HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
Ad Astra
Winslow Boy, The
Pain and Glory
Judgment at Nuremberg
Rambo: Last Blood
Sansho the Bailiff
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
   
 
Newest Articles
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
   
 
  Ticket to Heaven Cult MovieBuy this film here.
Year: 1981
Director: Ralph L. Thomas
Stars: Nick Mancuso, Saul Rubinek, Meg Foster, Kim Cattrall, R.H. Thomson, Jennifer Dale, Guy Boyd, Dixie Seatle, Paul Soles, Harvey Atkin, Robert Joy, Stephen Markle, Timothy Webber, Patrick Brymer, Marcia Diamond, Michael Zelniker, Denise Naples
Genre: Drama
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: David (Nick Mancuso) is a directionless young man who three months ago had split up with his girlfriend Sarah (Dixie Seatle). He would help out his best friend Larry (Saul Rubinek), who was a stand up comedian dressing as a nun and various fruit and vegetables, through being a plant in the audience with a bicycle wheel prop, and it was Larry who suggested he and Sarah should spend some time apart. David decided he was right, but soon found himself on a bus to California for want of nothing better to do, spending time with a young Christian group. However, their religion took the form of a cult making money for its founders, and soon David was in over his head and effectively brainwashed.

During the early eighties, there must have been a renewed interest in the practices of brainwashing cults such as the Moonies, because not only was there Ticket to Heaven but also the similarly themed Split Image the following year. Ticket was the better of the two, and despite the disclaimer at the end saying it was a work of fiction and none of the characters were based on real people, it paints a very convincing picture of exactly how such organisations can persuade their members to part with their worldly goods - and importantly, their responsibilities - for a life of continous singing and eating vegetable stew.

The film was based on a book called Moonwebs by Josh Freed, adapted by Anne Cameron and director Ralph L. Thomas, and looks and feels like a Canadian production, though not only because someone performs a Leonard Cohen song early on. No, it has that peculiar flatness associated with films from that country, but in a way this works in Ticket to Heaven's favour as it makes it more unnerving that such a banal religious movement should have such a sway over vulnerable people, even those who might not have thought of themselves in such a position.

David is by no means a pushover, just a young man in need of a guiding hand and the cult appears in his life at exactly the right time - for them, that is. For David is put through a punishing regime of sleep deprivation, gruel-like food to starve him of protein (this renders him more malleable, apparently), intrusive confessional sessions and inane games and songs. It may not sound like a Gestapo-style crushing of the spirit, but it does its job and despite David's efforts to get away, making a break for it at one stage, all the tricks wear his personality down and soon he is selling bunches of flowers on the street in the name of his religion.

There's more to the film than that, of course, and soon Larry is concerned about what has happened to his best friend, never more so than when he receives a telephone call from him telling him very little. This is because he is phoning from a call box alongside project leader Ruthie, well played by Kim Cattrall with a relentless cheeriness that's enough to put anyone on edge. Soon Larry does a little digging, and finds out that David is part of this cult, so gathers his friends and family and they decide he needs rescuing. Larry infiltrates the religion by joining them at the same camp David went to, yet crucially they don't win him over. Now he knows what he's up against, Larry can help, but how deep does the programming go? Ticket to Heaven resembles a feature length public information film, as if it were an official warning about these organisations, but on those terms it's effective and revealing. Music by Mickey Erbe and Maribeth Solomon.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3029 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: