Reading Time: 22 minutes

This is the mega-review of A Thief in the Night, which is one of the big granddaddies of Christian Rapture porn. It’s a movie where nothing happens and none of the characters are distinguishable except by hairstyle, and yet somehow it traumatized millions and millions of Christians in the 1970s and 1980s. We’re gonna find out why tonight. The pre-review and chatter page was the previous post–hope you all had a good a time on it as I did!

First Act: She Wakes Up.

The movie begins with Patty–whose name we don’t know yet–waking up to her alarm clock talking about the Rapture having happened.

This begins the count of “Nearly identical white girls I will only be able to tell apart by hairstyle.”

She calls out for Jim, who I guess is her husband, but he isn’t in bed and his huge electric razor is in the sink buzzing away.

She walks listlessly to her bed and falls against it while the radio announcer continues to talk. She looks sad. (I want her bedside table–it’s a painted-blue old-timey bank safe. I’ve got one like it in my Sims 3 game from the Hipster set. Sober Cas: Sorry to remind you of something way better than this movie. Get ready. That’s going to happen a lot.) The announcer recites Bible verses about the Rapture. I’d like to mention here that she apparently has two clocks, a crystal dog figurine, and a red egg on her nightstand. I’m thinking right now about what’s on my nightstand, and guessing this movie didn’t actually have a set/props person who knew what human beings live like.

Nowadays this would be where Jim keeps his copious collection of guns and gold coins.

The scene dissolves to a preacher who is talking about same Bible verses. He launches into a sermon about it to a room full of kids hanging out in a room with cafeteria-style round tables and bean-bag chairs with open beer or soda bottles in front of them. Preacherboy looks exactly like one of the evil kids in Children of the Corn (Sober Cas: Reminder #2). Most of the kids listening aren’t taking him seriously. I am very much hoping that I’m not going to be asked to remember who any of these kids are. Preacherboy finishes his monotone sermon by reciting the Bible verse about “a thief in the night” and a song starts up about the Rapture. Let me inform you: this movie gets right up to the pores of these singers. It’s not a pretty sight.

One of the female singers looks like ten times more earnest than the others and it’s almost funny to see how totally seriously she’s taking what is, essentially, a really lame and hamfisted song.

We’re also shown title cards at this point, and learn that the Rapture song was done by Larry Norman, one of the worst of the worst hypocrites of the early Christian music scene in the 1970s. But back then (and still, to many) he was as big a name as Elvis. Why oh why am I not surprised that he’s involved in this steaming pile?

Shower thought: Every one of these people is either dead or else very old and thinking fondly about how they totally saved souls in 1972.

Additional: The terrible band is called The Fishmarket Combo. According to someone at Powell’s Books (the best bookstore in Portland, Oregon, at least at the time I lived there), this is a fictional band.

The State Fair, Maybe?

A dissolve later, we’re on to three girls at a state fair leaving the sermon. It took me a while to realize we’ve gone back in time quite a ways. (I remember how these fairs always had tents set up for preaching and Bible studies!) One of the girls was affected. The middle girl, with long blonde hair, thinks it’s “all a bunch of bull!” but the dark-haired girl persists. The girl at the end, with shorter blonde hair, says she’s a Christian but isn’t like totally wacky about it. None of these girls look in the slightest different, except for hairstyle.

These are, in order: Jenny, Diane, and Patty. We will not have learned any of the characters’ names into well into the movie.

The dark-haired girl leaves to go talk to the preacher and their pals again and is proselytized by a really scary Cult Lady with something like “it’s free but it costs your life!” which is totally not something cults say.

Some Peak 70s guys come up to the two remaining girls to offer them tickets for rides at the fair. One wears a cowboy hat and the other has the most amazing sideburns I’ve ever seen to go with his greased-back hair. I can’t even. Greasy Sideburns Guy is Jerry, and Cowboy Hat Guy is Jim. Sideburns gloms onto the long-blonde-haired girl and Cowboy Jim sidles up to the shorter-haired blonde girl.

