I LIKE BIG CRUCIFIXES AND I CANNOT LIE
Coming into Vatican Miracle Examiner, I hoped it’d be one of two things – a. the X-Files, but with priests, or b. extremely over-the-top and ridiculous with a lot of scene-chewing. It proved to be the latter, and while I do wish it was a shade more substantive, I found this first episode to be a fun trip. It was like one of the weaker episodes of Supernatural (the original, not the anime adaptation) but with bad acting and the sillier bits dialed up quite a bit. It even has the same not particularly accurate grip on religion to it.
Vatican Miracle Examiner is about a pair of priests we’re obviously supposed to ship who go all over the world determining if reported miracles are legit. They live in the Vatican normally, and I’m 100% certain that the Vatican as depicted here is true-to-life – all priests write using quills, and high church officials can have the name “Saul”. They’re sent forth to determine if a pregnant nun is, as she claims, experiencing a virgin pregnancy; if you feel anime is sorely lacking in references to hymens, daaaamn, you’re in luck right here! Things get ~spooky~, there’s satanism and stigmata, the rosaries are humongous (8″ x 5″, I swear) while the Bibles are itty-bitty, some guy’s head gets crushed, and a woman somehow sits around for ten hours on church property with a demon baby before anyone notices she’s there. Y’know, basic Catholic things! Oh, and there’s also a completely out-of-left field bit of phallic imagery which manages to be both “blink and you’ll miss it” and not even a wee bit subtle.
All in all its, um, not good. In fact, I think by most standards, it was kind of bad. But it also happens to be my kind of bad! So I was pleased with it. The visual direction is pretty dreadful, though – toooons of panning shots with cuts every few seconds (which, once noticed is impossible to un-notice), and the whole thing frequently looks muddy once the action moves to Mexico and the knocked-up virgin.