What Is the Die Hard of Easter? An Investigation

No, it’s not ‘Passion of the Christ’
April 14, 2017, 12:30pm
Photo Illustration by Celeste Yim.

Putting aside the advanced state of our society's decay into godless secularism and/or radical Islam, it's weird that the Christmas holiday weekend is a way bigger cultural deal than Easter. I mean it makes sense that the winter holiday is a bigger hit, because the Christmas holidays are way more amenable to the consumerist death-drive with which the West has replaced its soul, so, that probably explains why celebrating the holidays features so prominently in film and music. Commercial radio doesn't become unlistenable for a month and a half with songs about magic rabbits making out with our parents, but yet we gotta listen to 40 years of recording artists covering a song about some old bat kissing an elf. Fuck Christmas radio, basically, is what I'm saying.


Easter though—and I'm speaking theologically here—is the more important holiday for a Christian society. Obviously Christmas is a big deal because it's Jesus' birthday, but taken on its own it's just about celebrating a sublimely chill baby getting some excellent perfumes in a barnyard. Easter is actually what makes Jesus singularly important to human history and its relationship to God Almighty. It's the event that confirms Christmas is special. The empty tomb on Easter is what makes it Christianity.

Plus, like, it's the spring holiday. Crucifixion and chocolate eggs were pasted over some deliriously hypersexual pagan fertility festivals that the Roman Catholic Church found too hot to handle. That is much better than the "let's not be depressed in winter" holiday.

AND YET there are like, no movies about Easter. There are forty trillion films about violently assaulting criminals at Christmas but literally the only three movies about the most important moment in universal history is Monty Python's The Life of Brian (blasphemous), The Last Temptation of Christ (blasphemous), and The Passion of the Christ (orthodox, but all the dialogue is subtitled, so unwatchable). Fucking Die Hard is [the greatest] Christmas movie. Where is the Die Hard of Easter?

To answer this question, I established very rigorous criteria:

  • Couldn't be literally about the Easter story, but should in some way reflect the basic doctrine of Christ's substitutionary atonement

  • Should ideally involve rabbits

  • Any other arbitrary criteria I felt like. Fuck you.


Here are the candidates, in no particular order, except that my choice is the last one because I don't feel like it would make sense, structurally, to place it at the top of the list let alone somewhere randomly in the middle:


RoboCop is an extremely powerful cop resurrected from the dead to "serve the public trust, protect the innocent, and uphold the law." This is basically the Gospel story, except better, because he's a robotic cop. Also, the part where RoboCop can't arrest the corrupt executive who helped make him asks deep questions about the figure and teachings of Christ Himself in comparison with the corruption present in all human attempts to institute His teachings and use them for personal gain. When Murphy shoots Jones out the window at the end, he's demonstrating the ultimate promise of God's justice.


On the one hand, this is a story of personal redemption where Bob Hoskins helps a cuckolded cartoon rabbit escape a false murder charge and avert a genocide and, along the way, discover the power of self-forgiveness and revenge. On the other hand, the film's intermingling of Warner Bros. and Disney proprietary cartoon characters recalls William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, which is a smooth slide into the Lake of Fire, so, it's hard to really recommend this one as an Easter flick.


This film briefly killed Kevin Smith's film career before its resurrection in Chasing Amy, which technically makes it more of a Good Friday movie if anything. But Jay and Silent Bob do assault an Easter Bunny at the mall, so.


I watched this movie approximately 800 times between grade 10 and my third year of university, and I'm pretty sure the movie is about Donnie Darko accessing the power of time travel by tapping into God's knowledge of all possible human positions in the space-time continuum and using this knowledge to go back and die in a freak plane engine accident that will, retroactively in the future, spare the lives and feelings of his friends and loved ones. I think. That's pretty Christ-like. Also, Darko's spirit-guide/schizophrenic hallucination is a dude in a terrifying rabbit suit named Frank, so we can tick off that box too. It's set at Halloween, but that's just, like, the devil's Easter.



The iceberg is the inflexible demands of cosmic justice whereby the Lord requires that He sacrifice His son to Himself to change rules about punishing sin that He made, and the boat is man's hubris. Although Jack eventually sacrifices his life so that Rose gets that piece of driftwood all to herself, it's not really Christian insofar as the poor person dies and the rich person lives forever, lich-like, until she throws her phylactery into the ocean and is destroyed. Pretty sure that's not the story I learned in Sunday school.


The scene where Renee Zellweger sits in the flower garden dressed as a Playboy bunny while talking to her dad dressed as a priest discussing his failed marriage or whatever seems like it could be symbolic? Like maybe about how no one respects the Anglican church anymore? I never saw this one, sorry.


An atheist is possessed by the spirit of a dissident Catholic priest and begins displaying the miraculous wounds of Christ on her body while also reciting the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas in the original Aramaic words of Jesus, which discloses that Catholicism is fake and that rigid, joyless, sola scriptura Protestant mysticism is the true road to salvation that the Pope has concealed for thousands of years. Fuck yes. 5/5 stars, death to Vatican City.


Y'all ready for this? Michael Jordan retires from basketball in 1993. He descends into the bowels of the earth to save Bugs Bunny and his friends from eternal imprisonment in an evil amusement park. He beats some alien demons at basketball and then they banish Satan to the moon. Michael Jordan then comes out of retirement as the secret saviour of the world. This is a clear allegory for the Harrowing of Hell and the entire economy of salvation. Also, like Bruce Willis, Michael Jordan is bald.

Obviously the answer is Space Jam. Space Jam is the Die Hard of Easter. God bless.

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