The Nostramus Kid

I loved this 1993 movie about growing up Adventist in Australia.

John Gowlett posts to my YT comments:

Although I was brought up in The Salvation Army, which makes an appearance in the finals scenes of The Nostradamus Kid, as a Ken Elkins play, and is only a slightly changed play from The Salvation Army musical “The Blood of the Lamb” – I can identify with everything in this movie.
The Salvation Army was not quite as obsessed with the end of the world as they were to send their officers as missionaries to the ends of the earth in order proclaim the Gospel and save lives by God-bothering the locals.
I could identify with chasing all the pretty girls, and even had my own Jennie O’Brien, not so much the daughter of a newspaper publisher, but the daughter of a well-to-do city engineer for Perth, Western Australia. Similarly her father disapproved of my relationship with his daughter and she had to rush down the stairs and out the door when I came to pick her up and take he out. Luckily, he never called the cops on me.
Equally, I asked the type of questions Ken asks at camp, all in vain, in an effort to understand those who interpreted the Bible for us; this was more to control the likes of me, and retain the young members in the Army of the Lord, than to really save more souls to the cause.
We went on camps too, but by the mid 1970s the camps were well established properties with comfortable buildings, where the youth of the different corps gathered to further our indoctrination. Instead, when a film was put on late on a Saturday night to tire the youth, the dark room became the place where the cool boys and the pretty girls cuddled and kissed until the floor was writhing with French kissing and heavy petting that we had been strongly warned against as a sin that was clearly within our scope.
The next day, the Captain in charge of the camp served up his sermon, a sermon we’d never forget, about having never seen such a display of debauchery and if this is what we got up to in public, what would we be doing in private? I guess only a witness to the back seats of our cars could answer that question, but we smirked knowingly.
As Salvationist youth, most of us did not bother to drink alcohol, because that could be detected by parents too easily and cause too much unnecessary grief for us; all the while we practiced other sins, like rooting the church girls. Some of us, like Ken, got quite good at it too. The girls were quite willing too, as much like other primitive cultures, the girls were keen to snag the best husbands by well rehearsed methods such as decorating themselves in the uniform and bonnet, along with the accompanying hair and make up to match, and making themselves as accommodation to the boys wishes on a Saturday night, just hours before they’d both be singing the praises to God in the Sunday meetings and looked upon by the Corps hierarchy as the fine youth who would make up the future of The Salvation Army.
Many of my peers did indeed make themselves available for full time ministry by attending the Training College in Melbourne, but eventually most came to the same conclusion as me, that perhaps they had been persuaded against their true will and that although many life values had been learned from attending the community of this church, their happiness lay elsewhere and many, just like Wayland and Sarai, started to experience the things of life that they denied themselves while striving to be as good as they could, for a God they are now not sure even exists.
5 STARS (but mostly because it tells much of my own story)

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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