Title: The Catechism Cataclysm

Director: Todd Rohal

Starring: Steve Little, Robert Longstreet, Miki Ann Maddox, Koko Lanham, Rico A. Comic, Jay Wesley Cochran, Wally Dalton

If one likes their horror-comedies sans logic and/or pointless; then The Catechism Cataclysm will be 75 minutes of pure bliss for them. As for the rest of us…damn this movie to hell!

An inexperienced priest, Father William (Steve Little) reaches out to an old high school friend in Robbie (Robert Longstreet), and convinces him to tag along on a canoe trip. Seeing the two polar-opposites interacting – which makes up the majority of this flick – begs the question of how these guys were ever friends to begin with? The priest seems to know all about Robbie’s past exploits of being in a failed rock band and writing short stories – for which he is a huge fan of; but Robbie has trouble figuring out why Father Billy knows so much about him. Either way, he’s cool with going along for the ride since he has no life at the moment.

While paddling along on the local river, the duo gets lost and is forced to go ashore during nightfall. They end up rendezvousing with another mismatched canoe pairing in two bubbly Asian girls (Miki Ann Maddox & Koko Lanham) and their bouncer looking companion – who is dressed like a monk (Rico A. Comic). They all make camp together and something (obviously) happens.

You know, this is one of those rare times that yours truly actually wants to spoil what occurs in this waste of time. As this review is being written, the memories of that film are already being deleted from my mind. In fact, I should get worker’s compensation for screening this. The only element that has anything to it (a.k.a talent) is the acting of our two leads. Both come across natural and authentic during their extensive chit-chats and this keeps the viewer involved in whatever the script is setting up for. Aside from that, there is a parable told within the story that depicts a depressed man (Jay Wesley Cochran) contemplating suicide in a hotel room, but can’t pull it off (that sequence only lasts about five minutes by the way). It’s literally a nice campfire story but the meaning and/or symbolic nature of it makes little to no sense whatsoever, signaling poor execution.

This product clearly wants to take shots and/or poke fun at religion – specifically the stories in the Bible – in the most abstract way possible. It also seems that this was originally a short story/film that was stretched out by writer/director, Todd Rohal. Even though he can keep your attention with the dialogue between a pansy priest and grizzled depressed rocker, the horror angle (which is also brief) is poorly timed and a letdown. And if you haven’t figured out, there is nothing to laugh at here except for the closing song whose lyrics are the only clever aspect of this entire pile of crap.

Overall, The Catechism Cataclysm prayers were not answered or even understood for that matter. Granted the filmmakers could probably rationalize everything they’ve done and what it translates to (we get it: Bible stories do not make sense and neither does yours). But if you have to go that route, then the storytelling on-screen failed to project the message via the words and the actions set forth. Based on the intended premise and style, this is something writer/director Kevin Smith would have conjured up…when he was 4 years-old…and tried to write down what happened in his random dream from the night before.

Technical: D+

Story: F

Acting: C+

Overall: D

Review by Joe Belcastro

the catechism cataclysm

By Joe Belcastro

Joe Belcastro is an established movie critic in Tampa, Florida. As a member of the Florida Film Critics Circle, most of his time is spent reviewing upcoming movies. He also covers news pertaining to the film industry, on both a local and national level as well as conducting interviews. To contact Joe Belcastro regarding a story or with general questions about his services, please e-mail him and/or follow him on Twiiter @TheWritingDemon.

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