Special Review- The Passion of the Christ

If The Passion review is blocked click here!

The BroCon 2014 special- THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST! (Puts up shields and expects angry comments)



  1. I find this film hilarious myself. Barrabus as the most cacklingly evil thing imaginable, Gibson being possessed by Zach Snyder during the endless slo-mo fight in the garden and the soldiers’ inability to understand their commander’s order that ‘he actually has to be alive for us to crucify him’ left me in stitches. Overall I think it’s a mediocre and fairly racist movie, made entirely for the fanboys and no-one else.

    Great use of ‘Whip It’ as well, and that Python death sentence bit was beautifully edited. I’m surprised you didn’t go for Crawling in My Skin for the credits though, as after all, ‘THESE WOUNDS, THEY WILL NOT HEAL.’

    Edit: Does this mean I should give up on my Passion of the Hagan film then? I’ve already signed Gina Carano.

    • I was still adding stuff to the ep on the day I extracted the finished versions. If I didnt stop I would added LOTS more (def some about Barrabas, including that he is a blatant later addition to the story and def didnt literally happen- His full name being Jesus Barrabas or Jesus son of the father. He’s meant to be symbolic of something)

      Anyway when I get going on some things I just need to stop, rather than finish. Because I’ll never finish.

      • We are SO going to hell now. I’m mesmerized by your fearlessness.

        I was in high school when this movie came out, went to a Catholic school and everyone seemed to love it. Never understood why. I think Catholics just love torture. With all the Catholic Guilt we grow up with, all the times we get told to beg for forgiveness for sins, even ones we didn’t even commit (Original Sin), a film like this speaks to them.

        It’s funny how everyone thought Mel Gibson was SUCH a genius back then. People told me he was the best director ever, and I just had to shake my head and say “seriously?” Thank G…thank goodness it’s pretty much accepted now that he’s a lunatic. All he did was take one of the most sacred, holy stories out there, and lowered it to satiate his own torture fetish, and it appealed to enough torture fetishists (i.e. guilty Catholics) to get a following. Dude, why would you take a man whose whole philosophy was “love one another” and make a film that’s all about the exact opposite? That in itself is ultra-blasphemy.

        Hope you review Apocalypto sometime. It’s probably not as violent, but I personally cringed a lot more watching it than Passion. Plus it’s just as silly without that whole “you’re going to burn in hell for laughing” feeling :p

    • I just looked up Gina Carano.

      Good casting!

  2. Damn….you know as a Christian I have avoided this movie like the plague because as you said, Torture Porn based on the Gospels sounded too blasphemous for my taste. But damn! I had no idea HOW BAD the Passion of the Christ was! What the F is up with all the demon children? And the earthquake that was obviously just a narrative metaphor and Jesus’ eyes and ,,, Is this the Gospels or a effing Warkhammer 40k fanfic? How can a man who calls himself a Believer in God make such sport of the Gospel Story? Right now I’m actually making incoherent angry noises because I can’t even decide I’m amused, offended or simply disgusted!

    Anyway, your review was, as most of the time, very funny. I especially enjoyed the “Whip it” gag. And, again as usual you raise some very good points. I myself have often thought about what exactly Judas’ role in the grand scheme of things was. Isn’t there also an Apocryphal account of Jesus commanding Judas to betray him? I never thought of the idea of seeing him as the Messiah, but it does make for an interesting thought experiment. And yes Last Temptation of Christ is the best Gospel movie in my eyes as well, certainly the most intelligent one (unlike this movie) I have seen and very respectful to the legend of Jesus (again, unlike this movie)
    Sorry for the long comment, I just needed to express myself after seeing you review this…..I don’t even wanna call it a movie, this mad, blasphemy of a fever dream.

    • The idea that Jesus commanded Judas to betray him is from the gnostic Gospel of Judas. The gnostic gospels are fascinating, one has Jesus as a kid with powers torturing people (a’la the famous ep of the Twilight Zone) another has Jesus converse with the cross itself. Its like collectively they took the basic storyline and all extrapolated based on it in weird and sometimes wonderful ways.

      I think the demon kids and the crow at the end were from a nuns visions of what happened but I could be wrong.

