You can't fool us, Mel Gibson. We've been around the maypole a few times, and we've seen your films.

You really like naked guys, don't you?

Well, hey, I'm with you on that one. But here's the other horn of the stang: You really like to hurt naked guys, don't you?

Sorry, Mel, you lost me on that one.

"Holy" Week is coming up, and with the prospect of churches in covid lockdown just like everything else, chances are that lots of Christians will be pulling the old Bible-epic CDs off the shelf.

(No gloating here, O pagan reader: when Beltane rolls around, you'll be dusting off The Wicker Man too, along with the rest of us; admit it.)

No doubt many will be watching that 2004 classic of sanctified pornography, The Passion of the Christ.

(Amazing, isn't it, how that second article transforms an otherwise commonplace phrase into sheerest bombast? And if you think the title is bombastic....)

Give it a look-see, if you can stand it: every lash-stroke laid on with love.

(On second thought, don't bother; just take my word for it.)

And the close-up of the hammer driving the spike through Jim Caviezel's outstretched palm: that's Mel's hands doing the ghastly work. Oh, I see the theological point—laid on, as usual, with the subtlety of a sledgehammer—but, ye gods. To your god you're doing this? Gee, Mel, I'd hate to be your boyfriend.

Years ago I used to date a guy whose flatmate was big into BD/SM. The flatmate had an entire wall covered with dozens and dozens of crucifixes.

Crucifixes and sado-masochism: even a poor hapless pagan boy like me could see the connection.

Ye gods, I'd think every time I went past the crucifix-wall, I'll never understand Christians.

Still, you've got to give Mel credit for genre-bending. A snuff movie with a happy ending: who else but Mel Gibson could dream of such a thing?

Mel's next (2006) movie after Passion was Apocalypto, a film—broad humor aside—rather more to my taste: set in pre-Columbian Mayan Yucatan, populated almost entirely by men in G-strings. My, my. Talk about a butt-fest. There's more male glute on display in Apocalypto than in most gay porn films.

So, naked men. As for torture, our hero, Jaguar Paw, and his tribe-mates get abducted by a neighboring tribe to be sacrificed to the Sun on the top of a pyramid by getting theirs hearts ripped out.

Oh, Mel. You really know how to hurt a guy.

And speaking of naked men and torture: remember Braveheart (1995)? At the end, the title character is publicly stripped, castrated, and disemboweled.

Sorry, Mel. One movie is just a movie. Two movies could be coincidence. Three movies....well, you tell me. The word “obsession” comes to mind.

When you can't have what you really want, I suppose it makes sense (of a sort) to want to hurt what you can't have for making you want it. But—I'm sorry—healthy it isn't.

Mel Gibson may be more Catholic than the pope.

Mel Gibson may be married—to a woman, even.

But you can't fool us, Mel.

We've seen the evidence.






Illo: Nude with crown