DISMEMBERCEMBER: Last Ounce of Courage (2012)

The war on Christmas is on, people.

Marshall Teague may be known as Jimmy Reno from Roadhouse but here he’s Mayor Bob Revere, a man who has lost his son Thomas (Austin Marks) to a war overseas, then lost his daughter-in-law Kari (Nikki Novak) and grandson Christian (Hunter Gomez) when they moved away. Now, he’s found a new battle, as he learns that kids aren’t allowed to sing Christmas carols and they took the Christmas tree down in front of the government building. They had to take the cross down on the mission where they feed the homeless, too. But Bob seems like a good guy, the kind of person who does surgery on bikers which is not the type of thing a pharmacist does, but hey, whatever.

Bob also is one of those guys that rides a Harley with a big American flag hanging off the back and wants you to say something about it. Come on, he dares you.

Also: his wife is Jennifer O’Neill. Yes, the same Jennifer O’Neill from Fulci’s The Psychic and Scanners.

This brings him into conflict with lawyer Warren Hammerschmidt (Fred Williamson, the Hammer in a religious right wing film which is on brand for him now) and even put in jail for his beliefs. That’s when I noticed he had a Satan Sucks patch and another that had 666 crossed out. He also meets Jesus in jail and man, Jesus looks metal.

Directed by Kevin McAfee and Darrel Campbell, who wrote the script and book that this was based on with Richard Headrick from a story by Gina Headrick, this movie also has Kari falling for her dead husband’s best friend, the Mayor’s daughter being on CNN as an anchor, Bill O’Reilly showing up on a TV and a theater director putting on a holiday play that keeps refusing to put religious things in it, so they lock him in a closet while he lisp screams in protest.  It also starts and ends with Ronald Reagan quotes.

Did you know people in Vietnam can be executed for celebrating Christmas?

In 2012, Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee took part in a telemarketing campaign that involved making over four million robocalls to promote the film. A lawyer just like Warren Hammerschmidt figured out that this was a violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, as it was in the guise of a political survey, and a class-action lawsuit was later filed which ended up costing the producers of this movie $32 million dollars.

So let me soap box during this holiday movie. For years, there’s been a battle over the Nativity not being in front of my hometown municipal building. If you want that there, you also need to respect that there should be a Jewish display, a Kwanza display, a Satanic display and even something for Scientology. This is not a country formed by religious zealots, but instead a country by those seeking religious freedom from the Church of England. Your way may be the way in your place of worship but if I respect it, you should also respect my belief. That’s the whole point behind Happy Holidays versus Merry Christmas, the true start of the War on Christmas. What will prayer in schools solve? I bet everyone prays when their schools get shot up, huh? I know that it’s so basic — and I rarely discuss my political or religious feelings on this site because it should be all about movies — but can’t we just respect our differences? Didn’t Jesus choose not the rich religious leaders but the lowest of the low to spend time with?

Also: when did bikers go from 1% and against the law to suddenly being blind believers in the right wing? Didn’t bikers used to hate cops too? Maybe I was watching the wrong movies.

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