Diane, Sideburns, Patty, Cowboy Jim. Just as well Jenny left.

Jenny falls for Cult Lady’s preaching and says a 70s version of the Sinner’s Prayer that is totally not completely scripted but rather totally spontaneous.

Jenny gives this bizarre affirmation-seeking look when she finishes. It looks like what you’d see out of a person with low self-esteem who has just finished masturbating in front of someone else for the very first time and is scared they did something dumb-looking. While Jenny’s two friends get thrilling helicopter rides with the two 70s dudes (man, why don’t fairs do that anymore??), Jenny asserts that she feels like she could fly if she only had wings, and Scary Cult Lady says that now she doesn’t need wings now.

And we hard cut to the helicopter’s blades spinning as if to make that point: her two evil heathen friends are flying with fake wings! Boo hiss!

We’ll Never Accuse Them of Subtlety.

A grasshopper crawls up along a glass window. The short-blonde-haired girl (I think this is Patty, the heroine?), who is working in a large kitchen somewhere, whaps it with a newspaper. I’m sure this will matter.

We cut to a plaque announcing the entrance of BORTELL’S BAR ROCKIN’ B GUEST RANCH, which has a Psalm verse below the name. The plaque also tells us that it was founded in 1961(?) by “Glen, Mary, Glenda, John and Bill Bortell” because Christians hate the Oxford comma. I’m taking bets now about whether or not any of these people will appear in the movie (slightly more sober Cas: No they will not; in fact nothing about this ranch will matter). BTW, that was a real ranch. It appears to have closed down. Glen Bortell just died a few years ago at age 100 and he was a fairly-high-level Mason in addition to the ranch owner and, later, a politician. The obituary tells us that his ranch was mostly for children and young people. So we’re probably in Iowa, in case you were all wondering, because that’s where the ranch was. This is very likely its real plaque; those are the real people who were in his family at that point.

I don’t know about y’all but I love knowing those little details. Jenny is working there too. Jenny tells Patty she’s Christian and has found Christ. Patty smiles and says that’s great and she hopes it works out.




It sounds like something you’d hear out of an episode of The Brady Bunch when one of the kids does something especially bone-headed, or on The Price is Right when someone gives a wrong answer. The implication is that Patty just said something really dumb that’s going to come back to bite her.

I just stopped everything and began yelling at my screen.

I was yelling “I LOVE THIS.”

Lemme Tell Ya Something.

We hard cut to a bunch of young people lounging in the grass listening to Jenny, who is standing. One of them, a blonde kid with huge and very animated preacher eyebrows, asks her if anyone’s given her “trouble” for being Christian. In IOWA. In 1972. This is hilarious. I initially thought the guy whose eyebrows are talking is Jim but I turned out to be wrong. Jenny says no, but she’s only been Christian for a couple of days now.

Don’t worry, Jenny. I’m sure Jesus will totally call you after taking your V-card in that hookup.

Eyebrows says, “Lemme tell ya somethin'” and informs her that sometime soon she’s going to “run into difficulty” over this decision of hers. She looks dubious. He goes on to tell her that he isn’t just talking about people but also about Satan himself. OH NOES! She shifts and fidgets the whole time he’s droning on talking to her.

Stop trying to look down this guy’s shorts.YOU’RE NOT MY REAL MOM!

Patty comes over to invite them all swimming at the dam on Saturday. Jim will be there and, apparently, so will Greasy Sideburns Guy.

Indeed, we then hard cut to a picture of the dam. Apparently nothing else of interest occurred at this ranch. We were only there to meet weird Eyebrows Kid and for Jenny to learn that she is going to face persecution from people and Satan alike. (Sobering-up Cas: No, she will not.) We had to have all those ranch scenes to learn this. We could not have possibly gotten this information at the dam.

(I keep trying to type “damn” instead of “dam.”)

But Jim and Jerry (Sideburns) are driving a speedboat with someone skiing behind them and it’s a grand and glorious time. The three girls are in a speedboat of their own. See why Pentecostals didn’t see this movie? All those swimsuits! Heathens! All those women having loads of fun! Someone fetch my smelling salts!

