Jehovah’s Cobras (2014) – By Misty Layne

Although the overt story in this short film, that clocks in just around nine minutes, is the story of a man named Levi (Kevin Geezil) who has lost a sporting bet to Legbreaker (Scott Nadeau) and his inability to pay up, there is also an underlying tale of religion. Unfortunately, I’m not entirely sure what that tale of religion is…although there’s a possibility that’s done on purpose to let the viewer take what they will away from the film. A possibility…

We start by viewing Levi praying desperately in front of a television as he watches a baseball game. His team loses and we next hear a call from Legbreaker saying that he is coming over that night for what is due him. The next character to be introduced is Sister (Stacie Seidl) as she goes from house to house proselytizing, only to have doors slammed in her face. She has along with her a baby carriage that holds a large basket and preaches about people seeing visions, drinking poison and handling snakes. From there we cut back to Levi who has gone to his parents’ house to see if they will lend him money. They won’t and he leaves utterly dejected only to be attacked by a vision of Legbreaker, which Sister also sees and which she runs over to eliminate. And from there things just get weird.

Actually, I take that back. The first strange thing to happen is how Levi’s parents are dressed. There were no mentions of any dates or seasons that I saw but his father is dressed as a sporty clown while his mother is dressed as a witch. We do see through old home movie footage that his father was abusive, so maybe that makes him a clown in Levi’s eyes and his mother a witch for (I assume) not stopping it? I have no idea. And after Levi meets Sister, he seems to go through some sort of religious conversion via hallucinations involving a cobra and a pig umpire because after that he and Sister happily drink poison and eat glass together. Oh and Legbreaker does show up for his money but there’s a twist for that.

I actually looked up the name "Levi" to see what the religious connotations are and it seems to vary from faith to faith but the most common component I found was that it apparently meant "priest", which the Levi here definitely was not. So I’m still stuck when it comes to the religious tones here – do we take things at face value that it was just Levi’s lucky day to run across a woman who preaches about religion and works with visions and snakes? Or is it all just symbolism for Levi wanting to run away from his own demons and apparently not so stellar childhood? I honestly have no clue.

Practical effects instead of CGI is one thing this film has going for it. As for the rest, it seems like maybe they were going for a Lynchian vibe (reminded me of "The Alphabet") but even that isn’t entirely clear. So to sum up, I guess watch and take away what you will…

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