'Missionary': Film Review

Courtesy of Freestyle Releasing
Even the creators of "South Park" would be appalled

A Mormon missionary turns homicidal stalker in this B-movie thriller

You'll think twice before opening your door to those friendly proselytizing Mormons after watching Missionary, Anthony DeBlasi's lurid, B-movie, Fatal Attraction-style thriller. Starring a perfectly cast Mitch Ryan—his all-American good looks perfectly complemented by a crisp, button-down shirt—as a Mormon missionary turned homicidal stalker after an ill-fated love affair, the film just seems like piling on after the barrage of negative publicity the church has received in recent years.

At first, Elder Brock (Ryan) and his more seasoned missionary companion Elder Whitehall (Jordan Woods-Robinson) seem perfectly harmless while roaming around on their bicycles. But the former seems quite willing to bend church rules after meeting the sexy Katherine (Dawn Olivieri), recently separated from her cheating husband Ian (Kip Pardue). After ingratiating himself to the older woman by giving football throwing tips to her 12-year-old son (Connor Christie), he's more than receptive when she impulsively kisses him, with the two soon involved in a torrid affair.

But when she ends the relationship after getting back together with her estranged husband, Brock reveals his true colors. He desperately tries to win her back, attempting to woo her back with such pronouncements that they're "two lives drawn together by God's hand." He begins stalking her, getting rid of his watchful Mormon partner by pushing him off his bike into a near fatal accident.

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The desperate Katherine attempts to report him to his church superior, only to be told that he's no longer under their supervision. She tracks down one of his previous victims who informs her that a restraining order wouldn't be effective and that the best course of action is to buy a gun.

Eventually Ian gets involved, recruiting his seemingly endless supply of relatives to give Brock a thorough beating. But that only serves to push the clearly psychotic Mormon further over the edge, with predictably fateful results.

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While the villain's religious persuasion gives Missionary some degree of novelty—it's not often that you hear threats on the order of "I'm gonna take your family into the waters of baptism!"—it mostly seems cheaply exploitative. Derivative and otherwise lacking in originality, the film which features enough gratuitous nudity and violence to satisfy the genre crowd is a strictly by-the-numbers affair that probably won't be filling the multiplexes in Salt Lake City.

Production: Poiley Wood Entertainment, Missionary Film Production
Cast: Dawn Olivieri, Mitch Ryan, Kip Pardue, Jordan Woods-Robinson, Connor Christie
Director/editor: Anthony DiBlasi
Screenwriters/producers: Bruce Wood, Scott Poiley
Director of photography: Austin F. Schmidt
Production designer: Andrew White
Composer: Dani Donadi
Casting: Andy Henry

Rated R, 90 min.

 

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