The Most Awesome Movie Of the Decade (and Perhaps of All Time)

This guy is raising money to make Dark Dungeons, a movie based on the Chick tract of the same name. This thrilling tale demonstrates among other things that:

*Playing RPGs can make you gain real life magic abilities

*If you gain a high enough level you will be invited to join a secret cult

*Gamers whose characters die are in danger of committing suicide.

*That DM’s are vile temptresses that are out to corrupt their players to the forces of evil.

You must donate to this project immediately. Sell your futon! Pawn your balalaika! Rent out your basement to a traveling troupe of ululaters! Do whatever it takes to make sure this movie gets made. Donate today and you can even get your name in the credits!

Note: The guy making this movie is doing so to ultimately poke fun at the tract so please refrain from sending him hate mail or chinchillas. I really dig the sense of humor that is motivating this project.

145 thoughts on “The Most Awesome Movie Of the Decade (and Perhaps of All Time)”

    1. “Tract: … you have the personality for it now.

      “Tom: What kind of personality is that?

      “Mike: One that’s easy to manipulate and fool.

      “Crow: Oh. Baptists.” 😈

    2. That just has to be one of the best MST3000 adaptations ever!

      And one of the worst Jack Chick tracts, too!

      Well … come to think of it, every Chick tract is one of the worst ever. Chick has made it a horrible art form of awfulness.

      I think I might have had a hint that I would one day leave fundamentalism when I decided that I really did not like Chick tracts.

        1. Full disclosure: I just donated a whole dollar of my own money. Because I want my name in the credits as a backer.

        1. My hubby’s scared to play against me in video games. He doesn’t want the psycho to come out. 😳

  1. The only problem is: even bad publicity is publicity. Chick tracts are going to get more attention through this.

    Having said this, I will possibly try to sell some blood and send the producer a chinchil…I mean check.

  2. A seriously interesting movie would be a biography of Jack Chick himself.

    But first, you’d have to find out his story. I once did a little quickie research on him for my own amusement, and I didn’t come up with much. It seems he is quite secretive. I don’t even know if he believes everything in the Chick Tracts or if he is in on the joke. I don’t even know if Jack Chick is his real name.

      1. That’s kinda what I was thinking. Too much cleavage. And I was also thinking…it’s pretty sad that I am seriously contemplating if this guy is serious. Because in the IFB world, it’s a very real possibility.

  3. But . . . Dungeons and and Dragons really DOES have occult powers!!!

    Focus on the Family aired an episode of Adventures in Odyssey where Jimmy actually got plastic swords to turn into metal ones and make scary clanging noises. Then, Mr. Whittaker broke Jimmy’s cousin’s Ouija Board in half and the demons fled away!!! Dr. Dobson himself got on there to tell us that really happens!!!

    So, you see, it’s all true!!!! 😯

      1. Just google Adventures in Odyssey Dungeons and Dragons and you’ll find it. It was supposedly the first AIO episode that had a warning at the beginning that it might not be suitable for young children.

        (We weren’t technically allowed to listen to AIO in our fundy home. I caught part of the D&D episode at a friend’s house. One time, we were listening as a family in the car and a character said, “Let’s go to the movies. I’ll go tell my mom.” My mother said that not only was it wrong to go to the movies, but the character should have said, “I’ll go ASK my mom,” instead of “I’ll go TELL my mom.” She actually wrote a letter to Focus on the Family complaining about that and all things FOTF were verboten in our home for several years after that.)

        1. I would add that the anti-FOTF bias was so strong that we were almost not allowed to watch the film Aladdin at my aunt’s house simply because FOTF had recommended it.

        2. My parents didn’t like Focus on the Family either: “They shouldn’t be focusing on the family. They should focus on God. If people put God first, He’d straighten out their families.” And it was too ecumenical for them.

  4. At this point any more publicity that chick tracks can get will only hurt them, their brand of strange psychosis may have worked wonders in the sheltered world of 1980’s homeschooling and fundamentalism, but now days it just makes them look like idiots. honestly, does ANYONE but those distributing these tracts fall for this malarkey? ANYONE? Doubtful. I recall one specific tract that claimed homosexual activity was non-existent after Sodom was destroyed, then archeologists found carvings of it in the 1930s and it was “rediscovered”, and “set loose” once again in preparation for the rise of the antichrist…. Or something along those lines…. (this plot seemed to parallel the plot of “The Exorcist”.) epic face palm.

      1. Not even a theory really, Jack Chick often drew from pop culture and other goings on at the time for his tracts, his “conspiracy” tracts where the best though, just crazy, real crazy. I found them terrifying as a child, but laughable and hilarious as an adult.

    1. Yeah, it might have worked back in the 70s/80s when few people played or had played a roleplaying game, and people could be scared by polyhedral dice. (GET THEE BEHIND ME, PROBABILITY AND STATISTICS!)

      Now? When zillions of people have played computer roleplaying games, or MMORPG like World of Warcraft, and thus have been exposed to concepts used in the old pencil and paper RPGs, like ‘spells’ and ‘levels’, and whatnot?

      Not gonna work very well.

  5. I have often thought, looking back, that fundy kids growing up in the 80s and 90s knew more about the occult than most non-fundy kids. The emphasis that our churches placed on educating us about the “dangers” of the “occult” bordered on the obsessive. In fact, one could concoct a pretty plausible conspiracy theory that fundamentalist youth groups were used as a gateway to introduce young people to the occult. Certainly, we were the only young people, other than young neo-pagans, who were brainwashed into believing that all this other-worldly, spiritual stuff really existed and regularly interacted in a tangible way with our world.

    The big bugaboo when I was a teen was Harry Potter, not D&D, but the same sensationalism and false allegations and obsession with the occult applied. I recall how pastors would have to first teach us A LOT about various alleged occult practices before they could then connect those to something in a Harry Potter novel. I remember thinking that if you have to lay so much groundwork to show us why something is “bad,” perhaps it is not the thing under attack that is “bad” but your own perverted and demon-obsessed fundy mind.

    1. HA! We would get these poorly Xeroxed copies of these fundi conspiracies in the mail from our friends, Harry Potter? ALL THOSE SPELLS ARE REAL SPELLS! Calvin and Hobbes? (yes, Calvin and Hobbes) was teaching your children to have animal familiars and worship Satan. (points to them though for even knowing the poem “Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright” was about the devil.)The best I ever heard was that all cabbage patch dolls had real demons implanted in them by covens of witches in the factories where they where made. And the pastor claimed to have PROOF, yes PROOF. Cabbage patch dolls……..actually demon possessed voodoo dolls from hell here to posses your children. 😯

        1. Cabbage Patch dolls do seem to have a demonic power to make people spend absurd amounts of money on very ugly dolls.

          At least they did, back at the height of the fad.

      1. Oh yeah, Bill Gothard has a story about a woman trying to give birth at home (like the Bible commands) and her baby was breach until the midwife and her husband burned her Cabbage Patch doll in the backyard and then the baby came right out. Cabbage Patch dolls were allegedly used by the 1980s Satanist conspirators to replace actual children with dolls so that people would have less babies.

        1. Gothard (shudders) My family didn’t follow his anti-intellectual teachings, no, WE where enlightened and educated, WE all went to BJU.

        2. Oh, yeah. This came up on another blog (Wartburg Watch?) recently. Gothard and the DEMON-possessed Cabbage Patch Doll scare of the Satanic Panic.

          Actually made it to the tabloids, then from tabloids to Pat Robertson’s 700 Club. Not the first time fiction or tabloid shtick got mistaken for Fact after a couple retellings.

