The Lone Ranger is back – in a ‘hateful’ movie that thrashes Christianity. Allegedly.

LAST month we reported that the new Superman movie had been created with a grisly determination effort to put Christian bums on seats – but the makers of the new Lone Ranger apparently have no such lofty ideals.

According to Jeffrey Weiss, a Dallas-based religion writer, Christians in this latest remake by the House of the Mouse are portrayed as:

Unattractive, ineffectual, hateful or flat-out hypocritically evil.

Depp and Hammer as Tonto and the Lone Ranger

Depp and Hammer as Tonto and the Lone Ranger

Reviewing the movie for the Religion News Service, Weiss writes:

Halfway through the movie … we suddenly discover that Tonto [Johnny Depp] is no-kidding crazy, left mentally unbalanced as a boy by the slaughter of his friends and family. Even the surviving members of his tribe laugh at him. Which I suppose gives us in the audience license to laugh, too. Ha ha.

Christianity doesn’t come off nearly as funny.

We first meet the man who will don the mask as he sits in a train car otherwise filled with annoyingly hymn-singing Presbyterians. Their musicians are crummy and their singing is off-key.

Asked if he wants to join their prayers, the future Ranger [Armie Hammer] brandishes a copy of John Locke’s Two Treatises on Government and explains, ‘This is my Bible’.

Attacked moments later by outlaws, the Presbyterian pastor’s attempt at a non-violent resolution is met with a bullet to the leg. Take that, blessed peacemaker.

Later in the movie, we spot the pastor again, limping and wild-haired and all but frothing at the mouth as he screams ‘Heathen!’ as the Ranger and Tonto ride by.

Weiss says that The Lone Ranger can’t decide if it’s an homage to the graphically bloody Westerns of Sam Peckinpah or the slapstick of Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles.

That, points out one commenter, is because he is flat-out STOOPID, having completely missed the point that The Lone Ranger remake:

Is spoof from beginning to end. It was slapstick funny ­– modern vaudeville on the big screen – nothing more.

But another commenter wrote:

What do you expect from a movie that has Depp in it … have we all forgotten the song he wrote about a drunken Jesus Christ???

For a far less paranoid and much more intelligent review of this offering from Disney, go here, where it’s described as:

One of the most inventive and insane movies of the summer 2013 season.

While on the subject of the portrayal of Christians in the movies, we learned today that Rick Santorum, the ghastly Christian homophobe and former presidential candidate has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of a “faith-based” film company, Echolight Studios, which touts itself as:

 The first movie company to produce, finance, market and distribute faith-based, family films across all releasing platforms.

The demented Rick Santorum

The demented Rick Santorum

Said the sanctimonious Santorum:

For a long time, Christians have decided that the best way to fight the popular culture is to keep it at bay, to lock it out of their home. … That’s a losing battle.

Santorum said one problem with Christian-themed films was that they’ve traditionally been aimed at just Christian audiences, rather than attempting to appeal to audiences that don’t necessarily share the movie’s Christian message.

He blamed that limited appeal on what he said were often the “hokey” and “cheesy” feel of such films, with all the filmmakers’ attention focused on the message and not enough on artistic quality.

Quality. Quality acting, quality directing, quality scriptwriting. That is going to be a watchword for me.

He said the goal was to produce movie:

That rival any good Hollywood film.

Dallas-based EchoLight’s first, The Redemption of Henry Myers, is slated for release in the autumn. Promotional material describes it as a Western about a bank robber who finds redemption from a widow and her children who take him in after he’s wounded.



30 responses to “The Lone Ranger is back – in a ‘hateful’ movie that thrashes Christianity. Allegedly.”

  1. Peterat says:

    This just moved up on my “must watch” list!

  2. mikespeir says:

    It’s good to know that the once sacrosanct is becoming notably less so.

  3. JohnMWhite says:

    There are problems with the Lone Ranger movie, and by a good majority of the reviews it truly cannot decide what kind of film it’s trying to be. It’s not simply a spoof, not sure where the commentator got that idea. The Lone Ranger himself is completely unlike the source material and there are very peculiar and sudden shifts in tone from silly hijinks to incredibly bloody massacres.

    Still, while it just isn’t a good film, that doesn’t mean it is some kind of anti-Christian propaganda. That the massacre of Indians and the handling of Tonto’s character is ok to laugh at but bad guys shooting a preacher in the leg is a terrible indictment of the film is actually an indictment of Weiss’ review. He’s just looking for things to be offended by, and demonstrating a blinding level of privilege and special pleading.

  4. ken stor says:

    Hammer played the Christian evangelist Billy Graham in Billy: The Early Years, which premiered in October 2008.[8] The film garnered Hammer a “Faith and Values Award” nomination in the Grace Award category, which is awarded for the Most Inspiring Performance in Movie or Television by Mediaguide, an organization which provides movie reviews from a Christian perspective.
    wonder what they think of him now then?

