January 29th, 2006



XXXIX A.S. Directed by Brian Dannelly. Starring Jena Malone, Mandy Moore, Macaulay Culkin, Patrick Fugit, Chad Faust.

I just had the opportunity to view this nazarene cult-comedy tonight on cable, and was rather repulsed by this presentation, yet both morbid curiosity and evocative meditation beckoned Me on. Having attended Christian schools until Junior High, this proposed satirical film actually contains many truths in the behavior and attitudes exhibited by these subhuman types. The sad dependence on others' opinions, all seemingly administered by the moldy babble according to the personal translation of the particular preacher at the school or church, the sub-par music, the sacharrine niceness, etc. Although the Protestants are much more nauseating and exagerrated than the Catholics.*

Seeking to "save" her boyfriend Dean from being gay, a girl named Mary fornicates with him and becomes pregnant from this devirginization, hiding it from the rest of the christian-cult subculture. She claims 'Jesus' told her to do so, after an underwater bump in the head yields a hallucination - the face of the nazarene super-imposed upon the likened visage of the poolboy who also happens to have long hair and a beard.

Finding a copy of 'Macho' magazine, his parents send him to a rehabilitation center for "degayification", where he actually finds a gay partner and male prom date.

Cassandra, the resident bad girl, rumored to be a 'stripper', a smoking Jewish rebel, goes about expressing her independence against the christian oppression from lighting a cigarette in the cafeteria, to undulating in a sensual euphoria, jesting at the supposed 'speaking in tongues' glossolalia while tearing at her clothes. I like the way she plays with the sheeps' mind from time to time - in one instance claiming to want to convert to Christianity, but at the last moment decides to side with Satan instead. In reality, she would have been expelled the second she was spotted with a cigarette in her mouth, even from the parking lot.

Mary's secret is eventually discovered and exploited by smug classmates. I thought the "drive-by exorcism" was amusing, as the christians actually consider the bible a veritable 'weapon', as in the so-called "sword of the spirit", which Hilary Faye, a very 'Chastity Paraya" / "Betty Bowers"-like character takes to a literal extreme and actually throws it at 'Mary' {'coincidence' that she was named such? As she finds herself in a similar position as the fabled 'Virgin Mary'}.

Predictably, Hilary Faye demonstrtaes her hypocrisy at the Prom, as it turns out that it was she who was responsible for vandalizing the school with devil-worshipping symbols such as the inverted cross and a '666', all in an attempt to blame the 'bad kids' and assure her place as the Prom Queen. In another amusing scene towards the finale, in a nervous fit, she actually drives her van into a garish image of Jesus.

Keep in mind that there are actually clonish people who act like this, existing in an entire haze of justified delusion. This film is actually not far-fetched at all, which is probably the most disturbing element herein. ∞

Rating: 2/5.

* So what was a naturally-born Satanist to do in that environment? Either operate incognito and just "lay low", or go over the top a violate the dress code by merely wearing a Heavy Metal t-shirt or allowing one's hair to grow over the ears. Perhaps just using The Art of Deception and "playing along" for the benefit of one's education despite the foolosophy, and/or to please parents. Whatever serves one's purposes.