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Film / Jesus, Bro!

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Only people like these would take a 0 out of 5 and consider it a win. Then again, the Dove Foundation gave 4 doves to Old Fashioned...

"Zero doves!"
The Dove Foundation's review of the film

Jesus, Bro! is a 2017 spoof film written by Brad Jones of The Cinema Snob and starring David Gobble, Fard Muhammad, Allison Pregler and Doug Walker.

Rick "The Rickhead" Whitehead is one of the most popular atheist Youtubers on the Internet, widely respected by his peers for his no-nonsense method of telling people exactly what they believe but are too afraid to say themselves. Things seem to be going well for him as he is told that he is to be given the "Atheist of the Year" award, but a subsequent fight and breakup with his girlfriend leads to a night of drinking where he passes out and has a vision of ...Santa Christ, who tasks The Rickhead of using his Internet soapbox to spread the good word to his millions of followers.

Hilarity Ensues.

It's worth noting the spoof is specifically targeted towards "wholesome" Christian films such as God's Not Dead, Saving Christmas, and War Room rather than religion itself.

Compare and contrast with Let There Be Light, a Christian film released shortly after this film that has an identical plot, but plays it completely seriously.

Jesus, Bro! provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: During the rapture scene, Fard Muhammed’s character Carlos is seen wearing an army outfit and sunglasses that make him look like Fard’s “General Anesthetic” character from Pop Quiz Hotshot.
  • An Aesop:
    • Rick learns to be less of a selfish dick, as well as that it does not matter what faith or creed you follow and that you just need to be a good person.
    • A more subtle Aesop is that people are good or evil on their own merits, religion doesn't make you a better or worse person.
  • Appeal to Force: Rick eventually tries to win converts to Christ by using the power of prayer to make those who mock him spontaneously combust. This ends up triggering the Rapture prematurely.
  • Archangel Gabriel: The Producer's DVD Commentary states that Gabe the Bartender is meant to allude to Gabriel, complete with the two giant mirrors behind him meant to thematically evoke angel wings.
  • Arc Words: "Three years, eleven months and two days."
  • Armoured Closet Gay: Willy Whitehead spends his days trying to get colleges to allow anti-gay speakers and calls those that protest them bigots. He also isn’t attracted to men anymore.
  • Bargain with Heaven: Santa Christ makes a deal with Rick; become Christian, convert his online followers and he will get his girlfriend back. He succeeds from a certain point of view.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: After his conversion, Rick no longer believes that humans evolved from monkeys and so he states that he no longer believes that sex with them is acceptable. This actually upsets Samuel Tobinski, who declares that he will not apologize for having sex with them.
  • The Bet: Turns out that Jesus set Rick on his task because of one of these with the Devil.
  • Brick Joke: A few of these.
    • An early scene has Rick and Carlos hunting while Rick gets a phone call. This leads to a Funny Background Event of Carlos chasing around a running bush. In a later scene, Carlos is seen with the 'dead' bush slung over his sholder. Later, Rick mention's Carlos's ability to field dress a bush.
    • When explaining why he is appearing as Santa Christ, Jesus tells Rick that on another occasion he appeared as a chicken sandwich. In addition to meeting the man who saw Christ in that form, Rick himself sees Christ in chicken sandwich form just after the Reset Button, which causes him to remember all of the events of the movie.
  • Can't Take Criticism: A recurring flaw of Rick's personality Played for Laughs, ranging from being personally offended by the park ranger unsubscribing to feeling physically ill at seeing backlash videos from his fans. This reaches its peak where Rick prays to have everyone that so much as down votes his videos burst into flames and die.
    Rick: I'm trying to get thicker skin, Willy. I haven't thought of my down-votes in minutes, and I want to reach more people.
  • Casting Gag: Amusingly enough, Dave Gobble (the atheistic Rickhead) and Allison Pregler (the Christian Elizabeth) share their respective character's beliefs in real life.
  • Church of Saint Genericus: No specific Christian sects are mentioned. Willy Whitehead has a poster celebrating the Pope in his War Room, but elements more consistent with Protestant denominations pop up now and then also.
  • Digital Bikini: Evoked in-universe, as the rapture was supposed to rapture Rick without his clothes. Instead, he appears in Heaven wearing robes, Santa Christ not wanting him to talk to him ‘’naked’’.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: While the forest warden and Samuel Tobinski are both rather brutal, having them spontaneously combust through the power of prayer is a bit much. Later, Rick immolates people merely for unsubscribing from his channel.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Played for Laughs with the random death of Willy.
  • Easy Evangelism: Subverted. Rick only converts after a direct personal experience with Santa Christ, and even then he needed a bit of convincing. Once he begins trying to bring people to Christ he has no success at all until he starts making people combust through the power of prayer.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: Happens near the end of the film because Rick prayed for too many neckbeards to spontaneously combust. Fortunately, God has a reset button.
