What? Huh? Oh. You.
It’s just that–
Go away. I’m not doing it.
It’s just that I’ve been waiting out here since Thanksgiving. And it got very cold. And then hot. And it rained. Several times. And also you moved.
Any several of which you could have taken to indicate that I wasn’t going to do it and your services were no longer required.
Oh come along now. Your Michael Moriarty-thon was going so well! You were just about to review that domestic drama about divorce!
Oh, yes, there’s comedy gold. A cheap knock-off of Kramer vs Kramer
And the one about the haunted high-rise! Or that one with Sonny Bono and the girl from Seinfeld!
Troll? Everyone and their brother’s reviewed Troll. It’s not even the really exciting one.
Yes, but Michael Moriarty plays a man named Harry Potter! Think of the jokes you could make.
I don’t care. I’m not doing it.
And then the big reveal at the end with me!
Yes, yes, I was going to review one last movie and then have it turn out that you, Professor Moriarty, had found a way to channel energy from internet reviews about anyone else who was named “Moriarty”, and we’d have to fight and there would be a big climactic battle which would end with my house blowing up, this being the in-character explanation for why I moved.
It would have been fantastic!
It would have been a shameless rip-off of The Spoony Experiment. But it doesn’t matter now. I’m not doing it.
But why not?
This movie, man. This movie did it. I can’t go on, not with this movie in my way.
Bah! What could one single movie do that would break you so profoundly that you couldn’t continue on?
This movie, man. This movie. After this movie, there’s no horror you could unleash on me. This is it, man. This movie broke me.
No! I will not have it! I shall not be bested by a mere movie! Come! Show me this movie! It shall fall before my great intellect!
Your funeral, man. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
What is this film that has you cowering in your underwear, wrapped in a security blanket?
Dude! You didn’t need to tell the audience that!
Anyway, so far in the Michael Moriartython, we’ve limited ourselves to Michael Moriarty’s acting roles. But what happens when you put a pen in his hand? The answer is three words that will strike a cold chill into the heart of the heartiest of men. You have been warned.
Hitler Meets Christ
Directed by Brendan Keown
Starring Wyatt Page
And Michael Moriarty as Hitler
The first thing you’ll notice about this movie is that it’s based on a play, with the somewhat more verbose title “Hitler Meets Christ at the Port Authority Bus Terminal”.
The second thing you’ll notice is that — Oh dear God, he also wrote the music? This is going to hurt, isn’t it?
I warned you. Now, you may be a little confused here as we fade in on the man of inaction, because this film was shot entirely in Black-and-White.
Oh, that’s a common trick when the filmmaker wants to seem “artsy”.
Except here, it’s actually foreshadowing, because this film is going to suck so hard on your will to live, that after it’s over, your entire life will seem bleak and gray as well.
But more seriously, I think maybe the reason it’s in black and white is because Michael Moriarty was harboring delusions that he could pass this movie off as a sequel to Schindler’s List.
Who’s this hobo? I thought you said that Moriarty was playing Hitler.
That’s Hitler. Hitler is depicted in this movie as a homeless person. That’s because in Canada, all homeless people are secretly the wandering spirits of twentieth-century fascists. The last time you were in Ontario, that guy in the plaid shirt you gave a cup of coffee to? Generalissimo Francisco Franco.
Hobo Hitler and a bored-looking middle aged gentleman are having a casual conversation about the pending end-of-days that feel very much like Michael Moriarty wrote this entire movie as a response to having read Waiting for Godot and thinking “You know what’s wrong with this play? Too subtle. I mean, why don’t they just come out and say that Godot is God?”
Why does Hitler have a terrible fake Bronx accent?
Just roll with it. At least Michael Moriarty isn’t doing his folksy southern drawl.
Hitler makes a big point of playfully saying “No” to Jesus over and over again, just to prove he can, then he gets distracted by incoherent whispering which I think is meant to be his conscience in his mind, but it is equally valid to assume it is the PA system in the bus terminal.
Outside, Hitler tells Jesus that he’d originally thought it was Jesus who had inspired him. Jesus is a little hurt — not that Hitler thought that, but that he’d stopped thinking that. Just because of that whole “defeat” thing. Jesus points out that taking over the world is a kind of outlandish plan.
Hitler insists that wanting to take over the world was a “lie, a fabrication, propaganda,” and that he didn’t really want to take over the world “not even the teeniest tiniest little bit,” (Hitler kind of babbles like a small child who has been dropped). “I simply wanted to give my country a little room, a little breathing space, and what do I get for it? Stuck in Vancouver with you.” Then he complains, “Why couldn’t it have been Einstein? I knew they’d send me a Jew, but why not a smart Jew like Marx?” Jesus throws in “Or a funny Jew like Marx!” Which is one of two intentional laughs you are liable to get out of this movie, so I hope you were paying attention. Hitler does a little bit of rhetorical gymnastics to make fun of Karl Marx, and ends with a little straight-up antisemitism, because we are getting dangerously close to depicting Hitler as a sort of mildly-amusing mildly-profound Cloud-cuckoolander type, the way homeless people with a mild mental illness are usually portrayed in movies when they’re main characters. And if you ever find yourself watching a movie about Hitler, and you find yourself going “Awww. He’s not so bad,” the filmmaker should just stop, and consider going into another profession, like anchor for Fox News.
