One of these movies opens with a loving family gathered ‘round the ol' kitchen table to have an open and heartfelt conversation about the illness of the family's patriarch and the passing of his brother's wife. The other one is Raising Helen
, where some obnoxious harlot touts her tawdry wares in outfits seemingly designed to tempt men into committing first degree felonies. Malabimba
's opening seance, held to contact Bimba’s recently-deceased mother, may be just an old fashioned version of that demonic Ouija game (and yes, it accidentally led to the medium being temporarily possessed by a demon) but this family has a live-in nun, which automatically makes them more holy than those godless heathens that Kate Hudson is related to. Also, “thou shalt have family game night each Tuesday” may as well be the 11th commandment. Round 1 goes to Malabimba, thanks to a solid European uppercut.
This round opens with a flurry of offensive behavior from the horrid Raising Helen clan, who are so thrilled at the death of their sister, Felicity Huffman, that they seemingly throw a huge party and eat tons of fattening cakes and casseroles. Then she teaches the kids how to smoke, fills them up with pizza and hot dogs, and sleeps with them. Appalling. If this movie was called “Raising Hank” and it starred a male in the lead role, he’d be considered a pedophile for this scene. As a man of the cloth, I’ve had to be informed multiple times that sharing a bed with small children is something I should never be caught doing. That’s why I always train my new altar boys to throw my old altar boys in the incinerator when I’m done with them. It ensures that I won’t have to worry about my altar boys growing up and having some evil psychotherapist drudging up old memories, and lets my new boys know who’s boss. Round 2 also goes to Malabimba, whose live-in nun, Sofia, had to fight off an incubus or something. Good job, Sofia!
So far, Malabimba has introduced us to Bimba, a spunky 14-year-old who is going through a rough time following the death of her mother. The family does the right thing and has a young nun named Sofia stay with them to help raise her. She also has her loving father, Andrea, along with his invalid brother, Adolfo, who owns the family’s castle. Adolfo’s health is failing, so the family tries to play cupid by having his widow hook up with his already widowered-brother. That way, instead of having two sad-sacks shuffling through the castle’s hallways, you end up with one happy marriage. Now, that’s operating on all 8 cylinders. Meanwhile, Raising Helen has shown us that when a 15-year-old Hayden Panettiere is left without a mother, they ship her and her two younger siblings off to live with a single 25-year-old in NYC and then they stop just short of insisting that she become a teenage prostitute. That’s some cattywampas thinking, right there. Round 3 also goes to Malabimba, who continues to pummel Raising Helen despite Helen’s high-risk maneuvers!
Little Bimba is fast becoming a woman. Her father is getting nervous about her odd behavior and thinks he may need a doctor, an exorcist, or who knows maybe a sexorcist to help out! But with a good motherly example in the ways of womanhood from her Aunt Nais, and strong spiritual guidance from Sister Sofia, Bimba may just make a holy woman yet. First, she needs to practice those “ways of womanhood”, and so she does. With a teddy bear. With Santa Claus. With Uncle Adolfo’s immobile body. You see, if Malabimba can teach us anything, it’s that it takes a whole family to raise a child. Meanwhile, Helen is over here trying to seduce a man of God to get a discount on the tuition. (That never works on me, you see, I got those altar boys...) The best lesson about parenthood that this movie has taught is how to beat disobedient children with an aluminum baseball bat. Round 4 goes to Malabimba, for her devotion to family values and considerably more awesome use of foreign objects!
This live-in nun concept may just be the greatest idea in the history of religion. Every family that is struggling to raise a rowdy teenager should invite a member of the clergy to live in their homes until that little demon inside them is exorcised. These kids bring the devil into your home through their secular music, their revealing clothing, and their insistance on using hashtags in every sentence. Trying to prepare their adderall-soaked brains for the coming wrath of God and instilling in them a finality of life, in 140 characters or less, can be #INFURIATING. In Raising Helen, the children are faced with the death of their pet turtle. Instead of using this as an opportunity to teach the kids some healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with the inevitable end of life, Helen and the wayward Pastor sneak out to the pet store to replace little Irwin without the kids noticing. Malabimba decides to take a more head-on approach, by not just letting Bimba see the corpse of her dead uncle, but by allowing her to participate in his death. Bimba knows death now. She is comfortable with it. She is prepared for the rapture. Round 5 goes to Malabimba, with a bear hug.
The Deacon’s Decision:
Teenagers are among the vilest creatures on this earth. Each and every one of them is filled with lust and an urge to disobey the totally reasonable rules that the church has in no way arbitrarily thrust upon them. Being born into a family of faith means that you must also follow that same faith for the entirety of your life if you want to get in to heaven. Questioning your parent’s or God’s authority while you’re a teenage makes you a bad person. If you’re a teen and you are having a crisis of faith or are considering rebelling against authority, ask yourself “what would Jesus do?” The answer, of course, is to immediately jump from being 12 years old to being 36 years old. The Bible is very clear on this, Jesus was never a teenager, so you shouldn’t be one either.
If you’re the parent of a disobedient teenager who is listening to what they’re told in the media by the Rihannas, the Kim Kardashians, and the Mary Tyler Moores of the world; then you need to step up and take back your child. There is no better way to raise your kid than to plop them in front of the TV for a few hours while you go out and treat yourself to something nice, you know, I think we can all agree that you do deserve a new phone case. Before you head out to that mall kiosk, throw a copy of Malabimba on and let it teach your wretched little one a thing or two about life. When you get back, I think you’ll be a happier, and holier, family for it. Malabimba wins the match with a flying nun headbutt off the top of the castle, Benoit-style.