Chick Tract Review: Angels?

angels cover

Jack Chick sez: They started as a “Christian” rock group, and became slaves to rock. But Tom found that Jesus could set him free!

Jack Chick despises rock music, what with all the dancing and drug orgies and hippies it causes. However, he has a particularly strident hate on for Christian rock because it’s all a part of Satan’s labyrinthine scheme to brainwash America’s churchgoing youth and turn them into dancing, drug-orgying hippies. In the tract Angels?, he delivers a brutally realistic portrait of a struggling Christian rock band that is forced to make some difficult compromises and choices on the path to Stryper/NewSong megastardom!

(As much as I hate to admit it, I’m kind of with the Chick-man on this one. I don’t buy into his premise of Christian rock being evil, but it is kind of pointless… sort of like decaf coffee or non-alcoholic beer. Personally, I’m more comfortable when rock music and Christianity are at each other’s throats, much like beloved cartoon characters Tom and Jerry. Rock music is at its best when it’s smashing Christianity’s foot with a hammer and then shoving a lit stick of dynamite into its mouth when it screams. Christian rock is like those lame-ass late-model cartoons, where Tom and Jerry were pals. Sorry, Jars of Clay. Not buying it.)

Anyway…

We open with the down-and-out band Green Angels packing up their totally rad van after playing a gig at a church, where the pastor cut their performance short and stiffed them for $300. They stop in a diner to grab a bite, all the while trying to figure out why they can’t seem to make it big when other Christian rock groups are, and I quote, “really getting down, man!” Meanwhile, a shadowy figure in a gaucho hat watches from afar…

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The mysterious man, whose name is actually Lew Siffer (Haw, haw, haw!), tells them that they could really hit it big if they would just “let go and flow.” Because that’s how people talk in the music industry. He offers them $500 apiece to come back to his place and play for him, and uses a series of clever questions to subtly determine just how devout they are in their faith.

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Once he ascertains that none of them are willing to die for their beliefs, Lew (Mr. Siffer if you’re nasty) offers to be their agent. He promises them wealth, fame, booze, drugs, groupies, etc. if they’ll sign with him, but insists they’ll have to do things his way. One band member, Bobby, is a little squeamish about signing the contract in his own blood, but the others coerce him into going along with it.

Once Green Angels have signed away their immortal souls, the diabolical Mr. Siffer starts expositing about his secret organization that “controls the world system.” This organization, which is called “Killer Rock,” has been slowly poisoning music since the 1950s by introducing a “new beat.” Hilariously, Siffer actually has a Power Point presentation ready to go, showing the org chart for “Killer Rock” (and its subsidiaries, “Soft Rock,” “Hard Rock,” and “Heavy Rock”).

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But Lew Siffer’s machinations aren’t just limited to rock music! Oh, hells no! His “Killer Rock” organization has also perverted the pure and wholesome roots of country, classical, soul and Christian music! And in a plot twist worthy of M. Night Shyamalan, he reveals that he invented Christian rock!

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You fiend! You monster! You… wait a minute. Back the fuck up. Classical? Really? Satan is using classical music to destroy country, home and education? Are today’s youth really being driven to drugs, sex, and suicide by lush orchestral arrangements?

Anyway, our pal Lew brags about how his Christian rock has infected church after church, and continues to spread. He then goes on to explain how his heavy metal music has brainwashed millions. Oh, and apparently the Catholics are in on the whole thing…

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Surprisingly, the boys of Green Angels are okay with all of this. Two months later, they’re playing their hit song “We’re Gonna Rock, Rock, Rock, Rock with the ROCK!” (which I assume is about Dwayne Johnson) in front of a massive crowd in New York. Meanwhile, reptilian demons come out of the speakers and float through the audience as enthusiastic fans proclaim Green Angels to be the greatest! Yah! Wow! The greatest!

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Green Angels get to enjoy two years at the top of the Christian rock charts. And then, in true VH1 Behind the Music form, the bottom falls out. First, Bobby wants to marry a Klingon. Lew warns him that doing so will ruin the Christian image of Green Angels, but Bobby isn’t having any of it. So Lew smites him with the AIDS.

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Three months later, Green Angels are playing a concert (minus Bobby, who has been replaced) and a young woman with a 1940s haircut rushes past security to stuff a Chick tracts into Tom’s pocket and let him know that Jesus loves him. Hours later, while the band is performing their ballad “Embrace Me, Love of Death,” Jim dies of a drug overdose onstage. CRASH!

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A week later, we find Tom brooding in his hotel room. “Everything’s ashes,” he laments. “Bobby died of AIDS, Jim O.D.’d… and Don is into vampirism.” Apparently, the fact that Don is pitching for Team Edward is just too much for Tom to bear. In a fit of despair, he reaches into his pocket and finds the Chick tract that was left there. The tract in question is The Contract, which tells the story of a farmer who made a deal with the devil, but wriggled out of it on his deathbed by finding Jesus. Inspired by this ecclesiastical loophole, Tom prays for salvation!

Naturally, Lew is upset by Tom’s attempt to renege, and demands that he knock off the praying. Tom rebukes Lew in Jesus’ name, and ZAP! Holy shit, Lew Siffer is the devil! I did NOT see that coming!

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And so we close with Tom at the pulpit, addressing a packed congregation about the joys of burning your rock music albums. And sitting on the front row is the young woman who gave Tom the tract in the first place! “Thank God Tom read that little tract I gave him,” she says to no one in particular.

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As usual, Chick starts off strong but fails to stick the landing. I mean, we never find out what happened to Vampire Don, or what became of Lew Siffer/Bill Zebub/A. Paul Leon after he got his ass rebuked. So many loose ends… this thing just cries out for a sequel! Like, what if the devil decides he wants revenge on Tom and so he sends Don the bloodsucking fiend after him. Don corners Tom in a dark alley one night after a major album burning, and all looks lost! Tom backs away, praying for salvation as Don slowly advances. And then Tom wonders, “Hey, what’s this little book doing in my pocket?” He pulls out another Chick tract and starts to read it, and Don is smote* by holy light. And then a random woman sticks her head into the alley and says, “Thank God Tom read that little tract I gave him.”

The power of Chick compels you.

—————

*Yeah, “smote” is a word. I looked it up.

Published in: on November 1, 2019 at 11:00 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Classic Chick.

  2. These idiots got stiffed by that pastor? Haven’t they heard of written contracts?


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