The 10 Worst Movies About Jesus


When your choices to play Jesus are limited to the talent pool of Lawton, Oklahoma, you end up with Millard Coody, seen here in his star turn in Prince of Peace.

(Not Counting The Passion of the Christ Because That Would Be Too Easy)

By Danny Gallagher

You would think the opportunity to play Jesus Christ in a major motion picture would be a distinction even more amazing than playing Hamlet, since Jesus is someone that no human could ever thoroughly understand unless he had the mind of God. Well, think again. Chances are the reason the director picked you is because you're the guy who couldn't afford haircuts and you owned a dusty pair of Man Sandals.

These are the movies that make the story of the Son of Man look like the story for Son of Flubber.


Robe 1
Keeping Jesus off camera for most of "The Robe" is the only thing 20th Century-Fox ever did to help Christianity.

This film may have been nominated for an Oscar, but so was Norbit.

Richard Burton, Shakespeare’s worst nightmare, plays Marcellus, a Roman soldier who crucifies Jesus and then wins his robe in a drunken game of dice. Since he can't put the thing up for sale on eBay, he decides to hang on to it. But instead of being the historical keepsake, bathroom rug or future dorm curtain he hoped it would be, the robe tortures him to no end. The very touch of it burns his skin and after he gets rid of it, disturbing dreams of Jesus' death and having to marry Elizabeth Taylor haunt him. The film attempts to portray the power of Jesus Christ by showing how even his outfit can kick your ass.

Robe 2
Widescreen Cinemascope Technicolor made the robe of Jesus look like a fuzzy-wuzzy blankie.

This was the first movie filmed in wide-screen Cinemascope, the format that was supposed to save Hollywood from the threat of television, but all it did was establish the principle that a dirty tube sock magnified a thousand times on a Technicolor screen will still look like a dirty tube sock. Everyone turns the overacting up to 11, which for Burton goes to the level of a drunken Renaissance Faire actor padding his resume.

For the role of Jesus himself, director Henry Koster decided to save money and just use his second unit director, which means the poor guy had to perform just about all of his normal duties in full costume. The studio wouldn't even let him eat in the cafeteria because they felt it was inappropriate for Jesus to be seen eating there in public. Come on, he may be the Son of Man, but that doesn't mean he never needed a Hungry Man meal.

Jesus Vampire Hunter
Go-go dancers always help with the "hard sayings."


There are a ton of B-movie horror flicks centered around Jesus Christ as a bad-ass spiritual hunter sent back to Earth to rid the world of demons and prevent the Second Coming, but this is definitely the best and that's not really a complement.

This cult favorite is so crammed to the brim with mixed genres that its mere stench lifts the lid off the jar and overflows with oozing mediocrity. It's a kung-fu movie. It's a splatterfilm. It's a Mexican wrestling film. It's a musical! It's a Jesus film with multiple personality disorder. And all of them are batshit insane.


Jesus CBS Poster
CBS decided to go high concept with the whole Christ thing.

It's May 1999 and it's sweeps week. All the other networks have big boffo blockbusters lined up to trick people into watching as much television as possible, but CBS executives find themselves standing out in the cold with nothing but old Murder, She Wrote and Diagnosis Murder reruns on your schedule, guaranteed to attract the oldest demographic since the Weather Channel went on the air. What do you do? Simple. You play on people's fears about the coming Year 2000 apocalypse and produce a made-for-TV Jesus biopic that’s bloodier and more over-the-top than all three of the Evil Dead films combined.

Jesus CBS Jeremy
One of the rare times that "bringing the story up to date" was taken literally.

This scene of the final crucifixion features actor Jeremy Sisto being brutally nailed to the cross as he tries to convey agony by screaming the loudest of any torture victim in history. When Jesus tells his father to forgive them for they know not what they do, a grinning Livio--played by G.W. Bailey, better known as Rizzo on *M*A*S*H* and Captain Harris on Police Academy-says in his best Bond villain voice, "We know what we're doing. We're killing you." Oh snap, Jesus! You just got served.

Then in the end he comes back to life in the modern day and beams down Star Trek-style into a short-haired early-thirties guy who greets a group of schoolchildren with a warm hug and walks them out of frame, making you think Jesus suffered for two days and rose from the dead on the third so he could come back to life and babysit for us.


