I swear to God, I shall watch Holy Ghost People religiously, fervently testify to its message and piously confess its sins to determine if it’s a godsend or goddamned. So read on only if you’ve already witnessed Holy Ghost People, or don’t plan to.
0:05:26 The great unwashed gets the trash taken out of him behind some bar, and a waitress with a heart of gold comes to help pick up his pieces. She then follows him home like a stray. You know that feeling where you’re one moment away from something special that will change your life forever? These people don’t.
0:07:42 I hope this film has some correspondence to the poster and is not as fake as the tattoos on the sad waitress’s arms.
0:09:35 Charlotte, the waifish barmaid (Emma Greenwell), follows the battered, ex-marine around like a hungry dog looking for a bone.
0:11:05 You know how you know you’re trailer folk? You needn’t close your door when you leave your home.
0:11:22 Trailer folk drink and drive, and don’t even offer their passengers a swig.
0:13:12 Charlotte and Wayne (Brendan McCarthy as an alcoholic ex-marine) go to pick up Charlotte’s sister Liz from a ‘church’ in the backwoods. You know you’re trailer folk when your church has a ‘No Trespassing’ sign on the door.
0:16:06 My initial impression of the charismatic preacher Brother Billy is that the actor playing him (Joe Egender) thought ‘charisma’ was optional.
0:16:30 The preacher is handling a rattlesnake, unless the sound is the peas in his brain when he shakes his head.
0:19:57 Instead of simply asking the preacher where her sister is, Charlotte tells Billy her name isn’t Charlotte but Rachel, and that her ex-marine friend isn’t her friend but her daddy, and not that they’re looking for her sister but that they want to join the church. Because why make things simple when you can make them WTF!?
0:36:03 Brother Sherman stands before the congregation and admits to having sexual thoughts about women other than his wife, so he takes off his shirt, and gives his belt to Smiling Bob who whips him with the belt. While he no longer has sexual thoughts about women, he’s now having them about Smiling Bob.
0:40:25 Alcoholic Wayne is about to hop in his car and go get a drink, but Billy talks to him about his dead father so Wayne opts to stay. Alcoholics will swallow anything.
0:47:39 Looking for signs of Liz, Charlotte sneaks into Billy’s office and finds an old picture of her sister. This proves she was at the compound and, literally, in his drawers.
0:50:18 Blonde Sister Scarface (Cameron Richardson as Sister Sheila) tells Wayne he doesn’t belong there and should take Charlotte and go. This is one prophesy that will come true.
0:53:15 Wayne confronts Billy about the picture, who says it’s his wife whom he kicked out of the church for using drugs. He also knows Rachel is Charlotte, his wife’s sister, and that their mother is dead.
When Charlotte confirms she lied to Wayne about her mother, Wayne decides to become a true believer in the church. Charlotte prefers to jab her fingernails into her palms, which sounds like slicing fruit (according to the director).
0:56:23 Lol, Wayne starts participating in the ceremony so he’s given a snake to hold on to and, unlike everyone else, the snake attacks him.
0:59:29 Billy takes Charlotte to the now empty church, where she trusts Billy and Sherman enough to let them whip her because now she shares their belief in WTF!? [We shall later learn this is but a ruse.]
1:02:25 Smiling Bob, who is guarding Wayne’s poisoned and dying body with a shotgun, decides now is a perfect time to take advantage of the toilet paper he evidently carries with him wherever he guards, and to go fertilize the woods. This gives Sister Sheila the opportunity to sneak in and give Wayne a shot of anti-venom. Like most people in my circle, he just needed a little prick to feel better.
1:07:01 Charlotte decides marrying Billy is a good idea, because of all the WTF they have in common. [Actually, she’s tricking them to get Billy to let his guard down. She may be slow, but she can still pull a fast one on them.]
1:11:28 It would seem lying in a bed for 2 days with no food and struggling with a vicious snake bite that nearly killed him helps make Wayne a stronger person. Strong enough that, despite his infected arm, he’s able to beat Smiling Bob to death, thus proving the adage, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’
1:12:03 Charlotte is only pretending to rape Billy because in the middle of dry humping him, she grabs his gun and tells him to take her to her sister.
1:12:29 This song may be the best part of the film.
Heather Baker covering ‘Cry Little Sister (Theme from Lost Boys)’ from the 1987 film The Lost Boys.
Charlotte: Pant fearfully for a very long time
What I imagine the script looks like when Charlotte gives her gun to the congregation so they might tie her to a post in the middle of the field.
1:16:30 Charlotte’s getting stoned, and not the good kind. There are flashbacks to Liz, as well, who suffered the same fate. In the words of Bob Dylan, “Everybody must get stoned.”
1:18:40 Brother Sherman jumped Wayne during his rescue, so Wayne shot him. Wayne may have spent three tours with the marines in Afghanistan, but he knows as much about holding a gun on a group of people as trailer folk do French cuisine.
In other news, Sheila and an older black veteran, also in the church, decide to change sides and help Wayne escape with Charlotte. Life hack: choose the guy with the gun’s side.
1:20:05 WTF!? Wayne gives Sheila his car to take Charlotte to the hospital, but he stays at the camp to watch Billy drown himself in a lake. Considering how ridiculous Billy’s last words are, suicide does seem like the only logical solution.
I’ll be seeing you again, brother. Hopefully in heaven, but you can’t be too sure. I imagine where we’re heading might look something like this lake. Except it’ll be on fire, of course, and millions of people screaming.
- WTF!?’s: 6 malevolent ones
- When to Follow: Before watching the documentary which inspired this film.
If you only have time to watch one of these, the documentary is more inspiring.
NB: While I may have been a bit harsh on this film (what do you expect from an English Queen?), I would recommend watching it (and paying to do so), as this is good for an indie film and independent film is a dying art.