      • Yes the Gnostic scriptures are quite interesting. Now that you mention that vision aspect I seem to recall something like that about the crow, I’ll look into it when I have more leisure time again. It still seems to me that they put them in there for sensationalism, along with the gratuitous violence. Perhaps I should also watch the movie just to see everything in context, although i highly doubt that even in context the whole thing will be any less insulting/antisemitic/stupid.

  3. It’s pretty safe to say that this one is an instance classic review. The sheer guts of going through with this combined with the fact that it is fucking hilarious is a recipe for glory.

    And I re-played the “banging in the nails” sequence more times than I care to admit. It’s so jolly!

  4. If you want a better interpretation of Jesus on film, check out The Greatest Story Ever Told or Jesus of Nazareth. I’m not against this movie either. I think that the crucifixion scenes are as close to being as accurate as Gibson can get it, but I want to see more of what Jesus did for the 3 years that are in the four gospels. That, and there are indeed some problems with this movie now that I have looked back at it, thanks to your review. I understand that this movie’s concentration was only on the crucifixion, which is why Mel Gibson put in some ridiculous stuff, like having Jesus hang off of a bridge. And that’s kind of my point.That, and I don’t believe that Mel Gibson is a Christian. He might have been at this point, but he has distance himself far from it.

    Plus, I know that I am throwing in some theology, and that you made a point that you are aware that you are leaving things out from the Bible, but I do think it’s kind of fair to even out with your audience too. Not just that, but I’m not targeting anyone here. After all, Hagan, I know what your beliefs are, and I have listen to your podcast episodes with Zack Lawrence. If anything, I’m just giving out some info for anyone who is interested, and may take and do whatever you want with it.

    The way how most people picture and portray Jesus is an issue I just started to realize until recently. The reason for why Jesus is seen as white is mostly because that was the European’s point of view of how Jesus looked. If you ask me, He looked close to being as Middle Eastern as most paintings shows.

    The betrayel of Judas was actually from him, being possessed by Satan. You can find more about it in Matthew 26:21-25, Luke 22:3, and John 13:21-30 if you’re interested. About the kids that Judas saw, I was told that kind of thing is possible.

    The thing about Pilate during his position in Israel was, well, a stressful duty. When he first came in, Pilate brought in his own gods, which stirred up the priest and told him not to do that. Pilate ended up crushing his enemies, killing those who oppose them, and gave death threats, because he was tired of the priests trying to get rid of his gods. As a matter in fact, when Jesus was talking to Judas, he even said in John 18:38, “What is truth?”, because he’s already having a hectic day, if you couldn’t already tell. But at the same time, the Bible does record that he wanted to reason with the Pharisees, questioning on what Jesus has done wrong.

    Herod’s lineage was morally corrupt, and a lot of them named themselves as Herod. So corrupt, that the erotic dancer, Salome, was his 14 year old niece. Plus, why does the actor who played as Herod in this movie look so familiar?

    By the way, the money changers were the Pharisees, not the Romans.

    The reason for why the Pharisees didn’t stone Jesus is because the Scribes and Pharisees wanted to tempt Him on whether or not if they should stone a woman who was caught in the act of adultry. Jesus’ stance against what they were doing was this “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” – John 8:7. After that, the scribes and Pharisees were convicted by their own conscience and left the scene. Nothing against Hagan, but only to Gibson, showing me how much he really cares about the gospels.

    The cross was never completely assembled that way when they were heading towards their crucifixion, but I can understand why some people think that Jesus carried the entire thing out of not knowing the full details of carrying the cross. What doesn’t make any sense in this scene is why Jesus was the only one who carried the entire thing. Not only that, but the cross was not as smooth as it was presented in this movie. We only made it look that way so we can safely carry it.

    If you think that Mel Gibson didn’t want to show Jesus naked, let me assure you that he had to get rid of a lot of scenes from this movie, due to how graphic a lot of the scenes were, or this movie would have gotten an NC-17 rating.

    According to Matthew 27:51-54, the earthquake did happen.

    About Jesus having long hair. Some do believe that He had long hair because He was of Nazareth, and it was very common for those of Nazareth to have long hair. Others don’t believe that Jesus had long hair because there is no mentioning of how long His hair was. Not only that, but what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:14 could have been according to their culture, since there are some cultures in the world that does consider men to have long hair to be disrespectful. It would also be very hypocritical of me to go against those who has long hair in the church anyway, because I too have long hair.

