Holyman Undercover has to be the definition of cringe-worthy comedy. Its style of extreme humor falls into line with movies such as Sharknado and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (a movie I REALLY don’t recommend). However, even after giving the film some leeway to account for comedic style, I still feel the movie falls short on a variety of levels.
Staring God’s Not Dead‘s David A.R. White, Holyman Undercover is the story of Roy, an Amish man who travels to Los Angeles for his Rumspringa. His intention is to use his Rumspringa as an opportunity to minister to others. However, with the help of his wayward Uncle, he soon gets caught up in the Hollywood lifestyle when he gets cast as Satan on a new television show. Holyman Undercover also stars Andrea Logan White (Mom’s Night Out, Do You Believe?), Jennifer Lyons (Dorm Daze, The Book of Esther), John Schneider (The Dukes of Hazzard, Smallville) and Fred Willard (Best in Show, WALL·E).
You know to be scared when the first words of a movie are, “I am Satan.” Add in the fact that the character, Roy, said it while wearing a cheap Satan costume complete with devil horns, and I knew I was in for a long two hours. Just to be clear, this style of comedy really isn’t my cup of tea. I don’t enjoy over-the-top acting coupled with unrealistic situations. With that said, I hope to give you this review with an unbiased (yet Christian) perspective.
Where do I begin? Let’s start with the film quality itself. The cinematography wasn’t the worst I’ve ever seen, but it wasn’t the best. It gave off a “B movie” vibe. The sets were clearly done with a non-existent budget, and I can only assume that the change left over from buying the sets was given to the wardrobe department. The devil costumes, that were supposed to be the costumes of a popular television show, looked like they had been purchased at Walmart. Also an eyesore, was seeing the glue holding on Roy Sr.’s fake Amish beard.
The story itself had a decent concept, that was ruined with several inappropriate jokes that made me question if I was really watching a Christian film. The joke that made me really cringe involved prison rape. I personally don’t find rape, in any context, to be something to be taken lightly or joked about and the way it was handled in this film was particularly sickening. Sprinkled in were several other distasteful jokes including one about breastfeeding at an inappropriate age.
The storyline did have several good points. It was fun to see Roy learn to not be undercover about his faith, Hollywood was portrayed somewhat accurately, and the ending line of, “Love God, love others, and be yourself,” was a sweet way to end the film. There were also a few funny jokes, such as when Roy was recording the voiceover for a medicine commercial and decided to slip in evangelistic phrases into the side effects list like subliminal messaging.
As for the acting, it was SNL sketch quality. Having David A.R. White play both Roy and Roy’s uncle was, in my opinion, not a good choice. It was just super cheesy. The only saving grace for me was Staci Keanan and John Schneider. They both had limited parts, but they were the funniest parts and the best acted.
WHAT AGE GROUP IS IT FOR?
This is NOT an appropriate movie for people under the age of 18. In addition to the tasteless jokes mentioned above, there are also several other inappropriate scenes throughout the film. Roy’s uncle has machine guns and snorts lines of cocaine, Jennifer Lyons’ character makes out with and tries to seduce Roy, and Roy’s girlfriend Annie solves her problems at the end of the film by physically assaulting her enemy. These aren’t good messages to send to anyone, let alone children.
LOOKING TO SHOW IT AT CHURCH?
Please do not show this movie at church. It has several inappropriate moments, will not hold a general audience appeal, and doesn’t have enough scenes to pull a solid message from.