The Prodigal Planet (1983)

Remember our friend David? Well, he didn’t die at the end of Image of the Beast. No, he’s back and ready to battle the forces of UNITE one more time. He’s rescued by Connie, an Antichrist agent pretending to be a double agent for the Believers’ Underground, who hopes that David can lead them to the hidden base of the Believers. Meanwhile, Armageddon and the Second Coming are on the way and everyone’s going to die and pay for their sins.

This might be my favorite of the four films in this series, as now we’ve entered pure post-apoc territory, with leukemia and facial lesion-having mutants called the Doomsday People wandering the wasteland wearing monks robes, David playing matador with helicopters and a character who does a child’s voice that is not unlike Christian icon Lil’ Markie (trust me, it’s best if I don’t link you to him, let him be the nightmare that only I live).

We also learn that Mark gave up on God after his brother tried to race a train and his car got hit by it. So there’s that.

This movie is packed with sermons, songs that bleed over the dialogue and long explanations of Biblical prophecy. In short, everything you’ve come to expect and more from this series. It also has David watch some ICBMs decimate the forces of UNITE and say, “It’s hard to believe God could use something that hideous for good, but he’s done it before.”

Turner also shows back up and he’s brought his maps of the End Times that we’ve all come to know, love and paint on to our own walls. I have no idea how we’re going to sell this house now that I’ve made the guest room into a mural with the different signs of Armageddon, but that’s our real estate agent’s problem.

Connie has to be the best character in this film, as she suddenly breaks into a mall and loots it for clothes a full year before Night of the Comet and then busts out some insane disco dancing moves for no reason at all. Also, everyone continually mentions how gorgeous she is in this movie. I don’t want to be rude, but she’s the most attractive woman I’ve ever seen in an Armageddon Christian movie and that’s no compliment.

In Marilyn Manson’s book The Long Road Out of Hell, he says “I was thoroughly terrified by the idea of the end of the world and the Antichrist. So I became obsessed with it, watching movies like A Thief in the Night, which described very graphically people getting their heads cut off because they hadn’t received 666 tattoos on their forehead.” Therefore, this movie had the exact opposite effect that everyone wanted it to have, at least for one very special boy.

Finally, Jerry, who has been the porn mustached bad guy of all of these films, sits crying on the floor as nukes go off all around him. B-roll footage plays and the world finally, mercifully, ends.

You can watch this for free on Amazon Prime or Archive.org. There’s even an official website if you want to learn more. Please want to learn more.

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