Every now and then I’m reminded that I really don’t know as much about the bible as I thought I did. Well, tonight was one of those times: I just finished Nicholas Ray’s 1961 biblical epic King of Kings and boy did I learn a lot! I mean, I already knew some things, like Pontius Pilate was a meanie and Judas has a heel turn. Oh, and (spoiler alert) Jesus dies at the end. But just like in comics, it seems dead doesn’t always mean dead, so I assume, like comics, maybe they had him die to boost sales before they brought him back. Ok, ok, I’ll try not to make today a day where I say insulting things about the bible, instead, I’ll see if I can focus on the top ten things I learned from watching King of Kings!
- I hope Joseph and his wife got their bedroom problems figured out.
- If Jesus was Robin Hood, Herod’s son (Herod II?) was pretty much the Sheriff of Nottingham to Pontius Pilate’s Guy of Gisborne (Errol Flynn version for everyone of course). I’m not sure who Prince John would have been though.
- Salome was super hot, but instead of being a Nefertiti (giggle) love interest for Jesus she turned out to be all evil and stuff. I was disappointed, but at least now I know what’s up with the cover of Cryptopsy’s None so Vile.
- Speaking of John the Baptist, dude was kind of a dick. What kind of asshole goes around calling women “daughter of adultery”? When he said that I was all “oh no you di-int!” Still, Salome probaby took the revenge a bit too far.
- Jesus totally got all Roadhouse Swayze when he busted out that “let him without sin cast the first stone”. The looks on the faces in the crowd as it sunk in were just like when the bouncer asks Swayze “what if they call my mama a ho?” and Swayze was all “Is she?” Jesus didn’t seem to know much kung fu though.
- I wonder if the kids back then wore Barabas shirts like the kids nowadays wear Che shirts. Dude was pretty badass, I don’t care what Jesus says.
- The sermon on that mountain apparently had more one liners than Ghostbusters, I kept being all “oooh, that’s where that is from!” during that scene. Also, I guess “blessed are the cheesemakers” was from Life of Brian, not the actual sermon.
- I totally called Lucius turning face from the beginning. Just wanted to make that clear. Also, dude that played Lucius looked just like Mark Wahlberg–which might have been why he seemed so likeable.
- The last supper was apparently the most uncomfortably creepy dinner party ever. First there was all that passive aggressive tension with Judas, then the host asks the guests to eat his flesh and drink his blood. Then everyone gets called out for being shitty friends. I have a feeling it probably would have been the last supper even if Jesus hadn’t sort of died the next day.
- I think something might have been going on with that Mary Magdelene chick…
King of Kings was a pretty good movie by the way. It didn’t have all the old testament badass-ness of The Ten Commandments, but at least the main character doesn’t turn lame halfway through like Moses did (basically at the exact moment Moses gets the skunk hair if you were wondering). But really, it thankfully managed to rise above the subject matter and exist on its own as a cinematic movie, not an uncriticizeable paean to the holy. If you like biblical epics like I do, King of Kings was a good one. And you might just learn a few things too!