Well one would think that with Torchwood Miracle Day premiering last weekend that we have a built in Monday review topic for the next few weeks, but you would be wrong. We will not be adding our commentary to the rash of reviews about Torchwood and instead opted to write about Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter.
This 2001 film by Odessa Filmworks stars Phil Caracas as the titular character Jesus Christ and a plethora of other no-names in this comedic musical romp through Ottawa, Canada.
Written by Ian Driscoll and directed by Lee Demarbre this movie comes in with a running time of 85 minutes. If the near porn quality soundtrack sounds familiare it is because it was created by legendary synth artist Graham Collins.
Jesus must protect the lesbian population of Ottawa from the rampages of a vampire horde and a mentally deranged serial killer. Teaming up with the Mexican Wrestler El Santo, Jesus uses his mad skills of carpentry and mixed martial arts to wage war against the undead.
There are some points during this movie when we realized we would prefer to watch season one of Torchwood in reverse broadcast order as the plot of JC:VH seems to drag. Ask yourself how the son of God fighting Vampires intent on killing lesbians can drag, and you might get the feeling this movie is going to hell.
Interject odd sequences of long haired hippy priest quoting vague bible versus into a truckstop bathroom mirror and you have yourself a movie.
There really isn’t a lot to comment on in this movie. We could go blow by blow commentary on the action sequences, but its just not worth it. Its a Kung Fu movie about Jesus fighting Vampires, what more do you want?
What to Like:
Believe it or not there really is a lot to like
- There are a few heart to heart conversations between Jesus and his parents. God speaks through the bowl of strawberry ice cream and Mary through a glowing dashboard statue of Mary. Yeah its over the top, but so is the rest of this movie.
- Jesus fighting the atheists is an amazing scene of clown car idiocy. There are also some great little quips from both sides as Jesus battles 20 atheists who were all crammed into the same Jeep Wrangler.
- The Bar Brawl which starts with Jesus attempting to scat but ends with him blessing his beer and spitting it onto the faces of the Vampires. El Santo using toothpicks to stake vampires is enjoyable as well.
- In all true campy movie tradition they break into song for no reason what-so-ever. This is enjoyable in much the same way the Family Guy is when they break into a song and dance number, but there are problems with it.
- The actors are well aware that this movie is a D movie with no illusions of grandeur, despite the subject matter. There is just enough commitment to convince you they are professional actors, but not enough to ruin the movie.
What not to like
- No matter how campy this movie is, or how much you love bad movies this movie will tax your ability to watch it like none other. It really is that bad.
- The Lesbians being saves are likely actual lesbians. We are not saying that in an attempt to degrade the more masculine stereotypes associated with that sexual orientation, but a few babes would be outstanding. The fact that this could have been an all male cast makes for a tough viewing.
- The subplot of the serial killer is poorly explained and even more so resolved. Jesus miraculously (of course) fights him at the same time as he battles the head Vampires, simply explaining that he is everywhere. During this fight the killer removes his latest victims intestines and uses them as a chain, he also uses the kidneys as boxing gloves. In a touching moment of God’s love for all man Jesus heals a fatal neck wound he just delivered to the killer, only to have to dish out more punishment.
- Jesus attempting to scat is just bad… no other way to state it.
- They attempted to add subplot in between the kung fu fighting sequences. Give the people more of what they want and less poorly scripted dialogue and plot.
- We like random cuts, we really do. JC:VH interjects too many completely random moments into its narrative that it seems to be only attempting to fill time to reach the magical number of 85 minutes. Not certain why, but that is the only explanation we have for the random hippy priest.
As much as we love a good B movie, and trust us we watched plenty on SyFy over the years; Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter just fails to deliver on anything more than just a transient viewing. Best observed once a decade this movie gets a solid 1 out of 5; there is plenty of camp, but the majority of the jokes miss.