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left behind satan poster.jpg

A Trek Through the Wild World of the 'Left Behind' Marketing Campaign

By Rebecca Pahle | Miscellaneous | October 2, 2014 |

By Rebecca Pahle | Miscellaneous | October 2, 2014 |

Cancel next year’s Oscars, because Left Behind has already won every single award. The latest in Hollywood’s attempts to turn Christian piety into stacks o’ cash like Jesus turned water into orange Fanta Zero (right?), the Nicolas Cage-starring masterpiece is based on a best-selling religious fiction series about the aftermath of the Rapture. Before Cage got his action-movie paws on it, it was a miniseries starring Kirk “bananas” Cameron.

The film looks like it’s going to be… er… special. Let’s take a look at what God has seen fit to grace us with thus far. Heathens, stay at the door.

Let’s start with the trailer:

Interestingly enough, the word “rapture” never appears. You can tell Left Behind is a religious film, but not necessarily an evangelical one. Like, it could just be religious in the same way Legion (aka angel Paul Bettany) is. It looks like a normal action movie, almost as if the marketing department’s trying to trick everyone who’s never been exposed to the absolute gift to the universe the Left Behind series is, with its amazing titles (TRIBULATION FORCE) and its overt antisemitism. (Second to last paragraph, if you dare. OOF.)

(What did the sweet blonde daughter do not to get Raptured, by the way? Did she skip church one Sunday? Did she have… impure thoughts? The hussy. Also, yes, that is Lea Thompson at the 1:42 mark.)

One of its co-stars, American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, says Left Behind is a movie for everyone:

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…but you should really see if it you want to dick over Satan:

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Yeah. That’s right. SATAN DOESN’T WANT PEOPLE TO SEE LEFT BEHIND. I’m not even kidding now, this tagline is fucking genius. Please let a cynical, atheist marketing firm intern have come up with it.

Left Behind’s marketing campaign was still cutting its teeth when it put out this earlier poster. No SATAN, but badly Photoshopped Nicolas Cage and CHAD MICHAEL MURRAY makes it more than worth the .02 seconds you were able to spend looking at it before the religious awe overtook you:


See how Cage’s name is spelled correctly there? That doesn’t always happen:

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But it’s OK. No one’s perfect. Except the son of God, that is.


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My condolences to every movie that got a glowing review from The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, or Pajiba on their poster. You’ve been humbled most mightily. May this airbrushed plane fly thee to a better place:

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I should take this opportunity to warn you. Because ILLUMINATI:

To clarify: My mockery comes not from a place of “LOL CHRISTIANITY,” but rather from a place of “Jesus Christ on a cracker, this movie looks terrible. And what is that Satan poster?” I’m not just going to watch this movie. I am going to watch the hell out of this movie (see what I did there?). I’ll report back to you in my Tuesday post on the myriad ways in which it blew my mind.

Now someone photoshop a Gandalf hat and beard onto Nic Cage:

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Rebecca can be found on Twitter and at The Mary Sue, where she is Senior Editor.