Today, I’m continuing my week-long marathon of the Bibleman franchise as part of Secular Students Week. If you make a donation to the Secular Student Alliance this week, and I’ll cover a movie of your choice.
“Breaking the Bonds of Disobedience” was released in January of 2001, and is the sixth entry into “The Bibleman Adventure,” which is the second incarnation of the franchise.
“Breaking the Bonds of Disobedience” was directed, produced, and co-written by Bibleman himself, Willie Aames. His co-writer was once again Marion Wells, who also helped pen “Shattering the Prince of Pride” and “The Fiendish Works of Dr. Fear.”
The villain for this episode is Luxor Spawndroth, who is played by Brian Lemmons for his sixth straight lead villain role. L.U.C.I., the evil computer, and Ludicrous, his henchman, appear as well, but the latter is this time dramatically re-cast.
Bibleman’s allies for “Breaking the Bonds of Disobedience” include Cypher, the supercomputer U.N.I.C.E., and the introduction of the first Biblegirl as a secondary sidekick.
The story of “Breaking the Bonds of Disobedience” centers on a play based on Bibleman, which the team is frantically trying to plan and execute. However, this cuts into their praying time, and leaves them susceptible to a new engineered rebellion disease created by the villain Luxon Spawndroth. Bibleman and company have to resist the disease, find a cure, pull off the play, and finally defeat Luxor before he can spread the disease any further.
The episode kicks off with a dayglo laser nightmare, which is apparently a rehearsal for a Bibleman musical about temptation, that would ironically require a significant intake of drugs to sit through.
One of the key assumptions of the episode’s plot is that rebellion can be caused by an infection or disease, which strikes me as more than a little silly. I think it plays into the idea that children only rebel because of some outside influence, rather than being just a natural part of growing up, and the folks behind Bibleman are clearly terrified of the thought of children growing into rebellious teens. In any case, the plot pretty blatantly involves biological warfare, even if it is nonsense and fictitious. That’s not particularly anything new for a show that has featured mind control drugs and hypnotism, but biological warfare is still pretty dark for for a children’s show.
“Breaking the Bonds of Disobedience” features an updated introduction song and title sequence, which works with the increasing pseudo-technological aesthetic of the show. Personally, I find this particular version of the song incredibly grating, and almost makes me miss the old theme to “The Bibleman Show.”
The title of this episode, “Breaking the Bonds of Disobedience,” strikes me as a tad bit ridiculous. When I think of disobedience, the first thing I think of is not bonds. Speaking of which, why not use the word ‘rebellion’ in the title? That is what the story is really about when it comes down to it, and it just seems like a more apt and obvious word than ‘disobedience.’
This is the first episode where I have spotted a “BibleMan” branded bible on set, which is something that I have always found kind of hilarious. For a show that has an entire episode dedicated to the folly of pride and how God should have more glory than any individual, that’s a gutsy move.
One of my favorite parts of this episode occurs after Bibleman has been infected with the disease of rebelliousness. For some reason, the only effect it seems to have is to make him ornery and forgetful of his bible verses. A young girl walks up to him, and asks him if cheating on homework is bad, and he literally cannot answer because he can’t remember his scripture. That is a level of inept that is hard for me to even fathom: to have your moral code so tied to a book that without it, you can’t even perform basic though processes. If that is the case, why don’t the bad guys just mess with his memory? Theoretically, if he can’t remember passages from the bible, he’ll be off the rails snorting cocaine and murdering passers-by with his laser sword in no time.
In keeping with truest and most time-honored of Bibleman traditions, the villains of the episode once again die miserably. This time, U.N.I.C.E. causes L.U.C.I.’s remote drone to explode, which somehow causes a chain reaction that results in Luxor and Ludicrous shattering into of pieces in the midst of a fireball. Not too shabby as far as villain deaths go.
For some reason, I kind of love this episode. I think it is mostly because of the dayglo stage production and Bibleman’s utter helplessness and unhinged fury throughout the story, but I also kind of like the new version of Ludacris. There is also a segment where Luxor fools Bibleman with what I am pretty sure is a shitty Dr. Phil impression that slowly turns into Forrest Gump, which is just amazing to watch. This one is a solid and hardy recommendation from me: it is just the right amount of nonsense that makes for an enjoyable Bibleman experience.