Based on some recent feedback, I found that the archives here on Misan[trope]y are a bit difficult to navigate. So, I’ve created an alphabetical post index, which you can now find on the top menu bar. Feel free to take a stroll through the past three years of reviews, but keep in mind that the older the reviews, the shorter and less detailed they are.
Speaking of which, from going through a bunch of my old posts to build the index, I noticed that I covered a lot of classic bad movies with really minimal posts, particularly towards the beginning of the IMDb Bottom 100 challenge. So, I’m planning to re-cover a bunch of those with a bit more detail in the near future, like Birdemic, Troll 2, and Manos: The Hands of Fate.
In the meantime, today is the last day where you can donate here to the Secular Student Alliance and make me watch whatever you want! It doesn’t matter how much you give, I will honor any request you have. I have already written about watching paint dry, Willy Wonka vs. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, and I have tons more request-posts going up over the next week. Also, feel free to make me cover something again, particularly if I didn’t give it much detail at the time, or you thought I was way off the mark (I see all of you Hudson Hawk apologists out there).
Many thanks to everyone who has donated so far, and even more thanks to all of you who suffered through the Bibleman Marathon with me! If you haven’t given yet, I would love it if you did. If you can’t though, we are still totally cool. I hope you all are enjoying the posts, and you can always get me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2008’s “Lambasting the Legions of Laziness” marks the fourth episode of the third and final incarnation of the Bibleman franchise: “Bibleman: Powersource.” Willie Aames’s replacement, Robert Schlipp, stars once again in the lead role of Bibleman.
“Lambasting the Legions of Laziness” is once again produced and directed by series regular Steve Gilreath, and written by Jeff Durham, who previously penned “Tuning Out The Unholy Hero.”
The primary villain of the episode is The Slacker, who looks like a wizard in pajamas. There is also a secondary villain, a robot named Gamemaster, who will pop back up in his own dedicated episode later on.
Bibleman is of course joined by his usual lineup of Bible Adventure Team allies: Cypher, Melody, and the newly reappointed Biblegirl.
The story follows The Slacker as he uses a magical lantern to cause members of Bibleman’s bible study group to become listless and unmotivated. Bibleman and company eventually realize something is wrong, but not until after they fall victim to his magic themselves. Of course, prayer manages to cure them (as it always does), and the team then goes after The Slacker.
The episode opens with Bibleman driving a race car, during which a guy in a cheap robot costume (Gamemaster) tries to assassinate him. Speaking of which, Gamemaster looks about as advanced as Sex Robot or the cardboard box outfits from “The Humans Are Dead” by Flight of the Conchords, and speaking in one of the laziest robot impersonation voices that you will ever hear.
In true Bibleman fashion, Gamemaster is straight-up stabbed to death by the crusading hero, who clearly isn’t very big on mercy or the potential for redemption. Or, at least, not for robots.
The main villain of the episode, The Slacker, features some of the worst aging makeup I have ever seen. Could they not have found an older man to play the part, as opposed to trying to transform a young guy? Even the fake beard looks embarrassingly awful, and those just can’t be all that hard to come by.
I feel like this episode is vaguely anti-marijuana in its message, but without ever explicitly stating that. The Slacker’s demeanor and everyone’s behavior under his spell throughout the episode struck me as being what a fundamentalist Christian would imagine being stoned is like, which is pretty damn hilarious to me. That also means that this episodes marks yet another instance in the series where the villain blatantly drugs children, which is pretty creepy as far as tropes / motifs go.
Something that you might spot in the background of this episode is one of the Bibleman branded action figures. Specifically, a figure of El Furioso (“Conquering The Wrath of Rage”) is used as part of one of The Slacker’s devices, which Bibleman manages to defuse.
In the end of the episode, Bibleman and company wind up defeating The Slacker, and hold him at the point of their laser swords. The Slacker makes the reasonable inquiry as to what they are going to do with him, which may very well have saved his life, judging from Bibleman’s murderous track record. However, the outcome is ultimately kind of creepy. Here is how it plays out:
The Slacker: “So tell me, Bibleman, what are you planning to do with me?”