        3. It is almost like some kind of……..superstition. Step on a crack, break your mothers back, buy a Cabbage patch doll………GET POSSESED BY DEMONS AND LOOSE YOUR CHILDREN TO SATANIC CULTS! (sigh)So, so, so, glad I left all that behind. There is plenty of real evil in the world, no need to make stuff up.

    2. I find it somewhat amusing that the one thing in the HP novels that actually veered close to real-world mysticism, the various methods of fortune-telling seen in the divination class, was played very much for laughs, with the teacher being portrayed as not a con artist, but harmlessly delusional and clearly not doing any real magic, just seeing whatever she wanted to see.

      1. If you want a book that will make you scream with laughter (before burning it in a fit of rage), read Harry Potter and the Bible: the Menace Behind the Magick by Richard Abanes. Yep, he spells “magick” with a “K” in order to distinguish the evil magick in HP from the acceptable magic in Narnia and LOTR. (He has a whole chapter on why the magic in those two series are okay for Christians.) It’s a perfect example of what I was talking about in my comment above: he spends pages and pages detailing various practices of neo-pagans and wiccans and satanists before finally making various tenuous connections to elements in the HP stories. (NB: One could do the same thing with the Bible itself.) A fundy friend of my wife’s gave it to her as a gift.

        1. I’ve read parts of that one.

          I much prefer “What’s a Christian to Do with Harry Potter?” by Connie Neal.

      2. I had wondered at that, considering whether or not Rowling was saying something about divination in general, or what. I think she just wanted to maintain plot secrecy – in a world where divination is as useful and reliable as (say) apportation, free will disappearing is the least of your troubles. And it sure would be hard to write books about such a universe, what with cliffhanging approach. Good thing that the plots all conveniently resolved every end-of-term.

        1. I read some interesting fan speculation (now jossed IIRC) about Arithmancy being the more reliable form of divination, but still not as useful as just having a window to the future. The idea is that you identify some future outcome you want to know about, identify all of the factors that could affect that outcome significantly, then write a spell using all of those factors on a very large space (like doing an equation on a blackboard) and see what comes out. Just identifying all of the factors is a struggle, and then (the fan speculated) the equation has to be left up and checked periodically because if any of those factors happens to be subject to change, the spell will rewrite itself. Sometimes (the speculation continues) previously unknown factors may write themselves into the magical equation–and then you have to do some sleuthing to find out what the hell they are.

          So basically to tell the future with any reliability you have to study and practice for years. And even then it may not work.

        2. Arithmancy is mentioned in the Potter books (I think it’s one of the many classes Hermione is taking), but there’s never any explanation of what it is or how it works. Presumably, it has something to do with math.

          Astrology is also a class the future wizards take, but they don’t seem to be able to do much with it. It’s just a plot engine to get them all at the top of a tower at certain points in the story.

        3. I always gathered that humans wizards and witches were able to understand the process of divination and astrology, but weren’t really able to use it to any effect. The centaurs seem to be able to use astrology to see potential outcomes. Perhaps there’s a deeper level to use ability than merely being able to use magic–being some sort of magical creature with a certain nature, or some such.

        4. “in a world where divination is as useful and reliable as (say) apportation, free will disappearing is the least of your troubles. And it sure would be hard to write books about such a universe, what with cliffhanging approach. ”

          It’s like the “cellphone problem” but worse. (SO many plots are facilitated by the lack of a phone, a cut line, wires down, etc. Sure, writers could use the “no signal” approach, but if it’s a group of people involved, *one* of them may have a different provider with better coverage. And the more you use “no signal”, the more likely the reader is going to wonder why coverage is so bad in your story’s world).

          This is also what I consider the conclusive evidence that magic isn’t real in the real world. If it was real, the world would be very different. Simply being able to reliably conjure up drinkable water would have given a pre-modern army an enormous advantage, given how many armies and besieged cities have fallen due to disease and poor sanitation.

