Flesh and Blood: A Great Horror Short Film About a Spiritual Past. 1980s Homage.

A colleague of mine helped produce this short film that is quite a fascinating horror short.

Quite scary, which is hard to do these days.

And it’s kind of a 1980s nostalgia homage to The Exorcist.

“Flesh and Blood” is about a young women facing the sinister past of her mother who died in an asylum.

Written, directed and shot with Hollywood quality production.

Watch it here on Vimeo free.

 

America, America: God Shed His Grace on Thee: Patriotic Documentary About God and Government

An inspirational exploration of the nature of faith and its role in American government, past and present, hosted by Hollywood actor, producer and director Nick Searcy.

The story begins with Nick Searcy, notorious, shocking and controversial Hollywood celebrity (all these, simply because he is a conservative Christian in Hollywood) watching television and being overwhelmed by the godless political disintegration of our culture into madness and riots. And all of it, celebrated by the dominant left-wing media complex and Democratic Party. So he sets out on a “journey” to Washington D.C. to find out what the heck happened and what role does Christian faith really have in politics and government from our founding to the present.

It’s content that is certainly not new, but Searcy brings a fresh take on the material with his entertaining personality and presence. He is well-known for his part as US Marshal Art Mullen in the series Justified. But he has also garnered recent fame for his whimsical conservative humor on social media. He carries that with him in a good-natured way in this film, which definitely makes him one of the better narrators of the slew of conservative documentaries out there.

The trailer shows some of the nicely understated comedic moments of Nick trying to call various Congressmen, Congresspersons and Congress-nonbinaries, to get interviews with them. The pursuit is of course in vain, but not without a few friendly shiv-like moments. Like when he tries to phone Joe Biden’s office for an interview and we hear him respond, “Well, do you know where he is? Does HE know where he is?” To Representative Ilhan Omar’s staff: “Do you know when she’ll be in? Well, is her brother there? Or her husband, or whatever?”

We are then introduced to a series of those he could get ahold of, like politicians Ted Cruz, US Rep. Louis Gohmert, Richard Grenell and HUD Secretary Ben Carson; political and cultural commentators like Alveda King, Ben Shapiro, Dennis Prager, Brigitte Gabriel, David Horowitz and various faith leaders and pastors. He even interviews a wonderfully winsome Herman Cain in his last sit-down interview before his death. Searcy dedicates the film to him. Cain steals the show.

We learn about how Christian faith influenced the founding of the country in leaders like Washington, Madison and others and how freedom was secured through Christian principles and values. He explores Jefferson and the “wall of separation” mythology, the abolition of slavery and Jim Crow and the achievement of civil rights through MLK’s biblical principles, and more.

So how did we arrive in this present era of godless violent leftism taking our culture hostage? Searcy’s experts and scholars walk us through the legacy of atheism, evolutionary materialism and how the collectivism of Socialism and Communism breaks down the family and individual rights, and ultimately comes after the religious freedom of Christians: The COVID shutdown as an excuse to target churches, Jack Phillips’ infamous Supreme Court case about baking cakes that promote values against one’s conscience.

But this isn’t just a litany of conservative complaints of how old days were better. Searcy also seeks to find a way back to justice and freedom. It begins with the Gospel saving individuals rather than controlling society top-down. But it requires principles and tactics that we should all consider seriously if we want to save our civilization from chaos.

America, America: God Shed His Grace on Thee is a welcome uplifting antidote of hope in the midst of culture of chaos and despair.

Sign up to see the movie free on October 10, here.

 

Silent Cry: Documentary About the Darker Side of Sex Trafficking.

A documentary examining the spiritual and cultural toll that sex trafficking and its evil sibling pedophilia has on our humanity. Untold secrets, suppressed truths and occultic ties of this diabolical system are uncovered within a hopeful conclusion of redemption.

The filmmaker Josh Peck is involved in podcasts and ministries that often deal with fringe topics of the paranormal and end times beliefs. But in this documentary, he approaches a subject we should all be concerned about, and he does so with sensitivity and insight that will help to both educate and activate viewers in the mainstream as well.