Bibleman: “I think you need a long vacation. I’ll even buy you a one-way ticket.”
There is then an immediate cut to the following image:
That sure does raise a lot of questions, doesn’t it? Now, i don’t think it is unreasonable to assume that “The Bad Place” is Hell. However, when someone gets a “one-way ticket” to Hell, that usually means they have been quite thoroughly murdered. Also, how exactly is this package supposed to be delivered to “The Bad Place,” regardless of whether it is Hell or anywhere else? That just isn’t specific enough at all, and I’m pretty sure, theologically speaking, there aren’t a whole lot of people out there who believe that Hell has a deliverable postal address. In any case, I believe that The Slacker pops up in the series finale, so he managed to survive his “one-way ticket” to “The Bad Place.”
“Lambasting the Legions of Laziness” isn’t one of the stronger entries into the franchise, and I personally think that the villain is one of the dullest and least interesting. I mean, there is only so much you can do with a villain centered around sloth, so I guess they did what they could. Still, the story is unremarkable, and the makeup on The Slacker is distractingly terrible, and there aren’t really enough highlights to make the experience of watching through the episode worth it.
2006’s “Tuning Out the Unholy Hero” marks the second episode of the third and final incarnation of the Bibleman franchise: “Bibleman: Powersource.” Robert Schlipp stars in his third episode as Bibleman, after taking over the role from Willie Aames.
The antagonist for “Tuning Out The Unholy Hero” is a silver-coated, media-obsessed, and fame-powered man named “2kul 4skul,” played by Jeff Durham, who is clearly styled to be like a rap artist. He also has a quasi-henchmen named “Werner B,” which I assume must be a reference to Warner Brothers. A secondary villain pops up in a brief sequence (not unlike “The Cheater” in “Terminating the Toxic Tonic of Disrespect”) named “I. M. Wonderful,” who seems to be based around vanity. The concept reminded me a bit of “Madame Glitz,” a villain who popped up way back in the second episode of “The Bibleman Show,” called “Back to School.”
Biblegirl is once again absent in “Tuning Out The Unholy Hero,” leaving the bible team composed of the trio of Bibleman, Cypher, and the newcomer, Melody, who was introduced in the previous episode.
The story of “Tuning Out The Unholy Hero” focuses on the new celebrity “2kul 4skul,” who is using his new-found fame to corrupt children into being disrespectful and rebellious. Bibleman and his team take notice of this, and discover that he is using his media platform to essentially brainwash his audiences. Despite his possession of a magical remote control, Bibleman and company are able to expose 2kul as a villain, and foil his scheme to cause teenagers to behave rebelliously.
The villain’s power in “Tuning Out The Unholy Hero” is the use of a magical remote control that can manipulate reality. If that sounds familiar to you, it is because that is the plot of the 2006 Adam Sandler summer flick, “Click.” If I am not mistaken, this video would have been released right in the middle of the promotional campaign for that film, so I have trouble believing that this decision was entirely an accident. In any case, the humor in this episode derived from the device makes Sandler look like a comedic genius.
The portrayal of the villain 2kul 4skul is, at the very best, insensitive and misguided. The character, who is designed to speak and look like a rap star, is a stone’s throw from being in black face (the makeup color is silver/gray). Clearly, the writer of the episode had an axe to grind with the violent, brash, and ‘un-Christian’ content of some popular music, and wanted some kids with sideways baseball caps to get off his lawn pronto. It is beyond ludicrous, but it is hard to laugh at a depiction that is so obviously racially charged. Honestly, I’m surprised anything was able to top Wacky Protestor’s flamboyant Jewishness, but here we are: a silver-coated, old white guy brainwashing children with his rap music and rebellious attitude.
Speaking of 2kul 4skul, he stands out from the other villains in the series in another peculiar way: bible verses apparently cause him physical harm. Bibleman, of course, spots verse constantly in combat, but there has never been any indication that the verses themselves actually did anything in the past. In this episode, however, 2kul visibly and consistently flinches when confronted with bible verses, which is never explained in any detail. Is this meant to be specific to his character, or has Bibleman finally figured out a way to weaponize the bible?
