Set in the present day in coastal Georgia and South Carolina, THE JUDAS PROJECT tells the unique story of Jesus Christ as if he appeared today instead of 2000 years ago. The film opens on a beach in Georgia. Jesus appears as a young man named Jesse (John O’banion). He has acquired a small following of believers, and preaches to them much like Jesus did on the Mount of Olives. In one scene, Jesse dramatically brings back to life a young man who had drowned. In another scene Jesse feeds a multitude of people with only two loaves of bread and some cheese. The press are baffled by his miracles, but it catches the attention of a powerful world political leader, Arthur Cunningham and the head of a worldwide religious order, Ponerous. They secretly bribe one of Jesse’s followers, Jude, who sells out and allows Jesse to be captured. Jesse is finally nailed to the wall of the church in a graphic crucifixion scene. The resurrected Jesse is reunited with his friends as they go fishing together.
Though the action is a little slow at first, the drama and the performances are quite acceptable, and the special effects are very good. The movie looks much larger than the $7 million budget. The PG-13 rating was required for the crucifixion scene, which is too violent for young children. THE JUDAS PROJECT captures the essence of Jesus’s life, His teachings and His spirituality in a fascinating way.
(B, C, VV) Modern Gospel allegory with several mild expletives; crucifixion scene and associated violence, including whipping, beating, a crown of thorns pressed into a man's head, and a spear being driven into a man's side.