When Religion Goes Bad: ‘The Wicker Man’ and More

When Religion Goes Bad: ‘The Wicker Man’ and More (photo)

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We’re showing the deliciously creepy 1974 film The Wicker Man tonight as part of Indie Screams. Not to give too much away about the film, but a very pious police officer is summoned to a distant Scottish isle to find a missing girl, but when he arrives on the island everyone claims the girl never existed. When the police officer realizes that the island is ruled by a libertarian society organized around pagan rituals, things go from bad to worse.

Thinking about paganism got us thinking, what other movies show religion gone wrong? Obviously The Exorcist is a frightening depiction of christian beliefs, but the priests in that film helped, like, a lot. So what movies show religion in a less positive light? Clearly any movie where you are unknowingly inseminated with the devil’s seed counts. But we talked about Rosemary’s Baby, yesterday in our list of the Top Ten Scariest Movies Ever and Blessed when we listed Heather Graham’s Five Worst Films. We put on our thinking hats and here is the list we came up with:

While not exactly a great film, The Serpent and The Rainbow does give an interesting look into the Voodoo religion. Interestingly, the book it was based on was actually a Harvard ethnobotanist’s account of his research into Haitian culture and indigineous use of plants, which seems an unlikely place for horror master Wes Craven source material.

They’re heeeeeerrrrrreeee. Steven Spielberg’s Poltergeist explores a world beyond where the lucky folks who follow their shepherd to their deaths get to haunt a little girl’s television set:

Stephen King’s Children of the Corn will make you think twice about buying your produce on the farm:

The restless spirits of demonic nuns come back to possess a batch of college students unlucky enough to trespass and party on the grounds of their abandoned convent in
The Convent. Pro Tip: Demonic nuns are not to be trifled with.

In The Prophecy, as in awesome television show Supernatural, it turns out that angels are kind of jerks and mere mortals get stuck in the middle of epic battles.

Similarly in Legion the end of the world comes with a side of hash browns and toast:

Clearly this list is not comprehensive. Head to the comments to add your own.

The Wicker Man airs on IFC at midnight eastern tonight.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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