Zombie Jesus
Well, yeah, that's probably what he would look like.

If Night of the Living Dead director George Romero became a born-again Christian, got a ton of funding from a religious film studio and decided to resurrect (no pun intended) his famed zombie movie franchise for a Christian audience, this wouldn't be the movie he would make.

This little film festival puddle jumper conjectures that the reason Jesus returns from the dead is so he can feast on the brain of the living, which we're sure isn't kosher even if you kill the
human a certain way.

Zombie Jesus Resume
Should we take "Zombie Jesus" off our resumes?

It's hard to tell from the trailer if the film is an allegorical tale of literal Biblical translation run amok or just another zombie comedy that tries to ride on the coattails of Shaun of the Dead. If it's the second, you can rest assured there won't be any "Take this and eat it, for this is my body" jokes since the film follows Return of the Living Dead zombie rules, which require zombies to eat brains only, and not Night of the Living Dead zombie rules, which allow the undead to consume the entire body.


Historic Jesus
The poster had a strange resemblance to the poster for "I Spit On Your Grave," but let's not dwell on that.

If faux-science shows like Unsolved Mysteries and In Search Of . . . attempted to tackle the Messiah story, of course they'd have to release their merry band of over-actors to reenact the story of Jesus in ways that made you giggle as a kid in places you weren't supposed to until the pressure from your sinus would blow your brains clean out of the back of your skull.

This schlock docudrama attempted to tackle that very subject. The movie features a stuffy, glass-eyed "historian" who uses the Shroud of Turin as an excuse to research the history of Jesus Christ, complete with so much hammy acting, the film will make you want to go kosher.

Since it ran in drive-ins across the country for years, it was allowed to feature the full crucifixion experience in all of its fake gory glory. So let's do those drive-in totals. We've got two nailed wrists, one stabbed chest, spear fu, Roman fu, Jew fu, Wrath of God fu and no aardvarking. We give it zero stars.


Lawton Story
Six-year-old Ginger Prince failed to become the next Shirley Temple.

Have any of you parents out there ever sat at one of your children's Sunday School Nativity pageant and thought you'd like to see your own kids acting out the birth of Jesus on the big screen? Hell no.

Despite that fact of life, that's pretty much what William “One-Shot” Beaudine did with a passion play from Lawton, Oklahoma. Beaudine got his nickname because he reputedly directed more than 350 films without ever asking for a second take. For this project, he was working for the legendary showman Kroger Babb, who specialized in traveling roadshows that would pack the local theater for three days of “educational” or “inspirational” screenings, followed by a quick exit to the next town. Beaudine and Babb took a local production and interspersed it with a film about a young girl who convinces his greedy rich uncle to see the passion play so it will open his eyes to the value of serving, not taking from, his fellow man. The acting in this thing is not only bad, but the Sooner accents were so thick that the entire film had to be redubbed because the angry mob in Jerusalem never sentenced Jesus to die by announcing "Git-r-Done!"

This is what's known as a William Beaudine action sequence.

Babb took the film on the road and then tried to sell the audience Bibles after the screening, which wasn't very successful because the movie ran four hours. It's hard to sell Bibles to a bunch of people whose faces had melted off from boredom.

The film became an even bigger failure when it tried to launch the career of Ginger Prince, the actress who plays the little girl in the film, as an attempt to step on the pituitary gland of an aging Shirley Temple. Again, films that melt faces off of their audiences won't help your career, not even in a "so bad it's good" kind of way.

Gospel 2
Enrique Irazoqui managed to retain this one expression throughout the entire film.


Some of the world's most astute film critics and historians have lauded Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini's retelling of the Gospel of Matthew with glowing words that will never be used to describe directors like Ed Wood, Uwe Boll and the guy who made the Rollerball remake. But anyone who’s ever had to sit through it in film class, struggling with the idea of a Marxist Jesus with a homosexual subtext, will realize why Pasolini boasted about his lack of research. He basically turns the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ into a kung-fu flick starring George Takei as Judas. Oh my.

Pasolini's Mary is not happy about being knocked up.

