When Roy, a ‘young’ Amish man, supposedly turns 18, it’s time for him to go on his ‘Rumma Shpringa’, the time when all Amish ‘young’ folks go out into the world to hopefully discover how evil the world is and come running back to their drab lifestyle. But Roy is determined to not only find his long-lost uncle, who disappeared to Hollywood on his ‘Rumma Shpringa’, but also to witness to the heathen of the world about Jesus Christ. But what he finds instead is a cold world with no care for the things of God. Roy finds his uncle, who advises him to jump into the show business in order to covertly share the gospel. Roy runs into all sorts of odd characters along the way, including a producer he’s attracted to, who entices him to play Satan on a daytime soap opera. But the further he does into the showbiz game, the more Roy finds himself compromising all he has been taught. Which set of values will prevail?
Production Quality (.5 point)
If Holyman Undercover has anything going for it, it does have pretty good video quality. But that’s where the positivity ends. Camera work is all over the place, obviously trying to be ‘funny’ and ‘comedic’. Audio quality is fairly consistent, but cheesy sound effects interrupt it. The sets and locations are purposely cheap-looking, and the surroundings are clownish, like they’re from a comic book. I could go on about how the editing is poorly done, but it doesn’t really matter because it’s all purposeful. This film was purposely created to be ridiculous, and that’s exactly what it is.
Plot and Storyline Quality (-1 points)
Watching Holyman Undercover is a surreal experience unlikely to be replicated by anything else—expect for Me Again. From slurs against the Amish to blatant and rude Hispanic stereotypes to gigantic strawmen of Hollywood insiders, this film really takes the cake. As the split personality of David A. R. White, manifested in his two-character acting role, jumps from one random schizophrenic scene to the next, the audience can only laugh and look on at this train wreck of a creation. Yet if you look past the zany madness that is this storyline, you can see truth emerging from the cracks. This is a wild and embellished retelling of how the Whites began their film careers. Coming from a strict Mennonite upbringing, David A. R. White must have felt like he was confined and not allowed to create, yet his stint in Hollywood has given him a chip on his shoulder the size of Kansas (pun intended) that makes him feel like the entire world is against Christians. But in his usual extreme black and white thinking, the false dichotomy between overly strict Christians and hopelessly evil ‘worldly’ people is far outside of reality. There is nothing real about this plot, and we believe that it was never intended to be real. This is a sick satire, borne from the damaged emotions of David A. R. White, yet it is a window into what makes him tick. But in the midst of trying to be over-the-top hilarious, there is zero coherency to this madness. It would certainly be one thing if this creative wonder had a consistent thought across the continuum, but it does not. There is no understanding of what and why goes on, or what is coming next. It’s basically an embarrassing failed attempt at parody. On the flipside, it’s a shame that a drug commercial satire idea got wasted in this movie. Otherwise, Holyman Undercover can be seen as nothing more than a big joke that wasted over a million dollars.
Acting Quality (-1.5 points)
This clownish bunch of cast members is only lacking in Tommy Blaze, Morgan Fairchild, and David Blamy. The actors and actresses have obviously been instructed to act as zany and stereotypical as possible, from the mentally ill ‘uncle’ David A. R. White, to the robotically mindless Andrea Logan White, to the histrionic Jennifer Lyons, to the egotistical Fred Willard, etc., etc. Also, nothing beats Carey Scott trying to be a European maître d’. David A. R. White has basically let himself out of the box in this one and acts as maniacal as he possibly can. There is truly no seriousness here and a lot of lines seem adlibbed. Emotions are blown out of proportion and line delivery is either lazy or forced.
The mind boggles as to how and why the Whites acquire so much money for films like this one. Just think—what if the million and a half dollars blown on this train wreck was put toward a film that actually needed it, one that could have actually used the money for something good. This is perhaps the real travesty with this film and with PureFlix in general. Sinking millions of dollars into dead end films designed to make fun of stereotypes is a terrible use of God’s blessings. This is why we continue to call the White and PureFlix out: wasted money and wasted potential. Hopefully, one day, the tide will finally change and Christian movies will be something to be proud of.
Final Rating: -2 out of 10 points