The story is about his own journey of discovery along with the stories he tells of the victims and victors of this labyrinth of pain and suffering. He describes how, as a Christian informed about moral battles within the culture war, even he discovered he was woefully unaware of just how deep the hole of darkness that sex trafficking is.

We are first introduced to a story about the Finders, a religious cult in the D.C. area that was discovered to be a ring of child abuse in 1987. But in the course of legal proceedings, the case is strangely suppressed and disappears from public memory (Have you ever heard of them?). This leads Josh on a chase after the international network of connections with the rich and powerful elite that are involved in the horrors of pedophilia and sex trafficking.

Among other examples, Peck addresses the most recent, most disturbing and most relevant story of Jeffrey Epstein and his network of rich and famous celebrities and their involvement in this great evil.

Two of the most fascinating of the interviewees are Ilonka Deaton and her brother Jaco Booyens, both South African activists against sex trafficking. Ilonka tells her heart-wrenching personal story of childhood abuse at the hands of an older trusted teacher. But this is not voyeurism or exploitation. There is just the right balance of hard truth and creative restraint so that we learn without being exploited.

And her story is not without redemption. And we are talking bold, clear Christian redemption that brings true hope through the injustice. This testimony alone is worth the entire documentary.

One of the elements not usually addressed by the mainstream approach to reporting on pedophilia and child abuse is the occultic connection (for obvious secular reasons). Now, I have to admit, I am skeptical about a lot of the “Ritual Satanic Abuse” theories that originated in the 1980s with, among others, the McMartin preschool trial, which proved to be a psychologically manipulated hoax.

Secondly, I am very wary of the temptation to attribute human evil to external supernatural forces, when in fact, human nature is sufficiently evil to provide the actions from pedophilia all the way to genocide. In a way, hasty attribution to demons reflects an unbiblical false image of humanity incapable of such evil on our own. As if thoughts of “murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” do not have their origin in man’s heart of depravity (Jesus, Matthew 15:19).

However, that does not mean that there is no demonic aspect to some of these experiences. There are after all, really people who do worship Satan or engage in pagan religious rites that result in demonic influence and even possession. Each case must be examined on its own merits. And that’s what Peck tries to do. I thought that he made a very careful and non-sensational case for considering the possibilities of the occult connections without falling into the pit of “demonic reductionism” that so often plagues some Christian circles.

Peck models that balance by acknowledging the frauds of the past, such as the John Todd case, where a criminal posed as an ex-Satanist in order to fleece the faithful with his sensational demonic conspiracy theories.

But as I wrote, not all the stories out there reduce to simplistic natural explanation.

All in all, this is a well done educational and inspirational undertaking. It’s a bit long at 2 full hours, reminding me of one of those great sermons that goes on a bit too long in church. Not that it’s boring, but more that it’s taxing on the endurance of such heavy material (And maybe we do need to hear things repeated a couple times for them to sink into our thick skulls).

Also, the interviewees are a bit heavily weighted toward amateur researchers than the experts like Ilanka and Jaco, but they are all sharp and provide evidence beyond mere sensational claims.

That said, I recommend checking it out at Amazon here.

Infidel: A Movie Thriller about Persevering Faith and the Personal Clash of Civilizations.

An American Christian blogger is invited to Cairo, Egypt to speak of unity with the Abrahamic faith of Islam. But when he declares the deity of Christ, he is kidnapped by Muslims intent on forcing him to convert to Islam. He is accused of being a spy because his wife works for the US State Department, but nobody there will help her, so she flies off to the Middle East to plead for his life.

This movie claims to be “inspired by true events.” That means that, while it is a fictional story, its various plot elements are actually drawn from situations that have really happened to some Christians in recent years. It reflects truthfully the world that we live in.

The writer director, Cyrus Nowrasteh, had previously encountered Jesus Christ and became a committed Christian through making his movie, The Young Messiah, based on Anne Rice’s novel, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt.

Now, with Infidel, he makes a bold expansion of his storytelling by exploring the interaction of Christianity with one of its most formidable enemies, Islam. And yes, I mean enemies because while Christianity seeks the conversion of the world through voluntary informed choice, Islam is imperialist, colonialist, and seeks conversion through force. Two totalizing worldviews from opposite ends of the ideological spectrum.

