Patty’s other friends waste no time falling in line with the new world order, as even her old pastor shows up at the Mark facility and says that he wants to be a good citizen before getting his forehead tattooed. It’s not a great film by a long shot, but it’s definitely a worthwhile endeavor. The irony is so thick that you can’t cut it with a knife, but it could crush the life out of your body. also put stock in the “age of accountability” concept given that Wenda’s 18-month-old was raptured in the last film, but apparently that grace does not extend to the unborn, as Kathy says that she gave birth less than a week after the Rapture. ** It’s worth noting here that, occasionally, the PMDs and I agree. The lead singer of the band and apparent leader of this youth group is Duane (Duane Coller), who reminds his friends that the Rapture could be coming any minute, and that it’s important to be truly saved in order to ensure that they are not left behind to experience the Tribulation. Doughten was an un-credited co-director on 1958’s The Blob (according to this interview with his son Tim, mentioned above, Doughten was directly responsible for the casting of Steve McQueen in the lead role) and went on to direct 1967’s The Hostage starring Harry Dean Stanton, Don Kelly, and John Carradine, as well as 1968’s Fever Heat, one of the final film roles for Nick Adams. We live now in a culture where someone can see through those threats and reject Christianity with far less of a risk of retaliation than in generations past. He was deeply distressed that not all Christians were as panicked as he was about this idea, to the point where he decided to make his life’s work getting everyone he could to fear what he feared. * For the most part, the long time between features isn’t terribly obvious in this series. My PayPal is (that’s an underscore in there) for one-time tips, and I also welcome monthly patrons via Patreon with Roll to Disbelieve. subscribe to this same ideology, with caveats. She acknowledged in that interview that yes, the movie did traumatize people, but she accepted that as the price that must be paid to “convey the truth.” Sometimes the truth is just that terrifying, I reckon, if one is a fundagelical and has no way whatsoever to critically judge threats. Whatever that goal involves, it requires that David meet with Leslie, who suddenly reappears in the movie after a long absence; unfortunately, their rendezvous is discovered by our old friend Sandy and the forces of UNITE, while Kathy’s son is concurrently captured by the Bradfords, who are secret agents for the “Believers Underground Movement Squad,” UNITE’s agency in charge of rooting out underground Christians. Patty Dunning was born on September 11, 1951 in supposedly Des, Moines, Iowa, USA. Further, I have to give the writers credit for the fact that these characters, despite knowing that they are living in a prophesied time where world events will follow a strict outline, never stop trying to fight their fates. I feel like I say this every time, but there are some interesting sequences here that are intercut with such passionless scenes that, despite some pretty spectacular events, the movie feels flatter than those that came before Part of that could be the decision to kill Patty. Microchipping your pet in case they get lost or adding an RFID sticker to your remote control is all well and good, but their paranoia about putting a tracking device in your body is well-founded. It’s awesome! There’s just too much confusion, and the audience can’t get no relief. And just think, friends: All of that wickedness and perversity came from the unresolved fear of one little boy. It’s haunting, and thus it’s no surprise that it has helped to popularize a certain vision of the post-Rapture world that has  come to be accepted by the PMDs as sacrosanct without really questioning its origin, much the same way that the Hell envisioned by fundamentalists is more Dante than Daniel. A pity the actor who brought Sideburns to sorta-life couldn’t possibly compete with his awesome character. He offers the trio shelter, and they gladly accept. Patty Dunning can be an actress, known for A Thief in the night time (1972), A Distant Thunder (1978) and Picture of the Beast (1980). We’ve been talking lately about the Christian Rapture movie franchise A Thief in the Night. Overall, this one is of a lower quality than either Thief in the Night or A Distant Thunder, and it has a lot of problems: obfuscating plotting, bad child acting, a couple of incomprehensible action sequences, and unclear goals for the protagonists. Over the course of eight years and three movies, the recurring characters of Diane, Jerry, and Patty remain largely unchanged. It’s especially relevant here because so much of this movie is predicated on Kathy and David trying to “decode” The Mark using “hand computers” (“You mean a calculator?” – actual dialogue) and pencil-and-paper algorithms, even though what they’re trying to decode or what their end goal is isn’t made clear at all. After the Rapture, he’s left behind like Patty is. It’s a tiny thing to find so praiseworthy, but demonstrates a level of competence in filmmaking that wasn’t very common for that era even among mainstream wannabe filmmakers, and which would be largely lost by the time Cloud Ten came along and made Apocalypse. After David dolls himself up with the fake Mark, he tells Kathy that he should be able to buy food using the money that belonged to the UNITE soldier whose uniform he stole. It’s needlessly complicated, not to mention risky, when there are alternative options that are left unconsidered (like making more than one trip to the store, trying a different marketplace, or just coming back the next day). When a pastor starts bellowing about diagrams and Seven Seals and the Tribulation up on a podium, any kid in the audience with a smartphone can double-check what he’s saying and know before the service is ended that everything that pastor just said is false. Sandy and Kent are taken, and Wenda makes a final attempt to get Patty to just pray already, but she’s still on the fence***. . Speaking of meaningless deaths, Doughten and Thompson also talk about how they managed to acquire some of the more impressive shots in the film. in a pre-Rapture supermarket. Patty’s a bit of an idiot, frankly. The irony, of course, is that the IMDB page for the first movie does list a guy titled “Pastor Balmer (the good minister),” referring to the fire-and-brimstone pastor who wins a conversion from Patty’s husband Jim. He just seems so likeable, and then I think to myself Wow, he’s just so totally thrilled about terrorizing little children into joining his cult and get creeped the hell out. Patty is joined by Wenda (Sally Johnson), who attempts to comfort her, and Kent (Kent Wagner), who tells her that she can find peace in Christ. ATITN didn’t exactly open any doors for any of these folks. Good Pastor, played by Russell S. Doughten Jr., was Patty’s pastor in the first movie. She meets and marries a young man and her life seems great, until one moment she awakens to find her husband gone and the radio reporting millions of people have mysteriously disappeared. When UPC creator Joe Woodland died a few years back, Wired published an article indicating that he was still dealing with the fallout from his invention into the new millennium, as there are still those among us convinced that barcodes are prelude to The Mark. It’s one of the more emotionally resonant scenes, since the primary audience will know that her grief is misplaced, but Wenda herself is understandably upset. How did we get to the point where a propaganda film about starving people in post-apocalyptic Des Moines being submitted to the rule of the Antichrist is actually escapist fiction, because at least the Christians in this movie can recognize the face of evil and resist it? You get a Mark of the Beast! DUNNING: The accent in Japan appears to be more of an accent on self- improvement. Patty wakes up; it was all a dream. Don’t do that, to yourself or your children. Digitally Re-mastered. Doughten says that they had to kill Patty off because of the actress, but their explanation is tight-lipped and there’s a lot to unpack: Dunning was starting to do a lot of personal appearances, “which was causing a strain on her marriage,” so they asked her husband if they could have her for just a few days, and he agreed, so they shot her death scene and moved on to new characters. The shortest of these clips is in answer to the question of what happens to children in the Rapture. If you like what you see, I would love to have your support. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. David is caught after the crash, but the Antichrist’s forces opt to let him go free in the hopes that he will lead them to other subversives; he slips their grasp but is almost recaptured and then gets away following a really confusing sequence wherein he grabs the landing gear of a helicopter while being pursued on foot; they fly him to a field, where he jumps off and runs away before they can shoot him. It’s meandering and sadder than you would expect. The sequence is admirably tense***, but an alarm sounds and our heroes give the slip to a UNITE guard who crashes into a stockboy carrying a cardboard box of loose raw meat and then keeps slipping on it for a comically long time. Remember that baby doll in American Sniper that Bradley Cooper tried to make more lifelike by moving its arms with his fingers? Not one of them really went that far in acting or in ministry. )**, and soon it’s binary triple sixes for everybody! The Rapture (sort of) happens at the forty minute mark of this seventy minute movie, but it feels a lot longer due to a few overlong plot cul-de- sacs. ATITN was the very first professional acting role that Rachford ever got (in this 2013 interview, he talks briefly about his pre-ATITN life). David gives Kathy directions about how they have to get into the line at the same time, and have to be rung up at the same time, and he has to have his batteries scanned by the cashier before Kathy’s transaction is completed, since they’re both working from the same counterfeit Mark and they’ll be arrested if they use them on separate transactions unless they both check out at the same time. I adored Sideburns as a character. Compare this to the characters of Left Behind, who not only do nothing to fight the Antichrist, but actively assist him in his goals (as delineated in this blog post by the ever-incomparable Fred Clark). Sadly, Doughten appears in the DVD special features with a plea to donate toward this goal (the DVD was released in 2004), and with his death in 2013, it looks like all intention of going forward was forsaken. Rachford talks about it in one of the interviews I’ve linked–he was one of the first (and, by his telling, apparently one of the more effective) post-movie counselors that sat in the audience with the guests. Relentlessly pursued by the evil forces of UNITE, she has a choice. **This is early evidence of the influence of the far-right John Birch Society on PMD thinking; JBS was claiming that the United Nations was merely the first step toward building a one world government as early as 1959. Producer/Director track Ted Dunning Interview Interviewed by Jonathan Anderson June 19, 1974 Digital file created February, 2011, by Linda Bell [Interview available as PDF file]Ted Dunning, November 19, 1901 – March 27, 1989 My Bloody Valentine is a 1981 Canadian slasher film directed by George Mihalka and written by John Beaird.It stars Paul Kelman, Lori Hallier, and Neil Affleck.The plot tells about a group of young adults who decide to throw a Valentine's Day party, only to incur the vengeful wrath of an assailant in mining gear who begins a killing spree. But I suspect strongly that the tactics used by this movie franchise are beginning to backfire as we continue to move through Christianity’s decline. I also couldn’t help but laugh when Patty drove to Jenny’s house and, after discovering how her friend was taken in the twinkling of an eye, she finds a framed headshot of Jenny, which segues into a flashback (within the larger flashback) to Jenny warning her about the Rapture and what would come next. There’s an anti-factual devotion to the precept that Evangelical Christianity in its current form—culturally isolationist, politically involved, nationalistic, dogged by confrontational rhetoric using words like “war,” “battle,” and “soldiers”—is uniform across time, ignoring the fact that while most of the “movers and shakers” of American history may have been people of faith, they kept their personal and private lives separate. She took The Mark! As the blade descends, we are once again left with a cliffhanger, as we freeze frame on Patty’s screaming face. 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