Go to hell.

In Mammon City!

“For the most part, this production closely follows the look and text proposed by Pastor Keenan Roberts — the Colorado minister who has done much to popularize Hell Houses by selling kits with scripts and design advice. (Suggestion for the abortion sequence: ‘a meat product that will resemble as much as possible pieces of a baby.’) But there is one significant interpolated scene that directly points the finger at those who have come to scoff.

The setting is the eighth stop on the demon-guided tour of rooms presenting hellbound sinners in action, which has already included men who marry men and a girl who goes to a rave and is gang-raped. Unlike the earlier vignettes, which have involved a lot of screaming and simulated bloodshed, this one looks comfortingly, even tediously familiar.

Three young adults sit in a coffee bar, talking about staples of cultural satire like The Onion and Jon Stewart.

One of them proposes putting together a comedy project about fundamentalist religion, and they begin riffing on the possibilities of parodying Christian rock and portraying Jesus. The conversation is interrupted by a posse of devils, who carry these wise guys straight to hell.

This segment, titled ‘The Ironists,’ was inspired by a mock ‘Hell House’ staged in Los Angeles in 2004, featuring comedians like Bill Maher and Sarah Silverman. But its inclusion in the Freres’ version has a more far-reaching resonance, and for many viewers it will probably feel more personal than any of the grislier scenes. For what ‘The Ironists’ suggests is that, according to the logic of ‘Hell House,’ the very attitude that inspired many New Yorkers — the type who wear their eyebrows in their hairlines — to buy tickets for this production is exactly what damns them to an eternity in flames.”


  1. Do you renounce Comedy Central and all of its works and pomps? I do.

    As much as I wish I could laugh at the concept of a Hell House created by bible fundamentalists, I can’t. There’s something remarkably catholic in the concept of carnally representing eternal damnation for public spectable.
    Granted, I’m sure a lot of these folks think I’m reprobate for my Popery and Marian worship, but there’s something downright medieval about this production.

    Now! If they only had a scene where corporate executives steal wages from their workers amidst those other sins that cry out to heaven for God’s vengeance. Even better, if they would make the connection between radical individualism and radical property rights with abortion. No Hell House should be complete unless everyone is offended.

  2. Cubeland Mystic says

    I just had my third Geritol Shooter, and thought of another scene. How about the kids tie up mom and dad and force them to watch 20 hours of Lawrence Welk re-runs. All the demons run around in burnt orange and baby blue leisure suits.

Speak Your Mind