See You in Hell: 10 Blasphemous Movies to Marathon
Someone’s going to get roasted for this but we’re hoping that y’all will be merciful.
(SPOT.ph) God is dead, but don’t quote us on that. The (dis)honor belongs to a certain moustached German philosopher, whom the good lord allegedly took by syphilis. We’re just here, making a list of films made by people who wish to brave the wrath that might soon be upon them for taking thy lord’s name in vain and then some.
If the coming summer isn’t hot enough for you, legend has it that there’s a place you can go where you can enjoy toasty weather all eternity long. All you have to do is anger a few million people.
INHERIT THE WIND (1960, Stanley Cramer)
The story: In 1925, a man named John T. Scopes purposely incriminated himself to be the defendant in what is now known as the Scopes Monkey Trial. The case? Scopes taught the theory of evolution to a class he was a substitute teacher for and Inherit the Wind chronicles what went on in court after he was tried for violating the Butler Act. Yes indeed, Tennessee had an act which declared teaching evolution unlawful in state-funded schools. There are four films adapted from the play but the 1960 version is quite infamous. It’s filled with passionate lines that will make the conservative gasp like, "The Bible is a book. It’s a good book, but it is not the only book."
Blasphemeter Rating: Limbo
Admittedly, creationism isn’t exactly a hot topic here in the Philippines but then again, is it a good thing that we’re not even discussing it? Schools don’t seem to be in the business of promoting evolution because there are people here who will fight tooth and nail to defend the notion that we came from Adam and Eve. Because to be descendend from apes? PREPOSTEROUS! Man was created from mud!
Ticket to Hell quote: "[F]anaticism and ignorance is forever busy, and needs feeding. And soon, your Honor, with banners flying and with drums beating we’ll be marching backward, BACKWARD, through the glorious ages of that Sixteenth Century when bigots burned the man who dared bring enlightenment and intelligence to the human mind!"
THE MAN WHO SUED GOD (2001, Mark Joffe)
The story: The title says it all! Billy Connolly plays Steve Myers, a man whose boat gets struck by lightning. He tries to make an insurance claim but they refuse to cover it, saying that what happened was an "Act of God." Steve then decides to, you guessed correctly, go after the Holy Wallet.
Blasphemeter Rating: Limbo
There’s a scene with a man on the steps outside the courthouse yelling out "Blasphemer! Blasphemer! Blasphemer!"
Who in their right might would sue a supreme deity? The prosecuting lawyer, Gerry Ryan played by Bille Brown, goes out on a limb to say that had this lawsuit happened in any other time in history, Myers would be dead on the spot. Where do these people get the audacity to address The Lord Himself as though he was just a mere commoner?
What’s crazier still is the depiction of the churches as less than holy, with a rabbi suggesting that the only way to win the case is to prove that God does not exist. Still, we think the movie lacks reverence only for the institutions and not Mr. Holy himself. God gets some love here in the end.
Ticket to Hell quote: As a response to the rabbi about proving that God does not exist, a priest says, "I saw an article which said they’ll soon be able to, apparently."
THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939, Victor Fleming)
The story: Wait, what? But it’s about a little girl, away from home going on an unexpected adventure! We know that, but think about it. We follow cute little Dorothy (and Toto) on their quest to find the Great Wizard of Oz only to find in the end that the great wizard is nothing but a construct. He’s fiction. Dorothy realizes that she had everything she needed from the start.
Blasphemeter Rating: Limbo
It’s a very dangerous seed to plant into a child’s mind (or a very good push towards agnosticism, depending on your point of view as a parent) because it will lead them to question the highest of all authorities. If the Great Wizard of Oz is just a man behind the curtain, hiding behind smokes and mirrors... is The Father, Who Art in Heaven, also conjured up by men in black robes? Don’t dwell too much on it, thinking leads to atheism sometimes.
Ticket to Hell quote: Well, none.
The Sunset Limited (2011, Tommy Lee Jones)
The story: Based on a play by Cormac McCarthy about White (Tommy Lee Jones) and Black (Samuel Jackson). The two men are in an apartment, discussing White’s suicide attempt on a subway station. Black had saved White and makes every effort to convince him that all he needs is an ounce of faith and everything will be alright. White is a staunch atheist, who has seen too much of the world to believe that there is anything out there that can save him. Such sads.
Blasphemeter Rating: Say hello to the other heretics in Dante’s 6th circle of hell
In the end, Black fails to save White and he questions his own faith as he cries out, "If you wanted me to help him, why didn’t you give me the words? You gave it to him, what about me!?" and he repeats the phrase "Is that okay?" with nobody answering him.
Ticket to Hell quote: "If people could see the world for what is truly is, see their lives for what they truly are without dreams and illusions, I don’t believe they could offer the first reason why they should not elect to die as soon as possible. I don’t believe in God. Can you understand that?"
THE INVENTION OF LYING (2009, Ricky Gervais and Matthew Robinson)
The story: Mark Bellison, played by Ricky Gervais, is a man who just learned how to lie in a world where everyone can only tell the truth. There’s much comedy in there but you don’t even have to squint that hard to figure out that halfway through the film, this lying schmuck invents religion.
