Home Page > Movies Index (w/mixed oldies) > > Movie Review

US Banner

This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Spooky Stuff

Deceived on IMDb

Plot Overview

girl on computerTwo weeks ago a radio observatory in Argentina relayed a partial signal from some­where out of this world. U.S. Army Col. David Garrett (Louis Gossett Jr.) had it fed sub­liminally to Lieutenant Vasquez (Ramona Milano) who subsequently exhibited a remark­able tele­kin­esis ability. Seeing a military potential the top brass has charged the Colonel to monitor all deep space listening stations, to look for that signal's return.

puzzled ladiesIt arrived at the Shaw Observatory in the Sierra Nevadas, but communi­cation went down before they could relay it. Media mogul Emmett Shaw (Stewart Bick) is right on it. He's being flown in by heli­copter along with his Quest for Extra­ter­restrial Intel­ligence (QEI) Director Smitty Turner (Michelle Nolden,) investigative journalist Kara Walsh (Deborah Odell,) spiritual advisor Rev. Jeremiah Fletcher (Jefferson Mappin,) and chief technician Jack Jones (Judd Nelson.) They find the bunker trashed, the techies missing, and a storm brewing.

the word and prayerThe colonel and his lieutenant arrive with some army grunts to act as guards while they compel Jack to reacquire the signal. It has a mesmerizing effect on all who hear it except for Smitty an impervious Bible thumper and Jack who is near deaf. They all want it relayed for the sake of world peace, except for Smitty who questions its origin and Jack who doesn't want respon­sibility for contrary effects. Searching the on-line Bible he comes across a reference (Matt. 18:19-20) to prayer that may prove bene­ficial. The movie concludes with the derivation of its title: (2Tim. 3:1-2, 13) “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves … evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”


One WayRev. Fletcher is host of a burgeoning radio show called God's Guest, which doesn't set well with Smitty the resident Christian. The reverend wants to tap a “universal force” that will lead us to “a new level of god­hood.” Smitty sticks with the conventional gospel. She says of his new age ideas, “It's not the same, it's not even close.” In the midst of the film's closing passage is an unquoted warning against some (2Tim. 3:5) “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” This mixing of eastern religion with the gospel is what the apostle Paul spoke against in—I quote from my Greek–English Bible app.—(2Cor. 6.14) “Do not be yoked with those who are different, with unbelievers.”

computer disksPaul's justification for unmixed religious services includes a rhetorical question, (2Cor. 6.15) “For what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?” “Deceived” helps us answer that question when its characters are thrown together, and their difference of opinion whether to relay the devilish signal results in: murder, murder/suicide, multiple murders, and murderous intentions, with Christians getting the short end of the stick.

BibleRev. Fletcher attempts to turn the tables on Smitty, calling her a hypocrite, because “You work for a company whose sole purpose is to find extra­terrestrial life.” He might be confusing her with Jehovah's Witnesses who are very strict about not letting their members be business associates of non-JW's. Regular Bible believers are more lax. In 1st Corinthians Paul tells us that we can compromise with the heathen in the work­place—Criswell Study Bible preface to First Corinthians: “Some Christians needed to know whether or not they should attend the meetings of their trade guild, meetings held in the idol temples and involving meat offered to the idols (1Cor. 8:1-13)”—as long as we work it out in faith and do not stumble some­one. When it came to relaying the “message from hell,” which she for her part was not affected by, she drew a line and Shaw fired her.

I Corinthians 7In case one wonders about the off-and-on mixed faith romance between Smitty and Jack, please consider that the apostle Paul back in the day spent two or three whole years preaching in the bustling city of Corinth where Christianity had been unknown until then. He got a lot of converts, not all of them as wedded pairs, and some were undoubtedly espoused to non-christians. Marital conflicts over religious mismatch led some to write him for advice, and he responded by telling them to try to convert the unbelieving spouse, to stick with it regardless, but to let the other have a divorce if wanted. In a follow-up letter, an oblique reference is made to such circum­stances in a rhetorical question: (2Cor. 6:15) “what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?” Applied to going through with a particular marriage, it is up to the principals to decide if it is right for them; many but not all Christians decide not to marry unbelievers, and it is their personal decision, not the apostle's. As J.R.R. Tolkien's grown grand­son put it, “We're not Hindus. People have to be allowed to decide who they want to be with” (45.) The apostle, however, uses the example of mismatch strife to forbid incorporating heathenism into church services: (2Cor 6:14) “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: ...” He forbids to a congregation (“ye”) what he at most suggests to an individual (thou.)

loversSmitty tells Jack that there is room in her heart for both Jesus and him. His objections to all the “God stuff” is enough of an example to congregations not to bring unbelievers into religious service, but if she personally wants to make room for him in her life, that's her business. The closest the apostle intrudes on such decisions is when he cautions the widow not to be so man-crazy as to let him crowd out the Lord. In marrying whom­ever she wants, she's got to function (1Cor. 7:39) “in the Lord.”

Production Values

” (Video 2002) was directed by André Van Heerden. It was written by John Patus and Paul Lalonde. It stars Judd Nelson, Michelle Nolden and Stewart Bick. I was impressed by the all round consum­mate acting. The producers of a B picture sure got their money's worth. Judd Nelson was rock solid. Ramona Milano exuded menace.

It's not rated. There was no cursing in it, not even from the soldiers, but there was sexual innuendo—some of it mixed race—and a truncated kissing scene. We see a lot of stationary blood. Pistols pop. The movie runs 1½ hours and was shot in Toronto, Canada, standing in for the Sierra Nevadas of California. The sets were rather severe, contributing to the sense that there was no place to hide. By now the technology displayed is dated. The film's aspect ratio fits a television screen.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

Sometimes less is more, and the sparse sets contributed to the feeling that there was no scientific miracle available to save their bacon, it was prayer or nothing. Christians will like it, but it doesn't presume on an audience unfriendly towards religion. It brought back in me feelings of dread from 1950's sci-fi flicks. I thought it was better than a B picture had a right to be.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes. Suitability for children: Not rated, Christian-friendly. Special effects: Well, at least you can't see the strings. Video Occasion: Better than watching TV. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Unless otherwise noted, scripture is taken from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

The Criswell Study Bible. Authorized King James Version. Nashville | Camden: Thomas Nelson Pub., 1979. Print.

Tolkien, Simon. The King of Diamonds. Copyright © 2011 by Simon Tolkien. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2011. Print.