I’ve watched my fair-share of Christian B-level films about the end-times. Take the Anti-Christ, Christian persecution, imprisonment, and escape plots, mix it all together with a few optional elements, and there you have it. Still, hope springs eternal, so when I saw a DVD with the Sony label attached to it, I was willing to spend 106 minutes in a quasi-futuristic world. Unfortunately after watching Six: The Mark Unleashed my quest to find an end-times film worthy of investing my time or money on continues.
Originally released in 2004, this year’s re-release of the direct-to-DVD film features a new cover design and an affiliation with Sony Pictures. Combined with the names of some instantly recognizable actors – Stephen Baldwin and Jeffrey Dean Morgan first among them - The Mark Unleashed offered a ray of hope amongst the generally lack-luster DVD offerings available in the Christian marketplace.
Opening with an interesting premise – the Leader has taken over the world, requiring his minions to be implanted with a device that prolongs life, diminishes conscience, acts as birth control, and otherwise controls their emotions and behaviour. Free-thinkers, and Christians are amongst those refusing to receive the implant (the mark), and it is two rebels working as car thieves and a black-market smuggler that the film revolves around.
Finding themselves imprisoned the trio comes into contact with a large group of Christian inmates awaiting execution upon refusing to take the mark. Amongst these is Stephen Baldwin, the de facto leader of this prison church, where – surprisingly – inmates are allowed Bibles and freedom to gather and worship. Together the three plan their escape from confinement in a search to find Eli Cohen, a man well known for his efforts in preaching salvation to the remaining rebels.