Length: 91 minutes
Director: Rob VanAlkemade (Preacher with an Unknown God; Reaching the Autistic Mind: An Educational Challenge)
Starring: Reverend Billy (Tallen) & the Stop Shopping Choir, Paul Norman Allen, Laura Newman
What a wonderfully hilarious and yet insightful (in a warped kind of way) documentary, “What Would Jesus Buy?“ is. It is produced by documentary “superstar” Morgan Spurlock and is a far better doc than his latest feature, “Where in the World is Osama Bin Lin?”. Reverend Billy is a preacher for our “Lord and Savior” Jesus Christ, but he knows that all the other preachers are busy pushing the same ol’ boring bible standards- thou shall not this and thou shall not that. What Reverend Billy Tallen and his merry crew of drones want you to do is to, well, stop shopping. In fact, the name of their “outfit” is (and how fitting that the Reverend has his name first, like he’s Tom Petty or something) ‘Reverend Billy & the Stop Shopping Choir’. Reverend Billy and the choir, which includes his cute, understanding wife, prepare for “Black Friday” more so than most desperate soccer moms and bored housewives (and me and my friend Trey). They dress up- Billy in a suit and the choir in full choir gear and they parade through the malls, Targets, and Wal-marts singing their anthems about how consumerism is ruining the world and Jesus fucking hates it. The best scene in the movie involves the crew showing up to Disney on Christmas and protesting- one employee warns the Reverend “There’s no singing in Disney!”. You never know if Spurlock got behind this project for humorous purposes or because he believes in the cause, but I’m willing to bet on the former (there are questions about Reverend Billy's legitimacy and there are rumors he is just a "character"). Yet regardless of how comical the film is, you do get to start to understand Reverend Billy’s point. Sure, he takes it way overboard and he sweats and parades around like all of those phony television evangelists that take over your basic cable airwaves on Sunday mornings, but when you get the glimpses of pure greed and determination in the eyes of the shoppers- you can’t help but wonder how far Bill is off here. Use this DVD as a stocking stuffer on Christmas (it's never to early to start shopping, right Rev?) and I’ll guarantee you the recipient will watch it and either laugh or start to think about the real meaning behind Christmas. Either way, that automatically makes it a good present- and I’m sure Reverend Billy wouldn’t mind if you dropped a few bucks on his products for the holidays. After all, if you have to sell to stop selling then that’s just the way it has to be.
Download Soundtrack MP3s: (Very funny, do yourself a favor and download these)
Reverend Billy & the Church of Stop Shopping- Remove Starbucks and Disney
Reverend Billy & the Church of Stop Shopping- Stop Shopping