    Like I said, my intention was to not throw anyone under the bus for any inaccuracies from what was in this review. I just wanted to put in some additional information about the crucifixion and what Mel Gibson did and did not bother getting right and wrong. But if it did feel like to some that I did put somebody under the bus, then I am sorry. I really am.

    But there was enough for me not to turn away from this movie. I kind of liked the scene where Jesus finished making the table. Pointless, but it does show the mother and Son relationship between the two. I look at that as kind of like the flashback scenes from Lost, even though they weren’t close to being perfect.

    I love how you thought that the actor playing as Satan was Russian.

    • I know why Jesus is portrayed as white, its centuries of cultural low-ish level racism.

      I mentioned that Judas was ‘literally possessed’ in one of the Gospels. But at the same time its fairly mainstream Christian thought that Judas was A, necessary and B, is in hell. So my point about sacrifice still stands.

      I understand how Pilate is being portrayed in the Gospels but it still doesn’t match the contemporary historical records. he had a history of shitting on the religious beliefs of those under his power and was brutally violent. I could be wrong but occams razor would seem to suggest that its more likely he crucified a possible threat and the story was re-written later rather than he suddenly and inexplicably became meek and easily cowed by powerless old men.

      Did I say the money changers were Romans? I certainly didn’t think they were. I only mentioned that Jesus ‘scourged’ them in their place of work.

      You havent explained why a stoning is happening if their illegal. Or why Jesus cant be stoned if they want him dead if the law is that easy to break. Especially what with happened to James the Just later on.

      About the cross beam only being carried- I think I mentioned that. I shoulda mentioned Jesus’s ridiculously non-wooden looking cross as well.

      I know the earthquake was in the bible and I think I mentioned that near the start of the review. But its still not in any contemporary records. And the Romans kept those sorts of things. It appears to be as literally true as the low-level zombie apocalypse.

      I know Corinthians wasn’t written by Jesus, I just wanted to point out that Mel will happily toss out the Bible when it interferes with popular Christian imagery. I actually think its good to portray Jesus with long hair, any ignoring of that psychopath Paul is a good thing.

      You threw no-one under the bus. You’re a Christian so you came at the review from a particular angle and there’s nothing wrong with that.

      • Yeah, most of the stuff that I wrote I knew I wasn’t going to put down perfectly. And whenever it comes to me and my Jesus, you can say I’m kind of like what you get if Zach Lawrence writes like Alan Stevens. I’m really passionate about what I write and I try to get it nailed. Were there two puns in that last sentence? Maybe.

      • Pilate’s whitewash came about when Constantine started converting the Roman Empire… to get around the whole “we killed Jesus” awkwardness, they solved the problem just like everyone else did: blame the Jews.

  5. I mentioned at the con that JCS was remade in 2000 (on a far lower budget, mind), and it’s happily on YouTube, uploaded by the production company. I say this because your criticism regarding Pilate is much, much worse there, in which at one point Pilate (played by the only Israeli actor, there’s some irony) actively tries to persuade the crowd not to make him do it:

    And incidentally, JCS 2000’s Herod was played by the late great Rik Mayall: http://youtu.be/qnErvJbov6I

  6. Ahh, “The Passion of the Christ.” Also known as the moment in which the media watchdog section of the Christian Right mysteriously stopped complaining about graphic movie violence. (At least in the U.S.) I mean, I guess they had been suspiciously silent about violent war movies like “Saving Private Ryan” or even other Mel Gibson movies like “Braveheart” and “The Patriot,” but from what I remember, there weren’t that many Christian protests of depictions of violence in the media. They mostly just doubled down on sex and profanity.

    Thanks for this. Looking forward to “Tribulation Force.” And if I ever do find the crazy atheist counterpart to the Christian films you review, I’ll let you know.

  7. When this came out, my circle of friends referred to this movie as “Mel Gibson’s Beating Jesus,” One of them is from a Catholic family and he still referred to it as that. We had a sense of humor about it and I still snicker when I see in on a video shelf.

