Friday, December 08, 2006

Mel, Please, Get Some Therapy


“I’m going to peel off his skin and make him watch me wear it.” This grisly threat is delivered by one of the main bad guys in Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypto.” The promised flaying never takes place, but viewers who share this director’s apparently limitless appetite for gore will not be disappointed, since not much else in the way of bodily torment has been left to the imagination. There are plenty of disembowelings, impalings, clubbings and beheadings. Hearts are torn, still beating, from slashed-open chests. A man’s face is chewed off by a jaguar. Another’s neck is pierced by darts tipped with frog venom. Most disturbing, perhaps, is the sight of hundreds of corpses haphazardly layered in an open pit: a provocative and ill-advised excursion into Holocaust imagery on this director’s part.


--from A. O. Scott's review of Mel Gibson's Apocalypto in the New York Times

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