This is another episode in the series that I had never seen previously, and it honestly isn’t a standout. The villain is the only reason to catch this one, because the portrayal is astoundingly out of touch and tone deaf, even for a Bibleman episode.
“Terminating the Toxic Tonic of Disrespect” marks the first episode of the third and final incarnation of the Bibleman franchise: “Bibleman: Powersource.” Robert Schlipp stars in his second episode as Bibleman, after taking over the role from Willie Aames.
“Terminating the Toxic Tonic of Disrespect” was produced and directed by Steve Gilreath, and written by Michael Nolan. As far as I can tell, there was very little carry-over from “The Bibleman Adventure” behind the scenes.
Bibleman is once again joined by his longtime ally, Cypher, who features much more prominently in the new, incredibly boring opening sequence. Biblegirl is absent from the episode (only temporarily), but a new character named Melody is introduced as the third member of the team.
The new villain of the episode is a neon mohawked creature named E. Meritus Snortinskoff, who is accompanied by a henchman named Stench. There is another villain introduced in a flashback: a Riddler-inspired man called “The Cheater,” who will pop up later in the series. These villains, in a bit of a separation, aren’t the offensive stereotypes I typically expect of the series. Instead, the antagonistic duo of Snortinskoff and Stench are just run-of-the-mill zany mad scientists. However, they also aren’t quite as memorable as The Wacky Protestor, which is hard to deny.
The story starts as the two sinister scientists are making a bunch of kids indignant and rebellious by selling them “M-Pow-R” energy drinks made from sugar, water, and, basically, “pure evil.” The Bible team realize what is happening after noticing a bunch of burgeoning teenagers acting shitty to authority figures. Because, you know, that never happens otherwise.
The Bible Team ultimately wind up getting a sample of the “M-Pow-R” energy drink, and discover its contents (selfishness, bad attitudes, and probably a lot of high fructose corn syrup I assume?). This leads to a rambling, scripture-laced train of thought that could rival the revelation scene from “Black Dynamite.” Somehow, through rambling about trees for a while, the team figures out where to find the evil scientists.
The acting is somehow dramatically worse than during the run of “The Bibleman Adventure,” which I think is primarily the fault of the new lead, Robert Schlipp (and what I assume is a lower budget). He is so astoundingly wooden that he makes Willie Aames look like a real leading man. Speaking of which, Cypher really should be Bibleman, which is something that I mentioned in my reviews of the past couple of episodes. Schlipp is just awful, and lacks any kind of charisma or screen presence, which Brady Williams actually does have to a degree. Clearly concessions had to be made to get Cypher to come back at all, like having him appear alongside Bibleman in the opening sequence.
The Bibleman lair is gone, which I suppose makes sense, given I assume that was underneath Miles Peterson’s house. Instead, the team is based out of what looks to be a trailer, or “Mobile Command.” They also have kind of creepy, military-ish jumpsuits when they are not in superhero garb, which makes them seem even more like a fanatical paramilitary group. The fact that the show continues on with the previously only vaguely referenced “Board of Directors” of “Central Command” just strikes me as all kinds of creepy, like there is a sinister, right-wing corporation funding fundamentalist vigilantes all across the world.
The introduction of Melody offers the only actual good lesson that I have seen in the entire series: BibleMan and Cypher at first assume that she is a delivery girl when she shows up at the base, and initially dismiss her as a moron despite her expertise with technology. Of course, in typical BibleMan form, they never acknowledge the obvious sexism of their assumptions, and only ultimately apologize for not respecting her as one in “God’s image.” So close, BibleMan. So close.
Something that I will be interested to see once I get to The Cheater’s episode is if the flashback sequence in this story is recycled footage from there, because it is pretty jarring and out of place where it is here, like it was included to fill out time.
Something that I noticed quickly about this episode (in comparison to previous ones) is that the cinematography is distractingly awful, to the point of being nauseating during certain sequences with the villains. The camera is rotated dramatically and constantly during Snortinskoff’s screen time, which is more than excessive. Dutch angles can certainly be effective to create tension and unease, but the way they are used here is beyond over the top: the characters almost look like they are on a boat in choppy water.
