...is usually going to be bad up close. I wasn't planning on seeing September Dawn because the previews made it look like a Lifetime Network battered wife show with Meredith Baxter-Berney being replaced by the Fancher party and John Voight as the monstrous husband.
I may change my mind now that it is being reviewed as one of the worst films of the last 30 years. The New York Times puts it thus:
But these aspects are eclipsed in the film by the Mormons’ Snidely Whiplash-like treachery. Their evil is established in an early sequence that cross-cuts between two dinner-table prayers: the travelers wishing the Mormons well, and Jacob urging God to please send Satan’s children to hell, amen — in a grimly righteous tone that begs for the punch line, “Now please pass the ham.”
Now this is starting to pique my interest. An anti-Mormon Reefer Madness? Pretty much:
Cain has turned the Mormons into baby-eatin’ Nazis to suit his argument, parading around these black-clad, chin-bearded, testicle-slicing gunslingers without any thoughtful consideration. To Cain, the Mormons were hulking, borderline insane fundamental gorillas who flung excrement at anyone daring to besmirch the name of Joseph Smith (played by…oh man…Dean Cain), and led around on a dog collar by a Zod-like deity in Brigham Young.
And when you have the Village Voice defending Mormons, you've a certified historical anomoly, up there with the original Dream Team and discovery of a very much alive Elizabeth Smart:
September Dawn has the ham-fisted lyricism of political ads and pharmaceutical commercials.
With renewed Mormo-phobia being bandied about thanks to the Romney run, it's interesting that the filmmakers have been running around proclaiming this movie to be a warning about all forms of religious fanaticism. Of course, they didn't have the courage to make a flick about, oh say, Beslan.
So Hollywood gets to smack around a slow-moving and harmless target, secure in the knowledge that they will not be subjected to Fatwas or stabbings. This is modern courage.
I have to see this, so I will be the official INFDL guinea pig, plug my nose and plop down six bux to wade through this dogshit flick. Now that's courage.