2.18.2004

MOVIES - The Greatest Snuff Story Ever Told

Warning. This is a bit of a blasphemous post. If you're devout, you may want to avoid it.

Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ debuts in a week. Christians, Sadists, and Masochists will line up in theaters across the country to witness the finest quasi-snuff film made since Trent Reznor's X Files. If Gibson would've just added a little more leather, he could've doubled the profits by selling the video in XXX and bondage shops. But this, of course, isn't the focus of the movie.

This movie is about Jesus. No, not the Jesus who was concerned about the meek, the poor, the destitute. This is about the other Jesus who was tortured and killed like any common criminal. You see, you can't truly understand Jesus unless you've seen him whipped and beaten into a mound of hamburger.

Did the Jews kill Jesus? Yes!! No!! Yesno!!

Blech. WHO CARES? He's dead, and everybody seems to be ignoring HIS message. The Jews and The Religious Right aren't exactly bringing fish and bread to the masses, if you know what I mean. Contemporary Conservatives seem to prefer the Old Testament's "eye for an eye" message rather than Jesus' "turn the other cheek". And many Christians want to see Jews return to Jerusalem.... so they can all die and herald the Rapture. Is that would Jesus would do?

The best thing about this movie will be the accompanying views and reviews.

From Cindy Adams
MEL GIBSON's doing TV, preparing folks for the ceaseless, endless, pitiless, violence in his "The Passion of the Christ." He's previously had parlor parties, selected friends, who've shown it in home movie theaters. Rich friends. Poor one's with studio apartments don't have screening rooms. A routine is wine/champagne, hors d'oeuvres, buffet supper, desert, coffee, bucket of popcorn and 90 minutes of unrelenting beating, whipping, nailing, torturing and agony. The host's major problem being, what kind of wine goes with blood.

Per some who've sat through this: "Gibson clearly says the Jews killed Christ. In his movie, Pontius Pilate's a nice guy who wants to let Jesus go. The Jews say, 'No . . . give Him more.' Pilate's wife gives Jesus water. Pilate again says to release Him. Again the Jews won't."

One evening, all 50 guests, eerily silent at the end, left quietly. Two, whose professional relationships made them unable to walk out in the middle, said: "It's tough to take. Nobody should see this ugly horrible movie."

Cindy should have known. Sparkling white wine is fabulous with a course of divine blood and quiche.

Brent Bozell writes
Don't worry, film critics: It should be safe to assume that the crowds flocking to this R-rated movie will not be dragging their kids to see the pain inflicted in "The Passion." How wonderful it would be if Hollywood had such tender hearts for the well being of vulnerable children routinely sneaking into R-rated films with little resistance.

The secular cultural elites have reason to be frightened. Millions of Americans will be dazzled in the multiplexes watching a cast of non-stars speak in non-English about what Hollywood has seen for eons as a non-story. The hubbub should send a powerful message to Hollywood: Our culture could use more of this kind of artistic vision and exploration, and less of your nihilistic nonsense. There might be a new fad in town.

Hmmm. Conservatives won't take their children to see this movie, but a matinee of Matrix Reloaded is just fine for the kids, right? (I attended a Sunday matinee, and the audience was full of cowboys with their children.)

Yes, the evil secular humanists are quaking in their shoes over the possibility of a Christian Renaissance via celluloid. Nihilistic nonsense? Guess what? Most of the "cultural elites" that I know are just as sick of Hollywood's vapid productions, too. That's why they turn to independent cinema. Christians have been free to make their own films and television shows since the first electron gun was created. Why are they waiting for the star of Mad Max and Lethal Weapon to make fine Christian entertainment?

Jeff Houston adds
Through this perspective, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST elevates beyond a voyeuristic experience to that of an introspective one. The clear complicity of it all is personal and undeniable. The result is a film that no one will enjoy, nor forget. It’s as unentertaining as any film has been or can be. But it’s a rare achievement because it is so for all the right reasons. THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST will make people feel horrible yet fill them with hope. It may even make them feel guilty, but this Christ and His passion reveal the true embodiment of Unconditional Love. THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST will change lives, and its legacy—like its title Figure—will live on long after the criticisms.

Indeed. I could nearly say the same thing about the previously mentioned Nine Inch Nails Broken videos. It's an experience that you won't enjoy, or forget. And it is quite the opposite of 'entertainment'. Somehow, I doubt that Christians would care to endure the videos and reflect upon what they have seen. Yet, a Christian snuff film is worthy of our time and introspection.

Congratulations, Mr. Gibson. You've created a cult classic. This movie is going to be looped inside of every bondage S/M club in the civilized world. That's a feat that many secular humanists can appreciate.

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