There’s so much to tackle in a film like Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter, so let’s just … start with the name.
Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter is exactly what the name implies plus more. Jesus Christ returns to earth in Canada to protect lesbians from evil vampires hellbent on nomming on their blood. If you think that’s crazy, well, that’s about one one-thousandth of all the insanity the movie has in store.
Jesus comes back and right off the bat, he’s fighting evil vampiric chicks. But after he’s done there, he’s got time to get a haircut, get a piercing, squeeze in a song-and-dance number while simultaneously healing the sick and lame and come out looking like a member of Bad Religion.
Say what you will, but that Jesus fellow is no slacker.
Jesus slowly amasses a group of followers, including devoted ass-kicking apostle Mary Magnum, to take on the Canadian vampire coven…thing. Pretty soon it’s an all out battle to save the souls of the innocent with both sides locked in battle. (And Jesus manages to kick the asses of twenty-odd atheists who show up to tell him to not-so-politely get the hell out of Dodge.) Of course, it only makes sense that El Santos, the god of Mexican wrestling, would show up to lend a helping hand. Right?
Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter is absurd fun. Throwing back to the style of ’70’s kung-fu and exploitation, it’s great fun without being sleazy. While some of the cinematic aspirations of the filmmakers fall short as there’s only so much you can do with a budget that would roughly pay for a ticket to Star Trek, the heart of the film is big. Make no mistake, it’s definitely got moments where it’s clearly done on the cheap or by amateurs, but let’s face it: professional stunt-people would’ve killed the allure of Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter. Low-budget entertainment at its finest, this is the movie that those trailers for Grindhouse aspired to be and more. I can’t say this movie is for everyone, but it will amuse and entertain a lot of folks. (Troma never made low-budget flicks quite so fun.)
You can find it readily on Netflix and I’d say it’s worth the rental just for watching Jesus do a kicky song and dance number. Don’t come for the plot or the action scenes or the brief moments of vampiric gore; come for the fun of watching a slice of inspired cinematic homage-cheese.