I’ve got no words. And yeah, Sideburns does look like Freddie Mercury.

The three girls sit at a park bench that is set with a huge box of Ritz crackers (and this probably wasn’t product placement, I’m guessing?) and they discuss their new boyfriends. The long-haired blonde girl is dating Sideburns, who is pre-med and currently an ambulance attendant (I’m sure that won’t play a role in anything later) (slightly more sober Cas: surprisingly, yes, it will). Patty is dating Cowboy Jim, who is an aspiring veterinarian who works at the zoo. And both girls assume that Jenny is dating Eyebrows.

Eyebrows turns out to be the same guy preaching at the beginning when Jenny converted, by the way. He’s not Jenny’s boyfriend. He’s not even particularly a preacher..?

The long-haired blonde girl turns out to be a free love kind of hippie who offers to teach Patty “the facts of life” so she can keep Cowboy Jim as a boyfriend. Jenny sulks and gets up to take a walk because “I just don’t wanna hear that kind of talk.” She is mocked by the long-haired girl, who says she’ll teach Patty later. Don’t worry, Jenny; your sex life will be blissfully free of relevant information of any kind and I’m sure that’ll be totally fine.

TRUE CHRISTIANS™ hate behaving improperly or talking about prurient topics. Got it.

Also: Sorry, everyone who wanted to hear a 1970s version of the sex-ed talk from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and will now be disappointedly thinking about that considerably-better coming-of-age movie.

Patty gets grossed out about ambulances, but the long-haired girl assures her that mostly it’s just boring, though you never know “when it’s going to happen.” This statement comes right out of left field. They didn’t ever establish what “it” was. The natural way to say something like this would be “when something bad’s going to happen,” but then we couldn’t hard cut.

So yeah. We hard cut to Eyebrows creepily informing us that “nobody knows when it’s gonna happen.”

There’s nothing here that couldn’t be improved by an industrial-strength swirlie applied every three hours until common sense prevails.

This is incredible. This is absolutely incredible. This is so terrible.

An Enthralling Sermon.

Eyebrows often talks out of one side of his mouth, which is not exactly a great way to establish one’s honesty and sincerity (if it’s only out of one side, the person’s probably dealing with something serious health-wise; if it’s intermittent, that’s when we start suspecting insincerity and dishonesty). He’s preaching about the end of the world to the bored-looking group–the three girls, plus Sideburns and Cowboy Jim. Jim still isn’t wearing a shirt; he’s been shirtless ever since the initial dam setup.

None of the group are particularly interested. Jim asks a question about exactly what terrible things will happen, but Eyebrows says a lot of things about it and adds that anybody left on Earth afterward would sure be sorry. But he’s looking forward to it.

we’re all having fun now right

I do not believe for one moment that anybody but fervent Christians have ever listened to this sort of sermon voluntarily.

The long-haired girl (Diane, I now learn) says nobody’s ever gonna tattoo her forehead and Sideburns tells her he’s the Antichrist. She’s thrilled by this and they start wrasslin’. (Yes, I really have written a post about something like this.)

We hard cut to a sermon issued by a bobble-headed preacher who looks like he belongs on a used-car lot. I guess he’s a baaaaaaad preacher because he’s stressing that beauty and goodness exist independently of Jesus and that no good god would condemn most of humanity. He stresses that people’s relationships matter a lot. It’s actually not a bad sermon, which I’m guessing means this is the movie’s villain. Patty is listening to this sermon and flips through her Bible, bored solid.

Remember that this is going to be the bad preacher. The movie’s IMDB page actually lists a character called “the good minister” who is not this guy.


A cobra in a cage unfurls its hood right above Cowboy Jim, who again is working at a zoo so I guess that’s where we are. The hard cut to this cobra happens during the sermon by the not-good minister, so it’s pretty obvious what the movie thinks of that preacher.

Jim is making or repairing a snek cage while ominous music plays.

The snek gets out! OMG!

