17 August 2005

God's Angry Man

I'd been wanting to watch God's Angry Man for a while, now; after all, it's a documentary on a televangelist [SFW, despite being rotten.com] made by Werner Herzog. So, you know, it'd stand to reason that I'd be all into it.

Anyway, though, it turns out that Scarecrow had a VHS of it (well, of course they did, they're Scarecrow), and so I was able to rent it and watch it. And, well, so I did, particularly after seeing Grizzly Man, which was, of course, excellent and as such moved "Must See More Herzog!" up the list significantly of Things To Do.

The quality of the tape (which came from 5 Minutes to Live as well, actually -- although I'm not sure whether or not the DVD they have now is a copy of their VHS tape or perhaps the PAL VHS that Herzog himself is selling) was... not so hot actually. It was actually a video recording of the film being projected -- complete with projector noise. Which I suppose was nice in that it recreated the atmosphere of seeing a rare film in a dark church basement or something. (Not that I've ever done that; mainly because I think the films I'd be seeing there would be odd in a church basement.) Unfortunately, though, it was a little distracting and ended up making some of the silent scenes go a bit slower, since instead of being uncomfortably silent, you just heard the "CLICKCLICKCLICKCLICKCLICK" of the projector at full-bore. (Which seemed a little odd, honestly, since I thought I lot of projectors like that had audio-outs, like a 1/4" out or something. Although I haven't spent a lot of time around those kinds of projectors, honestly. This is something I need to rectify, though.)

Still, though, this film was great and definitely worth seeing. It is a little bit slow to get started (although I think part of that is that for the first 10 minutes, I was getting acclimated to the projector noise; when I saw the first bit again, I could understand the dialogue and such much better than I could before), but once it gets going, it GOES. Unfortunately, it's too short -- only 44 minutes -- and it feels a little chopped off. I thought before that it was about an hour, and I think that would have been a better length for it.

Gene Scott himself comes off as charismatic and intelligent, but paranoid and petulant; there's a scene where he lets his guard down and explains to Herzog that he's sterile (after a case of the mumps) and it actually is rather touching. He also explains that he has no private property or any privacy at all -- the only thing he has that's "his" is his black bag. He won't reveal the contents (but makes a strange comment about how when he dies, he hopes the government thugs choke on the salivation they'll be doing to get in there), but says he hopes people think it's something like 10 million dollars in Gold Bars -- even though it could be that or dirty socks. (paraphrasing here). Now that he has died, I wonder if they'll release what it actually WAS in there (assuming it's not Marcellus' soul).

The main highlights from the film are when they show clips from his show; my favorites are the point when he refuses to talk until he gets $1000 more -- he sits silently for a really long time, and then gets up to berate the audience... which actually brings in the money, and then he yells at them for having to wait for him to yell at them instead of just sending the money out of God's Love, and the "FCC Monkey Band" sequence which basically just has to be seen. No amount of explaining I could do could really aptly convey what's going on in that scene.


Blogger CatsFive said...

Oh, I have seen TONS of films in dark church basements. LOL. Seriously, though, I have. This film sounds interesting, but... well. I'll wait to hear what's in the black bag.

5:00 PM, August 17, 2005  
Blogger Lee H. said...

This just sounds so, SO crazy... in a good way. :D Scott is another Western phenomenon, I guess, because I've only seen him on TV in retrospectives and things like that. But I really do look forward to seeing this.

8:16 PM, August 17, 2005  
Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

I thought about going back to the MeFi post about his death to see if the Black Bag Mystery had been answered, but I haven't yet (and I don't think it has been). But still, though it is pretty awesome.

And yeah -- I've actually never seen Scott's show either; I'm not sure if it aired around here; although one of my best friends grew up in Coeur D'Alene, ID, and was a huge fan of Gene Scott, and would tell me a bit about him. Which is why I wanted to see this - and I wasn't disappointed. It made me want to see like, a DVD compilation of his Greatest Hits, though; not sure if one of those exists, but I'd kinda assume that 5 Minutes to Live probably has such a thing if it exists.

1:05 AM, August 18, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting video of Dr. Scott...

5:50 AM, August 18, 2005  
Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

Oh _MAN_ that is an EXCELLENT one. I hope everyone checks that one out.

""beep* *beep *beep* lackadaisical *beep*!"

12:00 PM, August 18, 2005  
Blogger Lee H. said...

Holy crap, that's awesome. :D Wow!

I'm going to have to remember that line "That's not cussin', that's definition." Heh heh heh!!

6:04 PM, August 18, 2005  
Blogger Lee H. said...

BTW, thanks Anonymous, whoever you are! ;)

6:04 PM, August 18, 2005  
Blogger Lee H. said...

BTW, Rev, have you ever seen Fitzcarraldo? It was the first movie of Herzog's I ever heard of, but I haven't seen it yet. The only one of his I HAVE seen is his remake of Nosferatu (me being a horror movie freak and all). But Fitzcarraldo sounds really, really good.

1:58 AM, August 21, 2005  
Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

I actually haven't -- I've seen shockingly little Herzog, sadly, though it's something I'm planning on fixing. (I know Anchor Bay's released a couple of Herzog Boxes, too, which is pretty cool.) But yeah -- I totally need to see it, even though Nelson Muntz on an episode of The Simpsons said it was interesting but flawed!

12:30 PM, August 21, 2005  
Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

Also on the subject of Herzog, David Byrne liked Grizzly Man.

11:52 PM, August 22, 2005  
Blogger Lee H. said...

Wow, that's an awesome review... I liked what Byrne said towards the end of it, about how sometimes people kind of mimic TV personalities when they feel something missing from their own personality. I've seen that, myself... it's kind of a sad thing to me.

Thanks for the link! :)

7:29 AM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

I've been a big fan of Byrne's journal for a while. It started out as just a tour diary, but I've thought it's actually gotten a lot more interesting now that he's not on tour and just living a normal life. (It helps that he's usually pretty insightful!)

12:56 PM, August 23, 2005  
Blogger Rev. Syung Myung Me said...

More on the Herzog Front, but this story is really cool; it's from an extra on Herzog's new (fiction) film; he talks about how Herzog works from an extra's point of view, and he seems like a really cool, nice guy. I like the story about him lugging the PA speaker.

1:54 PM, September 10, 2005  

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