In an article entitled The Nightmare After Christmas, Jason Dietz of Metacritic speculates on why movies released in January are generally so awful. He speculations include such notions as people are still trying to catch up on the blockbuster Christmas releases (ala The Hobbit) and aren’t looking to buy tickets for anything new, that January is too far away from awards season to release anything of substance, and the simple fact that a month full of blizzards tends to discourage moviegoers from leaving the house. But is it true, are movies that come out in January really so wretched? Well, let’s think about that. Past Januaries have given us such shining monuments to filmmaking as Bloodrayne, Alone In The Dark, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Elektra, Spice World, oh, and this…

So yeah, it’s probably safe to say that January has earned its reputation as the month bad movies go to in order to die a quick death at the box office. But hey, good movie, bad movie, those are just labels as far we’re concerned here at The B-Movie Catechism. What matters is if they entertain or not, and if the trailer didn’t already clue you in, Warlock entertains in bucket loads. How could anyone resist Julian Sands chewing up the scenery as a time displaced 17th century warlock running around in late 80s clothing. And just look at all those cheesy non-CGI animated effects. Plus, you have to admit that the MacGuffin in the movie is somewhat original. Sands goal is to locate the three sections of The Grand Grimoire (a real book full of incantations for summoning demons, currently garnering 4 1/2 stars in user reviews on Amazon) which allegedly contains the true name of God, a name which if read backward will destroy the world.

Yeah, I’m not sure how that works either. After all, Roman Catholics the world over celebrate the Holy Name of Jesus during Christmastime in honor of his circumcision and naming on the 8th day after his birth. But as the Catholic Encyclopedia notes, “We give honour to the Name of Jesus, not because we believe that there is any intrinsic power hidden in the letters composing it, but because the Name of Jesus reminds us of all the blessings we receive through our Holy Redeemer. To give thanks for these blessings we revere the Holy Name, as we honour the Passion of Christ by honouring His Cross (Colvenerius, “De festo SS. Nominis”, ix). At the Holy Name of Jesus we uncover our heads, and we bend our knees; it is at the head of all our undertakings, as the Emperor Justinian says in his law-book: “In the Name of Our Lord Jesus we begin all our consultations”. The Name of Jesus invoked with confidence brings help in bodily needs, according to the promise of Christ: “In my name They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover”. (Mark 16:17-18) In the Name of Jesus the Apostles gave strength to the lame (Acts 3:6; 9:34) and life to the dead (Acts 9:40). It gives consolation in spiritual trials. The Name of Jesus reminds the sinner of the prodigal son’s father and of the Good Samaritan; it recalls to the just the suffering and death of the innocent Lamb of God. It protects us against Satan and his wiles, for the Devil fears the Name of Jesus, who has conquered him on the Cross. In the Name of Jesus we obtain every blessing and grace for time and eternity, for Christ has said: “If you ask the Father anything in my name he will give it you.” (John 16:23) Therefore the Church concludes all her prayers by the words: “Through Our Lord Jesus Christ”, etc.”

Neat, huh? But nowhere in all that does it mention that if you say His name backwards it’ll wipe out all of existence. Maybe they just left that part out. Or maybe it was just Hollywood hooey, since the world apparently survived long enough for Warlock to spawn two sequels and a video game. That being the case, it should be fairly safe for everyone to celebrate today by reciting the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus (which we’ve discussed before). Besides, what else are you going to do? Go to the movies? Please, it’s January, have you seen what they’re releasing this month? Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters? Storage 24? A Haunted House!?! I think I’d rather stay at home, say the prayer, and risk the end of the world instead.

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