Pasolini–an atheist who was expelled from the Communist Party and had a movie based on the Marquis de Sade banned by the Italian government before being knifed to death by a gay hustler in 1975–films the Christ story with a shaky-cam documentary style that even gives blind people headaches. Some of the Jewish leaders have hats so ridiculous that even the Pope wouldn't wear them.

Ultrachrist Poster
You can't go wrong with Spandex.


Look, up in the sky! It's a skydiving hippie! It's that guy from Three Dog Night in a jetpack! No, it's Ultrachrist!

In this low low low low low budget film that looks like it was filmed in every high-rent/low-maintenance apartment in the Big Apple, director Kerry Douglas Dye poses the scenario that if Jesus returned to Earth he'd have to reinvent his image by taking on the persona of a superhero in divine Spandex. Well, at least he's got the body for it. That's right, Affleck, I'm looking at you, flabby.



Jonathan C. Green, as Ultrachrist, evangelizes the Episcopal Church in New Hampshire.

Christ runs around New York City in his street-bought sandals and clip-on utility belt that doesn't seem to be holding any utilities in his never-ending quest to fight crime. Eventually the big man upstairs decides he doesn't like his favorite son's new public persona and the Antichrist is on the rise and Christ finds himself stuck between appeasing his father or ridding the Earth of unholy evil, much in the same way the audience finds themselves struggling to either return the video to the store for a full refund or throw the thing in an incinerator to spare anyone else from watching it.

Miracle Maker Poster
The poster depicts the famous gospel passage in which Jesus heals a midget housewife.


Get ready to see Jesus like you've never him before--in crappy, old-fashioned stop-motion animation that even kids don't use when they're making Star Trek fan films in their basement.

If you thought that Sunday school film of the death and resurrection had more wooden and hollow actors than a Renaissance faire, wait until you see these actors who are actually made out of hollow wood. It's a stop-motion "3-D" film of the Jesus story that looks like the makers of Robot Chicken phoned in their last episode so they could clear the animation studio space for Assy McGee in time.


Miracle Maker
Unfortunately it's difficult to distinguish between Jesus and his cross in this stop-motion wooden-figurine classic.

It also features an all-star cast of celebrity voices including Alfred Molina, Miranda Richardson and Ralph Fiennes as the voice of Jesus, because, after all, the Son of Man spoke with a stuffy British accent though he was born and raised in abject Bethlehemic poverty.




Mona Lisa
The cast of "The Da Vinci Code" attempting to get that perfect Louvre snapshot where you look like the Mona Lisa and you can put it up on your myspace page.


The book that everyone in your office cubicle said you have to read is now a big-budget overblown movie without any big words or scary facts about religion to give you a headache. The book and movie dares to uncover the greatest cover-up in the history of the Catholic Church, unless you don't count the church's refusal to stand against the Holocaust and the string of priest molestations and the selling of indulgences as a form of penance and the fact that eating meat on Friday between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday is no longer a damnable sin.

Tom Hanks fondles the holy grail.

The movie suggests that the Son of Man was also quite the Ladies' Man because of an alteration in Leonardo DaVinci's famed "Last Supper" painting. Of course, it doesn't get to that juicy little tidbit until after two-thirds of the most excruciatingly bad acting and dialogue is done. But it doesn't end there. There's this big M. Night Shyamalan ending that reveals Jesus had a family tree, and after you calculate what you’ve had to sit through to get to that one scene, you realize that Christ may have died on the cross for our sins, but now we’ve paid him back by remaining faithful all the way to the excruciatingly painful end.


Anonymous | 12:49 am on 5/28/2008

Brilliant. you are a true genius!

Jasper | 12:25 pm on 5/28/2008

So the writers of these articles are allowed to comment on their own work?

Anonymous | 12:40 am on 6/17/2009

cuz de r coolz :(

Anonymous | 05:44 am on 9/14/2009

Who are you?

Anonymous | 02:52 am on 9/29/2008


Anonymous | 02:53 am on 9/29/2008


Anonymous | 12:43 am on 6/17/2009


Chris Randall | 10:33 pm on 11/22/2008

You really should add "The Judas Project" to this list. It's a late 80's flick about what it would be like if Jesus came now instead of 2k yrs ago. It's STUPID. It was a concept that could have been interesting, but it just didn't work.

