Saturday, August 18, 2007

Episode Fourteen - Hell House

Welcome to our worst episode ever, Hell House! Listen as we battle sound problems, unstable furniture and each other in a knock-down-drag-out fight for the gold! Whatever that means. George Ratliff's "Hell House" is a documentary about a church in Cedar Hills, Texas and the annual 'doom house' they hold each October. The 'hell house' is much akin to that of a traditional haunted house, only instead of being filled with monsters and ghosts, its filled with botched abortions, school shootings and suicide attempts, with the message of salvation delivered at the end of the show as the cherry on top. Its the 'scared away from sin' tactic, and Ratliff covers the whole thing from conception to the final night of production. Jon and I were very skewed on our opinions of the film, and had some decent commentary, but poor audio quality was the real ghoul in this episode, and most of the content is a skittish mess. Enjoy! *** Show Notes If you're like me and don't know who Dr. John is, then you can read up on his wikipedia entry(it must be true!). But apparently Don was talking more about some guy named Dr. Hook, who in between albums tries to get that darned Peter Pan! You can see the official website for the Trinity Church's latest Hell House here. Some general info about Hell Houses can be found in the wikipedia entry, along with the name of that New Mexico pastor I couldn't remember, Keenan Roberts. On interesting note is that Roberts worked with New York theatre company Les Freres to bring the Hell House to NYC a couple years back. You can read about it from the Newsweek article or the theatre company's archives. Judging from the pictures it looks like they had quite a bit higher production values, but judging from the article, and the other quotes on the company website, it seems that they turned the Hell House into a mockery of simple-minded people from fly-over country. Don't get me wrong, I think that many things Christians do deserve to be made fun of, but I don't think you should dress it up as "art." Call it parody, satire or straight up comedy, but don't try to tell me it's some kind of great art. I'm surprised Roberts worked with them on this since it takes the only thing that makes Hell House relevant, the sincerity of the performers, and strips that away to leave only, as a guy from the Hell House documentary put it, "cheesy dialogue and cheap sets." Without belief the Hell House is just dumb. With belief it may still be a bit dumb, but it is fascinating. Finally, for the sake of your sanity pray that you don't mix up this Hell House with either the Richard Matheson novel, or the movie it inspired. Although, this would be a great poster and take line for a Christian Hell House. notes by jon *** I think I was getting my Dr. John mixed up with my Dr. Hook. My apologies to Dr. Hook. *** New BioShock Trailer... Check out that snappy tune! *** Surrogate's MySpace I got the record today... " Love Is for the Rich"and it's every bit as good as I was hoping it would be. Expect to hear more soon... Great stuff. *** Intro The intro music to the show is "Do They Know It's Halloween?" by the North American Halloween Prevention Initative, which actually is a chairity song for UNICEF. You can't buy it on iTunes anymore, but you can still get it from the official website. North American Halloween Prevention Initiative - Do They Know It's Hallowe'en Outro Buy it on As Cities Burn - Come Now Sleep - This Is It, This Is It As Cities Burn - Come Now Sleep *** Hover over those Amazon links... NEAT! - Don Save This Page Add to Technorati Favorites

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