Saturday, November 10, 2007


"How could they do that to Mr. Funky?"
A DVD of BIBLEMAN -- DIVIDED WE FALL, an episode of a religious program for kids, came into my possession through the good services of my soon to be ex-good friend Kent, who demanded that I post on it forthwith. BIBLEMAN stars Willie Aames, who was on EIGHT IS ENOUGH and CHARLES IN CHARGE, as millionaire religious zealot Miles Peterson (Peter Son, upon this rock the church is built, get it?) who has:

1. A pair of protegees, one African American guy nicknamed Cypher and a white girl named, what else, Biblegirl. They've all got spiffy ill-fitting uniforms, featuring Biblical Superhero Accessories like the Helmet of Salvation and the Shield of Belief, and my personal favorite: the Shoes of Peace. The attempts to impose muscular definition upon Willie Aames' distinctly non-buff torso is among the most amusing elements of the show.

2. The full Bruce Wayne set up. A big mansion with what appears to be an extensive series of caves below it, filled to overflowing with "high-tech" impossible computer equipment.

3. An apparently endless series of ideologically loaded supervillains. The villain in DIVIDED WE FALL is known as the Wacky Protester. No, really. The Wacky Protester is a probably legally actionable ripoff of Jerry Lewis' Dr. Julius Kelp, with really hideous prosthetic teeth and ill-fitting clothes. There are some other villains as well: secular children's television programming, disobedience, and disrespect for authority figures, for example. One of the lowpoints of the episode is a gratuitous clip from a Saturday morning TV series called Mr. Funky's Wild Time, an inane animated comedy with vaguely anti-Semitic overtones.

DIVIDED WE FALL centers on the Wacky Protester's attempts to drive a wedge between the members of the Bibleman Team, so he can Divide And Conquer and take over Mr. Funky's Wild Time and use it as a mouthpiece for his own evil designs, which has something to do with destroying the Bibleman Team because um, well, who wouldn't want to destroy these guys? See, the Bibleman Team is never at a loss for an appropriate Bible quote, which they supply at the drop of a hat including book chapter and verse. They don't just do this blindly, though. Bibleman himself warns that they must take care that the Scriptural tags they ceaselessley use are "relevant to the situation, and they apply." They also engage in badly written banter, designed to show that you can have a sense of humor and be self-righteous, too.

The show is pretty idiotic on pretty much every level. It has PLAN NINE level production values. It borrows pretty blatantly from the worldly entertainments that it works so hard to denigrate. The whole silly thing would be hilarious and disturbing if it just wasn't so completely lame. I'd bring up how odd it is that the villains all seem to have New York connections (the characters on Mr. Funky's Wild Time and the evil computer Luci all speak with broad Noo Yawk Accents, and the Wacky Protester is from Hackensack) if I felt it was worth the effort.

But there's a problem. Like the equally idiotic 300, this idiotic Bibleman thing has a following. There is a Bibleman website, complete with Bibleman tour dates for the Bibleman Live show, and there's a list of Bibleman Personal Appearances at local Christian bookstores around the country. I guess I'm just way too insulated and corrupt, as a cinephilic gay man living in NYC, to understand how any even remotely media-savvy kid wouldn't collapse in hysterical laughter at the general ineptitude on display in BIBLEMAN -- DIVIDED WE FALL.


Pooji said...

Shoes of Peace? Wouldn't Sandals of Peace be more appropriate?

I guess the entire budget went to Mr. Aames' salary--you don't get the star of CELEBRITY FIT CLUB cheap, you know....

And in an ironic twist, go to the IMDB page for BIBLEMAN. At the bottom, it says, "If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:" followed by five links. The one that caught me eye is THE LARAMIE PROJECT. I kid you not. Do these two projects really have an overlap in audience?!?!!!

Thanks for the review. But please don't make me an ex-friend; I did send you the recalled version of ED WOOD on DVD, so that should mitigate my forcing BIBLEMAN on you.

At least until "the complete series" DVD box set of BIBLEMAN comes out. You know that will show up in your mailbox one day.

Anonymous said...

Good fucking Christ, please tell me this isn't real! And what's so wrong with the production values of "Plan 9 from Outer Space?" And why was the DVD of "Ed Wood" recalled in the USA? What was on there that caused you Bible-Thumpin' Yanks to yank it from the shelves? Did Wal-Mart threaten to boycott it because a man wears (GASP!) an angora sweater? (And he wears it well.)

Pooji said...

The ED WOOD DVD was recalled over a "rights" issue on one of the special features (royalties paid for the song 'Que Sera Sera' sung by Bill Murray's character in a deleted scene).

When the DVD was finally re-released, I read that the track was still there but not on the menu. So, the DVD of ED WOOD that you can buy today has all of the content of the recalled version; part of it is just hidded as one big copyright-violating Easter Egg....

I'm quite sure that Roscoe meant to say, 'It has PLAN NINE level production values, but with none of the artistic brilliance of that seminal film's gloriously-realized production.' (emphasis added).

Michael said...

You have made my day, my week, and maybe my month with your review of this classic DVD. Something tells me that it's not the kids who are watching this, but the crazy parents who are buying it, and that it winds up in someone's crap drawer or donated to Goodwill. Let's hope.

Anonymous said...

Pooji, Pooji, Pooji: it's "Plan 9 from Outer Space," not "Plan Nine!" I'll bet you say "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" and "Dr. Zhivago," too.

Pooji said...

I did not say "PLAN NINE" - please note that I was quoting Roscoe who used that particular variation.

Anonymous said...

Pooji, in that case you should have said: "It has PLAN NINE (sic) level production values..."

Pooji said...


Yes, I should have written it that way. I'm sure Strunk and White are rolling over in their graves right now. Won't somebody please dig up their graves, open their coffins, and let them out?