Blasphemeter Rating: Make your last will and testament, the divine being will smite you in 3... 2...
This movie basically illustrates that supreme beings can be conjured up by some guy who can lie to a bunch of gullible people.
Ticket to Hell quote: None, but only because Ricky Gervais oh-so-wittingly ridicules and reveres religion at the same time. Sure, he deconstructs all religions as a bunch of hogwash to make people feel better, but the creation of the myth is motivated by kindness. And maybe a bit of greed at first. Okay, to hell it is.
PRIEST (1994, Antonia Bird)
The story: The title is a dead giveaway but indeed, it is about a priest. It follows the life of Father Pilkington (Robert Carlyle), who begins to struggle with his faith when he meets a fellow priest, Father Matthew (Tom Wilkinson), who has a relationship with a housekeeper. This is compounded by a confession that reveals that a dad is molesting his 14-year-old child and an encounter in a bar with a man named Graham, with whom he engages in amorous congress. Read: Father Pilkington is gay.
Blasphemeter Rating: To hell with you!
Father Matthew viciously attacks the church like a rabid dog and in his closing monologue, he admits to doubting the existence of the creator of the universe because of the acts of these men. The late Cardinal Jaime Sin himself rallied to prevent this film from being screened here in the Philippines.
Ticket to Hell quote: "What kind of sick brainwash have you been through?"
CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS (1989, Woody Allen)
The story: There are two stories running in the movie, one of Clifford Stern and the other of Judah Rosenthal. Clifford is a struggling film-maker and Judah is a successful ophthalmologist. While Clifford is earnestly trying to woo a woman, Judah gets involved in the murder of one.
A series of events, specifically getting away with killing another person without so much as a hello from the police, leads the two men to contemplate whether or not "the eyes of God" are really upon anyone.
Blasphemeter Rating: You’re answerable to your own conscience
Ah, Woody Allen. He’s been the "loyal opposition to God" since he made that quip as a stand-up comic. The themes of this film resonate in his later films Match Point and Cassandra’s Dream but he makes a clear illustration of his stance in Crimes and Misdemeanors with Ben, a rabbi who is slowly going blind. A man of faith is getting "punished" while a man who committed a heinous crime answers only to himself. Oh well. A godless universe is "unfair" like that.
Ticket to Hell quote: "God is luxury I cannot afford."
PAUL (2011, Greg Mottola)
The story: Aliens! The existence of aliens could very well disprove the theory of gods because hey, where is it mentioned in holy books that there are others out there? They all kind of get into the specifics of earth being the perfect little planet for life and human beings, right? So yeah, Paul? Paul’s very existence is dangerous to the faith of the faithful.
Blasphemeter Rating: You better wish there ain’t no divine being judging you
There’s a sequence where the beliefs of a hardcore, fundamentalist Christian is completely shattered by an alien sharing with her his knowledge of the cosmos. That won’t sit well with the religious, we assume.
Ticket to Hell quote: An alien trying to make a compromise stating that, "My existence only disproves traditional notions of the Abrahamic Judeo-Christian God, as well as all one-world theologies."
AGORA (2009, Alejandro Amenábar)
The story: The film is about Hypatia and for fans of Greek Neoplatonist philosophers, her name might ring a bell. No? Well, she lived in ancient Greece as a science nerd and because she’s played by Rachel Weisz, we can all safely assume that she was pretty hot. While that can be contested, the fact that it was a very dangerous time for thinking is not. Hypatia lived in an age where there was an active, brutal battle between different religious views and Agora displays the savagery of Christians against Pagans (and vice versa?).
Blasphemeter Rating: They are going to burn you at the stake, which is good practice for when you’re in hell
Amenábar is a bit unforgiving with the film. Hypatia is presented as this innocent, inquisitive woman who was condemned by narrow-minded and violent Christians. They were going to skin Hypatia alive for being a witch! The movie was denounced by civil rights organizations for "promoting hatred of Christians and reinforcing false clichés about the Catholic Church."
Ticket to Hell quote: "As far as I am aware, your God has not yet proved himself to be more just or more merciful than his predecessors."
FATHER JEJEMON (2010, Frank Grey, Jr.)
The story: The Comedy King’s last film, which was littered with controversy. Dolphy plays a priest who tries his best to be "hip" to connect to the youth but gets caught in a child molestation scandal.
Blasphemeter Rating: We’re not really sure
Honestly, Dolphy as Father Jeremiah Jerome Montes was very pro-good and pro-God. He was trying to be cool to keep the faith alive and Dolphy just wanted to be funny. Dolphy received heavy criticism from Catholics for having a scene where Father Jejemon drops the body of Christ between a pair of breasts. In a tribute to the King of Comedy after his death, the Philippine Star applauded him for "finding humor in unlikely places."
Ticket to Hell quote: It’s more of the antics going on inside the church that got people rallying against this film.
If that doesn’t get you to hell, here’s a shortlist of other infamous films that will get you there: Life of Brian, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Last Temptation of Christ, Life of Pi, There Will Be Blood, The Truman Show, Martyrs, South Park the Movie, Dogma.