Insomnia File #38: Six: The Mark Unleashed (dir by Kevin Downes)


What’s an Insomnia File? You know how some times you just can’t get any sleep and, at about three in the morning, you’ll find yourself watching whatever you can find on cable? This feature is all about those insomnia-inspired discoveries!

If on Sunday night, if you were having trouble getting to sleep around midnight and if you lived in North Texas, you could have turned over to channel 58 and watched a 2004 film called Six: The Mark Unleashed.

Six: The Mark Unleashed is an evangelical film about the end of the world.  By that, I mean there’s a lot of talk about tribulation, the mark of the Beast, and all the rest of that.  The whole world is one big secular dystopia, in which people who refuse to accept the mark of the beast are sent to prison and given the choice of either getting the mark or getting their head chopped off.

I think one reason why so many faith-based films deal with the end of the world is because it allows characters to rebel, break the law, blow stuff up, and steal cars while still getting to remain a believer.  I mean, usually, you run into the problems of turning the other cheek and giving unto Caesar what is Caesar’s but, once you’ve been left behind, you can pretty much do anything you want because you’re fighting against Satan.

Now, admittedly, the car thieves in Six aren’t into religion.  They’re just rebels who didn’t want to get the mark and who are talked into stealing a car by Eric Roberts.  (That’s right, Eric Roberts is in this movie.  Eventually, Eric Roberts will be in every movie.)  Anyway, the two thieves get caught in that stolen car and they get sent to prison.

Also getting sent to prison is Tow Newman, who is a smuggler who was arrested by his own ex-wife!  Tom is given the option of either losing his head or infiltrating a group of Christians and killing their leader.  What’s interesting about this is that Tom is played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan.  That’s right.  Negan is in this movie!  Morgan goes all in and does a pretty good job as Tom.  In fact, I’d say his performance here is more interesting than his work on The Walking Dead.  It helps, of course, that Tom is the only person in the film who actually has a character arc.

Stephen Baldwin’s in the movie, too.  That’s not really a shock because it’s a proven statistic that 9 out of 10 evangelical movies will feature Stephen Baldwin.  Anyway, Baldwin plays Luke, who is a prison preacher and who teaches everyone about peace and forgiveness.  He gets beat up for his troubles.

In the end, it all leads to three characters being tortured until they agree to accept the mark of the beast.  Two of them refuse and lose their heads.  One says yes and regrets it forever.  Try to guess who does what!  It’s fun.

Anyway, I have to admit that I always find these low-budget, independent films to be a little bit fascinating.  It’s always interesting to me to see movies that were obviously made with one very specific audience in mind, whether that audiences is religious, political, or whatever.  Six is the type of film that, quite literally, preaches to the choir.  Those who share its vision of the end of the world will nod in agreement.  Those who do not will roll their eyes.  Both sides will probably end up getting too worked up, since that’s what people tend to do.  Myself, I just find myself wondering if there’s any role that Eric Roberts would turn down.

Previous Insomnia Files:

  1. Story of Mankind
  2. Stag
  3. Love Is A Gun
  4. Nina Takes A Lover
  5. Black Ice
  6. Frogs For Snakes
  7. Fair Game
  8. From The Hip
  9. Born Killers
  10. Eye For An Eye
  11. Summer Catch
  12. Beyond the Law
  13. Spring Broke
  14. Promise
  15. George Wallace
  16. Kill The Messenger
  17. The Suburbans
  18. Only The Strong
  19. Great Expectations
  20. Casual Sex?
  21. Truth
  22. Insomina
  23. Death Do Us Part
  24. A Star is Born
  25. The Winning Season
  26. Rabbit Run
  27. Remember My Name
  28. The Arrangement
  29. Day of the Animals
  30. Still of The Night
  31. Arsenal
  32. Smooth Talk
  33. The Comedian
  34. The Minus Man
  35. Donnie Brasco
  36. Punchline
  37. Evita

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