Anonymous | 03:40 am on 12/14/2009

The Judas Project wasn't that great sadly, but I admire it for trying to work w/ an intriguing concept.

Mark | 07:15 pm on 1/14/2011

Personally I liked Judas Project. It was a difficult concept to address, but there are parts that really illustrate the humanity of Jesus on earth. Overall, I'm glad somebody tried it.

Anonymous | 04:42 pm on 4/23/2011

Yes, Chris I agree, "The Judas Project" should be added to the list.

Anonymous | 11:06 pm on 11/22/2008

The Da Vinci Code was in no way a cover up by the Catholic church. In 1956 Pierre Plantard planted the "prieure documents." These are the documents that lead to the discovery of the secret society known as the priory of sion (will henceforth be refered to POS). The members of the POS are all members of the Merovingian bloodline. Any members of the Merovingian bloodline would be French nobility and the rightful heir to throne of France. The man who discoverd the prieure documents, Pierre Plantard, was the only survivor in the line of the priory of scion, making him the rightful king of France. HA!!!!!

This was nothing more than an elaborate hoax for one guy to make himself king.

I would also like to note that the Catholic church is not the original church. There was no Pope until 401 A.D. when Inoicent the First created the position. Peter was never the Pope in Rome or anywhere else. He was the bishop of the church in Jerusalem. What we know as the Catholic church did not exist until well after the 5th century A.D.

my email is

Anonymous | 08:27 pm on 11/26/2008

Are you for real?

You actually believe what you are fed by a movie as historical? there is always a little bit of truth laced with every whopper! but you are right in saying the church began before the catholic church., cos the word catholic actually means 'universal - whole' and in their labelling themselves the only church universal they have labelled every other community movement of believers as outside the church, but we know that the church is a community of the believers, not an institution or limited by institutional boundaries.
The institution is the reflection of the believers vision and ought operate as a tool to serve the faith, rather than the institution being the central idol or purpose for the elite pampering their own agenda's. Yes, Jesus said He will build his church on the rock, Peter'., but not on some frayed descendancy or lineage, but the only lineage is that of faith in Christ and His blood to save, no other name surname has right to a royal throne or order of the church but this and is available to all believers world wide.
Every church community has this potential to blindside themselves into thinking that they are the only ones left on earth with faith. Elitism always produces abusive relationships.

And no. Jesus was not a twisted theory of rituals by an elite fictional authors from the kings guard, as in the de vinci code., for this is a cheap overlay of contextual fraud by fanciful sodomic present day God hater.

crist is best!!! | 08:54 am on 12/20/2008

these movies were made for a perpose!!!!
it is my job as a CATHOLIC to proclaim the good news

i may only be 11 but THIS is just discracful!!!
i still have the right to say that these were not made willy nilly
i can tell you are not catholic so think about this
this is what im trying to tell you this is from my bible

priscilla and her husband aquila were tent makers. it was a good living ,but the work was hards. one good thing was they got to meet a lot of people. pracills enjoyed the end of the day when all the workers sit down and share stories. one fello they met was a man named paul.paul tallked about jesus. he explained how JESUS died and came back to life and that after he went back to HEAVEN HE sent the Holy Spirit to help Christians. prascilla learned a lot from paul,but sometimes what paul said made her feel she wasn't doing her partin spreading the good news.they promesed to be braver in spreading the good news. when they were in Ephesus a man named appolos was teaching and she went to listen. then told aquila. "apollos is teaching about Johns baptisim but he dosn't know the rest". why didnt you tell him. i didnt want to imbarris him. we can invite him over for dinner when apollos got there they told him the rest of the story!

do you see now what i am trying to teach please take this website away!

11 year old supporter | 08:57 am on 12/21/2008

IM with the 11 year old!!!!!!!!!!!!
you are a failure!!!!

brucemoose | 12:43 am on 3/29/2009

who the heck is crist?

Anonymous | 09:13 am on 9/21/2009

No one is going to take you seriously if you can't even spell Christ correctly. Idiot.

judas,i got my balls kicked when i asked same quest | 06:06 am on 3/18/2010

the one who takes your kind up saying you are not a sinner and throws you from about 1000000000000ft saying howdieeeeee uve just asked me who the heck am i?