  • Embarrassing Last Name: Rick Whitehead hates his last name.
  • Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: Rick is enraged by the mere presence of a man praying silently at another dining table, even as Elizabeth points out he's is in no way, shape, or form imposing his beliefs on others.
  • Fire and Brimstone Hell: Not all of Hell, as Rick meets the Devil in what looks like a basement or boiler room, but a nearby door opens up to reveal a flowing river of lava (they also have an option of a lake of fire, the differences between it and the lake are supposedly negligible).
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Rick meets Jesus in one of these, though it is a bit sparse due to budget constraints and the fact that it is really just a soundstage in-universe.
  • A Form You Are Comfortable With: Jesus appears as "Santa Christ" specifically because Rick had earlier compared belief in Jesus to belief in Santa Claus. Jesus notes that he also once appeared as a chicken sandwich.
  • Ghost Reunion Ending: Parodying Return of the Jedi, Rick sees a vision of ghostly images of Santa Christ, God and then, suddenly, his brother, Willy, who had dropped dead during the wedding reception.
  • God and Satan Are Both Jerks: It is revealed that Santa Christ and the Devil were both collaborating in a bet, not actually seeing Rick’s faith and he capacity to convert as an actual priority. God him/herself seems pretty cool though.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Exaggerated for parody. Rick is a prime example, becoming violently ill at the sight of a man engaged in quiet prayer and lobbying for A Christmas Story to be retitled A Holiday Story. Other atheists seen in the film (primarily followers of Rick) are equally absurd, with many engaging in violence against Rick simply because of Rick's conversion.
  • The Horseshoe Effect: He was a selfish, militant, condescending dick that encouraged violence and intolerance from his fans when he was an atheist and he is still a selfish, militant, condescending dick that encouraged violence and intolerance from his fans when he became a Christian. He learns his lesson by the end though.
  • Insane Troll Logic: Santa Christ chocks up the cause of decline in believers to the invention of string cheese.
  • It's All About Me: Rick is established as being self-centered early on. Even after his conversion, his efforts to win followers to Christ is motivated solely by the promise that he will get Elizabeth back. His selfless act at the end is what finally resolves the plot.
  • Jesus Was Way Cool: At first, but quickly averted when it was revealed that Santa Christ manipulated Rick into his faith (and the consequences thereafter) to win a bet with Satan. He even tries to get himself off the hook after he was forced to trigger the Rapture prematurely by passing the blame onto Rick.
  • Lighter and Softer: To fit the parodied content, it's the first Stoned Gremlin Productions film that wouldn't be rated R, lacking their usual swearing, sexual content and violence.
  • Ludicrous Precision: Downplayed in that she only goes as far as days, but still played in that Elizabeth feels compelled to repeatedly mention that she has been with Rick for "Three years, eleven months and two days".
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Elizabeth goes on to have nineteen children after breaking up with Rick and marrying someone else. After only two days. And a few days later she has a twentieth.
  • Mr. Exposition: Or, rather, Miss Exposition in the form of Rick's girlfriend, Elizabeth. Exaggerated to the point of a lampshade being put on it more than once. Apparently giving out extensive backstory to people who already know it is a bizarre personality quirk of hers.
  • Mundane Afterlife: This seems to be the default for both Heaven and Hell. When Rick is in Heaven, it takes the form of a filming studio, its budget too low to convincingly portray a Fluffy Cloud Heaven, though it is implied that Santa Christ made it look like that to Rick as to not overwhelm him. When he visits Hell, it takes the form of a boiler-room, the traditional Fire and Brimstone Hell in the next room over. When God appears and is about to find out that the Rapture had happened, Santa Christ offers Rick to make his eternity in Hell less horrible and more boring (like room-temperature fire) if he voluntarily takes the fall for it.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Rick's efforts to convert people to Christianity inadvertently triggers a premature Rapture. This also applies to Santa Christ, as he only tasked Rick with converting followers in order to win a bet with the Devil.
  • The Omniscient: God already knew what Santa Christ did before appearing, but he/she still commends Rick’s willingness to take the blame for selfless reasons.
  • Our Product Sucks: After the Dove Foundation gave the movie a very negative review, a limited-release DVD cover proudly proclaimed that the movie received "Zero doves!" Given that Brad Jones is not a fan of the organization and made a video tearing apart its review, this isn't intended as self-deprecation so much as a Take That!.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Santa Christ occasionally pulls down his beard (revealing that it is artificial) and dropping his boisterous "Santa" voice, usually when he needs to get real.
  • Parody: Of Christiansploitation cinema, more specifically the kind of films Kirk Cameron and Pure Flix Entertainment would make.