      3. I think the idea in HP is that divination is real but it’s not something you can make happen. Trelawney makes two actual accurate prophecies through the series, but she has no control over them, and doesn’t even know that she’s done it afterwards. So she desperately tries to make it happen by playing with cards and crystal balls, but all the work in the world won’t make it happen for her.

        The centaurs have accurate prophecies. But they don’t go looking for the nitty gritty details of everyday life, they are interested in the big themes of the world’s events. So the humans, interested only in what they can get out of divination, find centaur divination to be boring, even though it’s actually accurate.

    3. This! The only people who ever even used the word “occult” (or “occultic” [sic!]) were passing on fundamentalist rumors.

      I happened to be able to read reprints of actual factual books of Western ceremonial magic, from before the artsy/druggy set reinvented it in the Victorian era. What I got from them: Medieval magicians were rather stupid. One of the spells was a procedure for calling up God. Yes, that God. Yes, this book was read and copied and reread by Christians. Also there was a big obsession with money; about half of the spells were about finding buried treasure or attracting people willing to give the spellcaster money.

      1. THIS. Penn State University Press has a whole “Magic In History” series, that covers the material in the same sort of way a “History of Medicine” text would cover bizarre early medical practices. Dry this-is-what-they-did, not a credulous “OMG, THIS SPELL WILL HOOK YOU UP WIT HELEN OF TROY, YO”.

        A lot of magic was of the “finding lost items” sort.

        They might have started out trying to do the impressive “conjure a demon to take me to foreign lands blah blah” things, but when that inevitably failed, they’d end up doing the relatively mundane stuff that could be marketed as a service. (Probably very quietly and carefully.)

    4. Amen DS, and I believe this applies to many things they taught against. Why inform us all about something that’s so bad? I especially always wondered why they got hung up preaching against sexual sin so much. They brought it up so much..why would you do that if you’re trying to avoid it?

      1. I second that. No one in my family knew who the Spice Girls were until the Junior Girls’ Sunday School teacher diligently informed us. She even brought in a poster so we could see the evil and blatant sexuality. My parents were not happy.

        1. I don’t object sexuality, but I object to horrible music, so keep the Spice Girls away from me, please.

  6. Not only am I gonna toss a little money his way, I’m sure that I would try to marry him if I wasn’t already taken. A guy who gets a surprise $1,000 and uses it to make a moving mocking a Chick tract is a keeper.

  7. Hopefully they will make it about MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft instead of the paper-and-pencil RPGs, since the former is only a slightly dated cultural phenomenon and making a movie about the latter in 2013 would be like preaching against Bon Jovi.

    1. According to their page, if they can raise enough money they’d like to set the movie in 1984 where it belongs. I sincerely hope they do.

      Oh, I can’t wait for this one. This takes me back. 🙂

    2. Naah. Make it a period piece.

      First, as a paper/pencil/funny dice man, it’s good to have something different than today’s emphasis on online/e-gaming. “Gamer” has now come to mean online/e-gamer.

      Second, Chick’s brand of Christians are notorious for being “late adopters” in just about everything; why not in gaming as well? It doesn’t seem out-of-character to still be denouncing D&D over a decade into the age of WoW.

      And every 10 years the Christianese Kyle’s Moms find another cloven hoofprint in something and the Crusade is on to Protect The Children The Children The Children:
      50-60 years ago, it was E.C. Horror Comics.
      30-40 years ago, it was D&D.
      10-20 years ago, it was Harry Potter.
      We’re about due for another.

      1. Haven’t you heard? Pokémon are actual drawings of demons from hell,(though Squirttle seams too cute to be a demon IMO) and by playing the game children become possessed. (NOT making that one up, though I haven’t heard it in a few years.)

        1. Which is pathetically hilarious when you can see that the inspiration for most pokemon comes from items or animals that are in our natural world.

        2. “Which is pathetically hilarious when you can see that the inspiration for most pokemon comes from items or animals that are in our natural world.”

          One looks like spiky ladyparts.