  5. ken stor says:

    by the way,i am a lifelong lone ranger fanatic, now 60, the film was f@£$ing brilliant

  6. Jeffrey Weiss says:

    Thanks for the shout-out. If I may gently correct your headline: I never suggested the movie was “hateful.” Only that it portrayed some Christians as such. And as for the commenter who suggests the film is pure spoof. That person apparently missed the massacre of the Indians via Gatling gun. Nothing remotely slapstick there.

  7. AgentCormac says:

    Quality. Quality acting, quality directing, quality scriptwriting. That is going to be a watchword for me.

    Quality: it’s something Rick Santorum wouldn’t know if he tripped over it and fell head first into it. However, xtians should feel right at home with his Hollywood-style world of fantasy. After all, they’ve spent the past couple of millennia trying to persuade/intimidate/tyrannise the rest of us into joining them in their surreal, make-believe version of reality.

    On the contrary, the fatally flawed and utterly transparent ‘script’ upon which their lamentable beliefs are entirely based embodies neither ‘quality’ nor ‘quality scriptwriting’ in any way, shape, or form. Offering, as it does, not one shred of plausible evidence for the existence of a divinity or, to quote PZ Myers, a ‘Disney World in the sky’ where xtians think they go to live once they’ve died, if anyone tried to offer up the bible as a synopsis for a movie today it would be laughed out of Hollywood faster than Steve Martin begging for another chance to be funny.

  8. AgentCormac says:

    Meanwhile, over in the West Midlands, apparently ‘it’s a blessing from God’ that no-one was injured in a blast which left nails and debris strewn outside a mosque.

    Yeah. Just think how bad it could have been if god hadn’t intervened. Oh, hang on – which side would he have intervened on? Oh, erm, bollocks. This is really confusing. Does god hate the xtians of the muslims most? Or the jews? Or the buddhists? Or us atheists? Gosh, my brain hurts!

    Anyway, what a blessing from God!

  9. Robster says:

    Is Cecil B Santorum planning on rolling out low budget biblical ‘epics’? I hope so. They’d be that bad they’d do a better job of creating atheists than the dusty old book of myth and BS. These christians are into resurrecting things, so perhaps they could do the magic baby jesus thing on Charlton Heston, John Wayne et al and get those careers going again, selling silly nonsense in technicolor.

  10. Angela_K says:

    Yes, I’m certain christian based films will do as well as the truly awful “christian rock music” An antithesis to this is Motorhead’s “Orgasmatron”

    Part of lyrics:
    I am the one, orgasmatron the outstretched grasping hand
    My image is of agony, my servants rape the land
    Obsequious and arrogant, clandestine and vain
    Two thousand years of misery, of torture in my name
    Hypocrisy made paramount, paranoia the law
    My name is called religion, sadistic, sacred whore

  11. Matt+Westwood says:

    Aha … quoting Motorhead puts us rationalists in an awkward position, because everybody knows that Lemmmy is God.

  12. Matt+Westwood says:

    There are some rip-roaring yarns in that there Bumper Impressive Book of Luscious Extremes. Take the one where they blew all their trumpets and all the houses fell down except the one of the whore they’d gone to spend the night with.

    Or the one where they chopped this guys hair off and took him into the temple but it grew back again and so he was able to pull the temple down on top of him.

    Or, here’s a really good one, two brothers appeared on Masterchef to cook for the Boss, and one of them found out the hard way that the Boss doesn’t care for vegetarian fare. He was so cross he killed the other contestant (his brother woodjableeve) and for some reason wasn’t punished, but was advised that it would be better for him to emigrate.

    And here’s another one: some bint bathing nude in public so inflamed the King that he got her husband killed and … no, that wouldn’t be family-friendly.

    What about Susannah who was also secretly watched by a bunch of religious leaders for their illicit sexual titillation, and … no hang on, *that*’s not family-friendly viewing either. Good grief, that one was so raunchy it didn’t even make it into the final edition of the Big Important Book of Light Entertainment.

    Any more of these delicious stories you’d like Sanatorium to feature in his moovee hevvun?

  13. barriejohn says:

    Evangelical Christians are naive and gullible. I well remember the excitement over the release of yet another cringeworthy Billy Graham “evangelisitic film” (one starred Cliff Richard, believe it or not!), and the efforts to get “strangers” along to watch them, in the irrepressible belief that the scales would instantly fall from their eyes and they would be “saved” (the great man gave an “appeal” at the end of each film). People were bussed in from miles around to watch some epic “christian” film about Jesus at a Swindon cinema in the Eighties, and in my earlier days the overseers would nearly wet themselves as we all huddled around a reel-to-reel tape recorder bearing the “testimonies” of really exciting Christians like Jim Vaus (“wiretapper”) and Jim Schnell (“Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave”). Coaches were also organized to whisk people off to relays of Billy Graham “crusades”, and meetings by the likes of the drippy “Dr” Eric Hutchings, all to little effect. As with criminals, I often think that it’s a good job that most Christians are so dopey, otherwise they’d be really dangerous!

