Rik Swartzwelder is a nervous wreck—and he's the first to admit it. "Scared to death," he says.

The young filmmaker didn't like the way The Passion of The Christ was pitched from pulpits a couple of years ago, and he feels like the church has gotten way too cozy with the idea of marketing Hollywood movies. So he responded the best way he knows how: He made a movie about it.

Swartzwelder, a Christian, wrote and co-produced The McPassion, a four-minute satire about the way Mel Gibson's film—and others since—became fodder for the marketing machine, which, to Swartzwelder, included churches and pastors making their own sales pitches. Swartzwelder's friend Benjamin Hershleder directed and co-produced The McPassion, described on the back of the DVD cover as, "The greatest story ever told and a fast-food giant unite to deliver the tie-in of tie-ins. While supplies last."

The result is a biting send-up that has Swartzwelder nervous about how it will be received. He's had a few private screenings, and says the reactions have been mixed. He says some filmmakers, college profs, and even a few of his Christian friends are already mad at him, calling his film blasphemous and sacrilegious.

Brian Godawa apparently digs it. Godawa, author (Hollywood Worldviews) and screenwriter (To End All Wars), says, "The McPassion is a New Testament equivalent of an Old Testament prophecy challenging the idolatry of the church in embracing the world in its commercialization. For those who would be offended, The McPassion is tame compared to Ezekiel's sarcastic 'short film' of Israel whoring away like a prostitute in heat in Ezekiel 23. Exegete that!"

You can decide for yourself: The McPassion is available via streaming video at the official ...

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