The following is a review I wrote some time ago after watching Second Glance in its entirety. I found a copy online and have now annoyingly broke the hard drive that I had it on. It’s a film that more people need to see for all the wrong reasons. Alas, enjoy my rant that I’ve somewhat edited to make it a little more palatable. That said, it’s still a little ranty and rugged.
Second Glance (1992, dir. Rich Christiano)
Running Time: 50 minutes
“Hey Dan! the Bible’s coming alive to me, I just can’t get enough of it!!”
Religious films are interesting things to view from an Atheist, Agnostic or purely outsider perspective. There is a constant pattern within Religious films for there to be a great divide between those who are ‘believers’ and those who are ‘non-believers’ which seems to be the consistent crux in the narratives. This can take the form of the rapture films or, in the case of Second Glance, a zany teen film about not being cool or ever getting “the girl”.
Second Glance tells the story of Danny; a tragically unhip, zany young man who has “the hots” for a young girl called Tamra at his high school. The only problem is that he’s a “nice guy” which is carny for being Christian. After a failed attempt at asking her out and being suspended from school for being mistaken for cheating in an exam, Danny utters the words “I wish I was never a believer!” and throws the copy of the Bible he was intently reading before going to sleep.
Well, Danny gets his wish and wakes up the next day in a room strewn with beer cans and empty pizza boxes inexplicably wearing a backwards neon cap (standard décor for Atheists). He then lives a day in the life of a non-believer and realises that maybe being a believer wasn’t that bad after he takes “second glance” (yep).
The whole film is made of 50 minutes designed to make you believe that Christians are incredibly uncool and lame individuals, whilst non-believers are really popular and live a life full of sin (or “fun”). Even though Danny is instantly uncool with his wretched 90s fashion, it’s not like the non-believers he knows are remotely any cooler just because they drink beer and disregard authority of any kind.
The portrayal of non-Christians is borderline offensive on the level of casting a black person who merely eats chicken and watermelon. Danny’s parents divorce because he didn’t prey to keep them together resulting in his dad moving to LA (naturally) and his mum getting on anything that has a penis. As a result of Danny not being there to show him the light, his friend Scotty COMMITS SUICIDE because he wasn’t provided with the guidance of the lord. Oh yeah, and non-Christian girls seem to be devious, promiscuous bitches out to scale the social ladder by sleeping with the “cool” guys.
The comedy in the film is also another level of shitty. David White (who plays Danny) has the comedic timing of a stool. The highlight of his comedic capabilities is seen when his devious sister (Jenny) turns his alarm clock radio up high resulting his him falling out of bed due to shock. It’s the kind of lame humour that’s best left in lame sitcoms that everyone’s hopefully forgotten about.
One of my favourite scenes is where Danny tries to get his non-believing friends to come see a [religious] film on Saturday. Mullet brandishing Doug initially scoffs at the idea and refuses, but Danny asks him again and then gets kind of aggressive about it as he gets in Doug’s face and say “MAKE THE TIME…it‘s got the answers, man”. The whole interaction sums up the whole feel of the film’s idea that there is really only one way to live and that the Christian idea of God is the only true answer.
What Else Makes The Film So Bad?
The Production – Terrible beyond belief. You know a film made in the 90s is bad when your opening credits shake in a totally amateurish way. That said, the final freeze-frame with Danny uttering the famous (and it is famous) line “Hey Scotty! Jesus Man!!”
The Acting – Yeah, it’s a Christian film so the talent pool is a little more scarce, but the acting is dire. The only really decent performance is David White’s as he is a genuinely believable conflicted Christian teen. By comparison to the rest of the wooden cast, he’s Sidney Poitier.
The Score – It’s bad, but I kind of enjoy the Seinfeld-esque basslines that start the film off. I refuse to believe that, outside of the Seinfeld theme, this kind of music was ever, ever cool.
The TRAILERS (Dear God, the trailers!) – On the copy I found online, you get trailers for upcoming releases, all of which look hideous. The worst of which is Time Changer; a film that looks a little bit like a Christian reverse-Back to the Future (did you ever wonder why nobody else did that?)
BONUS:- Time Changer (trailer)