enlighten burghers who ought to understand a force that seeks to comfortably vitiate and oppress humanity, rather than misinterpret what's far more artfully augured in the Good Book.
Instead, watch Halloween III: Season of the Witch.