When people criticize “religion” and throw these two faiths into the same bucket, they literally do not know what they are talking about. It’s like Muslims considering Atheists and Christians to be in the same bucket as “western.” Such shallow similarities betray the deep diametric opposition.

Ah, but rationality is not a value of our modern world.

So, the hero of the story, Doug Rawlins, is played with nuance and humanity by Jim Caviezel, the handsome everyman. He’s a bit courageous, a bit naïve in thinking and hoping that he can find some common ground of unity with an imperialist religion that seeks to subjugate through force. But he ain’t an idiot. He’s and idealist who thinks he knows the danger and counts the cost. But does he, really?

His wife, Liz Rawlins, a woman who has lost her faith as a result of experiencing tragedy, is played by Claudia Karvan, with a realistic strength. But she’s not the typical Hollywood joke of a woman action hero or female version of a tough guy, trying to be like men. Karvan doesn’t quite rise in her “presence” as an actor to match Caviezel’s, but she delivers a consistent good performance for the story.

It’s just refreshing to see an authentic movie depiction of men and women Christians and unbelievers that has been written by someone who knows what the heaven he is writing about when it comes to the real world complexities of religion and faith, and what the hell he is writing about when it comes to doubt and unbelief.

When he is taken hostage, Doug experiences the brutality of the underbelly of captivity to Islam and how it treats what it calls “infidels,” with Christophobic zeal, as his wife seeks to find him using her wits and bold courage to fly in where some angels fear to tread.

That journey ultimately takes them both to Iran, where we get to see the oppression of Christians under that regime as well as a climactic third act, presenting a kangaroo court trial for Doug and an action piece ending. It’s not big budget action, but it does the job.

In a way this story perfectly incapsulates the naivete of thinking there is dialogue to be had with Islam without recognizing that its essence is to conquer and colonize for global domination. All willingness to dialogue is a strategic ruse of the doctrine of “Taqiyya,” lying to unbelievers in order to control them for the cause.

If we do not understand the true nature of our opponent, we cannot win the war for civilization.

It’s an instructing story much like Flight 93. It’s a faith-based political religious thriller that gives a new higher bar of quality for those seeking to make films about muscular Christian faith.

Listen, I know that the entire theater experience is all screwed up right now. But if you want to support more movies that deal honestly and truthfully with real world Christianity, that are not Leftist screeds of wokeness or celebration of depravity, then you need to try to find if this movie is anywhere near you and go see it. Put your money where your mouth is. If you can’t find it because the theaters near you are closed, then keep watch for when it comes on iTunes or Amazon or any pay channels and pay to see it. That is the only way we get to see more of these movies. Don’t just wait till its free. Pay for it now, to help filmmakers like Cyrus Nowrasteh make more of them.

Here is where you find out where it is playing at a theater near you.

Pandemic Movies: In Depth Podcast Look from a Christian Worldview – Godawa & Mohr

I did this detailed podcast with Chris Mohr, a fellow storytelling professional about Pandemic Movies.

There are 3 parts. I promise it’s all fascinating, if you love movies, and especially pandemic movies, like viruses and zombie apocalypses.

Listen to the first episode here.

But it will also show you a playlist for the next two episodes.

 

Here are the topics:

Episode 1: Pandemic Movies: Viruses, Achoo!

00:00  Intro to Brian and Chris
09:45  Pandemic Movies and God
16:53  Contagion
42:50  Outbreak
50:53  Flu
63:00  Carriers

Episode 2: Pandemic Movies: The Zombie Apocalypse Part 1

00:00  Intro
03:30  Horror genre
18:00  Zombie genre
39:20  Night of the Living Dead
56:00  28 Days Later
68:00  Twilight Zone
77:00  28 Weeks Later

Episode 3: Pandemic Movies: The Zombie Apocalypse Part 2

00:00  Intro Horror
04:10  I am Legend Novel
05:40  The Last Man on Earth
12:50  The Omega Man
26:10  I Am Legend
53:20  Race in Movies
60:00  The Walking Dead
77:00  Writers controlling their writing
80:20  Walking Dead part 2

A New Kind of Storytelling for Book Readers: Screenplays as Literature Series

Read the script. Imagine the movie.

