DIRECTOR Neil Jones WRITER Neil Jones STARS Stuart Brennan; Giovanni Lombardo Radice; Rutger Hauer CINEMA 3 August
Bordering on unbearable, The Reverend pushes the limits of patience; no mean feat for what, on paper, is an excellent premise: a vigilante, vampiric reverend doing God’s work, following corruption by the Devil.
It opens intriguingly enough, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Rutger Hauer and Doug Bradley all sharing a scene that sees God (Radice) guarded by sword-wielding priests. Hauer’s Devil has spied a pure soul he fancies, and God is only superficially concerned, merely requesting this creature be spared his life.
Enter our target, the fresh seminary graduate of the title, and exit all potential entertainment thereof. Stuart Brennan is awful. Lacking the presence to effectively shoulder screen time on his lonesome, which is for a good half hour or so, he relies on his eyes (the rest of his face remains much the same) as opposed to attempting any feel in his dialogue — particularly unfortunate when the film makes good use of a voiceover commentary from his character. Some spark is hoped for when the Reverend meets the local hooker (who runs a film club; a bizarre detail) and takes her under his wing, however Emily Booth is so self-consciously bad as the tart with a heart, she almost evokes pity.
And thus, our Reverend bites his way through the village’s scumbags, having the odd dream featuring the vampire sent by the Devil to turn him. The Book of Job is referenced in an effort for some religious philosophising, but the script is so basic director/writer Neil Jones should not have included this, it merely serving to highlight an opportunity missed. A lack of consideration overall leads us to a climax that reveals a grander scheme of things, which would be fine and dandy, if not for the fact this doesn’t quite marry with the opening conversation between God and Devil. Poor.