What's worse than being a teenager? Being a Christian teenager in crisis, that's what. Something Weird Video brings a collection of scare films, that are not only here to help you succeed in life, but to save your very soul. In "Teenage Conflict", science-buff Joe begins to favor science over his lord and savior, believing science is the key to any answer. But will science be able to help him when his mom becomes seriously ill? Then in "Teenage Witness", the mechanically inclined Terry has to deal with his former friend Rod, giving him grief for being Christian. Should Terry write him off, or do what he can get Rod back into church to help give his life meaning? Finally, in "Teenage Code", Bill just wants to fit in with everybody else, even if it means sacrificing his studies and church duties to do so.
Considering the fact that I'm not religious by any means, before putting the DVD in, I knew this was going to be a trip. While I have seen Christian propaganda films before with movies like "If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do?" or the infamous "Blood Freak". I've never seen blatant hardcore Christian films designed to put fear into the hearts of Christians, to make sure they never doubt or stray from the heard. To a pleasant surprise, what I found in the first volume of "Christian Scare Films" was pure comedic gold.
The DVD set starts off with "Teenage Crusade", a preview and in depth look at an upcoming Christian film that was, "Written by teenagers, created by teenagers, made for teenagers." Showing how in these confusing times of being a young adult, Christianity is here to help guide them in the proper direction. I know it doesn't sound funny, but when you listen the pastor talk, and him selling this movie and how it will help give meaning to the lives of young viewers. You'll be in stitches.
It's on to our first teenager in peril, as young Joe in "Teenage Conflict" is taking an interest in science. So much so, that the more he learns about science and how the world works, he sees Christianity and the belief in God as being an outdated way of thinking. What?! No! Dear god no! But wait, don't get your hopes up on Joe yet. As his former neighbor and currently world famous scientist is coming back to town, and Joe plans on inviting him to stay at his house to convince his parents that science is the key to life, not God. Things don't quite work out for Joe, as his mother becomes seriously ill to the point of needing surgery and his once science hero has a talk with him about how he needs to have God in his life. Otherwise, all things proven by science won't make any sense, and in general, life will seem meaningless. So the lesson learned here is that, if you choose science over God and having faith, well, God's going to kill your mother. Thankfully for Joe though, he's made the right choice.
Alright, so thankfully we no longer have our doubts thanks to "Teenage Conflict", but wait. What happens when you have faith, but the people around you don't? Much like Terry in the second film, "Teenage Witness". Things seem to be going well for Terry, the locksmith-in-training, and mechanically inclined young man. The only problem is that his former childhood chum, Rod, has stopped going to church, and is running with the wrong crowd. What's Terry to do though when Rod extends out his hand looking for help? On one side, Rod's an asshole (I'm paraphrasing here), but then again a good Christian is always willing to help someone out, especially if it means being able to put the love of Christ in his or her heart. Well it turns out Rod is just using Terry so he can learn the locksmith trait so he can help commit a crime. Thankfully, Terry's constant badgering of Rod and how religion is the key to his salvation, and finally giving him his own version of the bible. Rod is finally able to find all the answers to life, (I'm not paraphrasing here. Those are the words spoken by the actor himself when he's defending the bible.) and is going to turn his life around. Another victory for God, and the lesson learned here is that, as a good Christian it is your job to get any person you come across to convert to your faith. And if they don't go willingly, then you beat them down and wear them out, by reminding them they need God and faith in their life or else they're just fucked.
Man, thank God (literally) we managed to dodge another bullet. Then again, what if you're not like Joe or Terry, and you're more like Bill in the third and final film, "Teenage Code", and popularity is your main concern? Well let’s take a look at the situation Bill has put himself in. The local gang, The Vikings, wants Bill to paint mural on their clubhouse wall, and well, all Bill wants to do is fit in and be popular. So Bill puts all of his time and energy into this painting, not giving his studies the proper attention they need, and starts blowing off his fellow Christian youth-group friends. Things don't look good for Bill though, as he's forgotten he has a big History quiz coming up and hasn't studied at all. Thanks to his newfound friendship with the high school hoodlums, they give him a cheat sheet with all the answers to the test. What's Bill to do? If he fails the test, his parents are going to be awfully sore at him, then again, cheating goes against the teachings of God. What to do? What to do? He cheats of course. Though, just as soon as he's about to hand in his test, his conscious gets the better of him and he tears up his paper. After having a confrontation with The Vikings, the teacher finds out what Bill and his new friends had done. From the lecture of the teacher and speech given by Bill, we learn that, while he may have past the test he would have failed God. Once you fail God, even if it's just one time, there is no going back. So not only do The Vikings learn from Bill, but as do we. And that our final lesson is if you make a mistake and you let down God just once, no matter how small it maybe, he will come down and kick your ass.
While I may not have been a religious man going into these movies, I've come out a changed man. I've realized the mistake in the decisions I've made in my life, and now I'm going to devote myself to becoming a good Christian, helping out others, and doing what I can to please Jesus and God.
No, but seriously, these movies are just as corny and ridiculous as you would guess. There isn't much to comment on, as you know exactly what's going to go down in these movies. Our teenage protagonist is in a dilemma that has him questioning his beliefs, or is going against God's teachings, but in the God wins and our protagonist learns from their mistake and comes out a better-stronger Christian in the end. The fact that these movies are so unbelievably cheesy and hokey, and that all of the "good" characters constantly mention how empty and meaningless life is without having Jesus and God in it. Makes these movies fried gold in terms of humor, I know I couldn't stop laughing. Which is all you can really gauge the these movies on in terms of quality, because you certainly won't be watching these for the steller acting, (even though a couple of the actors became famous) the dull retro-educational style cinematography, or for the compelling storylines. Nope, you're either going to laugh your way straight to hell, or reevaluate your personal beliefs. Your call.