This is another episode of Bibleman that I have covered previously on the blog, and I still really like it. This episode might not make the best introduction to the franchise, but it has all of the necessary elements to make for an entertainingly awful episode. The villains are hammy, the plot is nonsense, the acting is wooden, and the special effects / stunt work is laughably terrible. “Toxic Tonic” definitely gets a strong recommendation from me.
“A Fight For Faith” was originally released in December of 2004, and marked the final entry into “The Bibleman Adventure,” which was the second incarnation of the franchise after the short-lived “The Bibleman Show.” The franchise would continue with “Bibleman: PowerSource” in 2005, following the adventures of the new Bibleman introduced in “A Fight For Faith.”
“A Fight for Faith” was co-written by Brady Williams and Jef Scott, the actors who portray Cypher and Wacky Protester, respectively. The director for the episode, a role that had long been handled by the now-absent Willie Aames, is Jim Standridge, who had been a cinematographer on the show dating back to “Breaking the Bonds of Disobedience.”
The villain of “A Fight For Faith” is played by Jef Scott, who appears yet again under the moniker of “The Wacky Protestor,” a character who was notably killed at the end of “Divided We Fall.” Apparently, death once again holds no meaning in the Bibleman universe, as he returns apparently unharmed. The evil computer, L.U.C.I., also makes an appearance as his quasi-henchman once again.
Bibleman is surrounded by his same typical group of allies: Cypher, Biblegirl, and U.N.I.C.E., though Bibleman himself is a new character: Josh Carpenter, who replaces Miles Peterson as the crusading hero.
The story of “A Fight for Faith” centers around a plan by Wacky Protester to literally convert the whole world to atheism through the help of a virtual reality video game that he calls “ART.” The new Bibleman, Josh Carpenter, has to work with the rest of the bible team to save the day.
L.U.C.I.: So, you want to convert the kiddies to atheism?
Protester: Yes! Yes! That’s correct! The belief that there is no god, no faith, no hope, or no future.
“A Fight for Faith” starts with a cold open, where Cypher is attempting to stop a band of bible thieves. Literally, this gang is hauling around giant crates labeled “BIBLES.” Now, if there is anything I know about bibles, it is that they are numerous in quantity and can easily be acquired for free, thanks to the Gideons. So, what exactly is the point in stealing crates filled with bibles? I just don’t get it: they aren’t worth anything, people can access them anywhere, so what exactly is the purpose of the act outside of empty symbolism (which is also irrelevant, because they are doing this in secret). Apparently, their ultimate plan is to burn them. However, I don’t understand why they didn’t just collect the countless free bibles floating around out there to do that? The cost/benefit of going through the trouble and hazard of stealing them from a warehouse just doesn’t make sense to me, particularly for the purpose of what I assume is a political display.
Part of the plot that I didn’t cover in my summary is that the Wacky Protester at one point manages to sneak into a church, unquestioned, and essentially hypnotizes and kidnaps a number of kids from their vacation bible school. And it isn’t like he is sneaky or subtle: he wears the worst possible disguise, acts blatantly suspicious, and is hauling around a mysterious device that literally has “I ❤ Evil” painted on it. I’d be hesitant to trust any institution to keep children that fails to catch that in a security net.
Speaking of which, the evil, atheist video game that Protester uses to trap children in is definitely one of the weirdest things to ever show up in the show. It isn’t a virtual reality game as much as it is a portal to an alternate dimension that is filled with bright colors, cartoons, 2-D images, and nightmares:
The final showdown of the episode features, among other things, a sing/dance-off between Wacky Protester and Cypher, who are notably also the two co-writers of the episode. Apparently, they were just dying to do a duet, so they wrote one for themselves. The episode concludes with Protester getting trapped in his trippy video game dimension, which I suppose spares him the almost guaranteed brutal death that he was going to face at the hands of Bibleman and company.
“A Fight For Faith” may be the most popular episode in the entire franchise, as it is the only one to inspire both a live stage adaptation and a video game. It might just be that the episode title was catchy, but this is definitely the one Bibleman story I have run into the most often, in one incarnation or another.
