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 Parody of Christian filmmaking that promises more than it delivers. Prill's earlier satires (Serial Killer Days, 1996, etc.) also had thoroughly worked-out premises that misfired. Lights! Camera! Salvation! is the cry of Good Samaritan's The Quiet Hour, a muzzy, lamb's-wool series that has fallen in sales as the success of films by its new rival in inspirational moviemaking, Blood of the Lamb Theater, grows. BOL offers shock Christian movies about blood and abortion, with dripping medical inserts of raw fetuses. To be sure, Good Samaritan once made Christian horror films, such as I Was a Christian Frankenstein and The Baptism of Dracula (the only vampire movie without a single drop of blood being spilled), but producer Noah Foster Speck gave those up as fads. Now, though, his son Leviticus has a problem: His movie column for Christian Bus Driver magazine has been dumped, and CBD's editor has taken on a new assistant, fresh college graduate Nicholas Puckett, who's written a novel worth turning into an inspirational film. Is Good Samaritan interested? Leviticus reads Nick's The Fetal Detective and knows instantly that it's too strong for The Quiet Hour. He also knows, however, that if BOL ever gets hold of this Spillane-like antiabortionist thriller, they'll bury Good Samaritan Films forever. So Leviticus lies, telling Nick that Good Samaritan will film Fetal Detective, featuring none other than Rance Jericho, the former King of Christian Cinema (now too old to play Our Lord) as the Fetal Detective. Rance is looking for work now that the young, wayward Ricky Bible has taken over the job of portraying Jesus. Ricky, by the way, has also found time to impregnate Noah's daughter Evie. Will Evie's fetus somehow fall under the purview of the Fetal Detective if she chooses the needle over natural birth? Must one be as bitter a gargoyle as Waugh to make Christian satire rise above blandness? Only saintly smiles here, no belly laughs.

Pub Date: March 17th, 1998
ISBN: 0-312-18173-6
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 1998


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