The other day my friend Clint sent me a link to a new film which is to be based on, of all things, a Jack Chick tract. If you don’t know Jack (Chick, that is) then you’re definitely missing out. This reclusive hyper-fundamentalist Christian has been churning out cartoon pamphlets for the last 45 years (or thereabouts). With tens (or hundreds) of millions of his booklets distributed worldwide, he has had a surprisingly broad impact on popular fundamentalist Christianity. I blogged about one of his tracts, my personal favorite titled “Somebody Goofed”, a couple years ago. (See “Does God trick people into hell? Lessons from Jack Chick“.)
So now about that film? It is based on a 1984 Chick tract titled “Dark Dungeons” (which you can read here) which plays into the Dungeons and Dragons hysteria of the early 1980s. The campy tract demonstrates how people who dare play RPGs are liable to get sucked into a world of demonic oppression. Interestingly, after the tract came out it gained a cult following among RPGers who were inexorably drawn to the paranoid portrayal of their subculture.
Now there is a film being made about the tract by an independent filmmaker. He is himself a gamer, not a fundamentalist, but that doesn’t mean the story is a satire or parody. Instead, it looks to be a fun, campy cinematic treatment of a deathly serious and absurdist fundamentalist tract. And for all that it looks like it actually might become a cult classic itself. You can read a Wired article about the film here. And be sure to check out the trailer below.