This is what the fuss is all about?

So I decided that I owed it to myself to watch the infamous trailer of the film that has caused all this trouble around the world. From news reports, I expected it to be poorly done but I had no idea that it would be such absolute dreck.

Really, it is incredibly bad. Unbelievably bad. So bad that it would embarrassing even to the proud parents of high school students who undertook it as part of an art project. The acting is atrocious, the script is laughable, and production values non-existent. For example, the green screen shots, used to create a backdrop of a desert, are so poorly done that the actors seem to be walking on air rather than on the sand.

It becomes obvious that at least some of the actors had no idea what they had got into. It is clear from the trailer that the script was sold to them as an adventure story about a greedy, ambitious, lustful, and bloodthirsty brigand leader living somewhere in the desert a long time ago, who is called ‘the master’. What the producers have done in post-production is take out some of the original words spoken by the actors and dub in references to Allah, Mohammed, and the Koran whenever necessary. It is so poorly done that not only do the words not match the lips, but even the voices are different, and the switches sometimes occur back and forth within a single sentence, making the fakery jarringly obvious.

For some inexplicable reason that is probably related to their general incompetence, rather than make the Mohammed character a swarthy villainous-looking character in keeping with their heavy-handed intent, the producers have chosen an actor who bears a striking resemblance to canonical depictions of Jesus. I’m surprised that easily offended Christians like Bill Donohue are not upset about their religious icon being hijacked to represent the founder of Islam.

So this short piece of trashy filmmaking, which should have died in well-deserved obscurity and for which the proper response should have been hoots of derision if anyone bothered to watch it at all, is all that it takes to incite people to riot and cause an international crisis.

If that is not a sad reflection on how easily religious people can be riled up, I don’t know what is.


  1. mnb0 says

    Obviously the movie is not the cause, only the excuse. Like a football match (not the version where the ball is played manually) between Ajax and Feyenoord in The Netherlands.
    As long as the Arabian countries are politcally instabile I expect more riots like these.

  2. says

    I described it as a low-budget version of “Meet the Spartans”. It’s that cheesy.

    Is the faith of 20% of the human race really that easily trolled? Says everything about faith!

  3. Jockaira says

    I couldn’t watch it more than 3 minutes without being distracted by anything else…so my opinion should not be valid.

    If it was as bad as you say, I wonder how anyone could finish it. Aren’t trailers supposed to be the most exciting parts of the movie that leave one disappointed when they see the rest? In this case it seems that the trailer will serve many viewers well by convincing them not to waste any more time.

    I Am Curious blue and I Am Curious Yellow weren’t even in color.

    Need I say more?

  4. M Groesbeck says

    I’m still creeped out by the “100 Jewish donors” line the (AFAICT overwhelmingly Christian) makers of this pseudo-film were so aggressive in throwing about. It has shades of “Hey, Muslims — those people over there said that Mohammed was a violent rapist f****t!”

  5. anubisprime says


    If that is not a sad reflection on how easily religious people can be riled up, I don’t know what is

    Certainly and what is more it shows quite vividly that these improbably piously inspired and wholly ignorant delusions are only skin deep and that all the drooling theists…xian and Islamic alike… have absolutely no faith in a supernatural self invented fiction to look after its own image on its own terms and they know it!

    If anything or anybody gets to be smited then they…the pompous and drooling inventors… are the smiters and not their egotistically incompetent righteously useless brain fart of a sky fairy, that pretends and boasts it smites within the tradition of the pantheon but in actual fact does not raise a tickle in reality and never has!

  6. anubisprime says

    About this waste of film stock, it is just xians in the schoolyard hurling yah boo hisses at the latest casualty of their bullying tantrums.
    Seems that one Terry Jones has an agenda to be perceived as the Crusader in idiocy riding his donkey of fatuous bollix into the heart of Islam.
    He obviously thinks he can do a tad better then Richard le Cœur-de-lion and the sum result of upwards of nine lesser or greater crusades over three centuries.

    It is just childish pouty bitter rhetoric ‘backed up’ by extremely poor amateur dramatics, seems that the paucity of any recognizable viable talent is the defining trait of fundamental xians everywhere.
    But we can all tell they are lying and twisting reality to suit…it is what they do after all and they have not a clue on how to do it any better or even how to disguise their vapidity or their hatred.

  7. Scott says

    NPR reported that certain militant clerics were using the movie to deliberately get people riled up, and the reporter speculated that these clerics were telling people that the movie was financed and produced by the US government, rather than telling them the truth.

    Even if that was true, the gullibility of people who would believe that doesn’t speak well for Muslim believers either.