    PS Do people enjoy my reminiscences of life with the Brethren, or do you consider them mere self-indulgent ramblings?

  14. AgentCormac says:

    No doubt Santorum will be pleased by this piece of insanity:

  15. Barry Duke says:

    *My Life With the Brethren*

    That title has a certain cache, BarrieJohn. Get your people to pitch it to Sanatorium’s people.

  16. barriejohn says:

    Barry: Hmmm – who would play myself as a young man, I wonder? Who has the requisite charm, intelligence and rugged good-looks? I was slung off of one well-known atheist site a couple of years back with these words:

    “This is my blog, not your facebook page.”

    That was for publishing a few links; there was no appeal. I know you wouldn’t be so rude. (Ironically, the webmaster was following me on IntenseDebate at the time!). The site closed soon afterwards, but I swear I had nothing to do with that; I don’t claim magical powers any more.

  17. remigius says:

    PS Do people enjoy my reminiscences of life with the Brethren, or do you consider them mere self-indulgent ramblings?


  18. Daz says:

    For a long time, Christians have decided that the best way to fight the popular culture is to keep it at bay, to lock it out of their home. … That’s a losing battle.

    Ah, the premise behind Christian rock. And that turned out so well…

  19. barriejohn says:

    Thanks, Remigius; I don’t want to bore evryone to death!

    Daz: I still know Christians who refuse to have a TV set, or even a radio, in their homes. Some won’t read a newspaper either, though the Telegraph used to be trusted (file that under “You couldn’t make it up”). They wouldn’t have anything to do with “christian films” either, I can assure you, as that’s just another form of “entertainment”. When I attended a very large Brethren assembly in Lancashire in the 1960s, Missionary Evenings were always packed out when there was a “slide show”, but at the funeral of the leading elder there one of his colleagues said: “Jim was proud of the fact that while he was an overseer there were no moving images shown at ……. Street”. If you’ve never mixed with such people it’s difficult to imagine!

  20. Angela_K says:

    @Barriejohn. Please keep posting about your experiences with the Plymouth cult, it is both interesting and informative. Also, you being an ex-member are the best person to criticise it.

    “My Life with the Brethren” how about a book, then a film deal….

    @Matt Westwood. Blasphemer! Eric Clapton is God – well he was in the 1960’s when I was caned at school for writing “Clapton is God” on the toilet wall.

  21. Barry Duke says:

    I’ll see your Eric Clapton, and raise you Wilson Pickett, Angela. I was first caned then EXPELLED for spray painting “Wilson Pickett for President” in the run-up to some bogus whites-only election in apartheid South Africa. I put the graffiti on the outside wall of the headmaster’s office.

  22. ZombieHunter says:

    I saw the trailer for the lone ranger when I went to see something else a while ago and to be honest it looks shite and even Christians bashing it wont be enough to make me want to see it, I’ll keep my money and go see pacific rim 😀

  23. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: I’m with the others. I find your reminiscences instructive. They have a ring of the truth that comes from first hand experience. They also accord with the amazing beliefs of an evangelical Christian I once had as a colleague. He always wanted me to “come and share our witness.” I can also set them beside my own Christian upbringing which I now see was very tepid compared to your experiences. Keep ’em coming.

  24. Matt+Westwood says:

    @barriejohn: I think Remigius’ “Yes” may have been mischievous – My sister once (aged 6-ish) drove my poor Aspergery father mad with her answer “Yes” to his “Do you want orange or lemon?” At the age of 4 I appreciated this beautiful twisting of an insanely logical mind …

  25. AgentCormac says:

    Keep those reminiscences coming, barriejohn. They are insightful, revealing and, because you have first-hand experience of what it’s like to be a victim of industrial-scale indoctrination, extremely enlightening. And I for one am very glad you are now one of our ‘brethren’.

  26. barriejohn says:

    Remigius mischievous? Surely not! Thanks for the positive feedback anyway, folks.

  27. Angela_K says:

    OK Barry, I’m busted! Expelled, wow you must have really pissed them off.

  28. Emmett says:

    It would truly be wonderful if we had a movie studio dedicated to the utter destruction of Christianity (and all other religions, while we’re at it.) No, I don’t mean shoot-em-ups, stabbings, or horror movies: those are the direct descendants of the dreck that is found in the Bible. I mean documentaries about the utter stupidity of Christians. Documentaries that ask them to think — which is expressly forbidden in Christianity by Christ’s admonition on the sin against the holy ghost.

    On the other hand, it will be fun watching Santorum’s enterprise fail. Ah, Schadenfreude.

  29. Marky Mark says:

    Angela_K said:
    Eric Clapton is God – well he was in the 1960?s when I was caned at school for writing “Clapton is God” on the toilet wall.

    …so you’re the one I read about in Mick Fleetwood’s biography. In the bio it was said that Clapton is God was being crossed out and replaced with Green is God, referring to Peter Green of Fleetwood Mack at the time.