Here is the best end of the world film at the beginning of the new millennium.
-Review by David Bruce
Apocalypse III


This page was created on March 27, 2000
and was last updated on May 29, 2005

Directed by Andre Van Heerden
Writing credits Paul Lalonde Peter Lalonde

Gary Busey ....Tom Canboro
Margot Kidder .... Eileen Canboro
Nick Mancuso .... Macalousso Franco
Howie Mandel .... Jason Quincy
Leigh Lewis .... Helen Hannah
Sherry Miller
Wayne Best
Lawrence Bayne
Joseph Ziegler
Marium Carvell

You know it's faith
when it's all you have left.

Surrounded by the love of his family, police detective Tom Canboro (Gary Busey) enjoys a rich and full life. But he finds himself battling more than thieves when he takes on a mysterious group who possess frightening psychic powers. When his wife (Sherri Miller), sister (Margot Kidder) and brother in law (Howie Mandel) become the target of this dark society, he rushes to their aid. However, before he can reach them, a mystical force takes control of his car thrusting him headlong into the path of an oncoming truck.

Tom wakes up from a coma to find himself in a world that has undergone a frightening transformation. A self-appointed Messiah (Nick Mancuso) rules the world and almost everyone proudly supports a mark on their right hand signifying their allegiance to this global leader. Millions have simply disappeared, and no one left behind can remember that they even existed. In a state of confusion, Tom seeks his family and tries to make sense of a world gone mad.

At the same time he finds himself relentlessly hunted by the same dark forces he encountered before his accident. His only hope seems to lie with the members of an underground resistance led by Helen Hannah (Leigh Lewis) who are trying to expose the Messiah as the devil himself! Tom is suddenly caught in the middle of a battle as old as time in which the very souls of mankind hang in the balance. "I cannot begin to tell you of how the making of Tribulation touched my heart. When I first read the script, I cried tears of joy inside. I knew that God had prepared me, through my entire acting career, and through the trials of my life, for the making of this very movie. Tribulation is an epic story of the end-times. But it is much more than that. It is the story of God's love and of the transformation of a sinner - far from God - into a powerful man of faith."

David BruceI was pleasantly surprised by this film. After the disappointment of The Omega Code film and The End Of Days, I did not have high hopes for this one. It proved to be the best end of time film. I mean it was really good. Surprisingly good.
-Review by David Bruce


Watch Gary Busey and Margot Kidder battle over the Bible 3 minute clip on RealVideo

Watch Gary Busey avoid the 666 mark 3.49 minute clip on RealVideo

Watch Howie Mandel and Satan explain everything 8 minute clip on RealVideo

I think what makes this film work is that it is relationship driven. We care about the characters. Busey, Mandel, and Kidder all do an excellent job.
Right at the beginning of the film we are introduced to a caring family and their friends. They do not always agree with each other -especially in the area of belief in God- but, they love each other.
The relationship between husband and wife is the motivator for the film's story. The film is about their spiritual journey to a knowledge and deeper understanding of God.
The film plot is centered around the Tower of Babel story in Genesis. Students of the Bible know of the prophetic relationship between the biblical books of Revelation and Genesis. Genesis 11:6 is used: And the Lord said," Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.
The followers of the end time Antichrist have powers to kill. This is perhaps based on the idea of John 10:10a: The thief (Satan) comes to steal, kill, destroy.
Jason (Howie Mandel) is driven by these Satanic powers to jump out a window. He is hospitalize for insanity.

As the end time events continue to occur, Tom and Eileen have religious arguments over the scriptures.

Watch Gary Busey and Margot Kidder battle over the Bible 3.49 minute clip on RealVideo

In spite of their religious differences, the main characters remain committed to each other. I like this emphasis. I really do not enjoy religious differences coming between people and resulting in intolerance and division.
Tom is involved in an accident and goes into a comma, Rip Van Winkle style. He awakes to a different world. His friends are missing and the Satanic forces have nearly taken control of the world.
The world has become a big brother type world! Friends betray friends.