  8. anubisprime says

    Scott @ 7

    Theists use the merest hint of an excuse to play holy little soldier for their delusion marching as to war.

    Religion has done it for years and the hard of thinking always and every time fall for it hook line and sinker, besides it means these little jihads, both the Islamic and xian brands, allows the piously brain dead to play holy martyrs and ponce around in front of their peers and pretend they are holier then they are, they egg each other on, that is what the religious authorities want, it means they just get to sit back and laugh and keep their sweaty little hands pristine and holy they love to watch kaffirs, non believers, atheists and demons of the great Satan get murdered and shed their blood without them raising a sweat.
    It is the way cowards and liars manipulate, get the dumb ones to do all the work, pretend it is the delusions wish and sit back…simples!

  9. Jared A says

    For more information on the production of this movie, Neil Gaiman published a letter written by one of the film’s actresses.

    Probably we should not be so harsh on the poor acting in the movie. So much beyond the cast’s control has to go right before talent and skill even enter into it. In these circumstances with no rehearsal, no scripts, terrible directing, etc. even the world’s greatest film actors will look like amateurs.

    What this “Sam Bassil” did to his employees is outrageous and horrible.

  10. anubisprime says

    Jared A @ 9

    From the Actors letter to Neil Gaiman from Jared’s link…

    The film was about a comet falling into a desert and different tribes in ancient Egypt fighting to acquire it for they deemed that the comet possessed some supernatural powers

    Fair enough…Ancient Egypt…desert tribe…supernatural powers…Hmm! OK…where does this lead…

    My character Hilary was a young girl who is sold (against her own free will) by her parents to a tribe leader known as GEORGE

    Hilary & George in the desert during Ancient Egypt and members of one of the different tribes from that time….main leads Hilary & George…right!…Oh FFS!…methinks there was a clue there that summat was rather skew whiff with this ‘project’…she kindda missed it…easy enough I suppose!

    WTF is this ladies IQ score one wonders

  11. Mano Singham says

    Actually, I would not be so hard on her. It is not unusual for actors in films, especially low-budget ones, to know only their own limited role and not be told the big picture. They are also so desperate for work that they cannot afford to ask too many questions and risk getting booted.

    I once acted in a small indie film that was produced by one of my former students. I did it as a favor to him for no charge and had no idea what the film was about. It struck me later that although my own scene (I played a physicist teaching a physics class – a real stretch!) was perfectly innocent, for all I knew it could have ended up being embedded in a pornographic film. The first time I knew what it was about was when I saw the screening of the finished film. I simply trusted my student and it worked out fine.

  12. Jared A says


    I am having a really hard time following your logic (probably due to your gratuitous usage of ellipses). Are you trying to say that because the story conception was so poor the cast should have known that they were going to have their lines dubbed out and replaced with horribleness?

    What do you even know about low budge film making? I myself know only a little from, but even I know that that kind of anachronistic silliness is the norm.

  13. anubisprime says

    Jared A @ 2

    Are you trying to say that because the story conception was so poor the cast should have known that they were going to have their lines dubbed out and replaced with horribleness?

    Well I am raising a metaphorical eyebrow at a story line that apparently is at a diametrically apposing angle in logic to the story line the actor was given.
    Supposedly it was couched in terms of a historical piece contemporary with Ancient Egypt and in the desert involving, presumably indigenous tribal elements of that time, and the main character is called George and the female lead Hilary…really?
    Seems that even a jobbing actor might at least ask for clarification of that point…that is all I am saying!

  14. Jared A says

    No, you are also implying people are imbeciles and blaming them for something that isn’t their fault. It’s clear you didn’t read the letter in it entirety, but it is made pretty obvious that this type of incoherence was normal for this type of job*, and there was nothing overly suspicious.

    The atmosphere at the set was as friendly as possible. We all knew that we were doing an adventure drama for a very low budget financing. The director Alan Roberts even had plans that with this low budget product he would be able to get some more money to make a good quality version (by shooting it in the real desert and having better product in every category) of the “Desert Warrior”.

    In most cases the answer to your “why does this desert adventure movie have such incongruous names?” is something like “Because those were the working names and we were behind schedule so after they got changed to something better we had already filmed scenes with those characters and now it is too late. Maybe we will redub if the budget allows.”

    Maybe you think you are just making harmless inferences. But really you’re contributing to a “blame the victim” mentality and throwing around completely uninformed opinions.

    *Disclaimer: I am not trying to diss low-budget films here. Many talented people get there start there, and many are actually quite good. I am just pointing out how different the process is than major motion picture film production.

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