Anonymous | 10:19 am on 3/29/2011


Anonymous | 10:19 am on 3/29/2011


Anonymous | 03:30 am on 4/12/2011

fucker mind ur tongue, don bawk wat ever u feel about christ, jesus do exixst as ur god, ther s asupernatural power whome we call and surrender ourselves to god, god means GENERATOR ORDINATOR AND DESTROYER, people like u are saitans who bawk on god but tat never make any difference, may god hav mercy on u

Anonymous | 03:38 am on 12/14/2009

Here, here! I agree w/ you sweetheart!

"Out of the mouths of babes & sucklings, thou hast prefected praise... "


Anonymous | 08:52 pm on 9/28/2010

Hmmm... apparently, highly religious people can't spell.

I think you're missing the point, here, people. How exactly does it serve the glory of your god (and I say "your" not because I'm not a christian, but because you obviously have a really twisted view of God) to make these horrible, laughable, amateurish films? Have you SEEN "Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter"? I suggest you give it a spin before you go freaking out about these reviews. These "films" SHOULD be ridiculed, if only to make them serve as cautionary tales to other filmmakers.

Oh, and to the 11-year old: Grow up. Once you do, you'll hopefully learn not to take everything in the world so personally.

Anonymous | 06:21 pm on 7/27/2009

You need to go to work for PBS or NPR...........AND THAT AIN'T NO COMPLIMENT

Maglie | 11:11 am on 2/05/2011

Yeah you should have just said that the Passion of the Christ sucked as well. Good ol' Mel Gibson at it again. I saw a really funny article having a go at Mel on entertainment articles. Any opportunity is a good one to share some laughter at him.

Bytesland | 05:02 am on 3/22/2011

These are really awful movies. Profanity is a sin, and no matter if a director is an atheist or a representative of another religion, he should respect other people's views and this sacred image of Jesus Christ.

Anonymous | 01:58 am on 5/28/2008

How come Jesus gets industrial disease? (Movie industry, that is.)

Jay Silence | 06:43 am on 5/28/2008

Amazing! Great list. I wonder what you would consider the 10 best Jesus movie, and if "Life of Brian" would make the list. The only truly puzzling thing is that this is a "Door" article about B movies and Joe Bob Briggs wasn't the author. I'm astonished.

Ultrachrist | 06:49 am on 5/28/2008

I'm a little hurt. The movie about me mentioned above ("Ultrachrist!") is actually a fine piece of satire. Did you guys really watch all these movies??

Anyway, I hope everyone gives it a rental (available on Netflix) so they can find out for themselves.

budda | 09:11 pm on 5/28/2008

I just watched the trailer for Ultrachrist. I think the Door owes you an apology. It looks really interesting. Maybe not up there with the all time greats like Dogma and Life of Brian, but I will give it a try.

Brayton | 03:44 pm on 6/02/2008

I Own Ultrachrist, and it has its ups and downs. Over all its crazy silly but has some terrific Klezmer music.

Martin | 02:19 am on 9/12/2008

Yes, I often find terrific Klezmer music beats plot, dialogue and acting ability hands down in any movie I watch.

Sherry | 07:31 am on 5/28/2008

I feel spiritually bruised by this article. Ouch. Jesus, the Zombie would have finished me for sure. Thanks for your cinematic fortitude in slicing these unholy turkeys so we won't have to...

christ is best!!! | 09:00 am on 12/21/2008

you have nerve you should if responding at all be helping the christan faith!!!

all i ask is you all think about it
use your noodle!!!

Mary Magdaline | 08:18 am on 5/28/2008

THANK-YOU for that, Jesus Christ that is more insanity in one review than I could have imagined.
Will there be another review in 3 days?

luke h. | 09:08 am on 5/28/2008

Good to see The Davinci Code cut down to size...

But seriously - The Gospel According to Matthew? I'm pretty sure a better film has never been made. So what if there's a (very vague) gay/Communist subtext? When people retell the story of Christ, they always put a personal spin on it.

