White Pop Jesus (1980)

Six years after starring in Enter the Devil (also known as The Eerie Midnight Horror Show), Stella Carnacina would double down on the blasphemy of a movie where a statue gets down off the cross and makes love to her by starring in this disco story of the Second Coming of the Son of God. Here, she plays Lattuga Pop, the daughter of a police commissioner who falls in love with Jesus.

If you don’t understand why I’ve been absolutely excited to share this movie with you, dear reader, you’re on the wrong website.

Jesus starts the movie in an insane asylum that we’re supposed to believe is Heaven. He emerges from the waves and battles a biker gang before the Word of God is enough to cause them to crash. Soon, he’s met Lattuga, saved her from the mafia (who stand in for the Roman Empire) and run from her love.

Jesus has several adventures with His new followers, converting machine gun-toting nuns into singers for him, making sandwiches grow out of the ground and generally getting the Good News out there as he rides a donkey. He even battles Satan and one of his demons, who transforms from a ballerina into a syringe to symbolize drugs. Or maybe not — I’m watching this in Italian and if I were more fluent, I wonder how much of it would make sense. At the end, Jesus has a huge concert where he’s betrayed and taken back to the mental asylum while his followers stand inside a giant red metal cross begging for God to save them. Or they’re His enemies. I’m not sure, because everything gets Apocalyptic in the last few moments.

Jesus is played by Italian singer Awana Gana, who looks nothing like you would imagine the Messiah to appear. Instead, think a Gibb brother crossed over with Reggie from Phantasm while wearing His best disco white suit.

I really have no idea who this movie is for. It seems so strange that people on drugs would love it, but it takes a major stance against them. One imagines that it’s trying for a Jesus Christ Superstar reinvention of Jesus in the time of disco, but it’s just sacrilegious enough to upset them without being so much that others would fall in love with it.

The music, however, is great. It was written by Franco Bixio and Vince Tempera, who also created the score for Fulci’s The Psychic.

This obviously has never been released in the US — as far as I know — so I have no legal way to tell you to see it for yourself. Ah hell, just watch the whole thing bootlegged on YouTube and tell me what you thought of it.

2 thoughts on “White Pop Jesus (1980)

  1. OMG. Where? What? Who? Where am I? Blown away.

    In all the rock books, film books, and rock ‘n’ roll movies I’ve watched or read about, I never heard of this!! Never seen this on tape. I never seen it listed in the old Video Search of Miami catalogs–and they were on the ball with this type of obscurity. This is obviously Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell on horse-killing amount of acid.

    Bookmarked for tonight’s viewing!

    Just spot checking the movie and reading your discription, I am thinking . . . “If José Mojica Marins, ‘ol “Coffin Joe” made a movie about Jesus. . . .” That this was made in 1980–and not the early or mid-70s. It seems so out-of-date for 1980. Wow. I am just over the moon with this one. Nothing beats discovering a new, f’d up movie. Sigh, the days of video store. . . .

    Like

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