Here's an interesting one as far as distribution goes. Video Treasures circulated this tape although under the above Platino Video name, ( think "Latino") which also bears Mexican Home Video label in the bottom right corner. Funny though, the last is written in English...
In any case, Conquest, or "The Barbarian" as it is titled here, was filmed in Mexico, presaging Deathstalker 3 by 5 years or so.
Harking back to the fine Evangelical video prostheltization of films like my personal favorite, Years of the Beast, Apocalypse offers up Canadian flavored Tribulation. This early entry in the episodic Christploitation empire slowly accumulating like spent shell-casing around the feet of French-Canadian producer Peter Lalonde "deserves capital punishment" according to one reviewer. Later films started accumulating washed-up (read "born-again") stars like plaque, but Apocalypse features awesomely named lead character "Bronson Pearl" easily making it the "must see Christian movie of the nineties!"
The first impression one gets while watching Marjoe – the man, not the movie- is that you’re being conned. Marjoe the film is about the man of the same name, Marjoe Gortner, whom I was introduced to, as I suspect most people within ten or so years on either side of 30 who watch movies were, by way of Starcrash. He was in a few other choice exploitation films of the late 70’s, but the Luigi Cozzi Star Wars rip off is probably his greatest work (and Cozzi’s.) Before he entered low budget cinema however, Gortner was a Pentacostal revival preacher from the age of four.
The difficulty, if it can be called that, for it is something more akin to suspicion and contagion, is in deciphering which of Gortner’s personalities is real; the speaking in tounges version, or the turned on tie-dye version, for each seems equally genuine. True, it’s unlikely that many of us has been to a revival the likes of those seen in Marjoe, but they bear a striking resemblance to the stories, and if the conviction and feeling of the attendees is anything to go on, Gortner is both effective and affective. Gortner is as convincing in his spasmic and gesticulating Haleilujah’s as he is counting the cash afterwards and explaining the intricacies of the faith healing scam to the documentary crew. Therein lies what I suspect is the convincing factor for so many fans of Marjoe (The Academy deemed it Best Documentary, 1972); its protagonists bizarre lack of duality. There is no difference outside context.
Gortner is not at one time a preacher and at another a hippie, but at all times Marjoe. To me this is what reveals the great lie in religion, for the pious man, the mouthpiece of God, the very conduit of the Holy Spirit (and thus the source of experiential faith) is merely a skilled and practiced (and it appears, weary) man at a job. He preaches because he knows how and it is lucrative, called to it as much as a plumber is “called” to fit pipe. The devout need him to confirm their faith in God as much as his long-haired pals need him to confirm their belief that it’s a sham. And of course, Gortner needs Marjoe in order to prove that he has a moral soul. It is fortunate for us, and I assume for Gortner that he can see and point to the difference between truth and fiction. It’s even more so to those like myself who are unbelievers, that Marjoe (the man and the movie) doesn’t clearly distinguish between the two because to do otherwise would be to rely on a common, but false dichotomy. Whether or not religion or science can be empirically proven is, for most of us, irrelevant. Each exists primarily to affirm through varying methods, our desires rather than any objective reality.
We're gonna save this here pup, show him the kingdom of the almighty and bring him to Jesus!
We briefly visited this film back when we were discussing cultural imperialism in the guise of the Medicine Man trope...
This screener tape has an amazing string of ads at the beginning which pitch the film as a surefire family hit because it was screened on airplanes. A bunch of fakey air passengers are subjected to " impromptu interviews" in the concourse, and all approvingly endorse Windrunner. They're all white folks of course.