If you know me in real life, first of all you’re welcome, but secondly, you also know that I’m someone who goes out of his way to avoid insulting another person’s beliefs. That overly considerate mentality combined with my vast movie knowledge means that when friends and strangers ask if they should watch certain films, my first thought is: “Will this movie upset their delicate world view?”
Today is the National Day of Prayer, and with that in mind I’ve decided to put my unceasing kindness and immense mental database of movie titles to good use. For the religiously minded among you — as well as for those who, like me, can affirm that some of your best friends are religious — here are some movies that sound pure in heart but are in fact foul, sinful, and typically damn entertaining.
What it is: A high school girl turns tricks by night on the streets of Los Angeles and faces off against a vicious serial killer with the help of a senile cowboy and a transvestite.
The Beastmaster (1982)
What it sounds like: A man heeds a warning from God to build an enormous boat big enough to hold two of every kind of animal on Earth, plus food, water, medicine, pooper-scoopers, and dinosaurs, I guess.
What it is: A shirtless hero seeks vengeance against an evil warlord and uses mind-control to make animals aid him in his quest.
What it is: Christopher Walken plays a successful writer who recalls being abducted by aliens and subjected to backdoor visitations.
What it is: A wacky scientist still mourning the death of his wife three decades prior sets out to clone her with the aid of Mariel Hemingway’s ovaries.
The Dirty Dozen (1967)
What it is: An army major thinks outside the box when planning a mass assassination of enemy officers and puts together a team of murderers to complete the mission.
What it is: Kevin Smith’s fourth feature film pits rogue angels and a demon against an abortion provider and God Herself.
An Eye for an Eye (1981)
What it is: Chuck Norris is a cop prone to violence who takes matters into his own hands (and feet) when his partner is murdered.
Flesh & Blood (1985)
What it sounds like: The mystery behind transubstantiation, the moment where bread and wine become Christ’s flesh and blood, is explored through accusations made by sixth-grade me that it sounds an awful lot like cannibalism.
What it is: Medieval rogues go about their business raping and pillaging.
God Told Me To (1976)
What it is: Random murders begin occurring throughout New York City with the assailants saying only that God told them to do it, but when a Catholic detective investigates he discovers the real cause just might be this intergalactic hermaphrodite over in the corner.
Hard to Kill (1990)
What it sounds like: Fearful disbelievers plan and execute a plan to execute Jesus Christ, but what should have been an easy kill is soon revealed to be far harder than expected when the deceased is resurrected.
What it is: Detective Mason Storm is left for dead but survives to bed a hot nurse, seek revenge against the men who killed his wife, and then maybe get with that nurse again.
Heaven Help Us (1985)
What it is: Matt Dillon’s brother gets vomited on after trying to pressure a girl into sex, curse words are expelled like carbon dioxide, and Stephen Geoffreys jerks it at literally every opportunity.
The Last American Virgin (1982)
What it is: A cautionary tale about a country overrun by sexual desire and the one teenage boy whose kindness, insecurity, and face acne prevent him from taking part in the bacchanalia.
The Missionary (1982)
What it is: Monty Python’s Michael Palin plays a reverend in the early 20th century tasked with servicing London’s misguided prostitute population.
My Boyfriend’s Back (1993)
What it sounds like: After a whirlwind forty-eight hours spent mourning Christ’s death and subtly suggesting that they were an item, Mary Magdalene is surprised to discover that He’s risen from the grave.
What it is: A teenage boy wills himself back to life in an effort to attend prom with the prettiest girl in school.
My Father the Hero (1994)
What it is: Gerard Depardieu plays a single father who pretends to be his 15-year-old daughter’s lover in an effort to make her happy and impress the older boy she actually likes.
The One (2001)
What it is: Carla Gugino plays a woman whose brief confusion over which of two similar-looking Chinese men is actually her husband comes at a heavy price.
What it is: Willie Aames, of all people, plays a teenager stranded in a coastal oasis resembling a blue lagoon of sorts with a nubile Phoebe Cates, and they keep busy while awaiting rescue.
Peter’s Friends (1992)
What it is: A group of old friends gather for a long overdue reunion together and amid a scandalous weekend of drinking, hook-ups, and break-ups, their host Peter reveals he’s been diagnosed as HIV-positive.
Prayer of the Rollerboys (1990)
What it sounds like: This documentary looks at a group of inner-city youth pastors who spread the good word on roller skates, but after their funding is cut by the paraplegic atheist in charge of the city’s budget, their future is in need of a miracle.
What it is: A post-apocalyptic adventure about a roller-blading pizza delivery boy played by Corey Haim who goes undercover in a dangerous roller-blading gang in an effort to help the police who themselves prefer walking.
What it is: A Catholic priest struggles with his beliefs and vows in light of both his own sexuality and the needs of his most innocent parishioners.
Raising Cain (1992)
What it sounds like: Eve and her husband Adam do their best to raise both of their sons with equal love and respect, but the nature vs. nurture debate is born when one of the brothers chooses to murder the other.
What it is: A child psychologist with a disturbed childhood displays some questionable behaviors involving children.
Sunday Lovers (1980)
What it is: A “sexy” anthology featuring four tales of lust and love, including one that sees Gene Wilder getting it on with Kathleen Quinlan.
What it is: Three college friends experiment with the multitude of ways in which they can fornicate together.
Rob Hunter is the least holy person in California, which is saying something.