    The review was very insightful to me, as well as being a laugh riot. I have a belief in something watching us, but I’m not a part of any religious order. I’ll listen to the beliefs of others as long as what they’re saying does not approach the levels of true offensiveness. (e.g. Westboro Baptist Church)

    BTW, what would YOU do with the WBC?

    Loved the blending of silver faced and black hooded minions!

    Hail Hagan! Looking forward to the next 102!

    • What would I say? Id thank them for accidentilly doing more for gay-rights in America than anyone else. id thank them for connecting homophobia with anti-Americanism in mainstream American thought. And Id tell them to never stop because they make our lives easier every time they open their mouths. When homophobia is unpopular, life is better. Without Fred I worry they will go quiet and people rekindle popular and quiet homophobia.

      • I don’t think you’ll have to worry about them stopping altogether soon. They’re still picketing, but their numbers have dropped.

        Look at the Panic! At The Disco concert debacle. The band offered $20 US for every WBC member who showed…13 did. The band said “Fuck it” and donated $1000 and 5% of merchandise sales to The Human Rights Campaign in the name of the WBC.

        For even better results, go back to 2011 and comedienne Lisa Lampanelli was on their shit list. She said she’d give $1000 for every protester…..and 44 showed up. She rounded the donation up to $50000 to The Gay Men’s Health Crisis Charity and did it in the name of the “church.”

        Hell, these may be expensive ways to do it, but the Assholes are pulling back on concerts. Besides, I love watching these people get one-upped by the people they’re protesting. Just like that guy you were critiquing in that DC VLog you did that time.

  8. Normally, I am one of the silent watchers and lovers of your reviews, but this was the first one where I had to pause the video while watching.
    I may need to add that I’m German, so I have to go into the cellar to laugh. It a duty that comes with the citizenship.*

    I really want to thank you for this wonderful review. Not only because I did some really exhausting work out (took me a lot of trips to the cellar to finish watching the video), but also because you exposed so many flaws in this movie and the religious conceptions of the creators.
    I have always wondered when someone will use “Banging In The Nails” for a review. I am very happy to see it here.

    (* figured if that movie is allowed to shamelessly use inaccurate and horribly annoying stereotypes, I am, too)

    I would like to end with Hail Hagan!, but history is a bitch. Though on a second thought – fuck it, I intend to emigrate to Haganistan anyway.

    Hail Hagan!

    • Well, it’s hail, not the salute from the third reich, so we german people can participate.

      I’m not so sure that the stereotype of us germans being humourless incorporates us going into the cellar to have a laugh on an international level. I think it’s actually an exclusively german stereotype.

      And you should get a laptop that has internet access in the cellar. Less walking, more laughter. 🙂

  9. As a Christian, I found Passion of Christ incredibly offensive. While I do applaud the decision to have the actors speak in ancient Aramaic and Hebrew (that than over-the-top British English as in many other productions), the reduction of Jesus’ story to a blatant “Jews ruin the world” propaganda piece showcasing scene after scene of bloody BSDM was more a perfect display of Mel Gibson’s insanity than anything else.

    *sigh* I like Jim Caviezel better in the Prisoner remake…

    • Really? You liked something about The Prisoner remake? Suddenly the hullabaloo about The Passion is a small fry in comparison! (:p)

      • Well, at least in The Prisoner Jim wasn’t being whipped in a bloodbath for 75% of the running time.

        And while I do think the remake wasn’t as good as Patrick McGoohan’s original Prisoner (or Persons Unknown, for that matter), I still enjoyed it. Especially given that most British sci-fi series made since 2005 have fared far, far worse (I’ve seen Eternal Law).

  10. Feeling sad I can’t join in on the religious discussion going on here (a year late) since my upbringing might’ve been in the most secular household imaginable (God wasn’t even mentioned to me growing up, discovering Christianity was weird). But… “Gay Jesus Offends Christians”. Thank you. I am wearing that shirt even as I type this comment.

  11. Quite frankly, this is your best review Hagan. It’s very deep regarding the film’s failing at information and comes off as just uncomfortable. The fact I saw this film when I was 11 (My family is heavily Catholic and my dad got a copy of the film from his work so…) surprises me that I wasn’t mentally scared by how much Mel was showing Jesus being beaten. Then again, I don’t remember much of it except (obviously) the crucifixion and Judas being tormented by psychopathic children.

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