It’s clear that the snek is going to attack Jim if he reaches for a nail–and–yeah. That is what happens. He’s so shocked that the cigarette he was smoking the nail he was holding in his mouth falls out, which I guess is better than him just inhaling it, and this is why you don’t hold nails in your goddamned mouths, everyone.

I thought this was a cigarette for the longest time.

Sideburns is in the ambulance and puts oxygen on him and suctions out the poison.

Jenny and Patty come to the hospital to see Jim. A suit-wearing doctor tells her that things are really iffy. He can’t have the normal antivenom so the hospital is flying in a man who owns a snake farm/ranch who’s been bitten enough that his blood might make a good transfusion. (Did they check for blood type? Or do they not realize that blood types matter here? Also this page sorta indicates, if I’m reading it right, that transfusions are of very dubious benefit in curing cobra bites.) Snake Dude is flying in to the rescue! Heroic music is playing. The pilot has that omg you guys look at me I’m in a moooooooooooooovie look on his face; he’s just so excited.

I stopped the movie right here to ask Mr. Captain where that music is from.

It’s very similar to the music from 1975’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the super-heroic overture from several scenes in that much-better movie, and I apologize for reminding us all of the genius that is Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

We see several shots of watches and clocks as Jim clings to life. Jenny prays for Jim’s healing.

Was anything actually going to happen in this movie? I mean I’m sad about Jim getting bitten and all, but this doesn’t have anything to do with the plot of this movie.

A hamster-cheeked guy in a suit comes in to see Jim. He appears to be a chaplain and he prays that Jesus will heal Jim and make him convert. Jenny continues to pray. Snake Dude lands and the cops drive him to the hospital. The transfusion happens.

What’s Snake Dude’s story? I want to see a movie about Snake Dude. Just think about the awesome adventurous life he must lead. It must be so much more interesting than this movie.

The transfusion works and Jim is going to be okay.

This movie is almost halfway over and nothing’s really happened yet in a narrative sense.

Jim in Church.

The next scene has Jim coming up to Jenny in a large white-bread 60s church with wood paneling. He’s in a pink suit. Is Jenny going to totally poach Patty’s man? OMG! That impression is only magnified when Jenny asks him where Patty is and he says she’s not there. He’s there because he heard that Jenny prayed for him. Also, he has no idea why, but he felt a great peace while he was at the hospital that made him feel everything would be okay.

I lk like this suit

Jim sits next to Jenny and her whole family at church. The sermon is about the Rapture and mentions “like a thief in the night.” The hamster-cheeked guy is the preacher/pastor, who I’m assuming is “the good minister” in the IMDB page. Jenny’s expression this whole time is that of someone giving a secret handie to whoever’s next to her. Jim gets earnest Preacher Eyebrows as he listens to the sermon.

This was my cue to get more drink.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to like the Galliano, but guys, it’s really good. It’s citrusy and herbal, and marries surprisingly well with the screwdriver taste. Which is good because I managed to spill it ALL over my counter and it got into the coffeemaker.

I’m smooooooooooove with a capital SMOOVE.


Jenny’s little sister (I think?) comes home from somewhere–school? Must be school, with that awesome crocheted vest thing she’s got on that totally would not be interpreted as a target. She comes in chattering to, I guess, her mom about something or other.

Enjoy your last moment of innocence, Rollers. Things are about to take a serious nose dive.

But she can’t find her mom. A simmering pot of something brown is on the stove, unattended. The table’s half-set. The house appears to be empty. Jenny’s sister turns off the stove while calling out for her mother, which is very sensible and probably way better than I would have done in her situation, but the house appears to have abandoned in the middle of chores. Tableware sits on her beyond-awesome 70s dining table, waiting to be set out for the dinner. (I will fight you all for this table and its accoutrements.)

What was the pressing domestic business that led to someone starting to set the table and then walking away?

Now, if this is Jenny’s sister, remember that she literally was just sitting in church with her family listening to a sermon about the Rapture. So the child is clearly worrying about her family being Raptured without her.

And guys, Jenny’s sister is scared.

Finally the girl just starts screaming. We get multiple camera angles and zoom shots of her screaming over and over again.

