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Movie Review: Marty and Doug’s New Religion

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Phalanx Film Entertainment and All Thing Random Productions' follow-up to their comedy pilot Overcrowded is off the wall and often quite funny. Marty and Doug's New Religion follows the exploits of two goofballs who decide to start a religion in their own apartment as an excuse to meet women mostly and manage to anger everyone from their local church to Jesus Christ.

Produced, written by, and starring company regulars Greg Vorob and Dan Conrad, Marty and Doug's New Religion is gloriously silly from the word "go," with a concept that is a lot of fun and a steady pace, set by director Dan Kowalski, that keeps things moving along. There are also lively performances not only from Vorob and Conrad but from their fine supporting cast. If you're in the mood for something that's just plan ol' silly and fun, then Marty and Doug's New Religion is worth checking out.

Marty (Vorob) and Doug (Conrad) are a couple of slackers who will do anything to avoid responsibility and anything to meet women. They have very little in the way of money and prospects and after a discussion about the church which Marty considers a racket, stating, "and they don't even pay taxes," they decide to form their own religion from their apartment. For Marty and Doug, it's perfect. The way they see it, they don't have to pay taxes; they can't be evicted from their home; and the women and money will flow like wine. Naturally, they think it's a great idea, but there's one who immediately doesn't like it: Jesus (Ian Campbell Dunn). Jesus appears and warns them not to start this religion, claiming that they will exploit people's faith for a couple of cheap thrills, which is, of course, exactly what they plan to do. The boys have been warned, but they ignore Jesus and go right ahead with their plan.

They even have a great name for their religion —  "Awesomism" (or is it "Baddasstianity"?) with their core values being "kicking back (being lazy), kicking it (getting laid) and kicking ass." It works, for a time at least. They manage to acquire a congregation (a rogues gallery of loonies) who actually believe in the gospel and teachings that they are spreading (their gospel and teachings include women sleeping with the high priests (guess who?) in "the sex pit"), but Jesus is still not happy with the arrangement. He even goes so far as to retain legal counsel to try and put a stop to Marty and Doug's antics, but with no success. Jesus then tries to get the church involved as well and that doesn't work either. Enter Veronica (Molly Montgomery), the woman of Marty's dreams (he watches her from afar every Sunday as she walks into church). Working as a spy for the church, Veronica manages to cause a rift between Marty and Doug, which threatens the success of their newfound religion and of their friendship.

If all of this sounds silly, you'd be right. It's very silly, but also a lot of fun. Like Overcrowded, Marty and Doug's New Religion embraces the silly, with characters and scenarios that are broad, over the top, and quite theatrical. I enjoyed Overcrowded very much when I saw it a few months ago, even though it was a little all over place as far as subplots were concerned. With their latest outing, I am delighted to report that things are more focused and the comedy is much, much sharper. As in all of their works, the scenes move at a fast pace, led by Vorob and Conrad, who are both animated and energetic in their roles. They are backed up by a fine supporting cast with standouts including Lisa Peart (who reminded me of Julie Hagerty) as the spinsterish Phyllis (who time and time again refuses to go into "the sex pit" with Conrad's Doug) and Felix Gardon, a firecracker as the demented Barry.

Marty and Doug's New Religion had a premiere in Lower Manhattan late last month, which I hope was a successful one. Phalanx Film Entertainment and All Thing Random Productions are to be commended for their work here and I look forward to their next comic concoction.

Visit the film's official website.


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About Hannah Marie Ellison