Throw in the mentions of The Passion of the Christ and The Miracle Maker, and I'm starting to think Mr. Gallagher is just afraid of "art" films... :)

Jay Silence | 03:01 pm on 6/04/2008

The Gospel According to Matthew was bad, even if you consider it an 'art' film. Where was the art? It looked like a bunch of guys found some rags, a camera, a case of Riunite, and one of them opened the Bible to Matthew. "Hey who'll play Jesus? I know, the most one-dimensional guy in our group. Get Mikey, he can do it, he hates everything."

luke h. | 12:02 pm on 6/11/2008

That was the point, dude! The Gospel According to Matthew was the words on the page, and nothing else. Pasolini had one goal, and one goal only: to show people how little they knew about the Bible. At that, he succeeded with flying colors.

Revcraig | 09:42 am on 5/28/2008

How about "The Last Temptation of Christ"? I'm pretty liberal, but I left the theatre asking - "What the hell is up with that?" It was easily worse than at least one of the mentioned lousy flicks.

Jasper | 12:24 pm on 5/28/2008

Here's the line:

"The book and movie dares to uncover the greatest cover-up in the history of the Catholic Church, unless you don't count the church's refusal to stand against the Holocaust and the string of priest molestations and the selling of indulgences as a form of penance and the fact that eating meat on Friday between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday is no longer a damnable sin."

Exactly. That's why I never bothered to read The DaVinci Code. That's also why I sacrifice three goats a month or one llama as they become available.

God knows what I would have become had I not been raised Catholic. Or at least had a priest who could give a decent blow job.

Droslovinia | 12:29 pm on 5/28/2008


Sometimes, we make such an ugly thing of Jesus that satire is the only way to restore some sanity to it.

How does the Last Temptation of Christ not make this list while "Jesus H. Christ, Vampire Hunter" does? I mean, if you're gonna watch one Jesus Kung Fu musical with Mexican wrestlers that decries the critical lesbian shortage in Canada, what else are you gonna watch?

I watched this with a student group, and they were all moved (in some way, anyhow) by the Parable of the Good Transvestite.

All kidding aside, I'd put "Life of Brian" in my top 10 list and let the other 9 sort themselves out.

The High and The Mighty | 06:16 pm on 5/28/2008

Oh Man,Joe Bob,You Really did It This Time!!!
Now In all Fairness,"The Robe"Was Actually A Pretty Good Movie for It's Time*(*1954.Also the same year Dien Bien Phu fell to the Viet Minh and the Supreme Court heard Brown vs.The Board of Education!!).
Jesus,The Vampire Hunter???Sounds Like A TBN Reality Series With Kirk Cameron and Victoria Jackson!!
Kung Fu Jesus???How did The Gang At MST3K Miss That Un'???!!!

The High and The Mighty | 06:17 pm on 5/28/2008

Be Careful When and If You Review The Worst Movies About Mohammed!!!

SRebbe | 12:42 pm on 5/28/2008

a friend of mine was so inspired by "The Robe" many years ago that she wrote poetry and requested that I write the accompanying music. there were tears in the audience's eyes... er, congregation.

we all have our sordid pasts, I guess.

Prophet Lopi | 12:50 pm on 5/28/2008

Again we the unwashed are cleansed by the brillant insight and vision of the Elite Wordsmiths of the Wittenburg Whore.

budda | 03:42 pm on 5/28/2008

Nothing worse than a guy who uses a woman, and then calls her a whore.

Prophet Lopi | 05:06 pm on 5/28/2008

A wise person who knows what they don't know

that calvinist doug | 01:14 pm on 5/28/2008

I saw The Passion of the Christ and was really moved by it. Sorry you hated it.

60613 | 12:43 pm on 5/29/2008

I was moved too - but probably in the opposite manner in which you were moved. Actually I was so moved I swore never to watch the movie.
But I have to ask - how, apart from mythological considerations, is a snuff movie moving?

budda | 07:54 pm on 5/29/2008

I got to say, I'm with doug on this one. I was incredibly moved by the passion of the christ. And disturbed. I could only watch it once.

I bet most of the people crying "snuff film" have gotten plenty of entertainment kicks out of mindless violence in the past from many secular movies. I found it no more violent than a good Clint Eastwood flick, or a modern Kung Fu flick like Kill Bill.

I don't even believe it went down exactly like in the movie, but I am so touched by Jesus life and death. I stray into cynicism and become jaded to the christian community, and then I am crushed and torn anew by Jesus life and teachings. Even from a flawed movie.

And I loved the way satan was portrayed. Very cool.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.