Movie Night: Missionary Positions

A documentary about a pair of minister dudes on a crusade to rid the world of porn... or something.

Missionary Positions (2005)

Missionary Positions is a documentary from 2005 about a quaint pair of minister dudes, Craig and Mike, who had a ~crazy~ idea: to, uh, do something about the uh, problem of porn. Or something. It’s kind of murky. I don’t think even they know what their focus is. The movie actually begins with Mike saying, “most people don’t believe it, but Craig and I are ordained ministers.”

The idea for the enterprise came to Mike while he was in the shower — a story he likes to tell time and again at his talks as though it isn’t the most skeezy basis for an anti-porn ministry ever. And I quote:

I do a lot of thinking and praying in the shower . . . God spoke to me, and he said the word porn.

Rather than assuming that was just his horny brain talking, Mike took it as a sign and a “calling.” He remembered how he’s seen the issue of porn “popping up” in youth groups lately (yes, that was the actual choice of words), and heck, if God wanted him to do something about it, who was he to say no? He took the proposition to his friend, Craig, who thought he was nuts until he heard the URL idea: XXXChurch.com. Dude knows a good domain name when he hears it, and so XXXChurch.com, a “church that only exists on the internet,” was purchased.

It was at this point they realized that they’d have to somehow fill the site with content. And the brainstorming began.

Computer screen with a text file open which reads in a large font, "PORN SUCKS"

After coming to that profound conclusion, they Googled “anti-porn” and copy-pasted lists of statistics off anti-porn websites and onto theirs. SEEMS LEGIT.

The documentary really takes off when Craig and Mike decide they must “investigate” this problem “firsthand,” so they go on what they call “Porn Patrols” to places like Amsterdam, then to a porn addiction recovery house where scissors are taken to the newspapers before the patients can see them. Craig and Mike have the brilliant idea of attending a porn convention, then the even more genius idea to have one of their wives dress up in a bunny suit and go by the name “Rex the Rabbit.”

Craig and Mike's booth at a porn convention, where they sit alone with their rabbit friend.

Of course, this results in convention attendants groping the bunny. CUE THE SAD SAX MUSIC.

They also do an event called “Porn and Pancakes,” which SOUNDS AWESO — wait.

Old people eating breakfast.

Along the way, they meet all kinds of disgusting, perverted porn addicts who are willing to talk about their OBVIOUS PROBLEM without even flinching. Ugh, just look at these freaks:

A kid with bleach-blonde spiky hair and a smirk on his face, answering the question "what do you look at?"
This kid is kind-of my hero.
Dude at a porn convention wearing cool shades.
Some other dude staring in the glow of a computer screen.

Then somehow, they talk a craggy rich guy into giving them $50,000 (probably because their pitch involves little more than the sentence “we’re a new ministry attacking an issue that nobody wants to address”), which they proceed to spend on billboards, computer software that sends your entire browsing history to an “accountability partner” every 14 days, a misspelled banner flown over a beach,

A banner in the sky which reads, "#1 CHRITIAN PORN"

and a jaw-droppingly offensive commercial featuring a little person in which a voiceover actually truly really says, “if only someone would’ve warned Eddie that porn would stunt his growth.”

Their offensive commercial with a little person trying to reach a skateboard on a wall.

Much to their surprise, most of these things are failures! Plus, their prayer wall was hacked! And Craig is busy spending his travel allowance on a luxury hotel! Mike is over it. “Does it look like I’m fighting porn?!” he cries out to the camera. “…stupid.”

Mike in his office, looking resigned.

But things are about to turn around. They’re about to meet a most mystifying creature by the name of Jimmy D. (not to be confused with the delicious one). He is exactly what you imagine when you imagine a guy who makes porn — long hair, ancient computer, pink spiderweb light wall adornment…

JIMMY D. PORNOGRAPHER. In front of a set of pink twinkle lights shaped like a cobweb.

AND YET. He is on their side?! He wants to help them?! He offers to shoot their next commercial for free, which ends up being a puppet show that I can’t even decipher. Of course, while we’re at it, we also learn that Jimmy D. pretty much hates the porn business. We’re treated to some choice quotes about gaping and ass-to-mouth before we witness a girl wretching on a porn set. It is at this point that they throw in a random “therapist” who contributes the tidbit that porn use is a “spiral” into bestiality.

But that’s as political as this documentary gets: a single therapist with a spurious line of reasoning and a pornographer who hates shooting the kind of sex he feels he has to shoot. This is a documentary refreshingly devoid of facts, and there’s something weirdly tepid about Mike and Craig’s viewpoint. They never explain whether they’re against all porn and all masturbation, which makes it easier for me not to hate them. This is probably the only anti-porn documentary I’ll ever watch that will conjure so little rage in me, and I’m gonna savor it.

Craig and Mike are just two harmless guys who decided to base their life’s work on a whisper from God during a shower. Even if their entire ministry is based on a knee-jerk reaction to porn, who cares?

Besides…

The XXXChurch car, which looks like it's advertising an energy drink or somethnig.

They have a really badass ride.