Jesus explains about omnipresence, and how he’s not just hanging out in Vancouver with Hitler, but he’s also in Moscow and Berlin and Hell and Heaven. Hitler asks whether they are presently in Heaven or Hell, and Jesus says “both,” which Hitler doesn’t like, and goes on a rant against symbolism, which he punctuated with some Nazi salutes, followed by giving Jesus the finger, a bronx cheer, and miming masturbation. He then does a funny dance, and falls down. I assume this scene is an homage to the “religion” scene in Wizards. He sits down next to Jesus on a park bench and releases I do have a picture, but at this rate, the entire review is just going to be a bunch of pictures of Hitler making rude gestures. Because that is a good 2/3 of the moviean enormous fart. Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest and most popular villain in human history!
Hitler then changes the subject to his own death. His ultimate revenge, he says, is that eventually, despite Jesus’s best laid plans, he will utterly cease to be, and then someone else will come along who is even worse, and people will forget all about him and stop using him as the measuring stick for human evil. Then church bells start ringing and he makes funny faces.
But Jesus notices and points out a hint of doubt in Hitler’s tone, and tells Hitler that this means that deep down, he knows that nothing in all of creation will ever be more evil than Nazis. Hitler insists otherwise, but Jesus just chuckles condescendingly.
I say, is this Michael Moriarty chap pro-Hitler?
Not in the slightest, from what I can tell
I mention, because this Hitler chap seems like rather a sad and tragic figure, while this Jesus fellow seems like a smug bastard.
Well, I’m given to understand that Jesus’s parents weren’t married, but still. The whole “Jesus is a smug git,” thing is actually a common theme among a certain segment of christians. They tend to be smug gits themselves, and are naturally drawn toward a perspective on Jesus that validates their own smug gittedness.
Back at a bus terminal, Hitler complains about how anyone who rides the bus is either unemployed or as close to it as makes no odds. And you should remember that the next time you poo-pooh public transit. If you think poorly of people who ride the bus, you’re thinking like Hitler.
Hitler suggests that Jesus give all the poor people a plane ticket to Rome, so they can hang out in the Vatican, but Jesus, who for predictable reasons shares the author’s view on the papacy, explains that the Vatican is not fond of Jesus, and never invites him round for tea. This gives Hitler pause for thought.
Jesus goes on to talk at some length about how much less attractive he and his mother are than they appear in the Pieta, having been working class peasants, and how angry she’d been at having her son nailed to a cross. Hitler thinks that being murderous with rage at having your child tortured and executed while a mocking crowd looks on is quite a reasonable response, but that’s because he’s evil. Jesus prefers Michaelangelo’s version. He also recounts how he was thrown out of St. Peter’s for trying to stay past closing time. Hitler suggests that it was that kind of respect for the rules, even in the face of tossing Jesus out of your basillica, that resulted in some of his best Nazis being Christians.
Jesus namechecks Dorothy Day, who once turned the whole ‘Render unto Caesar’ thing moot by saying “Once you’ve rendered unto God that which is God’s, there shouldn’t be anything left to render unto Caesar.” I’m frankly a little surprised, given Moriarty’s depiction of Jesus so far, that he’d namecheck a prominent christian communist like that.
See, back in the first half of the 20th century, it was starting to look like the christians were going to throw in with the communists, what with the whole “everyone is equal” stuff and the whole “Hey, wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t exploit the hell out of the poor in order to create vast disparities of wealth,” thing. Fortunately for all of us, christians got past this, and found a way to interpret “Give everything you have to the poor or you’re going to hell,” to mean “Toss a buck in the collection plate every Sunday and it’s okay to vote against a living wage. It’s not like the poor deserve things like food and medicine. Fuck them. Fuck them hard.”
Again, Moriarty senses that he may have made Hitler a bit too sympathetic, and has Hitler start tossing the word “Faggot” around like it’s going out of style. Jesus attributes Hitler’s hate-filled ass-millnery to a lack of self-love. Hitler calls God a faggot. And then he takes a leak while Jesus watches and giggles.
Jesus is giggling because it’s Easter, not because he’s tickled by watching Hitler piss, he explains. Hitler finds six bucks on the street and uses it to buy a pack of smokes. Then, he explains that he only continues to exist so long as people remember him, and he is looking forward to people finally forgetting about him. Jesus says he’ll miss him. Hitler finds that unbelievable, and uses this as a segue to bitch about how much he hates Neo-Nazis, who he thinks are a bunch of whiny, unkempt sissies.