Her family comes running: her mom and Jenny, I think. They hug her and comfort her. She keeps muttering, “I thought you were gone” over and over again. They lead her in the Sinner’s Prayer right then and there.

And I now instantly hate every single adult associated with this movie, hands down forever.

Look. The Rapture is a silly belief, but kids don’t know how to separate fantasy from reality. They depend on adults to set their reality for them and rein them in when they get too immersed into their fantasies. They need us to be on point when it comes to conveying realistic dangers in ways that they’ll understand.

But this girl’s adults have completely let her down and she got really distressed because she took the Rapture too seriously because they let a trusted adult instill that fear in her. This whole message should be child abuse. Instead this is a terrifying reality for millions of children trapped in fundagelicalism. No wonder this movie traumatized them! The biggest fear, for a child, would be to be abandoned by their caretakers. This movie took vicious advantage of a child’s biggest fears right here, and they did it to score points with an audience that would not be equipped to handle any of it. It just came right out of left field. We only just met this child and now we’ve seen her screaming and crying because she was so afraid of being left behind. And we know that fear is completely baseless, but she does not know this.

This is seriously the worst movie in the world.

Even if really, nothing’s really happened yet.

Wedding Day.

Cowboy Jim and Patty get married. I’m still pissed off about the scene with the little girl, but I do notice that the nice preacher is apparently the one who married the couple. He wishes them well and Sideburns prepares to drive them all away, with Diane beside him in the front seat.

The Wedding Singer did this better. Sorry to remind you of it.

Then, to the strains of the terrible song from the beginning, we see the couple in a series of flash-forward vignette still photos. She tries to learn to cook; he fails to properly prepare frozen dinners. (HAW HAW! Men and cooking! AMIRITE?)

They exchange gifts; they play checkers on their hearth (and here I was really surprised to think about the chess playing in Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1–and I really think that movie did it better). Clearly we’re meant to think that this young couple set about making a life for themselves like pretty much every couple did at the time. He’s bemused by her but devoted, and she clearly returns both sentiments.

I am also 90% sure that the image of Patty resolutely sniffing daisies was actually on the cover of the box I got from Kotex for my fourth-grade “you’re becoming a woman now” lecture.

Seriously. It was either this or line art of daisies.

This part of the scene ends with the squirrel-cheeked pastor giving a Bible study about the Rapture to Jim and Patty. She tries to tell the preacher that she’s a Christian already. She attends the church with the nice preacher, and Jim clearly belongs to the church with the Rapture-preaching dude. The preacher convinces Jim that just as he had to receive blood from Snake Dude to survive his cobra bite, now he must accept Jesus’ blood to be Raptured. Jim decides to accept Christ. Patty isn’t sure of all of this.

I feel the need to mention here, again, that nothing’s really happened yet.


Now it’s some time in the future, in mid-morning. We see a shot of the sky.

The little terrified girl from before is playing with hand puppets when Jenny asks her to go next door for something she needs while baking. The child’s name, we learn now, is Sue. She makes sure to ask Jenny to be sure not to be Raptured this time and Jenny laughs and tells her not to worry; if she’s Raptured, Sue will be too because she’s in the right tribe now. Sue goes next door.

I can already see where this is going. My heart’s full of hatred.

Jim is shaving.

A kid is mowing his lawn (I think it’s Eyebrows, the earnest Preacherboy, except he’s in short denim shorts and shirtless).

Squirrel Cheeks is putting up a church sign (heading: “First Church of the Open Bible; Ministers: Frank Smith – Calvin Archer” – I’ma look them up too) (increasingly sober Cas: Yes, it absolutely exists and here it is and here’s its map location) that is clearly going to say “THE END IS NIGH” or something.

The IMDB page says there was a continuity person, but I don’t believe it. BTW, Calvin Archer doesn’t exist in this church’s timeline–I wonder what happened to him?

Then we cut to the sky.

And then we see the lawnmower running without a person.

The girl’s hand puppet is on the ground.

The church sign is incomplete; it says “THE END IS NEA” and the “A” is hanging.

The standing mixer Jenny was using continues to spin; the whipping cream or egg whites or whatever she had in there continues to froth up (showing me that nobody who bakes was in charge of setting up this scene).

We see a vacant seat by the poor chimney corner, and a crutch without an owner, carefully preserved… oh, sorry, that’s from a much better story.

The alarm from the beginning of the movie goes off and news announcers are talking about how millions of people have vanished and planes are being grounded.

The clock in Patty’s room is talking about a special UN committee forming and that they’ll be making “an unprecedented announcement” later on.

This is like the most anti-climactic Rapture ever. I guess I’ve gotten jaded. I really expect planes crashing and Nicholas Cage to go nuts in my Raptures nowadays, or I don’t get outta bed.

The UN Declaration.

An old white dude wearing a yellow armband that says “UNITE” says they’ve created the Imperium to “exercise total calm” and figure out what’s happened. He uses a lot of dogwhistle words but basically he’s just echoing the fundagelical conspiracy theories about the “one world government.” So much for the Antichrist being charismatic. (This is also right where Patheos’ blog engine began barfing on image uploads, but it behaved again.)

We see a newspaper talking about UNITE totally not being a “Big Brother.” I can’t help but notice what the secondary headlines were in the “Laramie Daily Sentinel” paper: “American Swimmer Suspended” and “Elgin State Chief Ousted.” If you’re wondering, they licensed/stole a front page from the Chicago Tribune from September 5, 1972. Those were the two left-hand secondary headlines for that paper that day.

The next newspaper tells us “Imperium calls for total support.” A secondary headline says “Soviets Strand 100 Air Tourists.” I couldn’t find any newspaper with that so I’m guessing it forms part of this movie’s backstory. A third tells us that the Imperium has initiated an ID program; secondary headline is “3 in Family Slain in Monee Farmhouse.” I couldn’t find the newspaper itself, but that slaying did occur in roughly that fashion and get covered in a Chicago-area newspaper in October, 1972.

Intercut with these newspapers are shots of Patty walking around. She’s wearing different clothes in every shot so I guess time is passing. The UNITE guy is saying he doesn’t want to infringe on any rights, intoning the word with a sneer. He shows his left hand with a tattoo on it. (Isn’t it supposed to be the right hand? or was that skirting just a bit too closely to eternal damnation?) (slightly sober Cas: Yes, it was the right hand. Specifically.)

So far the only thing that’s really happened in this movie is the Rapture occurred.

Citizens are getting these ID tattoos in their hands or foreheads. An old dude says he wants to be a good citizen so he gets his in the forehead. Because old people are so on board with Antichrist ideas like that. Signs in stores say they are for “citizens only” and show the citizen code. Patty can’t buy or sell anywhere without it!

One quick thing: all of the ID tattoos look identical. How is this supposed to be an ID program exactly? If they just wanted it to show loyalty to UNITE, why wouldn’t they be putting a nice symbol on people’s hands?

The UNITE guy informs Patty on TV that anyone lacking an ID tattoo will be arrested and indefinitely incarcerated. Patty has a very big sad.

(Mr. Captain asked me to put in my headphones at this point. I said, “I know what that means. That’s a ‘I would just leave the room but I’m playing stompy robots right now.'” He laughed and said “You know me.”)

Someone knocks at Patty’s door!

And I’m sorry for now reminding everyone of the far superior 70s song “Knock Three Times.” I’m about to remind you of another superior effort in a second here!

Who Can It Be Now?

She gets up to see who’s there by peeking out the window, and it’s some guy in a uniform in a white van with red and blue stripes marked “UNITE.” They came for her! But when she didn’t answer the door, they went away, as authorities do.

She runs out of her house to the church she went to with the nice preacher. He’s sobbing over his Bible and sad about seeing another member of his church who didn’t get Raptured. He’s crying about misleading everyone.

I did not like this outfit AT ALL.

