Hell, why not? We have Scare Films about drugs, atomic attacks, highway safety, and sex hygiene, so why not some good old-fashioned Protestant propaganda about the Big G Himself.
As becomes quickly obvious, Christian teens are living, breathing, walking loaves of Wonder Bread. All are so gosh-darned polite and drink a lot of milk, at least so sayeth the following three Family Films presentations offered here. It’s sort of like Leave It to Beaver meets Jesus Christ. So do as these Christian Youths do and get yourself saved!
Appropriately, this volume begins with a real religious rarity: A Preview of Teenage Crusade is a 12 minute trailer promoting the whole series of Family Films’ Christian Youth shorts -- "to help you have a dynamic Teenage Crusade in your church" -- in which the Rev. Donald R. Lantz hosts clips from Teenagers’ Parents, Teenage Code, Teenage Loyalty, Teenage Testament, Called to Serve, and, yes, Teenage Crusade. It’s the perfect tool against Teenage Devil Worshippers in your community!
Then, in Teenage Conflict (1960), close-cropped, basement-dwelling electronics buff (and marbles champion) Joe starts wondering how the theories of God can co-exist with those of his beloved science: "Things in the Bible don’t make sense anymore, not when you look at ’em scientifically!" Choosing science over the Lord, Joe attempts to sway his folks to his side by inviting a prominent scientist over for supper which worries Mom and Dad HAYDEN RORKE (Dr. Bellows on I Dream of Jeannie!): "How can a man with a mind like that be so blind to the very Creator Himself?" But -- oops! The plan backfires and God wins!
Teenage Witness (1959) finds close-cropped locksmith buff Terry asked by tough heathen classmate Rod (Lost in Space’s MARC GODDARD) to teach him the key-making trade for obvious, less-than-holy purposes. But Terry (who’s nicknamed "Holy Joe") appeals to Rod’s good side by buying him a Bible and getting Rod to attend a Christian Youth group. Yup, God wins again! "I finally got hep to a lot of things I should’a known," says the future Irwin Allen TV star!
And in Teenage Code (1959), snout-nosed art buff Bill is asked by a gang of hoodlums to paint a mural on their clubhouse wall by offering the faint promise of membership once the job is finished. Bill is hesitant. To get him to finish, they give him the answers to the upcoming history quiz. Bill cheats until his conscience gets to him and he rips up his test paper, prompting concern from his noble teacher. "Don’t ya see? Cheating or lying or any other kind of dishonesty is contrary to everything a Christian stands for!" The winner in a three-peat: God!
These squeaky clean religious shorts will certainly put you on the right path to salvation. So do yourself a favor. Watch these, become Christianized, and get down on your knees.
From 16mm prints, on loan from the Lord. -- Rod Lott, Hitch magazine
Year: 1950s 1960s
Starring: Hayden Rorke
Co-starring: Marc Goddard