People now sport the Mark of the Beast, 666. Tom doesn't.

Watch Gary Busey avoid the 666 mark 3.49 minute clip on RealVideo

Tom soon finds himself a fugitive from the powers that be. He is pursued by FBI type police known as ONE. One Nation Earth.
The evil forces laugh at the sign of the cross. They are not repelled as might be true in a Dracula type film.
Spiritual contact with Satan is achieved through a virtual viewer.
Christians are presented as the underground counter culture bent on destroying the evil world order of the Antichrist.
Those who refuse the mark and to go along with the program are mentally tortured into submission. Note the cross like position of the bound young woman.
Nick Mancuso as Macalusso Franco gives one of the best portrayals of an incarnated Satan character I have seen on the screen.

Because she does not go long with the program she is executed in a cross like position. The filmmakers identify this martyr with Jesus Christ.

Watch Howie Mandel and Satan explain everything 8 minute clip on RealVideo

Films of the end time made during the 60s and 70s usually featured communism as the seat of the Antichrist. Now, there seems to be a move to toward a more critical look at the United States, as it is the present world power. Note the symbol from the US dollar over the Antichrist.
Occult symbols and tie ins are used as well.
The film ends with a successful mission of our underground counter revolutionary heroes. But more than this it ends were it started with friends and family reunited and caring for each other.
The film concludes with Tom keeping his promise to Eileen and entering a church.
The closing thought of the film is the writing on the wall of the church.


Bulletin Board:

Subject: Good Witnessing Tool.
Date: Wed, 17 May 2000
From: "Mike Furches"

I recently purchased this video after watching an interview on one of the Christian Television Programs. Being a Tulsan and having the opportunity to meet native Tulsan Gary Busy several times I had a personal issue with him portraying the character he does in the film but soon overcame some of my notions and concerns. This is a taunt little thriller that most anyone will enjoy. While Tribulation may be a high budget "Christian", production it is still a fairly low budget film. Don't worry though because what the story lacks in many regards the story and drama make up for the rest. While it is interesting to follow the story line and the what ifs' that one thinks about when discussing the end times the answers and invitations to salvation are very clear in this film. Using footage from such ministers as John Hagee and others provides numerous opportunities to share the Gospel openly while at the same time adding to the story line. This is done again, in a way that would not be offensive to the non Christian watching the film. I certainly don't know if this is the best end times thriller ever made but it is certainly very very good. It holds the viewers attention and again provides ample opportunity to share the Gospel with non believers in a casual, yet caring way. Tribulation is a film that gives a new purpose to film making, sharing the Gospel with others. I also want to make comment on Howie Mandell's performance. It was nice to see the portrayal of a person with mental illness done in an appropriate way. For far to many years the mentally ill have been portrayed in a negative light, especially among those in the Christian community and in Hollywood. Howie Mandell gives mental illness a fairly accurate portrayal and at the same time shows respect to the disease. I have always liked Howie Mandell for his underrated abilities and his portrayal here is one of the reasons why. Of course his own mental illness, obsessive compulsive disorder, is one of the reasons that he has probably shown such compassion and understanding to this disease. I do have to make one observation that I believe is relevant, primarily due to Gary Busy doing many of the promotional appearances for this film. This will continue even more so, especially if the producers have their way of eventually having Tribulation being the first film released to video first and then to the theater. We as Christians must be very careful about putting individuals up on pedestals, especially individuals who are reportedly new to the faith. Gary Busy still has a long ways to go in his new walk with the Lord and we as a community need to be careful to not place him in a position of ministry right off the bat. We need to remember that Gary Busy is an actor who has only recently spoken out about his faith in Christ and there is a lot of growing and maturing to take place yet. Even Jesus, the Son of God, prepared Himself for a period of time and surrounded Himself with followers prior to starting His ministry on earth. We as Christians seem to be in such a hurry to sometimes find heroes that we forget that we only have but one perfect example and that is Christ. To put others in a position before they are ready only does harm to that individual.
Mike Furches

Tribulation © 1999 Cloud Ten Pictures. All Rights Reserved.