Screenplays as Literature Series are movie scripts published for readers to enjoy concise storytelling with a twist.

Scripts are blueprints for producing films. Longer than a short story. Shorter than a novel.

You’ll learn how to read a script so you can watch the movie in your mind as you read the story on the page.

I have 12 plus books in this series, in many genres like Historical Epics, Fantasy, Thrillers, Crime Detective and even a family time traveling comedy!

I have read screenplays for many years because I am a screenwriter. But I realized that you don’t have to be a screenwriter to enjoy the power of a screenplay.

It’s more concise and economic storytelling, so it moves at a fast pace.

It paints in a broader brush than a scene in a novel, but it captures depth of character through dialogue and actions like no other medium of writing.

Every word in a screenplay counts and has meaning. So they can actually be quite deep while being shorter reads.

If you haven’t read a screenplay (or if you have), try one of your favorite genres in the Screenplays as Literature Series.

You might find a new kind of storytelling that is different from short stories or long novels, but in a fascinating fresh new way!

Check out the series here.

Babylon Bee and Me: We talk about the transcendence of epic movies

I was on the Bee again with the most excellent Ethan Nicolle and the most disturbing Kyle Mann.

We talk about epic films (Braveheart, The Patriot, Ben Hur) where individuals are willing to live and die for transcendent values set in all-encompassing civilization-shaking settings, and a lot of people get stabbed. We also talk about the secular-sacred divide in films and the genre of “Christian” movies. Spoiler: Not all Christian movies are crap.

Listen here

Podcast: Are Superheroes False Gods?

It’s not quite that simple. But there is much profundity in this discussion about our culture and superheroes.

Nate is one of my all-time favorite podcast hosts. This was an engrossing discussion.

Okay, I like the co-host Gene Gosewher too.

I talk alot so if you like to listen to me, you will love this podcast. If you hate the sound of my voice and my thoughts, then this will drive you up a wall.

Listen here.

The Boys – Amazon Series: Woke Hollywood Anti-American Christophobic Absurdity

The anti-superhero series on Amazon. What if superheroes got publicists and social media?

The premise of this series is that a major private corporation manages superheroes’ careers and brand images like Hollywood celebrities. Of course, there’s big money in them thar hills and the whole “save the world” thing is just a cynical meme for exploitation by the elite.

I’m not that entirely adverse to the premise because, while I applaud the elevation of noble values that comes with most superhero stories, I have also had a deep distrust of the genre because of its tendency to replicate the idolatry of pagan religions.

Superheroes as God Substitutes

On the one hand, a superhero like Superman can certainly be a “Christ figure,” a myth that points toward a spiritual truth. But I have also observed that as our culture becomes more secular and more god-hating and anti-Christian, it is no surprise to me that superhero stories become replacements for that lost narrative. Superhero blockbusters are evidence of a deep inescapable hunger for deity. And when the Judeo-Christian god is expelled from society, superheroes function as replacements of human projections.

There is very little difference between, say the gods of the ancient world, and modern superheroes. Sometimes, they are even direct references to such (Wonder Woman, Thor, etc.). They perform the same purpose: they express and explain cultural and moral values and incarnate the pursuit of transcendence, that hunger for deity.

Humankind is “homo-religicus” or an inherently religious being. And when you cast away the constraints of the Judeo-Christian God, you do not become strictly secular, you actually construct a new mythology (religion) to fulfill those transcendent needs. You create new gods. And if you try to stay secular, ideology becomes your religion, or totalizing discourse that is your god of ultimate values: Leftism, Marxism, Socialism, identity politics all operate in this way. They are God-substitutes. They are idolatry.

And those gods are tyrants. Because human beings are essentially evil, and therefore, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

In this sense, I actually found myself quite interested in the series, at first.

At first.

In fact, the story can be seen as a critique of the corruption of power and of elitist celebrity culture. That is how it is set up, before it all comes unwound… Continue reading