        3. Wow, you’re right.
          How did they get that past the censors?
          I suppose the explanation would be that it’s supposed to be a clam/oyster … but still.

        4. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GettingCrapPastTheRadar?from=Main.GettingCrapPastTheCensors

          Alright, drifting off topic here, but I have to share one of my favorite “I can’t believe the censors missed that” moments. In Transformers Beast Wars (mid-90s), one of the characters, Silverbolt, is conducting an illicit affair with a an enemy robot, Blackarachnia. When Silverbolt returns to base after an assignation, Rattrap asks him where he was. He replies he was scouting the area. Rattrap, who clearly knows what’s going on, retorts, “Oh, scouting the area? Find any new… positions?” (When you realize Silverbolt is a wolf/eagle hybrid, and Blackarachnia is… well, guess… the contortions needed are bind-moggling.)

        5. “How did they get that past the censors?”

          My first guess would be that it was ok in Japan where it originated, either because they didn’t notice or because of cultural differences. I mean, there’s a schoolyard song about the huge nuts of the tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog): “(‘”Tan-tan-tan”, Your balls sway nicely. / Though the wind stops blowing / They swing, swing, swing’).” And features in commercials like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq8xuVnB-Pk.

          Once it was in the source material, it was probably wasn’t noticed outside of Japan until adults on the Internet posted screengrabs and asked WTF? They probably watched it as kids and never caught on, then later the lightbulb went on.

  8. I wonder how many fundies donated money to this?

    –Except for that it is on kickstarter. If we sent them an email forwarded to 100 people asking them to donate money, I bet some would.

    1. great idea.
      Send out an email pretending as though you thought it was “serious”… see how much inadvertent funding support you can drum up.

  9. Haw Haw Haw!

    I’ve been praying every day for 10 years that somebody would make movies based on the Albeto comics. I hope this film happens, and I hope it opens the door for a whole slew of Chick flicks.

  10. Maybe I just don’t understand Kickstarter, but isn’t he contractually obligating himself to actually make this movie if he reaches his fundraising goal? Or is it a total hoax?

    1. I think he really plans to make the movie.
      With a budget of $12,500, I’m not expecting a very lavish production. $12,500 is probably what the average Hollywood movie spends on one day’s lunch.

        1. Weirdly, I am remembering an episode of “Angel” where David Boreanaz was turned into a sentient puppet.

    2. No, there’s really not much of a contractual obligation there. Quite a few Kickstarters have delivered far later than promised, and some have never delivered the promised product.

      I funded a Kickstarter to make a movie about the seminal punk band The Mekons. It hasn’t found a distributor yet, so it hasn’t come out yet, so in a way I haven’t gotten my money’s worth. But my ‘reward’ for the amount I funded was an autographed copy of book by one of the Mekons, so I’m pretty okay with the delay.

  11. A couple of thoughts on the Chick comics: We have passed them out for years and I’ve never had anyone turn them down. I even approached a group of really rough looking bikers at a rally once, and they all graciously took them. On another occasion, two teenage boys were walking toward me, and both were on their cell phones. When I offered the comics, one of them put his cell phone away and began leafing through the comic as he walked away. When a teenage will hang up a cell phone to accept a Chick comic, you know they’re popular. On the other side of that, I had to exercise a lot of discrtetion about WHICH Chick tracts we handed out. Some of them are highly charged with anti (fill in the blank) material, that I believe will actually distract readers rather than present the gospel to them. In spite of the fact that Chick wrote “Why No Revival,” I had brief interaction with him in the 70s, and came to believe he was not a “local church” man. In the years since then, after what I’ve seen in some “local churches,” perhaps that’s not such a bad thing after all. I met Alberto Rivera in the 70s too, and didn’t know what to make of him then. The character Dan Slater in one of Chick’s comics is a real person. I knew him in church back in the 70s, but he was made a hero in the comics when in real life he was just a regular guy, humble, and very unassuming.

