I’ll be frank with you, I have no idea how to start this review. When you’re only given a paragraph or two to quickly set the tone for a movie like this…it’s really hard. Like, harder than tying your shoes for the first time. So what I’ll do instead is quickly throw down a list of elements in this movie. How does that sound?
Catholic priests, heavy metal, Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn, a weird machine, visions from God, and exploding heads.
Now that I have your attention, join me past the break for more inspired lunacy.
The Catechism Cataclysm
Director: Todd Rohal
I can safely say that The Catechism Cataclysm is one of the weirdest movies of the year. Hands down. And I mean that in the best way possible. Because weird is never synonymous with bad. Father William (Eastbound and Down’s Steve Little) is a dweeb. His sermons make zero sense, he spends most of his time on YouTube, and is all around just an awkward dork who talks too much. After a particularly disastrous sermon, he’s called upon by an older Father to take a weekend and find God. Naturally, Will’s idea of finding God is to take a canoe trip with his hero from high school, Robbie Shoemaker (Robert Longstreet).
From there, things just get…weird. A pair of Asian girls who claim their names are Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn hook them up to a machine in the middle of the woods and blare electronica so loud and intense that a man’s head explodes. Not kidding about that. If nothing else, The Catechism Cataclysm earns points in just how silly and ridiculous nearly every moment is. It’s the kind of movie that has something to say, but isn’t full of itself. And any meaning you get from the movie is correct; there is no wrong interpretation of the material.
One of the bigger highlights of the movie is the heavy metal soundtrack. Oh, but it’s not good metal. It’s cheesy, 80s hair metal type stuff. And it’s great! I dare you to leave the theatre without singing “My Main Man (Jesus Is)” out loud. Catchier than nearly any radio hit this year, every song on the soundtrack is a classic. Especially the film’s final song, “God Will Fuck You Up”.
A smart script, and a wonderful soundtrack are only two thirds of what makes this movie great. The relationship and interaction between Will and Robbie is what makes or breaks this movie. And thank Jesus that Steve Little and Robert Longstreet are on their A-game with this flick. Every interaction between the two is equal parts hilarious and awkward, never losing balance of the two. Even the supporting roles bring the awkward in a great way.
Look, I know this is a short review. I’d go on about the man that’s stuck in a freeway support pillar, or the large black man who doesn’t say a thing. But that’d spoil all the good stuff. Part of what makes this movie so good is the fact that you’ll never know what’s going to happen next. Just know that director Todd Rohal has made one of the most unique movies of the year.
Look for The Catechism Cataclysm on VOD right now, and in select theaters today.