Ask an Atheist with Sam Mulvey

Plug Rich's Hole!

Rich holding shakeweights
As we mentioned on last week’s episode, our very own Rich Lyons, spent years in a fundamentalist cult that believed that secular movies and TV shows were the work of the Devil. As a consequence of such, there is a 25+ year hole in Rich’s pop culture experience.

It’s time to plug Rich’s hole!

Can you believe that before he met his wife, Deanna, that Rich had never even seen Back to the Future, Robocop, or Ghostbusters? This cannot stand, man!

Help us help Rich. If you know an awesome — or even just amusing — movie from the past 20 – 25 years that you think Rich ought to see, let him know! Click the big red button on the top of the page to email us or post your suggestions here in the comment thread below. Don’t assume he’s already seen it.

Sure, this isn’t the worst offense we can lay in the lap of religion, but it’s one of the easiest ones to fix! Please send your movie suggestions!

Also, while you’re at it, check out Rich and Deanna’s awesome podcast, Living After Faith! You’ll be glad you did!

About the Author: Mike Gillis

Mike Gillis is co-creator, and co-host of Ask an Atheist. He hosts the Radio vs. the Martians! and Mike and Pรณl Save the Universe! podcasts. He also enjoys comic books, the Planet of the Apes, and the band Queen.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

20-25 years of backlog?! D’oh! He needs to catch up on The Simpsons.


The man is going to need a Netflix subscription.


“Hudson Hawk”, “The Man Who Knew Too Little”, and “Earth Girls are Easy”


Have to see The Matrix.


Hmmm well first I would go with any and all Pixar movies then:
American Beauty
Forrest Gump
Shawshank Redemption
Batman(both the Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan versions)
Pulp Fiction
Resevoir Dogs
Kill Bill 1 & 2
When Harry Met Sally
Titanic(yawn, culturally relevant)
The Abyss
Schindler’s List
Spider Man
There that’s a start. Good Luck!

Shaded Spriter

I am glad someone else has suggested it already – But I was going to suggest The Shawshank Redemption. Excellent movie – excellent book – both are my top of all time.

I would also put both Bill and Ted Films on the list. and to add something not from the past 20-25 years – Metropolis.


Beside the big movies, like LOTR, Star Wars, Indiana Jones…

Serenity/Firefly(and everything Joss Whedon did)
Army of Darkness/Evil Dead
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy(BBC-Version, if possible)
Shaun of the Dead
Hot Fuzz
The Blues Brothers
Life of Brian

Sam Mulvey

Hudsucker Proxy?

John-Henry Beck

I’d like to suggest Blade Runner and The Princess Bride for some great ones. The 5th Element is fun, as is The Mummy. And you have to get some Mel Brooks in, like Blazing Saddles.


Let’s see… I have some TV Shows/Movies he should watch, and he definitely needs a Netflix subscription!

Doctor Who
The Goonies
Super Troopers
Beer Fest
Reno 911

That’s what I can think of off the top of my head, but you might want to corner him with a marathon of Mystery Science Theater 3000.. you know.. just cause ๐Ÿ˜€


Rich, I highly recommend Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Best movie with a high school abortion, EVER!! Monty Python is always a win. I recommend the Life of Brian, which is a spoof of jesus’s life. Then there’s the ever popular Quest for the Holy Grail. Epic.

My wife recommends Mr. Holland’s Opus, mostly because her taste differs so much from mine.

PS, Ask an Atheist AND Living After Faith are my fav podcasts. You guys are simply superb. Thanks so much for all the work you do.

fred jones


One of the most effective time travel films.

fred jones

These are classics….

Conan the barbarian – rare non crap fantasy film
Starship troopers – piss take on government- war
Kingfrat -classic “filthy” college movie
The Abyss – Great scifi
Alien -Great scifi
Fast Times at Ridgemont High Perfect “80’s” Film
Saving private Ryan Spectaclar Action war


Yeah, Baby! Austin Powers! Shall he watch it now or shall he watch it later?

Take the day off work and kick back with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Then when he’s really ready for ludicrous speed, Spaceballs!

And finish with 4 of my favourite crime-themed movies:

The Usual Suspects
Sin City


Can’t miss a couple of the most classic comedies from the 80’s:

Real Genius (w/ Val Kilmer)
Better Off Dead (w/ John Cusack)

I have never met anyone who has seen Real Genius and didn’t enjoy it.

I also like many of the ones already mentioned, ESPECIALLY Shawshank Redemption. Damn that’s a good movie.


My hubby and I have very eclectic tastes so here are several off the top of my head. Red Dwarf (Series) Dark Crystal Labyrinth (Jim Henson’s 1986) Futurama Series and Movies Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels The Crying Game (This one came out just after I left my A/G pentecostal church so it’s special to me) Aeon Flux cartoon was okay but the series rocked. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) The Big Bang Theory (TV Series One of my new favorites if you haven’t caught it.) V (1983 original Series, I wouldn’t bother with the other series from the ’80s,… Read more »

George Morris

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


Rich should watch some episodes of I Love the 80’s & I Love the 90’s.


Some really great suggestions here, I don’t know how you’d watch all of these in a row. I guess I’ll throw in my 2 cents.

In my sole opinion (I’ve checked, and nobody agrees), you cannot beat “Joe vs. the Volcano”.

That is all.

The True Scotsman

Hi Rich I’m guessing that you know little about other cultures outside of the U.S. so I’ve selected a few movies that will help you maybe understand the rest of the world, at least a little. I’m a film buff and did a Cinema History course recently at Uni. Local Hero (Scottish) – American Oil Company wants to develop a remote Scottish beach into a refinery. The joke is the locals want to sell but hold out for more money. Il Postino(Italian) – A simple postman learns to love poetry to woo a beautiful woman whilst forming a friendship with… Read more »

Sam Mulvey

Seconding Local Hero. I’ve got Downfall subbed, I’ve been meaning to show it to people. Actually, most of The True Scotsman’s list is gold. Though I will say the American La Cage remake, “The Birdcage”, is worth seeing for Nathan Lane. Lisa: Red Dwarf is pretty well known around here, since it was on the local PBS affiliate for a million years. I’m from Chicago, where the brit sci-fi was Dr. Who. Being a Red Dwarf fan was subversive. Then I moved here. I re-watched V recently (the Mark Singer version) and it didn’t age particularly well, but I have… Read more »

Jess M


-DEXTER The SHowtime Series

-The Hitchhikers guild the the galaxy.

-The Fifth element

-The man from earth

-Garden stat(and anything else you can find with Natalie Portman in it)


-Forest Gump

-The Die Hard Trilogy

-Lord of the rings Trilogy

-Star Trek: The Next Generations

-Star Ship Troopers 1.

-The Boondock saints 1.


-Fight Club

-Office Space


I know this is late but I got into a discussion on a forum and realized I hadn’t mentioned it. Has anyone mentioned Paul? It’s only been out for a short while but it’s a pretty good flick. If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it.


C’mon folks. There must be more to pop culture than movies.Y’know think, along the lines of popular memes like “F-ing Magnets, how do they work?” or “All your base belong to us” except for someone who just woke up from a coma since 1975. Or Rubik’s cubes to iPads, Atari 2600 to 3DS, wall to wall polyester to custom ring tones..

Not that there weren’t soem outstanding movies suggested.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x