Like many of my readers, I'm going to be celebrating Christmas this year despite being non-religious and bordering on agnosticism. Usually the tradition is to sit around drinking a bottle of whiskey and watching 24 hours of A Christmas Story on TBS.
This year will be a little different; not just because I'm a father and will have to at least be wearing boxers this year, but also I have a 30-day challenge to think about. I'm going to put away any prejudices and learn about the religion that brought us this joyous occasion, especially since I've heard there's a lot of sex and violence. A LOT OF SEX AND VIOLENCE. So much so that protestors asked Target to remove the Bible from their stores after Target refused to stock Grand Theft Auto V based on some moral high ground.
If you think you have to read far into the Bible before the sex and violence begins, you're WRONG. Just within a few pages of Genesis — the first book of the Bible — God giveth the Earth and God taketh away, killing every person on Earth in a massive flood (except for Noah, of course. I'll get to him later). And that's just the beginning. People get killed in ways so innovative and gruesome that they could have been filmed as scenes in a Wes Craven movie. Which brings me to:
Are These Scenes From the Bible or From a Horror Movie?
See how many you can get right.
[MOBILE DEVICES: Swipe from RIGHT to LEFT]
“The son of a priest kills a man and his mistress to earn the approval of an all-powerful entity.”
Numbers 25:6-18 So God sends a plague to Israel to punish the Israelites for sexually intermingling with the Midianites. You know, Standard Operating Procedure for God. Phinehas, the go-getter of his time even before the concept of "taking initiative" was invented, kills an Israelite man and his Midianite mistress by driving his spear through both of them in a "justice first, questions later" manner. That shit worked, because it earned God’s approval, and God leads Israel in destroying the Midianites, plundering their wealth in the process. Oh yeah, God ended that pesky plague, too.
“A young woman goes on a quest for revenge against the people who kidnapped and tormented her as a child.”
Martyrs (2008) - This French-Canadian movie will keep you awake at night. Fifteen years after a horrifying experience of abduction and prolonged torture, Lucie embarks on a bloody quest for revenge against her oppressors. Along with her childhood friend, Anna, who also suffered abuse, she quickly descends, without hope, into madness and her own delusions. Anna, left on her own begins to re-experience what Lucie did when she was only twelve years old.
“A man is forced to live a life on the run after jealousy forces a him to commit fratricide against his only brother — a secret he has hidden from his wife and son.”
Genesis 4:1-17 - We're all familiar with the story. Adam bones Eve, she gives birth to Cain, then Abel. Cain is a farmer who offers God a portion of his crops as a sacrifice. He becomes jealous when he learns that God is more pleased with Abel who has given God the fattest portion of his flocks. In a fit of jealousy only seen on Real Housewives of Orange County, Cain kills his brother. God exiles Cain from his home to wander in the land east of Eden. The happy ending here is Cain bangs his wife, and she became pregnant and gives birth to Enoch.
“A woman is double-crossed by her lover and offered as a peace agreement to a gang of men trying to bring him harm. The men repeatedly rape her throughout the night until she dies.”
Judges 19:22-30 - One night after a presumably beautiful day in Isreal, a man and his mistress are accosted when a gang of Benjamite men demand to have sex with the man. Yes, gay sex in the Bible. The man offers them his concubine instead, and the men rape her repeatedly throughout the night until she eventually succumbed to her injuries and died. Now, here's where shit takes a drastic turn and elevates itself to something WAY beyond the imagination of horror film writers. The man brings his mistress' dead corpse home and cuts her into twelve pieces, sending the twelve tribes of Israel one piece each.
“A group of young men and women are gathered at a palace where they’re subjected to unspeakable horrors, ending with a ritual slaughter.”
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) - This movie makes it on almost EVERY single "Most Disgusting Horror Movies" (and its variants) every created. Just check out these scenes (in no particular order — hey, I don't want to spoil it for you): Heads are scalped, tongues are cut off, eyeballs are snipped out, one girl is forced to eat feces, and several poor bastards are raped in front of large crowds. That's right. EAT "FECES", as in SHIT!
“After the death of her husband, a woman on the brink of giving birth to her child is harassed and tortured by a stranger who wants her unborn baby.”
Inside (2007) - On Christmas Eve, Sarah stays home alone, where she grieves her husband and prepares to go to the hospital the next morning for the delivery when a woman knocks on Sarah's door asking to use the phone. From there a downward spiral of butchered family members, blown-off cop faces, and a C-section with scissors, amongst other extreme brutality, takes place. And that's just the beginning.
“A naked, drunken ship captain exposes himself to his own children and becomes enraged when they suggest he cover up himself. Because of the child's perceived insolence, the father forces his son into a lifetime of slavery.”
Genesis 9:18-29 - That's right. Our favorite navigator of the Ark got shitfaced and showed his "captain" and two "sea men" to his own children. Ham, one of Noah’s sons, sees his naked father passed out and tells his brothers, Shem and Japeth. Shem and Japeth cover their father without looking at him. When Noah finally wakes up and shakes off his hangover, he curses Ham’s descendants, the Canaanites, declaring that they will be a slave for the future descendants of Ham’s brothers.
“After kidnapping, brutally assaulting, and raping two young women, a group of men unknowingly seek shelter belonging to the parents of one of the victims. The mother and father exact an increasingly gruesome series of revenge.”
The Last House on the Left (1972) - This Wes Craven classic is about two teenage girls headed to a rock concert when the girls are kidnapped by a gang of psychotic convicts. The rape scene is bad enough, but what Mari's parents do to the killers to get revenge will surely turn your stomach, including a scene where Mari's mom "orally removes" a rapist's dick during a blowjob gone horribly wrong. The movie was found to be so sadistic that it was banned in Great Britain for a while because of the unrestrained violence and sexual humiliation.
“A bloody revenge is on the mind of two brothers whose sister was raped and is being forced to marry her assailant.”
Genesis 34:1-29 - Stick with me here, because it goes off on a penis cutting tangent at one point. Dinah is raped by a man name Shechem (I mean, look at what she was wearing! amiright?). Shechem falls is love with Dinah and requests her hand in marriage. Jacob (Dinah's father) agrees to have his daughter marry her rapist, but her brothers add the caveat that they will only let him marry her if all the members of the man’s family will be circumcised. The man agrees. While the greater part of the village is healing from the surgical procedure, Dinah's brothers take revenge, kills all the men and enslaves the women and children! How's that for a plot twist, Shyamalan?
“Over 400 people are brutally murdered in a hail storm of fire and destruction coming from an angry supernatural force.”
Carrie (1976) - Although fire raining from the sky has been a prevalent method God uses to deal with the brazen and corrupt, I was referring to the 1976 (and the no-bush shitty 2013 remake) movie "Carrie."