George Ratliff's Joshua is my pick for the most underseen and underappreciated movie of last year; I suspect that as a true psychological horror film with something on its mind, it was simply too unpleasant to find much of an audience. But it proved Ratliff's chops as a brainy, skilled filmmaker, and he's been able to get more work (presumably) as a result. He'll be writing and directing an adaptation of an upcoming novel called Salvation Boulevard by Larry Beinhart. Beinhart is probably best known for writing American Hero, which David Mamet would adapt into the popular satire Wag the Dog.

Salvation Boulevard is more demanding stuff: it's a mystery about a private investigator hired to find the killer of a college professor that becomes an exploration of religious faith when it turns out that the professor was an atheist, the P.I. is a born-again Christian, the main suspect is a Muslim student, and the defense attorney is a Jew. Sounds a bit contrived, but I suspect we're missing some data. The movie's executive producer is quoted as saying that the book "uses a mystery to examine the religious process, the mega-churches and how they manipulate minds."

The novel comes out in September, and no schedule's set for the production of the film. In the meantime, go find Joshua on DVD!
categories Movies, Cinematical