Ordinary Guy (1980) Christian-sploitation movie aimed at motivating fair-weather Christians to give more money to church.

Theme Song: Some violins and shit.

Interesting Dated References: The decision to buy a condo in Glenview, IL being a sound investment; Asking your teenager not to read a book at the dinner table; A teenager reading a book at the dinner table; Parents caring what their teens do at the dinner table; A dinner table being used for a family dinner; Families having dinner together.

Best Line: Much of the dialogue in Ordinary Guy is delivered in a stilted manner. It appears that the film crew only had one camera and would film a single line of dialogue, move the camera, then film the subsequent line of dialogue. I’m totally making that up, but it seriously seems plausible.

Social Context: Ordinary Guy is a Christian-sploitation movie aimed at fair-weather or casual Christians who claim to be religious, but don’t act in accordance with the teachings of Christ™.

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Summary: The opening of this movie is a collage of clips featuring an adult male actor tossing a young boy of increasing age around a backyard. It’s meant to be a touching “father/son through the years” thing, but it’s so dangerous I can’t even concentrate. At one point he flips the boy by his arms and the kids head just barely grazes the ground going 35 miles per hour.

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Aforementioned child survived and is now a grown-up named Guy. Guy the Christian feels like he’s not being as Christ-like as he can be. His career is unfulfilling and his fiancee is a vacant troll with over-trimmed eyebrows. After talking with his fiancee’s sister about Christians who only go through the motions of Christian life, Guy decides actions speak louder than words and begins to act as Christ-like as he can.

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Stuck in the suburbs of Chicago and bored with being white, that means Guy decides to head down to the Stateway Gardens housing project to mentor gang members. Over the course of 45 minutes Guy convinces an entire gang of mixed-race inner city youths to get really excited about doing gymnastics on some junky old equipment he procured. These guys can’t get enough of it! After each gymnastics session Guy reads to them from the Bible.

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Teaching the Bible and gymnastics totally consumes Guy’s life. His fiancee’s sister, Frida, also takes an interest in the group, so much so she tells Guy his example has made her want to accept our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which then makes Guy desire to have missionary-style sex with her despite the fact she’s basically his siter-in-law.

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In the most bizarre scene of the whole movie, some gang member named Steve hurriedly hands Guy a gun to hold. Guy apparently doesn’t realize it’s a gun until he’s already at home getting yelled at by his fiancee and her dad. After the fiancee tells Guy she doesn’t want to be with him anymore, he sort of fumbles and the gun comes out of his jacket and he points it at her. She looks at it and walks away shaking her head.

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It makes absolutely no sense. A few days later Guy brings her amicable break-up flowers. Instead he gives them to Frida, her sister whom he now definitely wants to hook-up with, and tells her all about how gang activity is heating up downtown near his boys club. That night Guy goes to read the Bible to the boys. They all run out when gunshots are heard and commence to “gang fight,” which really just consists of them running up and down a dimly lit alley hooting and hollering.

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In the ensuing confusion, Guy exits the gym and is shot by Steve, the same boy he was trying to help. Upset and dejected, Steve goes inside and asks Jesus into his heart.

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At the funeral, Donna the bitch fiancee says, “What a total waste,” in reference to Guy’s life. Just then, all the gang bangers arrive, pull out their weapons, and throw them into the casket. This includes weapons that are still totally useable for other things, such as tire irons and perfectly good lengths of chain.

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Just to keep things super grounded in reality, Guy is shown shooting out of his grave and flying up to Heaven. During the closing monologue, which Guy delivers from Heaven in a white robe, he brags that now he gets to spend all the time he wants with Frida. She’s shown standing next to him, so we can assume that she committed suicide or was violently raped and murdered shortly after Guy was killed.

Worth Mentioning:
– Filmed in and around the northern Chicago suburbs (Winnetka and Glenview?).

– Some excellent examples of 1980s-era home interiors:

– Absolutely fucking insane foyer covered in mirrored/reflective wallpaper. The entire fucking entryway of Guy’s fiancee’s house is done up like this. It’s mind blowing:

Here’s a link to a specific scene in the foyer. Warning: Video may make your fucking head explode.

– Written and directed by Fred Heeren and his organization, Day Star Research. The organization is still active, but Heeren has shifted focus to helping Christians and scientists see eye-to-eye. You can read more about it here should you be interested.

Poster and Box Art: Ordinary Guy probably did not have a theatrical release, but was just shuttled from church to church for screenings. The box art is fairly ordinary and features a guy with a bunch of text. It’s so unremarkable and I’m so lazy that I didn’t even bother to post it.

Availability: Available in full on YouTube.

One comment

  • Glad to see the site’s still going, I’ve really enjoyed these reviews, particularly your thoughts on the type-facing of ’70s stuff.

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