941. The Backwater Gospel – Bo Mathorne

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SUMMARY: A terrifying winged undertaker, whose appearance in town inevitably means death for someone, holds all of Backwater in his spell. All but one, a sardonic troubador, takes solace in religion. But when that doesn’t prove to be enough, the fire-and-brimstone town preacher takes matters into his own hands.

WHY IT’S HERE: Plenty of filmmakers have examined the hypocrisy of religious extremism from all conceivable angles but Bo Mathorne’s ‘The Backwater Gospel’ does so with a blackly comic panache that is often lacking in more boneheaded diatribes. Though it is a tad nihilistic in its complete lack of sympathetic characters or any hope of redemption, ‘The Backwater Gospel’ draws its power from this very nihilism. Visually arresting from the start, the film ends on an appropriately bleak smirk as the closing credits appear on slamming coffin lids.

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