Plot: Tim (Tim Elwell) is a good kid, but he seems to be on a downward slope of late and always in trouble of some kind. His parents and teachers place some of the blame on his bad influence friend Marty (Jonathan Michaels), but they’re at a loss as to how to help Tim turn things around. A camp run by Christians has had success with some troubled teens, but Tim’s father dislikes religion and doesn’t want to see his son join some kind of cult. But Tim winds up at the camp and the experience changes his life, he finds the love of Jesus Christ and makes a commitment to be a better person. He wants to share his new passion, but finds resistance wherever he turns, at home from his father and at school from his fellow students. Can he find the courage to show the world his faith, or will he buckle under the social pressure?
Entertainment Value: I know some people will never give this one a chance since it is a religious propaganda picture, but Never Ashamed is one of the most surreal, outlandish movies you’ll find. The entire movie feels like it was made in an alternate timeline, as noting seems natural or realistic, but the movie never fails to entertain, even if it is in unintentional ways. In the world of the movie, Christians are the persecuted minority, almost forced to worship in private and while pockets of believers are around, the idea of religion is so foreign to most of these characters. Even the conclusion feels so out of this world, as if religious freedom never existed and Tim somehow ignited a flame of faith that sparked a revolution. Tim’s parents even seem disappointed that he chooses to read the bible over having sex or getting drunk, this kind of bizzaro world flavor is all over Never Ashamed. The performances are over the top, melodramatic, and hilarious, which makes the already outrageous material even more wild. So don’t let the religious aspect of Never Ashamed dissuade you, as this is a ridiculous and super fun ride that cult cinema fans should appreciate.
No nakedness. The lead here is trying his best not to get laid, even as girls throw themselves at him. The homework seduction scene where a girl tries to use her wiles to study more than books is hilarious, not to mention high level awkward. No blood. This one has no real violence, though it does involve a strange white water rapids scene that adds some action to the experience. The dialogue here is beyond magical, a non stop express of outlandish, ridiculous, and surreal lines that rarely slows down, just one outrageous moment after another. I mean, this is just head scratching, mind numbing nonsense at times, not to mention the movie takes place in this alternate dimension where nothing feels organic or natural. If you appreciate offbeat, bat shit crazy style dialogue, this is one you need to experience. As for craziness, this one just feels like fell through some portal from another timeline, with the strange narrative elements, weird dialogue, and ridiculous performances. The strangeness is all unintended, so it isn’t some off the rails on purpose kind of flick, but it never feels normal, grounded, or even close to natural for a second.
Overall Insanity: 10/10