In a film market far, far away, before the birth of PureFlix Productions, David A. R. White, Kevin Downes, and Stephen Baldwin (with a cameo from ‘Logan White’) all teamed up to create an apocalyptic film to remember. This movie was unlike any other and focused on the hard-hitting topic of…the daily ins and outs of a futuristic men’s prison? Caught in the grip a dictatorial international government and threatened with death in three weeks if they don’t take the Mark of the Beast, the men of the prison are…allowed to walk around however they please and write Bible stuff on the walls? Busted for smuggling illegal stuff like painkillers and old movies to Eric Roberts and for stealing a pizza, Downes and White are forced to spend their three weeks in a cheesy looking set with a group of Christian prisoners who draw Christian-themed stuff on the walls of the prison without punishment. Will they ever escape or will they be forced to take the Mark?
Production Quality (0 points)
Watching Six: The Mark Unleashed is a surreal experience. We can’t even believe this thing exists. Everything about it feels like one big joke. The fingerprints of Downes and White are all over this one, from the cheesy sets to the poor camera work to the bad lighting. They went so overboard trying to look futuristic that it comes off as a Star Trek knockoff. Are we really supposed to believe that the future of the world is peppered with Star Trek wardrobes and buildings? What’s more, there is no coherent thought to the editing, as a vast majority of the ‘plot’ takes place in a giant concrete box billed as a prison. Any other elements are completely isolating, as will be discussed next. In short, this is nothing short of a production disaster, one that should have never been funded.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
As Downes and White bumble their way through this ‘plot’, many characters are introduced and then quickly discarded with no explanation. Vague concepts are constantly referred to that isolate the audience. After being arrested and spending tons of time in the prison reading stuff off of darkly lit walls and talking to mysteriously creepy Baldwin, Downes and White employ absurd tactics to escape the freakishly bald Brad Heller, such as hacking using Tommy Blaze keyboard gymnastics and calling on an enigmatic figure to help them get to ‘the walled city’. But never fear, for Brad Heller’s ‘spiritual bloodhounds’ are quick on their tails. Do you get the picture of how ridiculous this ‘plot’ is? By the end of the movie, there are more questions than answers. What’s the deal with that one prisoner who sometimes acts as a double agent? What ever happened to Eric Roberts’ smuggling business? How did the people in the tent city escape the dictatorial rule? Who’s Rahab and where did she come from and why do we care? Why is Brad Heller wearing so much eye makeup? Yet in the wake of all of this, the prologue and the epilogue of the film actually demonstrate a stroke of creative genius; they are likely the reason why this horrifying mess was even made in the first place. It’s just too bad that they get lost in the swamp of nonsense. In short, it is extremely unclear what type of message is supposed to be conveyed in this film, as the plot is very disjointed and schizophrenic. Stuff like this makes you wonder how White and Downes ever made it anywhere in filmmaking.
Acting Quality (0 points)
It’s no surprise that the acting of this film is just ridiculous. Emotions are extremely awkward and too many cast members are trying to be mysterious action heroes. No coaching is employed as line delivery is forced and disingenuous. Some lines are horribly slurred and annunciation is inconsistent. Basically, no effort was put into acting, just like the rest of the movie.
Is any movie viewer supposed to take this film seriously? It’s so absurd and out of touch that I would be embarrassed to recommend it to someone or even admit that it is supposed to be a Christian film. What is gained from this level of immaturity? Are we supposed to applaud the effort lest we be condemned for persecuting Christians or for not standing with ‘our own’? Are Christian films allowed to be however poor quality they wish yet still be promoted in Christian circles? We say no. The line must be drawn somewhere. Someone must hold filmmakers who claim the name of Christ to a higher standard if we ever expect to impact the field for Him. Otherwise, we’re just talking to ourselves about the good things we do and making money off of it while the world looks on in disgust and\or confusion.
Final Rating: .5 out of 10 points