The Rapture (1991)
Nomination Year: 1997
SYNOPSIS: A hedonistic woman starts to hear rumors at work of the coming of a Messianic "Child." This causes her to reflect upon the emptiness of her excessive lifestyle: lots of booze, drugs, casual sex. Eventually, she comes to despise her wicked ways and repents: she finds religion in this modern-day cult that believes in the Child (a thinly veiled Christ figure). They also believe that the Rapture (the end of the world) is imminent. The woman convinces her even-more-hedonistic lover (David Duchovny) to become born again with her. They marry, have a daughter together, and all three live a blameless life...until the husband is killed in an attempt to calm down a disgruntled gun-wielding coworker. This throws her faith into crisis, but she's convinced that the cult's prediction that the world will end next week is true. She takes her daughter into the desert to await the Rapture. The days pass. No Rapture. Eventually, she comes to the agonized conclusion that the only way one of them can be reunited with the beloved husband is to kill her daughter -- then the little girl would be in a better place with her father even if the woman herself would not (see, suicide is a mortal sin, but being murdered is not). She shoots her little girl and is promptly arrested by a nearby deputy and carted off to jail. Here comes the kicker: the cult was right! If she'd just waited a few more hours, the Rapture would have come! To the surprise of all, it happens while she sits in her jail cell. The Last Trumpets sound, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride abroad, and people disappear all over, taken bodily to Heaven. But the woman refuses to go, filled now with loathing for a God that would allow her husband to die and to force her to kill her own daughter.
- "Wanna Run That By Me Again?"
The Ramblin' Hitchhiker
And I do mean rambling.
- "Let's Up The Rating To 'R'"
The "X" Files, Indeed
During the scene in which Mimi Rogers has her first repentent crisis, she kicks David Duchovny out of their bed. He gets out of the bed, all right, and although he keeps his back to the camera, we clearly get to see his naked butt, his naked legs, and all that lies between. Yet more proof that we at the Smithee Awards are not sexist.
- Crummiest Ending
The Ultimate "Acting Appropriately Stupid?"
The last ten or twelve minutes of the film turn a secular, psyche-in-crisis film about a once-hedonistic religious nut who murdered her kid into...total weirdness. You don't REALLY expect the Rapture to come (I mean, who does?), but come it does. Trumpets, strange lighting, superimposed shots of four horsemen in black, fog, and other camera tricks abound. The clincher: everyone disappears to Heaven, including the sheriff's deputy who arrested her, but she won't go, not even when proof of the reality of God is all around her. All she has to do is say she loves Him. She won't. Not even when the spirit of her own daughter appears before her and begs her to say the words, telling her Daddy is waiting, she is waiting, Heaven is waiting. All light dims as the Earth is in its final throes.
Daughter: "Tell God that you love Him!"
Daughter (tearfully): "But you'll have to stay here all alone!"
Woman: "I know."
Daughter: "How long?"
Fade to black.
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