Weird Movie of the Week: Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway

Last time on Weird Movie of the Week, we engaged in a private-eye-led Witch Hunt. This time, um, well, I guess we’ll just say that Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway:

CIA agents Palmer and Gagano are tasked with the perilous mission of destroying “The Soviet Union!” As they enter the system using a VR simulation, their mission quickly turns into a delirious trap, far more complex than expected, as the fabric of reality starts unraveling around them.

Longtime readers know that this series of posts is somewhat inconsistent in that I don’t always watch the weird movie in question (usually due to availability), but this one was on Amazon Prime Streaming, so while the description above sounds a little funky, this was how I summed it up:

Imagine Adult Swim commissioning Alejandro Jodorowsky to make a Too Many Cooks style pastiche of a late-era Philip K. Dick fever dream inflected novel. I’m still not sure if that’s good or bad, but it’s certainly not boring.

Ah yes, that gets to the weirdness.

Stop motion characters from Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway

I’m just going to quickly list a few things that are in this movie, just to give you more of an idea:

  • A good portion of the film is stop-motion animation where our heroes run around wearing paper masks of famous people in a virtual reality world
  • There’s a cocain snorting black Batman who is referred to as “Batfro”. I think he’s the mayor or something?
  • Stalin is portrayed as Scottish?
  • There are 3 ninjas called Spaghetti, Ravioli and Baltazar
  • At one point a pair of fly monsters show up. One of them shoots laser beams from its eyes and accidentally immolates itself. The other fly creature pulls his hand off and candy comes pouring out like he’s some sort of piñata.
  • I know my description involves Philip K. Dick and a lot of people throw that out as a descriptor, but it’s very clearly an influence here – one of the characters is even named Palmer Eldrich.

And there’s lots more where that came from. As you might intuit from all of this, the film is a bit of a mess. It’s certainly not beginners fare, though I suspect there’s a very specific type of person who will get a lot out of this. Who those people are, I have no idea. I found it interesting from an almost anthropological observational standpoint, but that sort of detached reserve is obviously not what’s driving this whole thing. Anyway, if you’re a veteran of weird movies, this one might due the trick.

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