A new film with Corbin Bernsen has an old theme, good versus evil, and a modern plot.
By GAIL HOLLENBECK
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 12, 2001
INVERNESS -- Cloud Ten Pictures has released another video in its popular End Times series. Judgment is the fourth in the Apocalypse series.
The movie stars Corbin Bernsen, formerly of L.A. Law, Mr. T of the A-Team, Jessica Steen and Nick Mancuso.
Inverness Church of God showed the previous three videos during evening services, but a spokesperson said there are no plans to show the latest video. It is for sale at Cornerstone Christian Supply, a ministry of the church, for $29.95 and may be ordered on DVD at the same price, said Astrid Dunn, the buyer for Cornerstone.
Dunn says the series has been popular.
"They've all sold very, very well because of the great interest in the prophecies of the Bible, not only in the videos but in literature concerning end time prophecy as well," Dunn said. "There's always been an interest, but it seems as if there has been a peaked interest in the past four years."
Jim Cole, associate pastor of Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church, said that the end times viewpoint that inspired these films is a relatively new one.
"There are four major views, and the other three have been around a lot longer," Cole said. "The dispensational premillennial view is very new and was not a part of historic Christianity until recently. The other three views would not agree with the rapture taking all the believers out of the world before what's called the Great Tribulation, but it's the most popular view today and many people hear this and think this is the orthodox view.
"Some people would say it may be a fictional story, so just watch it as a fictional story, and I would say, well, not only is it a fictional story, but I believe the theological premise on which it's based is not one that all Christians would agree with. That's the heart of it."
The plot of Judgment is an old one, good versus evil. The story is modern, with Bernsen playing Mitch Kendrick, an embittered lawyer who is called on to defend Helen Hannah, a "Christian resister."
Hannah has been indicted on charges of hatred against humanity, for which the punishment is death.
Mancuso's character is Franco Macalousso, who is the supreme leader of ONE, or One Nation Earth. He is eager to defeat the Christians, who have caused him trouble in the previous films in the series, and has arranged for a scripted trial in which Hannah will be found guilty.
But Kendrick develops sympathy for Hannah and decides that the real culprit is God. In a dramatic opening courtroom scene, Kendrick announces that it is God who should be on trial, not his client. At first incensed, Macalousso then realizes that this is his chance to put his eternal nemesis on trial for all the world to see.
Side plots have J.T. Quincy (Mr. T) attempting to break Hannah out of prison and Vicky Thorne (Steen) as a former love interest of Kendrick's who is now opposing him as the case's prosecutor.
As Kendrick unveils the truth throughout the trial, he not only experiences a personal epiphany but is also made aware of the lies that Macalousso has been using to control the world.