Friday, April 16, 2004


If you've been on the Internet for any length of time, you've heard of Capalert. Capalert is a "Christian" site that reviews movies, past and present, entirely on their "moral" content. They're fun to laugh at, because of their quaint ways of referring to profanity ("fuck" is always called "the foulest of words", for example), and their patent overreactions to tame movies and utter horror at things like Kill Bill are always good for a chuckle. makes the Capalert folks look like Roger Ebert.
I found out about them because they've just released a very dubious "study" which basically says that none of the movies they hated made any money, so everyone must agree with them. Movies they hate are ones they consider "homosexual", "anti-capitalist", "feminist", "atheist", "humanist", and the usual list of things fundies get all cranky about.
Movieguide's a whole cottage industry. They've got a magazine and a book and a website and studies and everything. If Capalert looked at movies through a pair of blinders with tiny holes poked in them, MovieGuide seems to watch films with a Bible duct-taped to their faces and an iPod full of hymns blaring through their headphones.
Take the following description of the content for Hellboy: RoRo, OO, CC, Ab, B, ACAC, LL, VV, A, D, M. That means it's DOUBLY Romantic, which doesn't actually mean "full of love" but actually means some kind of horrible worldview in which people are good. It's doubly occult, which is fair. It's doubly Christian, 'cause it's got rosaries and holy water in it, but it's singly anti-Biblical, because the part about cigar-smoking demons fighting Nazis was left out of Luke. 
The fighting of Nazis does earn it a double-Anti-Communism rating, though, because the Nazis were "National Socialists", and as we all know, Socialists are just Communists with tenure. Two out of three L's for language, which is fair. Two out of three V's for violence, which is probably also fair. Alcohol abuse for the presence of a six-pack. Drug/substance abuse for.... I honestly don't know, unless they're counting the cigar, which would be really funny. And finally, an "M" for miscellaneous, which I figure they must have put on every movie except maybe The Passion, which probably deserves it for the freaky demon baby thing I've heard people talk about.
Luckily for Hellboy, it didn't include any anti-capitalism, anti-patriotism, communism, environmentalism, evolution, feminism, false religions, humanism, homosexuality, internationalism, nudity, paganism, political correctness, revisionist history, "adultery, promiscuity, or sexual immorality", or socialism. If it had, it might have been upgraded from EXTREME CAUTION to ABHORRENT, a mere two stages higher, bypassing EXCESSIVE entirely.
To be ABHORRENT, "Hellboy" would have had to be as immoral as "The Girl Next Door", whose review blames Bill Clinton for the increase in oral sex, Madonna and Britney Spears for the increase in lesbian kissing, and warns good Christians, "Don't be surprised, therefore, if you find your sons and daughters making secret porn movies at their schools in the wake of this new movie."
It's always fun when people who can't enjoy anything ever look at entertainment. I can't even imagine what it must be like to review a movie for them. Taking up three seats in a theater, with penlights, four notepads, a half-dozen reference charts. Although constant note-taking would explain why they thought the Resurrection Hound in Hellboy was "spider-like". But so would them being DUMB.