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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 29.17%
Average: 4.17%
Pretty Bad: 4.17%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 18 user ratings

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Real Old Testament, The
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by Scott Weinberg

"Funnier than DeMille's 'Ten Commandments'...and shorter too."
4 stars

One of the most popular questions at film festivals is apparently "Seen anything good yet?" People ask this question on buses, while standing on line for yet another movie, on long-distance phone calls back home, at urinals and beer-bongs; you get the picture. Well, I saw lots of flicks at my week-long double-fest, but this is the one I pushed when the inevitable question popped up. I got about thirty different variations on "Oooh, that sounds funny!" in response.

Adam's response to discovering Eve:

"All things considered, I'm much happier with Eve than I would be with a full set of ribs."

The gimmick is as simple as it is effectively amusing: presented here are a half-dozen Old Testament tales, all told as if the biblical icons were participants on MTV's The Real World. Sure, it's a concept that anyone could have devised, but A) these guys did, and B) I'm willing to wager thay they're funnier people than are you and your friends.

I didn't realize that all the performances were entirely improvised until the end credits let me know, and then I was even more impressed with the consistently funny material. Either fraternal filmmakers Paul and Curtis Hannum have an ear for skilled comedians, or they just happen to have a stunningly amusing collection of friends. Either way, this flick is just plain old funny.

From Adam and Eve to Cain and Abel to the first circumcision* to Lot's irritated reaction to his newly sodium-heavy spouse, all the Sunday School staples are here. Sure, the off-hand and casual way these guys tromp through the Old Testament may be considered kind of sacriligious, but hell - what's a little heresy if a movie makes you laugh?

(Plus I'd contend that The Real Old Testament works as an educational tool as well; I never realized there was so much dad-on-daughter incest in the Good Book!)

I ran into the Hannum brothers more than once during my Film Fest week, and I told them their flick was funnier than anything starring Adam Sandler. They took this faint praise with good humor, and my point was clear: produced for the value of three maxed-out credit cards, The Real Old Testament somehow packs in more solid giggles than does your typical summertime tentpole slob comedy.

But this is a very small movie, one produced on the cheap and featuring precisely zero in the realm of familiar names. This means you may have some trouble finding it, and that's a freakin' shame. Recommended most highly to religious people with a sense of humor (if any even exist) - or anyone who'd like to see The Real World get a well-deserved shot in the rib - The Real Old Testament will never see the inside of your local megaplex, so the legwork is up to you.

*(As I write this review I recall the circumcision scene, and the week-old memory still provokes mild laughter.)

It's no secret that we most enjoy the lovable flicks we discover for ourselves, and such is certainly the case here. The Hannums told me they planned a few tweaks and tucks, based on audience reaction and the desire to deliver the coolest overall flick. Here's hoping this affable little comedy finds itself an audience some time soon, even if it is of the late-night cable variety.

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originally posted: 01/28/03 09:31:22
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Slamdance Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Slamdance Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

1/06/06 Dave Mullenix It's out on DVD!! Google for The Real Old Testament 5 stars
3/08/04 David Mullenix Loved every second of it!! 5 stars
2/17/04 phil and i love the bible 5 stars
1/22/04 Stacy Whitman Hillarious movie! 5 stars
1/06/04 Elizabeth Went from really dumb to mildly amusing and back to really dumb. Targets were just too easy 2 stars
1/03/04 Cheryl Saw it at Slamdance - Still laughing!! 5 stars
11/13/03 Jennifer Crawley Witty. Loved it. 5 stars
9/25/03 James Butler Funniest movie I've seen in a long long time!!! 5 stars
9/22/03 Michael Great Show!! Had the pleasure of talking to "god" later that night, funny guy that god:) 5 stars
9/22/03 Laura Absolutely Hilarious 5 stars
8/04/03 Timmy Funny and entertaining. I'll never look at biblical stories that same way again. 5 stars
3/10/03 Carrman very funny and innovative humor- 5 stars
2/21/03 Frank Blackfox Great Satire 5 stars
2/20/03 Sharon Meaney I saw it twice and would recommend everyone to watch this wonderfu movie 5 stars
2/07/03 Susan Reel ~ 'Eve' once for a church banquet! Hysterical.. Refreshing.. Inventive...New (fun)real-ities! ~ 90% well handled 4 stars
2/02/03 dana These guys are great...definately going places 5 stars
1/28/03 mike henn you call that funny??? 3 stars
1/28/03 The Aussie Film Reviewer Flat out funny. 5 stars
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