A UNITE guard interrupts them to arrest them both. He drags them to the van. Patty is put into a jail cell. The guard is a late-middle-aged woman who tries to talk her into getting the ID mark. She tells Patty that the nice pastor has already gotten the mark. The guard takes her from the cell.

But as Patty is led outside (why? to get the mark?), she sees the nice pastor being loaded into a van. He’s in a hospital gurney and is bleeding from the forehead. We don’t know why or how, but he’s clearly either dead or heading there. Patty, shocked, fights free of the older lady and runs away.

For an Antichrist and his worldwide organization of jackbooted thugs, they sure have really bad security protocols.

Patty is chased in her flight by the van. Worth mention: the streets are DEAD. It’s like They Live, except really dumb, and here I go reminding you of better movies again.

Patty finally runs into nice old-people pedestrians, both of whom have the mark on their foreheads. She runs away from them too. Finally she remembers her friend Diane and thinks maybe she’ll find safety with her friend. The van’s still looking for her (amid the Monty Python music), but when she spots it unattended she steals it and drives away.

This movie couldn’t work with the technology of today. I’m really seeing that.

Patty eventually starts getting tracked by a UNITE helicopter. She ditches the van and makes a run for it into the forests around town. I seriously don’t think most fundagelicals could do anywhere near this much running. And the helicopter gives up. But then it returns and apparently gives up again. Patty really has no idea how to hide from the authorities.

Bigfoot is shown here wearing Montgomery Ward’s Summer 1972 Collection.

We’ve only got 7 minutes to go and still not much has happened. The music’s getting more ominous, though.

And we see why. The helicopter returns and finds her walking on a railroad bridge, but they can’t jolly well land on the tracks. They go away.

She finds the dam amid Peak Monty Python Music. She rushes to it.

Diane and Sideburns are driving a cute little convertible. They park near a squat little building marked “RED ROCK” in red. I’ma look that up too. (Nope, no joy.)

We hear the theme song again as Patty runs to her friends.

Then Sideburns gets out a CB radio and informs UNITE that he’s got her.

Exactly zero people watching this movie tonight were surprised here. PS: Aww, he and Diane got married. I bet they’re happy.


I don’t know why Patty didn’t think Sideburns and Diane wouldn’t instantly get marks. In retrospect, it’s not even weird. They’re as far from religious as it’s possible to get and we’ve been told repeatedly that only religious people are resisting. The UNITE van pulls up to corner her and the helicopter’s flying overhead! We hear the UNITE old dude saying over and over again that nobody will be able to get away.

Patty threatens to jump off the bridge. Diane is sneering down at her. Sideburns reaches for her with a grin. She falls. The picture goes wonky.

And then…..

She wakes up in her bed.

OF COURSE It Was Just a Dream.

The events we just saw didn’t happen.

Or did they?

The radio announcer is talking about the Rapture, and Jim’s nowhere to be seen… She screams when she sees the razor in the sink and falls to her floor by her bed, as she did at the beginning, but this time she screams some more.

She’s presciently foreseen events, but way too late to do her any good. So, I guess in that way it’s pretty much like all Christian prophecies, which appear to fit best in hindsight.

Endcard comes up again and we’re done.


Narrative Flow: -10/10

Things Happening That Matter: -2/10

Identical White Women: 8/10

1970s Fashion and Home Decoration: 100/10, but docking 95 points for the outfit they put Patty in at the end

FMK: Cowboy Jim/Sideburns/Eyebrows

Cobras: Are considerably smaller than I’d imagined

Unnecessary Traumatization of Children: Man, it’s a good thing Hell doesn’t exist

Harvey Wallbangers: Not bad! Not bad at all!

TOTAL: 1/10

There are at least 14 reminders-of-way-better-things mentioned in this post. Can you find them all? Hint: I only counted the Monty Python music once! I started you off…. what else can you find?

Next up: We’ll start by analyzing the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) in this movie.

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ROLL TO DISBELIEVE "Captain Cassidy" is Cassidy McGillicuddy, a Gen Xer and ex-Pentecostal. (The title is metaphorical.) She writes about the intersection of psychology, belief, popular culture, science,...

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