When the Communists and the KGB had a vice grip on Russia, they did everything they could do to stamp out any form of Christianity that did not adhere to their standards. But no matter how hard they tried to control everything, even the churches, they could not control a secret group of underground Christians who was committed to printing the true words of a Bible on their secret printing press. The Word of God spread regardless of government control—these historical events are depicted in this film.
Production Quality (1 point)
As a film from 1990, it’s clear that compared to others films in the time frame, a lot of money was put into The Printing, even though it still looks extremely archaic. Video quality is sometimes blurry, but camera work is good. Sets and locations are pretty good considering the limited budget. Audio quality is inconsistent throughout, and the soundtrack is too dramatic. However, some action scenes are actually filmed pretty well. As usual, editing is fairly poor as the film slogs on for over two hours. But in the end, for the early 90s, this was probably as good as it was going to get in independent film making.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
Though it’s based on interesting historical events and intriguing ideas, The Printing is far too long, boring, and protracted to be even remotely interesting. There are far too many wasted sequences and long, drawn-out scenes. Dialogue is too robotic, thus making stiff and wooden characters. The premise is somewhat realistic, yet it is overly dramatic. In contrast to the Communist propaganda depicted, The Printing borderlines on some capitalistic propaganda of its own. Overall, the idea behind the film has potential, but the presentation is awful. Thus, it would be worth a remake one day.
Acting Quality (.5 point)
As their casting pool was severely limited to those associated with Bob Jones University, they were unsuccessful in casting many culturally correct actors and actresses. Some the attempts at faking Russian accents are laughable. Though the costuming is culturally correct, most of the performances are too theatrical and dramatic. Emotions are not very believable. Thus, this is a disappointing section.
It is commendable to make this ambitious of an independent film in the early 1990s, and one can rarely go wrong with a good historical film. Unfortunately, the presentation of The Printing is too drab and boring to reach any audiences. It might be interesting to history enthusiasts, but it has no wide appeal. This film, however, is better than other disasters produced by this studio (The Treasure Map, Project Dinosaur, and Appalachian Trial), but it still doesn’t make the mark. Perhaps someone will make a better version of this film one day.
Final Rating: 2 out of 10 points