REVIEW: Gay For Pray: The Erotic Adventures of Jesus Christ (2017)

The guys over at Rock Bottom Video are some of the most talented filmmakers in the indie scene today, and I don't think enough people know it. I have long touted that their film Fangboner was the best underground comedy I had ever seen - and that coming from someone who poured their heart, blood, soul, and hard-earned cash into making an underground comedy. Then, you know what happened? Nathan Rumler went and made Gay For Pray: The Erotic Adventures of Jesus Christ, and my entire life has changed for the better.

Okay, so you're probably reading this right now, after seeing the title for the movie, and you likely had one of two reactions. Either you were immediately turned off at the idea of a movie with obvious sacrilegious themes, and you have no desire to ever see the film no matter what I say...or, also just as likely, you're hankering to get your hands on a copy to see what all the fuss is about. Well, let me tell you what all the fuss is about:

Jesus Christ is a homosexual, and he's come back to Earth, cast out by his Dad and stripped of his powers because, much like the Westboro Baptist Church likes to point out, "God Hates Fags." He initially disguises himself as a wizard, after suffering a mild mental breakdown. He eventually meets up with Steve, Adam, and Evie, and reveals his actual identity, in hopes that they can help him find himself, and regain his powers.

If the film sounds outrageously offensive from the title alone, well, you're probably right. This probably also isn't a movie you should watch. There's very few things in this movie that aren't offensive, and that's what makes the damn thing amazing. From bi-sexual threesomes with Jesus, Judas, and the Burning Bush, to religious masturbation aids, to black face, excessively gratuitous nudity, not to mention extreme gore, there's bound to be something in the movie that will shock, awe, and offend almost anyone watching.

Rumler is quite open about the fact that he wrote this movie when he was a teenager, and for some reason, that's not even remotely a hindrance. No doubt many changes were made, but this film is a laugh riot. I obviously expected the movie to be funny, because it not only appeals to my slight deranged nature, and my hatred of organized religion, but because I expected nothing less after Fangboner. I wasn't even remotely disappointed. 

Brian Papandrea is the without a doubt the best, and by far the funniest, actor working in the indie scene today. Every role he plays is better than the last, and his turn as Jesus Christ in Gay was what I would absolutely call a crowning achievement. His facial expressions are a director's dream, and his comedic timing is perfect; His telling of the famous "Aristocrats" joke in this film is worth the price of admission alone.

Along side Papandrea are a perfect cast of miscreants and assorted weirdos. Dave Parker as Adam might be God's Perfect Asshole - except he doesn't know it, because he's an Athiest, and he has no problem reminding you. Papandrea's real-life wife, Sadie Tate, is hilarious as Evie, a girl with the strangest sexual perversion you've ever seen, who resorts to dressing in drag to seduce Our Lord and Savior, with a classic John Waters pencil mustache. It's Dogma meets Troma, with a huge dash of Waters thrown right in.

Really, I'd say that's what Rumler is; a modern-day John Waters, making movies like a yesteryear John Waters. It would not be hard to imagine Rumler directing Divine as Jesus or Mink Stole as Evie. The characters have a definite Waters edge; they're trashy, they're misfits. They're definitely counter-culture, and much like the movie as a whole, probably not fit for general public consumption. Rock Bottom Video is the modern day Dreamlanders, and for my money, it's just what the world needs.

Watch the official teaser trailer:


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