In the time of great cynicism against televangelists (the 1980s), there came this hilarious satire of religious TV. If you've ever seen "The P.T.L Club", "Praise The Lord", "Peter Popoff" or "Benny Hinn", you'll understand a lot of the jokes in this movie.
The summary: Ray and Darla Porter (Curry and Potts) love two things...they love you and they love the Lord. They also love one more thing...money. They've been bilking a nation worth of religious people out of hundreds of millions of dollars. One of those people was the aunt of Claire (Kozlowski), a simple Arkansas girl. When her sweetheart Jesse Wilkes (Paxton) comes to town, she feels better, but there's still something amiss. Claire's cousins Joe and Arnold (Dennis Burkley and Glenn Withrow) have made their way back home from a long time in the pen. Jesse doesn't believe in the televangelists and when informed of Claire's aunt's passing and subsequent donation to the Tower Of Bethelem, Jesse suspects something. With guns in hand, the motley foursome are off to settle a score.
Befriending a pot-smoking video controller (Geary) along the way, they take back the money and try to escape. Instead, they've made it onto the stage where Ray and Darla are staging a never-ending celebration of the Lord and all his miracles. Jesse sees a golden opportunity and hijacks the broadcast to tell of all the double-talking and lies in the Porter ministry.
At first, this just seems like a matter that would need just a SWAT team or two, but when the four are suspected of terrorism, more reinforcements are called in.
Along the way, Arnold finds love with a choir singer, Joe tells of his affections for Darla and Jesse becomes so wrapped up in his telling of the truths that he becomes almost preacher-like himself, confusing Claire and pleasing Ray.
As accusations are made of adultery and fraud, a destruction of Biblical proportions (pun intended) is ready to go.
Will Jesse and Claire get their cash? Will Arnold go further with his choir angel? Will Darla abandon Ray for Joe? Will there be destruction? Will they all survive?
As a wise man once said..."It's the 80s! What do you expect?"
As both a believer of many religions (fusing them together to create my own spirtual center) and a full-on movie fan, I found this movie to be a scream. Those recreations of talk show scenes and musical numbers... That's all real, folks. I can swear it is true.
Tim Curry (as the slick-haired sleazy man of the cloth Ray Porter) and Annie Potts (with a nice singing voice and far better looks than Tammy Faye Bakker) play their roles to the hilt.
The movie is populated, as 80s movies often are, by odd characters. It's no different here, as we've got country-singing twins and a small-town militia to deal with.
If you're of strong faith, you may very well be offended by this movie, but I wouldn't be. This is quality stuff... A solid 9 all the way.Notice any mistakes? Review
Wicked satire and great performances, especially from the ever-reliable Tim Curry and Annie Potts...
Takes many shots at religious people and television, so those of strong faith are warned that this movie may not be their cup of tea.Our rating:
9 out of 10Review Written by John Edward Kilduff: Contact | More Reviews by John Edward Kilduff