- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 7, 2006

You thought “The Passion of the Christ” was gory? To paraphrase the Carpenters, Mel Gibson had only just begun. His latest, the historical Mayan epic “Apocalypto,” will have you wondering whether you’ve accidentally wandered into an abattoir. What next for Mel?

Spanish Inquisition — Forget about the anti-Semitic and anti-Protestant implications of this period. It’s the ingenious torture methods that would fascinate Mr. Gibson: the “strappado,” the proto-waterboarding and, of course, the rack. Bonus points for dialogue in both Spanish and Latin.

Reign of Terror — We know Mr. Gibson has it in for the Brits (see “Braveheart,” “The Patriot”). So let’s assume, anti-clericalism aside, he’s got a soft spot for 18th-century French revolutionaries. Mr. Gibson no doubt would take great pride in re-enacting those guillotine executions on the Place de la Concorde.

Amalekite extermination — What better way for Mr. Gibson to prove his philo-Semitic bona fides than a bloody biblical epic, based on passages in the Books of Exodus and Chronicles, about the war between the ancient Hebrew and Amalekite tribes?

Roman persecution of Christians — Here’s Roman historian Tacitus on persecution of 1st-century Christians under Nero: “In their deaths they were made the subjects of sport; for they were wrapped in the hides of wild beasts and torn to pieces by dogs, or nailed to crosses, or set on fire, and when day declined, were burned to serve for nocturnal lights.” We’ll take extra butter on our popcorn, Mel.

Bloody Mary — The 16th-century English queen Mary Tudor earned her moniker for persecution of Protestants, hundreds of whom she sentenced to burn at the stake. A natural choice, perhaps, for Mr. Gibson, who has said his Episcopal wife might be facing an eternity of hellfire.

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