Friday, February 20, 2015

Revelation Trail, The Bible, a Sermon, and Lots of Zombies

Did John chronicle the story of Lazarus, in the New Testament, in order to inspire zombie films 2000 years into the future?  No.  However, I believe that John would be pleased to know that Jesus' teachings of grace and forgiveness have sneaked into a medium thought to be devoid of any Christianity.  We who love horror are often criticized in our churches, and as a result, we often keep our views hidden.  An accurate look at this genre, even the sub-genre of zombie films, reveals that the dichotomy of good and evil is clear.  There are monsters.  There is evil.  Moral relativism is severely limited in the horror genre, unlike the other film genres.  Today we look at "Revelation Trail" from 2013.  Written and directed by John P. Gibson, this film is a special treat for those who love zombie films and westerns.
The zombie apocalypse hits the old west.  After their town is overrun, a preacher (Daniel Van Thomas) and the U.S. Marshal (Daniel Britt) are the only survivors, and they hit the road.  An unlikely duo, a preacher holding onto the teachings of the Bible, and a lawman with an unmerciful bent for justice and the bottle.  On horseback they head into the wilderness, killing zombies along the way.  To the lawman, the zombies are monsters.  To the preacher, they are people who must complete their passage before they can be judged.  The lawman wants them put down, the preacher desires to assist them in their journey to Heaven.  The same difference?  Hardly.  Upon putting zombies down, the preacher insists on praying over the body and burying them.

Eventually our duo come across a rickety fort, manned by remnants of civilization, and commanded by an army officer named Beard (Robert Valentine).  It does not take long for both the preacher and the marshal to realize that Beard is a lunatic, and far less noble than the recently departed.  The preacher never stops being a man of God, and in one pathetic episode, finds himself ministering to a mom who  killed her baby rather than letting the Zs get it.  Will God forgive her, or did she commit the unpardonable sin?  As a horde of walkers converge on the fort, acts of sacrifice will come from the most surprising places.  Alas, the Christian teachings of our noble protagonist did not go ignored in the wasteland of the apocalypse.  The title does not so much pertain to the roads through the wilderness in the end times, rather our journeys as sinners striving for eternity.
Will the human race, just off the Civil War, find redemption through a humble pastor?  Are the zombies part of God's judgment on the lawless society of the old west?  However you want to interpret "Revelation Trail," either as a video sermon, or as a neat zombie flick, it succeeds as an entertaining and thought-provoking work.

1 comment:

  1. Such fantastic, in-depth analysis every time. Another one I hadn't heard of until now but will track down post-haste. You are brilliant my friend