The subject of people remembering him finally brings Hitler around to the Holocaust. He complains that the Jews are “lousy winners,” as, having beaten him fair and square, foiling his attempt to exterminate them, they keep bringing the Holocaust up whenever they get the chance, thus refreshing the memory of Hitler and keeping him in his current form of conscious existence.
Jesus one-ups Hitler by pointing out that he personally has been conscious (this being the metaphysical state you’re in when someone thinks about you) for two thousand years, and that Hitler should stop whining.
So the take-home message here is that whenever you think about someone who has died, you summon them into existence in the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Vancouver?
Surprisingly, that explains a lot.
And now we get to the big central moral message of this whole thing. Now, if you were hoping this would be a big profound statement that would justify everything that has happened so far, then you missed the bit at the beginning of this review where I was curled up in a ball crying.
Hitler longs for the peaceful oblivion of death, which is denied him because he cannot sleep so long as anyone remember him. However, death never sleeps, therefore, because he can not sleep, Hitler is death*Note: This does not actually make logical sense. Likewise, Jesus can bring Hitler the oblivion he so desperately seeks, but is prevented from doing so because Hitler is death*Note: This does not actually make logical sense. However, Jesus also cannot sleep, therefore Jesus is also death*Note: This does not actually make logical sense. Thus, Hitler and Jesus are death to each other*Note: This does not actually make logical sense. Therefore, Hitler and Jesus should logically kill each other*Note: This does not actually make logical sense, but they can not do so because they are both death themselves, and therefore do not know how to die*Note: This does not actually make logical sense, because if death knew how to die, there would be no death*Note: This does not actually make logical sense. QED*Note: Q does not actually ED. Understand? Too fucking bad.
Jesus then follows this up with another bombshell: Though Hitler wants to kill Jesus, he can’t, as Jesus is death and can not die. Jesus likewise can not kill Hitler, but he doesn’t want to.
Ah, yes, standard theology thing. Jesus is all forgiving and loves Hitler anyway even though he’s terrible. Heard it a million times before.
No, actually, Jesus doesn’t want to kill Hitler because Jesus is so damned mad at Hitler that he wants to watch Hitler suffer.
Oh. That’s a bit ugly.
But not surprising, except maybe that someone would be so forthright about it. But this is Hitler Meets Christ, and if your brain hasn’t bled out your ears yet, you haven’t been paying attention. Because unlike, say, mainstream american fundamentalist evangelical christiantity, Jesus doesn’t want Hitler to suffer “forever and ever”, but only for “as long as it takes for you to learn how to die. Because when you learn how to die, you will die, and death dies with you.”
Hitler, presumably using that cosmic knowledge you get when you die, works out that this means that God set him up, and wipes some dirt on his lip to make a little Hitler moustache, and starts bitching about how he never should have attacked Russia. And then he wanders off on a tangent about goosestepping into Paris and forcing the Mona Lisa to pleasure him orally. He’s given Jesus the slip for the moment, and complains that he should have tried starting his own religion, this having worked out better for Jesus, in terms of the percentage of the world population kneeling to himA unit known in the trade as the “centizod”. He also complains about how everyone betrayed him, and how Jesus was lucky to just have the one Judas. But he starts hearing voices again and runs off.
We rejoin Jesus, who is in a theater, watching porn. Hitler, meanwhile, goes to church to beg God to let him die. Jesus shows up and tells Hitler where he’s been, putting on his best Creepy Pervert face. Hitler asks if it was hardcore, and Jesus excitedly says that yes, yes it was. Jesus loves porn, ladies and gentlemen.
But the porn was not all sunshine for Jesus: he explains that the performers had no sense of the fact that what they were doing was obscene and a violation of God’s laws, and therefore there was no real joy in it. According to Moriarty’s Jesus, God often breaks His own rules (I’m guessing he means miracles here), but He always enjoys it, because he understands the laws He’s breaking. So sex is only fun if you understand why it’s Wrong and Shameful and Sinful.
Which is the most sex-positive sex-negative position I think I’ve ever heard. Jesus also describes innocence as a “Maidenhead that can grow back,” which grosses Hitler out. And just in case you haven’t been rendered entirely impotent by the thought of Jesus watching hardcore porn, he goes on explain that, though he doesn’t have sex personally, whenever a woman follows Him, he rewards them by secretly restoring their innocence, which in turn makes it easier for them to comeHis words, which Hitler will call him on later.. And he calls Hitler a prude.
So Hitler takes Jesus back to his hovel and shows Him his porn collection, then says several of George Carlin’s words. And, because it’s been
almost a whole three seconds since Jesus creeped us out, he explains that his experience of being in heaven as a state of perpetual orgasm. Which if it didn’t creep you out enough, he follows up by reminding Hitler of those 75 centizods he’s got.
I don’t follow — Oh dear. It’s a fellatio joke isn’t it?
Yeah. Jesus just intimated that he’s being continuously felated by christendom.
Hitler tries to take a dump, but is constipated. This feels important, though I don’t know why. Like Estragon having a bladder infection in Godot.
Hitler goes to church again to pray for annihilation, and this leads us into act 2….