With Easter Sunday upon us, it is time to acknowledge that we could do better as human beings.
First things first, lets stop making Christ-ploitation movies.
Now, some of you might not know what I am talking about, so I'll explain. Christ-ploitation films are a sub-genre of exploitation films, which are films that seek to gain financial success by exploiting current trends or lurid content (over the top sex, violence, etc.). Christ-ploitation films follow that model, as they often center around popular points of discussion in Christian circles (prayer in school, the belief in God, etc.). What makes these films so awful is that they go way over the top to get their point across, to the point where no one can take them seriously. All of these movies feature cheap patriotic symbolism, Christians as a sort of oppressed minority (they do know that this is America, right?), and any all non-Christian characters as evil. In the hopes that these films will one day be a thing of the past, we're gonna look at five of the worst Christ-ploitation movies out there:
5. I'm Not Ashamed
This Pureflix (basically Netflix for people who attend church everyday) produced film is based on the life of Rachel Joy Scott, the first child killed in the Columbine shootings of 1999. While the story of Rachel Scott is certainly an interesting one, which inspired the prominent Rachel's Challenge organization, this film goes about it the wrong way. The whole film comes off as the studio using the tragic death of Rachel Scott as a means of promoting a Christian agenda. Even more misguided is the portrayal of the men behind the shootings, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Not only does the movie portray these men in the most one-note way possible, but they use the tiresome "video games cause violence" narrative to explain why Harris and Klebold conducted the shootings (some things never change).
4. Old Fashioned
Fifty Shades of Grey, which was released around the same time. Ironically, Old Fashioned is really no different from Fifty Shades. While this movie is nowhere near as risque as FSG, the relationship between the two main characters is just as unhealthy. The main male character is an unlikable, controlling jerk, whose "chivalry" comes across as more creepy than charming. Needless to say, this movie doesn't make for the best date night.
3. Last Ounce of Courage
I have ragged on this movie before, so please check out that article for a more in detail critique. This film is basically centered around the mythical War on Christmas, the belief that liberals are trying to get rid of Christmas. Nothing about this movie is subtle, and the idea of Christmas being a dying holiday is laughable. Also add in the shameless exploitation of dead military veterans and an insufferable "We're victims, too!" attitude, and you got film you certainly don't want to find in your stocking.
2. War Room
What makes this Christ-ploitation film especially rotten is its baffling message. This film revolves around how a crumbling marriage was saved by the wife praying in her closet that her husband won't cheat on her. I don't think I need to say any more.
1. The God's Not Dead Movies
The God's Not Dead franchise has arguably paved the way for many Christ-ploitation movies. As such, it arguably presents Christ-ploitation films at their absolute worst. The subtly is nowhere to be found, the characters are as black and white as you can get, and it is disgustingly offensive in how it portrays anyone who is not a Christian. These movies clearly exhibit the biggest problem with Christ-ploitation movies; they're not about spreading the message of Christianity, but rather reaffirming their audience's hatred in certain things. Unfortunately, such methods work, as the third film in this franchise was just released.