I watched a film the other night that was so ridiculous it has stuck in my mind – the sort of film you wonder how it ever got made. I hope one day it becomes a cult classic. Poorly acted, cliché ridden script, hopeless plot, hopeless special effects, hopeless all round, it was gripping in its hopelessness – and few films actually achieve 1% on Rotten Tomatoes, which says something about it. Ahh, the joys of a 50p film bought in CEX.
It was called Left Behind, starring Nicholas Cage as an airline pilot trying to steer his strangely stricken plane back to JFK after God has instituted rapture, removing almost half the passengers, leaving behind only their clothing and personal effects. Perhaps there’s a hint here that removing all the children from a flight is not such a bad thing. And certainly at 30,000 feet there’s a good chance that they’ll get to Heaven quicker.
Intercut with scenes from the plane were scenes from a shopping mall where all hell breaks loose when all the children there disappear too. Interspersed were some apposite attempts in the film to examine the value of God’s judgement (or lack of), which added to its whole sense of stupidity.
Could this have been the director’s intention? Looking on various Google search results for the film I am struck by the reaction from Christians – who seem to think that the film was meant to be a ‘Christian film’ – whatever that is, like maybe Life of Brian was a Christian film. Only God knows. But the important thing about this film is its unintended absurdity, which only reflects the absurdity of its very subject – rapture. On this level it succeeds in every way and deserves respect. It gave a Biblical heave of Hollywood proportions to a belief of such enormous religious stupidity it couldn’t have better accomplished the task of exposing nonsense.
And if you think that such a job is unnecessary, it might be worth remembering that Ronald Reagan believed in the concept of Rapture. He had his finger on the button. Thank God that Trump is unlikely to be one of the chosen few who leaves his clothes behind, come rapture.
I thoroughly recommend this film. For 50p its doesn’t get any worse.
And let's not forget that even today - according to polls - more than half of Americans believe in stuff like rapture. It's prophesised isn't it?