  • Please, I Will Do Anything!: Santa Christ evokes this to Rick, asking anything of him if he takes the blame for prematurely starting the Rapture and escaping God's wrath.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Samuel Tobinski, the manager of many atheist-themed Youtube channels (including Rick's) has an identical twin brother named Kendrick, who manages Christian-themed Youtube channels.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The Devil does not really do much in the way of the plot, simply kicking back and watching the chaos unfold, and leaves without suffering any consequences for being involved in his bet with Santa Christ before God arrives.
  • Religion is Magic: Mocked when Rick’s prayers come true almost immediately after he makes them.
  • Reset Button: After Rick inadvertently triggers the Rapture prematurely, God does this.
  • Running Gag: Chicken sandwich.
  • Secret Test of Character: Rick comes to believe that the hardships that he ensues, both in the violent rejection of his message and of Elizabeth's refusal to take him back, is a test of his faith. Subverted. It's not a test of Rick's character; Jesus was just trying to win a bet and the fallout on Rick is an unintended consequence.
  • Selfless Wish: Rick willingly takes the blame for starting the Rapture in exchange for Elizabeth survives the Rapture and lives a good life.
  • Serious Business: YouTube Atheism is a serous profession and becoming a theist is the absolute worst thing you could possibly do as far a they're concerned. Samuel Tobinski equates the video of Rick converting to Christianity to 9/11 and he sends his goons to break Rick's legs twice over it, a park ranger bans Rick from hunting over it, there's an "Atheist of the Year" Award and so on.
  • She Is the King: God is revealed to be played by Sarah Gobble. Santa Christ still calls her “Dad” though.
  • Spontaneous Human Combustion: Rick learns that a few people succumbed to this trope after Rick prayed for it to happen in his War Room. Once he realizes that he possesses this power, the casualty count gets a lot higher.
  • The Story That Never Was: Not in an "Old Testament kind of mood" at the time, God decides to undo the rapture and the various deaths caused by Rick, Santa Christ and the Devil's actions in the film by resetting everything to before Elizabeth breaks up with Rick. Subverted, in that Santa Christ returns Rick's memories of everything that happened shortly after.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Kendrick Tobinski to his twin brother Samuel. The only notable differences are one of shirt colour and religious inclination.
  • Taking the Heat: Rick steps in and offers to do this for Santa Christ, taking the blame for starting the Rapture prematurely, on the condition that Elizabeth be allowed to survive and have a good life afterward. Fortunately, God already knew what happened and had a different solution.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: Burton Burpo’s near-death experience.
    Burton: I had my near-death experience 15 years ago. I had a brain aneurysm, then I fell down a mineshaft and got attacked by a cave bear. The cave bear had rabies and the rabies sent me into a coma, and that’s when I caught pneumonia.
    Rick: Is that when you saw Jesus?
    Burton: No, no I had an allergic reaction to the meds they were giving me. That’s when I met him.
  • Thicker Than Water: Averted with Kendrick Tobinski. Rick confesses to being responsible for his brother's death-by-combustion. Instead of being upset about it, Kendrick instead offers a movie deal with him hoping to profit off of him.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: While shades of a darker side can be glimpsed in The Nostalgia Critic, here Santa Christ is practically an antagonist, having manipulated Rick and inadvertently causing the apocalypse because of a bet he made with the Devil (something he does quite often). Sure, he tries to make up for it by giving back Rick's memories from before God undid all of the damages, but this was only after he was caught red-handed trying to get Rick to take the blame for everything.
  • Training Montage: Of a sort, with various shots of a newly-converted Rick studying the Bible to prepare to reach out and spread the word of God.
  • Villain Protagonist: Throughout most of the film, Rick Whitehead is portrayed as a selfish, close-minded, bigoted whiner that encourages violence in others (both as an atheist and a Christian). It is not until he sees the full consequences of his actions by the very end does this change.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Rick is sickened by the sight of a religious man praying in a restaurant, but any nastiness is hidden by the bucket (and later bread basket) into which he regurgitates. Later, Rick and Carlos watch a video of one of his former fans holding up a bucket to show how Rick's newfound faith made him sick; the film cuts away from the video to show Rick's and Carlos's Reaction Shot to it.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: The Big Good (Santa Christ) and the Big Bad (Satan) of Abrahamic faith place a bet centered around one individual man by forcing him to face ridicule and general misfortune by his former friends, neighbors and admirers before God confronts him about his behavior. Granted, Job was devout from the start and Rick was the exact opposite, but this sounds an awful lot like a loose retelling of the Book of Job.


Video Example(s):


Samuel Tobinski

Samuel Tobinski is basically THE guy when it comes to atheist YouTubers, so naturally he's portrayed as a dick.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / HollywoodAtheist

Media sources: