Feb 14, 2008

The World's Greatest Sinner

Blasphemy in cinema has a severe consequence most times. Recent films like The Golden Compass or even semi-newer films as Bruce Almighty. It can kill a film, or only strengthen its status and reputation. The effect is a unpredictable wild card that is a force to be reckoned with. Timothy Carey's shoe-string budget personal masterpiece "The World's Greatest Sinner" is the most blasphemous film i have ever seen.

The plot follows an everyman insurance salesman who gets bored of the game and decides he wants to do something new with his life. Accompanied with Satan dubbing over a snake as the narrator, Hilliard goes from being in a band, getting into polotics, and eventually giving himself and everybody as their own god. The cult hysteria is shown in full force as a harsh reminder of an era when mankind was so gullible as to follow another man, ruining their lives in the process.

It's a very weird experience to hear Carey being referred to as "God". Even the stitched insignia of God on his sleeve is every bit insane as it sounds. Carey slanders and destroys the golden rule of life and the need to pray. Then he preaches that man is superhuman and god is nonexistant. He seems like a mad dictator. Seeing God running for president has never seemed so ominous.

"Don't worry God, We will win by a landslide!"

The idea of family is gone, and the basic morales are annhilated. Child molestation is allowed for a god. Carey even goes as far as to make out with an old woman. This film shows that there is a market for every Radical and every thought. People are spineless beings that conform when confronted with fear.

"You must understand God, you must make the people know that you are not an athiest"

The image of social commentary is present. The fact that
he first goes to a concert and sees the crowd go wild for these "rebel" figures is as much proof as we need to realize that these figures in media have more power than politicians themselves. Robert Johnson did it better than the rest though. It's hard to be in the shadow of the original blasphemous musician. The film has a classic score featuring a very young Frank Zappa. Pre-Mothers of Invention, mind you.

Timothy Carey is a classic actor who appeared in Kubrick's The Killing. His stare, voice, and demeanor is enough to electrify the audience despite the films wear & tear. He is the ultimate classic independent director. He backed out of many big opportunities to finish this film. Just a fictitious document of how we as humans, rely on some belief.

The World's Greatest Sinner is a good film beside the controversy, which is more than many films can say. Not easy to watch at first, you must get used to the horrible editing and respect the film for what it is. Man becomes a monster in the span of weeks. See this film. It is worth the cult following. It is a realistic tale which seems like a hardcore re-envisioning of The Devil & Daniel Webster.

In four words, "One of a kind"

Special Thanks to Pete Cann for this film.


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