This one is just plain batshit crazy. Sorry for the foul language, but no other words come close. In fact, I could probably stop this review right here.
But I won't.
The Mad Machine has a lot in common with The Beast, in that both reveal far too much about Jack Chick's paranoid state of mind. There's no mention of the End Times in Machine, however. Or, for that matter, a machine. Instead, this tract's purpose is to demonstrate how bad things are for the world, make fun of people who think they have the answers, and finally demonstrate how much better things would be if we'd only accept Jesus as our Saviour.
Out of all the topics of ridicule, therapy takes the most hits. Jack portrays mental health treatment as if it were still in the dark ages. "There's no peace or compassion in (group therapy)... only putdowns, anger and tears." Speaking as someone who has benefited from group therapy, I can truthfully say that Jack is full of crap.
All of his taunts come with blanket statements like: "New marriage problems are plaguing the home" and "Experts predict a world-wide depression." Where does he get this information? Who are these "experts" he speaks of? Another statement begins with: "It's been reported that..." Reported where? Jack does not say; he's become as lazy as every other tract writer!
The Mad Machine ends with a devout old lady. Jack loves devout old ladies, and has featured them as heroes in his tracts at least as often as Bible Bob and Li'l Susy. This tract's devout old lady tells a man in a suit that God will take care of all her problems. "I understand your husband is dead," the suited, bespectacled man says. "Your money is almost gone, you have no relatives and you have cancer, right?" The way anyone would raise such sensitive topics. She isn't phased in the slightest; "those problems are the Lord's responsibility... not mine!" The suited man (who he is and what he's doing there are never revealed) asks, "Do you really think this Jesus can help you?" Which is funny, because the old lady hasn't mentioned Jesus' name yet! She tells him what Jesus did to Save everybody, but neglects to inform the dude how to actually get Saved. And while Jesus is stated to be "the only way to Heaven," mo mention is made of Hell. It is not like Jack to take the soft approach.
The old lady sums up this tract's message by describing the knowledge of eternal life in Heaven as "real good therapy!" As if Almighty God was nothing more than a substitute for Prozac.
Jack Chick is at his absolute best when he's depicting Hell, damnation and terror. Nevertheless, The Mad Machine is still pretty entertaining. Only people paranoid enough to buy in to Jack's vision of our world are likely to be converted, if they haven't been already. Everyone else will either laugh or scratch their heads. Either way, they will likely agree with my opening statement:
The Mad Machine is batshit crazy!
The Mad Machine
Likely to Convert - 3
Artwork - 8
Ability to Hold Interest - 7
Unintentional Hilarity - 7
Level of Disturbing or Offensive Content - 2