Something that I can’t help but wonder is how burned Brady Williams, the actor who plays Cypher, was about not getting to become Bibleman after Willie Aames left the show. It seemed like he was being groomed for it, and his presence with the program dated back a long way. However, I suppose it was decided that the conservative, evangelical consumer base wasn’t ready for a black Bibleman. After all, this was only 2005!
I don’t think I have to go into too much detail as to how this episode is offensive and generally shitty to secular people. I mean, the entire premise of the story is that not believing in god is bad and wrong, and that there is literally nothing imaginably worse than a world populated and run by nonbelievers. The entire notion of a moral code beyond the bible is an entirely alien concept from the point of view of the show’s creators. The goal here is clearly to stigmatize anyone who doesn’t believe in god, and to convey that message directly to an audience of young children. In a series packed with lazy stereotypes and bad advice, this is the most brazenly offensive of the bunch in my opinion.
Of course, all of that also means that this episode is, unintentionally, an absolute laugh riot. The lack of understanding and comprehension of technology, atheism, science, and generally everything in this episode is exponentially more over-the-top than anything that has been in the show up to this point. It is enough for me to wonder if Willie Aames was actually a moderating creative force for the program. In any case, this episode makes for a strong recommendation from me: there is plenty of nonsense to enjoy here.
“Divided We Fall” was originally released in March of 2004, and was the eleventh entry into “The Bibleman Adventure,” which was the second incarnation of the franchise after the short-lived “The Bibleman Show.”
“Divided We Fall” was produced and directed by former sitcom star Willie Aames, who once again takes top billing as the central hero, Bibleman. This episode was written by Brady Williams, the actor who plays Bibleman’s sidekick, Cypher.
The villain of “Divided We Fall” is played by Jef Scott, who appears yet again under the moniker of “The Wacky Protestor,” a character who was previously defeated in “A Light In The Darkness.” The evil computer, L.U.C.I., also makes an appearance as his quasi-henchman.
Bibleman’s allies in “Divided We Fall” are his long-time sidekick, Cypher, his supercomputer, U.N.I.C.E., and Biblegirl, who is still played by Heather Hazelwood/McSmith from “Jesus Our Savior” and “A Light In The Darkness.”
The story of “Divided We Fall” picks up when the Wacky Protester tries to use the horrifying (and apparently popular) children’s show “Mr. Funky’s Wild Time” to corrupt children across the nation into becoming rebellious and disobedient. Likewise, he plans to sew discord within Bibleman’s team by using L.U.C.I to pose as U.N.I.C.E. for the purpose of spreading misinformation between them. Interestingly, that sounds really similar to “Silencing the Gossip Queen,” though that episode focuses on causing tensions between annoying children as opposed to annoying adults.
The Protester’s plan hinges on the assumption that Bibleman, Biblegirl, and Cypher won’t actually talk to each other like adults at any point, and prefer being passive aggressive and in-communicative indefinitely. Of course, it initially works because they are essentially giant babies (complete with a slap fight between Cypher and Bibleman), but they do eventually figure things out and foil his plan.
Of course, there is another big flaw in the Protester’s plan: the fact that he bothered to go after Bibleman at all. If he hadn’t hacked into U.N.I.C.E., the team would never have been tipped off as to his plan for “Mr. Funky’s Wild Time,” and he would have gotten away with it. I mean, how exactly was Bibleman going to predict his plan of attack on this television show anyway? If Protester had just hacked into the show and not been obsessively preoccupied with the bible team, he would have a legion of mindless children at his command…or something like that. Y’know, that part of the plan doesn’t make a whole lot of sense either. Aren’t children pretty unruly and rebellious anyway? Was his plan to send a bunch of children into puberty early?
The Wacky Protester finally gets an explosive death in “Divided We Fall,” after taking a series of deflected laser blasts from the bible team. It is actually a bit underwhelming for a Bibleman villain death, but it is still pretty brutal for a humanoid to explode into pixels I suppose.
“Divided We Fall” marked Willie Aames’s last appearance as BibleMan, and there is even an awkward reference to Bibleman’s age and potential retirement in the episode. I’m not sure what the situation was in regards to his departure from the show, but I do know it at least had something to do with a change of publisher and the relaunch of the series as “Bibleman: PowerSource,” which occurs following the next episode (“A Fight for Faith”).
