Movie review: ‘The Catechism Cataclysm’

Writer-director Todd Rohal’s “The Catechism Cataclysm” is a grating and witless would-be spoof of religion, male-bonding and, it seems, horror movies.

The story, such as it is, pairs Father Billy (Steve Little), a man-boy priest (and perhaps the most inept clergyman this side of a “Saturday Night Live” skit) with his high school-days idol, Robbie (Robert Longstreet), an ex-rocker-turned-lighting tech, for a half-baked canoe trip meant to help the wayward Billy “find the truth.”

En route, the guys drink beer, pass gas, skirt gay love, share pointless parables, get lost, and meet two offensively shrill — and literally mind-blowing — Japanese women (Miki Ann Maddox, Koko Lanham) with a quirky-for-quirky’s-sake Mark Twain fixation. As for the pastor’s “truth-finding,” it’s anyone’s guess.

Little (HBO’s “Eastbound & Down”), with his nasal whine, screechy song-stylings, screamed dialogue and dorky incoherence, proves wildly irritating and sinfully unfunny. Longstreet is a bit more appealing as a lost soul who botched his glory days, but even he gets buried by the strained odd-coupling and convoluted events.

A head-scratching 2011 Sundance Film Festival selection, “Catechism” is ultimately just a kicky title in search of a movie.


“The Catechism Cataclysm.” No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 21 minutes. At the Downtown Independent, Los Angeles.