Film: Even Jesus Can’t Save This ‘Tulsa’

Scott Pryor describes himself as an attorney, Marine, actor, producer, director and writer — in that order. So it figures that in his vanity project Tulsa — where he has credits for writing, directing and production for a film studio that he also owns — his own acting seems to strive for the nuances of a Chuck Norris or Steven Segal in the inert portrayal of a mechanic who is told he has a 9-year-old daughter.

Because she’s been living in foster families, she’s come to live with him, and he wants no part of it. Tulsa – that’s her name; the movie was shot in Augusta, Ga. — is a little insistent on her religious beliefs, reading the Bible on the playground and asking her social worker almost immediately, “Do you believe in Jesus?”

Tulsa isn’t fully enamored with her newfound father figure at first, either. “You’re scruffy!” she informs him. 

And she has no patience with his lifestyle. “You know, you shouldn’t smoke or drink. It’ll kill you,” she scolds.

“So will children,” he scowls.

Such is the height of witty repartee in Tulsa (or maybe it’s another exchange in the same scene: “Have you found Jesus?” “I didn’t know he was missing”).

In the same back and forth, by the way, the gruff guy mentions that his favorite movie is Blackbear, a plug for Pryor’s previous self-produced movie about fighting that church groups probably won’t be gathering to see. 

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