Overall, this episode is far from one of the worst in the series, and certainly benefits from the presence of the Wacky Protestor. However, there aren’t any goofy potions or spells, which is always one of the more goofy qualities of the show. There is plenty of impossible hacking magic, terrible acting, and incompetence from the bible team to go around, though. This is another one that isn’t towards the top of my list, but one could do much worse for an adventure with Bibleman.
“A Light In The Darkness” was originally released in January of 2003, and was the tenth entry into “The Bibleman Adventure,” which was the second incarnation of the show after the short-lived “The Bibleman Show.”
“A Light in the Darkness” was written and directed by former sitcom star Willie Aames, who once again takes top billing as the central hero of Bibleman.
The central villain of “A Light in the Darkness” is again played by Jef Scott (who was previously Primordious Drool in “Jesus Our Savior”), but this time under the moniker of “The Wacky Protestor,” who can best be summed up as an evil Jewish scientist atheist clown. Oddly, he doesn’t really have any qualities of a protestor, not does he particularly do any protesting of anything. The evil computer, “L.U.C.I.,” also pops up once again as his support.
Bibleman’s allies in “A Light in the Darkness” are his trusty sidekick, Cypher, his supercomputer, U.N.I.C.E. (who receives an upgrade in this episode), and Biblegirl, who was actually a bit of mystery for me here. At first I thought that she had been re-cast again, because the credit on the episode is “Introducing Heather McSmith,” whereas she has previously been credited as Heather Hazelwood. ‘Hazelwood’ is also listed on the DVD credit, and after some research, it appears that the same actress has used both names. However, that doesn’t really explain why they continued using the ‘introducing’ credit after her first episode. Bibleman’s first sidekick, Coats, briefly appears at the beginning of the episode as a robot assassin sent into Bibleman’s headquarters.
The story of “Light in the Darkness” kicks off with a robotic version of Coats, Bibleman’s former sidekick, attacking Bibleman in his home. The assault damages U.N.I.C.E., prompting a repair and dramatic upgrade. The bible team, rightly assuming that the robot attack was planned by The Wacky Protestor, prepare for a battle. Meanwhile, the Protestor develops some sort of atheism gas that makes people depressed, with the intention of using it to prevent people from going to church. He ultimately decides to use it on Biblegirl, which causes problems for Bibleman’s team.
“A Light in the Darkness” stoops to one of the lowest stereotypes about people who lose their faith or leave religion: that the only reason they do so is because they are depressed, and that mentally healthy people would never leave their church of their own will. That’s pretty shitty, to say the least. Even more shitty is insinuating that depression is the result of evil, vaguely Jewish, clown-like forces acting on people, rather than noting the fact that it is a treatable chemical imbalance that people of any religious tradition deal with every day. At no point does anyone say to the depressed folks, “Hey, you aren’t alone in dealing with this, you can see a doctor for help! Maybe they can identify this weird fog on your face?” Instead, they are just sort of pushed to be more involved with their fellowship, and told to pray more. After all, sadness is apparently the result of evil demon clowns with bad teeth, so prayer should clear that right up!
“A Light in the Darkness” also features one of the worst child actors / characters who has been on the show since its initial incarnation. The character is essentially the protestor’s boos, and is likewise a perplexing mix of stereotypes: he speaks like a bad impersonation of an Italian mobster, dresses like a dork, and wears what looks like a biker hat. It doesn’t make even the slightest bit of sense, and the child who plays him is infuriatingly obnoxious.
“A Light in the Darkness” doesn’t feature any gratuitous deaths outside of Robot Coates, but to be fair, that one is pretty great. Overall, this is a pretty entertaining episode, but isn’t quite in the top tier of my list. As always, the comedy is bad, but the presence of Jef Scott doing his over-the-top schtick gives it a leg up on most of the other episodes. I think this episode also marks the first appearance of the unexplained guy in a white monkey suit, who lives in a cage in Wacky Protestor’s hideout. That certainly counts for something.
Reviews/Trivia of B-Movies, Bad Movies, and Cult Movies.