    1. – Very few people will turn them down. Because they’d rather smile, take a tract, and keep walking (and find the nearest bin) than have an argument with a perfect stranger.

      – I don’t doubt that some will flick through them. As a kid, I used to read them all the time. They’re just horror comics, designed for thrill value. Nothing more.

      – In the New Testament, on several occasions we see Paul explaining the christian faith to unbelievers. Never once did he tell them they needed to be saved because of Hell, but that’s pretty much Chick’s only line. Makes me think Chick didn’t understand the basic gospel.

      He didn’t fact check a lot of other things he put in his tracts too, though, so I’m not really surprised.

      1. Yeah, I once explained the extent of Chick’s “fact checking” in “Dark Dungeons” to a group of non-players by outlining a comic about chess tournaments that starts with the referee saying, “Okay, everybody put on your funny hats!” and involves baseball bats in the final rounds.

    2. People may appreciate the entirely unintentional humor the tracts provide.

      I know my brother and I did as teens. My brother worked at a gas station for a while, and someone would leave Chick tracts in the bathroom. We used to enjoy finding one we hadn’t seen yet, and looking for the crazy stuff.

      In my late 20s, my brother sent me a Chick tract ‘variety box’ for my birthday once, as a gag gift.

      1. Many people (including lots of my high school buddies) do find the Chick tracts hilarious, but I’m not sure the humor is unintentional. I really can’t tell whether or not Jack Chick is in on the joke– that’s what makes the tracts so intriguing.

        Either he’s just doing a very good impression of a paranoid nut, or he’s so unbelievably paranoid that it’s hard to understand how he has stayed out of mental hospitals yet not gone postal for all these years.

      1. Any Neanderthal bands? After all, they loved in the Stone Age, so they probably played the very first Rock Music (ducks to avoid tomatoes). 😛

  12. For any other previous-edition dinosaurs out there: Wizards of the Coast plans to release all (ALLLLLLLL!) of the old rulebooks and modules as PDFs. They already have some up. They do cost money, but there are fun extras as well–for example, there’s a bonus newly written module for the Slave Lords series that lets you start play at 1st level.

      1. “Hey, how do the D&D-is-demonic rumors explain the different editions? Is 2e occult-ier than 1e?”

        2nd is the Expurgated version. Names were changed to protect the infernal.

        1. When WOTC bought up the remains of TSR, one of the first things they did was restore a lot of the stuff purged during the Williams era, running ads saying things like “What the #$%@#$ is a baatezu?” (For the non-gamers here, D&D 1e used words like “demon” and “devil” to refer to “evil beings from the nether realms that you can kill without a hint of guilt[1]”. 2e used terms like “baatezu”, whatever the fark THAT is, in order to appease parents who objected to “demons”. Note that the actual monsters were more-or-less identical. This move did nothing to appease the kind of people who objected to the word “demon”, but did turn off people who objected to shameless pandering.)

          [1]To be fair, D&D players, especially the younger ones, will kill ANYTHING without a hint of guilt. As I recently noted, “If we aren’t supposed to kill the NPCs, why do they have hit points?”

  13. Back when the tract first came out, it got (what was later called) MST3Ked by my gaming group. Here’s my DM’s comments as I remember them:

    “And then he showed ‘a typical DM’. First, the DM was female…” (This was rare at the time, when D&D was primarily for geeky white boys) “…and all I can say is if I ever ran across a DM who looked like that, I’d have married her by now.” (Said DM did marry another gamer some years later.)

  14. This is the kind of stuff I pass on… There were warnings against D&D playing when I was in high school and in church, but I was never really knew anyone who played, so it just wasn’t a big deal for me.

    I thought then, and still think now, that there are always people who take ALL games FAR too seriously.

    D&D does seem to have some flirtation with the occult, in the potions, spells, etc.

    I also was never part of a church that was big into Chick tracts… they tended to be handed out by fanatical types at my secular college.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.