Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Cannibal Apocalypto 2006

Here it is, proof that Mel Gibson is now one degree away from the Italians. Ok, first, I’m not going to pay money to see Apocalypto, in the same way I wouldn't pay money to see Accepted or the remake of When A Stranger Calls. It isn't necessarily that I hate Mel Gibson for his anti-Semitism and his objectifying women (both rational choices, don't get me wrong) i don't like Mel Gibson because he makes movies that are completely uninteresting. Barring Braveheart, he has made two films that were of no interest to me and sounded more than a little repulsive. (Jesus getting worked over for two hours in Aramaic isn't exactly something I relish seeing; neither for that matter is Man Without A Face). And now, given a few film reviews and descriptions and an interview with Gibson, I’d like to offer you, my students some insight from a man who has seen the most disgusting movie ever made. But first, Gibson's piece de resistance: In Apocalypto, academy award winning visionary director Sugartits O'Houlahan takes us on a journey where we witness one culture destroying another in a horrible way.
Interviewer for Entertainment Weekly Allison Hope Weiner lets us know that "There are beheadings, people's hearts being cut out, one guy getting his face chewed up by a jaguar..." in this picture. Not exactly Pride and Prejudice is it? Gibson had this to say "Fucking Jews, Jews Cause All The Wars," oh, no wait, he had this to say, "The world is a violent place. Violence is a recurring part of our history. But this movie is not as violent as a chain-saw movie, not by a long shot. That's just some teenager with pimples being hacked to death. This is less violent than Braveheart, I think. The sacrifices at the temple are puny in comparison to what they did to the guy on the rack in that movie. But I want people to close their eyes sometimes. There is one point where a guy jumps over a waterfall and brains himself on a rock. I don't want people to watch that piece. I've given them plenty of time to close their eyes, because that's really heinous." Chainsaw movies? Is he talking about Texas Chainsaw? Cause, that and all of it's sequels were less disgusting than this, which, brings up our next point. And I'd also like to note he tells us that the difference between a good and a bad film is the oiliness of the face being cut off. 'Really heinous'...? Maybe, but he left a few things out. When Liza Scharzbaum, a reviewer from Entertainment reviewed the film a week later, she filled in the blanks, " would not feature a fellow chomping down on the testicles of a slaughtered animal, a father slit open in front of his son, a pregnant woman nearly drowning, or an extended scene of human sacrifice in which heads roll down steep temple steps like bowling balls. And the nogginless bodies that remain would not be photographed in piles inspired by old Holocaust imagery." Animals killed, heads destroyed, testicles eaten, jaguars eating faces. Why does this sound so familiar? Hmmm.
Oh yeah, cause Gibson's just made Cannibal Holocaust 2 before Ruggero Deodato could and he went the extra step of taking out the corruption of the white man that made all of the brutality justifiable. When Alan Yates and his crew rape and burn natives for ratings, it gives Robert Kerman's character some perspective and the moral high ground to say "I wonder who the real cannibals are." Here, Gibson makes it real obvious that the only ones the natives have to blame for their downfall is themselves. The other difference is the overall gutlessness of Mel Gibson. When Deodato came back from Venezuela after making the most repulsive film ever committed to celluloid and was investigated by the Venezuelan and Italian Governments. It took five years to release the film in Italy and then it was banned in a bunch of different countries. And Deodato didn't even get drunk and hit on a cop. The Road Warrior makes a film that blames the Jews for everything, denies he's an anti-Semite, gets pulled over for drunk driving and drunkenly, publicly blames the Jews for everything, denies he's an anti-Semite and now this guy has the audacity to make a cannibal film and release it like it was The Last Temptation of Private Da Vinci Code and treats himself like a misunderstood artist with a greater message.
The other thing about this whole incident as that in the same interview as he defends his squished heads, he says that it was a combination of alcohol and stress that made him get on the soap box and tell two cops who didn’t ask just who’s responsible for all of those wars. Isn’t that what ex-congressman Mark Foley said after he was caught with a computer full of perverse instant messages. Foley gets rehab and no further congressional terms and Gibson gets another million dollars and an Oscar nod in 5 years when everyone's forgotten his antics.
Instead of swearing in all caps, I’m going to use a metaphor. As I write this, Hannity and Colmes is on my television and Hannity is interviewing Donald Rumsfeld who says of American's response to Bush's job in Iraq "People have diminished the threat [of terrorism] in their minds...By Golly we're in a period with a gathering storm." That's Mel Gibson talking about Jews. A few second later, Hannity asked, "How do you have a discussion with a man who denies the holocaust happened?" That's me asking that same question to everyone who paid the $98 price of admission to see any of Gibson's movies recently. Oh, and,

Anyway, Gibson and his father are both Traditionalist Christians, which apparently states somewhere in their holy scripture that the holocaust never happened. (The real one with Nazis, not the cannibal one Deodato invented. Now, why there isn’t a religious group denying the Cannibal Holocaust up and down is beyond me, you’d have the privilege of being the first punk-horror religion, and in America, that’s saying something). Regular Christians aren’t holocaust deniers, I know several Christians, and I think they all grip the concept. Gibson just happens to embrace his special brand of arrested development with a boozey swagger and sweaty smile that makes me want to vomit.
What we have is someone using his own notoriety as a famous blowhard to market a neo-gore film in the vein of the Italian classics. Well, whatever pays for his next picture; presumably something along the lines of "All Cannibals are Jewish" or vice versa.

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