: April 2004: Another Lonely Night
all due respect to Evil Angel, Adam & Eve, Vivid,
J & M Productions, and the rest of Porn Valley,
this month Hollywood has sailed far higher in the
adult realm, as high as you can go, really: Jesus
porn rising off the cross. So right for Easter--porn
violence at its most extreme.
Mel Gibson's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST
assaults your senses
for two long hours, an unrelenting spectacle of
gore, a Christian slasher epic. Mel knows how to
cut to the chase. None of that born of the Virgin
Mary voodoo, forget all the devoted son of Joseph
the carpenter goo, dump young Jesus walking among
the lambs with his little band of disciples merrily
spreading the word, don't waste the audience's time
& dime with studly J ousting the usuring money
changers in the temple.... No, Mel does it right.
Grind away on the last 12 hours of Jesus' life.
James Caviezel plays Jesus, most of the time his
half naked hard bod in a loin cloth sending off
homo-erotic vibes, a quivering Messiah who will
appeal to both girls and boys. The movie begins
in a forest after the Last Supper where Roman guards
chase after and catch the perp, Jesus. A quick trial
takes place. The perp is guilty, the death trip
kicks in. Jesus is whipped and flayed, mashed and
whacked, writhing and screaming. Just as porn tosses
off one fuckfest after another, so too THE PASSION
OF THE CHRIST wallows in a series of excruciatingly
bloody agonies and nothing else. Just as porn shows
every orifice being plundered so we do not need
to use our imaginations, this film makes sure the
evisceration of Christ allows that we don't have
to feel his pain because it's so off the charts.
That's not what Mel intended because he didn't realize
the final result would round the bend and turn into
porn. Which, of course, is how some of the finest
porn slips out.
Jesus gets dragged through the streets of Jerusalem,
tossed over a wall in chains and tortured in slo-mo.
Gotta be slo-mo. Drag out the whip coming down like
the cock going in. Mel is superb on the
details. A whip encrusted with barbed glass repeatedly
rips into Jesus' flesh, his skin gets torn off
and flies through the air. The Roman guards laugh
and growl as they scourge him, occasionally flicking
a piece of flying skin off their forearms.
Watch Jesus climb up Calvary, his body ripped
and scarred, one bulging eye swollen shut, groaning,
panting, spitting blood. Unless you're a serial
killer, PASSION won't induce a hard-on,
but for slasher fans this puts Texas Chainsaw
Massacre to shame.
The crucifixion itself splendidly devours our
eyes, a money shot that will endure until the
Rapture is upon us. The camera lovingly lingers
over these big fuckin' nails driving into Jesus'
hands. One guard shows another how to pull on
Jesus' arms so they break, making it easier to
hammer in the nail flat. Each time the hammer
comes down Jesus twitches like spastic. I suppose
we all would under the circumstances. The cross
is on the ground for the nailing, then the guards
flip it over. Jesus' head slams between the cross
and the ground. The camera moves in for a close-up.
The crown of thorns drives deep into his skull.
This is cool because 1) that didn't happen in
history, only in this movie, 2) it is a scene
that shows no imagination whatsoever and 3) innocent
blood never found a better con artist than Mel
Here too we have another porn parallel. Gibson
is a total fraud. But at least the frauds in porn
land are not Jew-baiting, gay-hating, treacherous
thugs. Christopher Hitchens, writing for the on-line
magazine Slate, nicely sums up Gibson's
character. An evening with Mel is "one long fiesta
of boring but graphic jokes about anal sex."
From the outset this movie is one long anti-Semitic
rant. Pontius Pilate, one of the most vicious
dictators in the Roman Empire, is portrayed as
a humane fellow unwilling to order the crucifixion.
And who wants J nailed? Why the Jews, of course.
A batch of malignant rabbis and a wailing Jewish
mob demand it. At one point Pilate sends the rabbis
off to see if King Herod will order the hit. The
King of the Jews declines, but it's pretty clear
by his swishes he's a total fag. Gibson gets a
two-fer here: Jew and gay. Ultimately, Jewish
mob rule prevails.
Some critics in the mainstream press have also
noted the adult qualities of Gibson's film. "A
piece of devotional cinematic pornography," says
Hitchens. "A sacred snuff film," says New Republic.
"Sustained sadism," says New York Times
columnist William Safire. "In a word, pornography,"
says Andrew Sullivan, the British gay conservative
columnist. Sullivan goes on to say what he means
by porn is "the reduction of all human thought
and feeling to mere flesh."
Quite true. That's why I like porn and loved this
film. THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST has no
redeeming social value, offers a descent into
sadomasochistic narcissism worthy of Marquis de
Sade, and has enough gratuitous violence to satisfy
a neo-Nazi skinhead hanging outside Dante's in
search of Jim Goad.
A must see. Truly disgusting. Five stars, five
knives and five hard dicks.
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